[Jesus said] I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed (John 17:4-5).
Did God create the universe because He was bored or did He create the universe because He was lonely? Neither. God created all things for His glory (Isa.43:7). Both seen and unseen, animate and inanimate, all things belong to Him. They are for Him. And all these things have been given unto His Son. We were created through Christ and for Christ (Col.1:16).
The Lord is a God of glory. He decreed, in eternity past, that He will get His name glory. This is His will. But what is God’s glory? And how does He accomplish getting glory for Himself? Answering this question will unveil how we, as a result, should live for the glory of God!
Have you ever seen something so awesome, so extraordinary, or so great that the very thought of it was heavy? Maybe, you’ve even heard the expression, “whoa, that’s heavy”. The Hebrew word for glory, Chabod, means weightiness or heaviness. This is what the glory of God can be likened to. When we see Him, or His work, it is jaw dropping. One glimpse of God would leave us stunned, or dead. He is drop dead gorgeous.
This is how I explain God’s glory to my daughter. I don’t just tell her what it is, I show her… I say, “God is good! Whoa!”, as my draw drops and my eyes bulge out of my head and my hands are lifted high. I show her what it looks like to be awestruck. She always laughs at me.
Our sin has separated us from God. Apart from Christ, we neither see Him nor know Him. But if God was to give us a glimpse of who He is, we would be in fearful, wonderful, awe of Him. Just think about it… When you see a raging thunderstorm, a giant avalanche, or the explosion of a star through a telescope, what is your response? Whoa….
God has revealed His power, creativity, and divinity in nature. When we see these things we are getting a glimpse at the glory of God. This is one of the ways God accomplishes His will, to get Himself glory. “The heavens declare the glory of the Lord” (Ps.19:1).
When people come to see and know who God is, He is made famous. But who is God! The best way to understand God is in light of His attributes. When His attributes are manifested, His glory shines upon humanity. God is love, and when the love of God is lifted high, people see God, and they say, “whoa”. God is justice, and when the justice of God is executed against sin, people see God, and they say, “whoa”…
Ezekiel 28:22: Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I am against you, O Sidon, and I will manifest my glory in your midst. And they shall know that I am the LORD when I execute judgments in her and manifest my holiness in her.
God’s glory isn’t just likened the athlete crowned in the Olympic Games; God’s glory is likened to the Supreme Court Judge, who in His authority, sentences a man do death. In both cases, the character of God is manifested, and thus, He is exalted in the eyes of His creatures. This is why God allowed sin to enter the world. In His perfect wisdom, God’s plan for creation permitted humanity to freely choose to sin. He did not make us sin but He knew that we would.
Because of sin, God has a unique opportunity to manifest His attributes. We see His love, grace, and mercy in saving sinners; and we see His justice, wrath, and righteousness in condemning sinners. Think about, sin has built an arena, in which, certain of God’s attributes -like His wrath -are facilitated. Without sin, how could God show that He is a God of wrath? God knew this. And this is why He ordained sin to come to pass -though He did not create it. It’s a bill pill to swallow…
Exodus 14:4: And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD.”
God’s will is for all men and women to know that He is the Lord. All events of time and space rotate on this axis. And they rotate around the cross. The cross is the supernova that never fades, displayed in one moment, for all the world to see. From the cross, a bright new star of God’s glory shines and never grows dim. All other stars, explode and fade away. This one remains.
In the cross, we see God’s hatred towards sin and His love for humanity. Under close examination, every attribute of God is manifested in the cross. The cross is God’s Magnus Opus. In it, He gets exceeding glory; a standing ovation. Whoa!!!
Rom.3:21-26: But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it — the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Jesus came to save His lost sheep; to redeem His adulterous bride, and to destroy the works of the devil. In hell, God will forever get glory in the execution of His wrath against sinners; and in heaven, God will forever get glory in the overflow of His love towards sinners. Now that’s heavy. This is the God of the Bible: power, might, wisdom, and strength to accomplish, for His name, Glory. Wow! Glory!
It was always God’s plan to get glory in His Son. And it is God’s plan to get glory through the redemption of sinners. When you trust in Jesus as Lord, God will shine His beauty through you. His love will become manifest in you. His righteous will be seen in you. And His power to save will be proclaimed by you. This is your purpose as a Christian: to make Christ famous…
1 Pet.2:9: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
This is God’s will for you. In every decision, in every circumstance, ask yourself, which choice gives God the most glory? How would God respond or be in this situation? And, which decision will most clearly display His character? Should His mercy be displayed or His justice? Should His love for the sinner be displayed or His hatred of sin?
Living for God’s glory is an epic journey. It has many challenges, many difficulties, and many opportunities. It is a life of adventure but sacrifice; and a life of trial but triumph. When it’s all said and done, what do you want people to say about your life? I know what I want them to say of mine: Whoa… Glory to God!!!!
Numbers 14:21: But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.