So what is glory?
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Hebrews 1: 3,
God’s glory (divine light) radiates through Jesus, who is the ‘exact representation of his being. To put it simply – when God is seen for who he is, he is glorified. Jesus showed us God – fully, precisely, completely – allowing divine light to shine unimpeded. As for you and I, the more people see God in us, understanding his loving nature, the more God is glorified (seen for who he is).
God is glorified when we remove the blocks that shut divine light out of our lives. As hindrances are removed, people see God for who he is; they see his light in us. They see his work and nature. We glorify God when He is free to act in our lives. When we allow the Holy Spirit to direct our steps, therefore our lives.
The Bible provides wonderful scriptures that demonstrate how God is glorified in us.
God is glorified when: We ask and receive.
Why does asking and receiving glorify God? Because it demonstrates his love. He is seen for the wonderful Father he is.
‘And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.’ John 14:13
Read that Scripture again “I will do whatever you ask in My name so that the Father may be glorified in the Son”. Do you stand on that Scripture?
When we minister in the power of the Spirit
‘”If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever.” 1 Peter 4:11
When we give and receive generously
‘And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work…You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us, your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.’ 2 Corinthians 9:8-13
Here, Paul writes of the financial blessing of God, and us taking our part in its flow. God is glorified when we rise about the mundane limits of the world’s financial reality and move in the generosity of the Lord’s provision and blessing – not for ourselves, but to meet the needs of many. The liberal movement of money to meet the needs of humanity shows the generosity and abundance of God. People can see that he provides, and is generous.
When we take discipleship seriously
‘With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power He may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.’ 2 Thessalonians 1:1,12
God is glorified when people see the outworking of the goodness of God in our lives, transforming us and inspiring us to faith-filled deeds and sincere good works, flowing from love. Such people are beautified by the glory of God, who is seen for who he is – compassionate, involved, teaching and leading us.
When we walk in righteousness by the power of the Spirit
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11
As our love abounds in knowledge and insight, as our discernment grows, and as we respond evermore to the call of love, God is seen for who he is – the source of all nurturing and love.
When we bear fruit
“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:8
God doesn’t want us to lead fruitless lives, with no real impact on the world around us. He wants us to abound, to multiply, to make disciples – not for the sake of it or as a matter of performance, but because he is always reaching out to those yet to know his love. When we yield to this aspect of his nature, lending ourselves to him freely, he is seen for who he is – the good shepherd who goes after the lost sheep.
‘So the multitude marvelled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.’ Matthew 15:31
In miracles, God is seen for who he is – a living, powerful, supernatural, loving, compassionate being. I firmly believe we have lost our grasp on this important aspect of following Christ, casting it aside as somehow irrelevant when it was the heart and soul of Jesus’ ministry. Some churches react against extremes and fakery by shutting down the real deal, but this does not honour or glorify God. The Christian Church should be a place of regular outpourings of power, and if it is not, we must fall to our knees in repentance for trivialising this crucial expression of his compassion, and commit to seeking a breakthrough, however long it takes.
When we are unified
‘May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Romans 15:5-6
When we speak with ‘one voice’ – a voice of genuine, hard-won, ego-busting unity, God is seen as the one who binds us together despite our differences, rather than divides us. In a world riven by political and religious strife, we glorify God when we build community, togetherness, and friendship on the foundation of his love. Are you one who tears down or builds up?
In showing mercy
‘For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.’ Romans 15:8-9
God’s mercy is fundamental to his nature in a way anger is not. As the psalmist wrote: ‘The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy.’ The Lord has chosen to show his greatness not through wrath, not through judgement, but through his mercy. When we show mercy, we are aligned with the nature of God.
When we give thanks
‘I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.’ Psalms 69:30
When God helps us in our suffering
‘Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.’ Romans 5:3-5
God is not the author of suffering. If in the midst of suffering we lift our eyes to the Lord, and if we learn and grow in the face of the challenges we face, and as we overcome those challenges and find our way to freedom, God is glorified. He is seen and understood as our rescuer from pain.
When we rely on the promises of God
‘Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations…he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what he had promised.’ Romans 4:18-21
When we are ‘fully persuaded that God can and will do what he promises, and when God fulfils those promises, he is seen for who he is – faithful and true to his word.