What does it Mean to Glorify God? (Free Lesson)

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A man dressed in robe hands raised in the air praising or worshipping God on a dark background.

In this lesson we are focusing on glorifying God.  Particularly, we want to know what i the world that means and why we are told to do it.

Icebreaker: Cotton Projectile Wars

Materials Needed: Qtips, straws, one paper cup per team

Divide into two teams and give each member a straw and a pile of Q-tips. One team member from each side sits on their side of the play area with a paper cup on their head. The objective is to knock the opposite team’s paper cup off the person’s head by blowing the Q-tips through the straws (Blow pipe fashion). No blocking Q-tips by anyone during the battle!!

What Does Glorify Mean?

If we are going to glorify God, we need to understand a little bit about what glorify means.

In Hebrew, the word glorify is kabod; and in the Greek, it is doxazo.  These are two very different aspects of the word. First, to glorify means to shine, to demonstrate and to manifest the divine. In other words, glory represents the Lord’s presence. Examples of God’s glory can be seen all throughout the Bible.

The second aspect of the word glory means to reflect, to show forth, to demonstrate and to express the image of an object or person so that it may be seen by all. It means to add something to someone’s character that it, in itself, does not have. In the New Testament doxazo can mean to signify, extol and ascribe honor to. It is most often used of an external manifestation. According to the Bible, to glorify God means to bring Christ’s glory or radiance to light, to manifest it or to reflect it. When we glorify God, we are reflecting how awesome and amazing He is through our actions and attitudes.

To glorify God means we bring Him honor through what we say, how we act, and how we think. To glorify God means to acknowledge His glory and to value it above all things. It means we make it known to others. It means we have a heartfelt gratitude. We glorify God through our faith, through our love and through our desire to obey Him. We glorify God through our desire to know Him.

Why Do We Glorify God?

So why is it so important? Why do we glorify God? To put it simply, it is what we were created to do. God created us for His own glory. In Isaiah 43:7, God says this about mankind, “ Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.” We were made to glorify God. In the words of John Piper, “Birds were made to fly. Fish were made to swim. We were made to glorify God”. If we are not glorifying God, then we are not living out our purpose.

How Do We Glorify God?

We glorify God by living the way He calls us to live. We glorify him when other people can see him because of the way we live our lives. In John 15:8, Jesus says, “ When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.”

Bearing fruit simply means having evidence in your life that you are living the way God wants you to. You can glorify God in the way you interact with others, in the way you speak, in the way you dress, in your Facebook posts and twitter tweets; every choice you make is an opportunity to glorify God.

When we glorify God, we should be pointing others to Jesus, instead of pointing them to ourselves. In his book Jesus>Religion, Jefferson Bethke says, “As God’s children, we are to use our lives knowing they reflect back to him and bear his image. Too often, instead of acting like mirrors pointing back to Jesus, we try to act like billboards, advertising ourselves. But outside of Jesus we have no ability to create. In the same way the moon can’t light up without the sun— because all it is doing is reflecting the sunlight—we can’t create or bear God’s image on our own accord. Trying to get glory for things we have done is like the moon shouting, “Look how awesome I am,” when the only reason the moon is shining in the first place is because of the sun. The brightness of the moon is borrowed brightness.”

In 1 Corinthians 10:31 it says, “As a matter of fact, do everything that way, heartily and freely to God’s glory.” We are called to do everything for God’s glory. Everything we do should point others to Him. God is a God of glory. God is glorious. God exists to be glorified. The Bible speaks of the glory of God as a mega-theme that appears about 275 times in the English translation, 50 times alone in the book of Psalms.

Jesus has told us that we’re the light of the world and that we should let our light shine through the good works that we do in His name. But much of the time we feel more like burned out bulbs than lights shining in the darkness. We need to realize that it’s not the brightness coming from us that enables God to be glorified through any good works done in His name. Jesus is the ‘light of the world’ and it’s not the strength of our light that’s important. It’s the strength of the light of Jesus that shines in and through us. It’s not our power which makes a difference, but the power of Jesus living through us. This is what makes all the difference as we go about being a faithful presence everywhere in this dark world. We glorify God by reflecting Jesus and living the way he would live.

Discuss:

  • What types of fruit should others see in our lives if we are glorifying God?
  • How easy is it to do EVERYTHING for God’s glory?
  • Give examples of someone you have seen who glorifies God by the way they live.

 

Close in prayer  

Image attribution: Leah-Anne Thompson / Thinkstock

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Chasity is the Outreach and Education Coordinator at Christ UMC in Newcomerstown, Ohio. As part of that position, she is the youth pastor for Meta Student Ministries, a community wide, student led youth ministry, that takes place at Christ UMC. Chasity is most passionate about empowering and equipping teens and young adults to make a difference in the world through the life changing power of Jesus. She is also pretty passionate about hanging out with her awesome husband and family, mission work to Cuba, traveling, sweet tea, all things Spanish and cooking. You can follow her on Twitter: @ChasLOpp

3 COMMENTS

  1. Is there any correlation between the icebreaker (cotton projectile wars) and the concept of Glorifying God? If there is, I don’t get the connection.

  2. How can I eat for the glory of God? How can I joke and do many other ordinary things for the glory of God? If I’m about to eat should my thought be “I’m doing it for God’s glory?” I eat because I’m hungry and because I enjoy it, of course I thank God but the purpose for my eating is to satisfy my hunger and enjoy the taste. Is it wrong then? The same with posting sth on facebook or commenting someones photo- I dont think about Gods glory when I do it. Of course I dont post anything that would dishonor God and I dont say mean things in my comments, but I also dont do it to glorify God.. Could expand a little more on that please??

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