To glorify God means to recognize and talk about his magnificent and unfathomable attributes as creator of the universe and all life forms on planet Earth. Those attributes include his majesty, holiness, grace, love, omnipotence, omniscience to name just a few. Glorifying God also includes loving God, keeping his covenants and obeying his commands. This said, we will take a look at specific references to bringing glory to God from the Scriptures.
We need to first look at God’s glory as defined in Isaiah 6:3. It says, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” Psalm 19:1 says: “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.” And in Romans 1:20 we read: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
God created the world in all its splendor and beauty for His glory so He could communicate His glory to us and draw us to Him. Isaiah 43:6 says, “Bring my daughters and my sons from afar, everyone whom I have created for my glory.”
As you can see, God’s desire is to draw all men to himself. Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are told to shine their light before men reflecting his glory so men may look to him and discover the salvation he offers only in Christ Jesus. The Lord Jesus says in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”
The Westminster Catechism written in the 1600’s to clarify the Christian faith asks the question, “What is the chief end of man?” The answer: “A Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” It is very clear from the Bible that we are to be mindful of our thoughts, words, and actions and be about glorifying God and not glorifying self!
The Bible is the best selling book of all times. It has guided and transformed hundreds of millions of lives down through the ages and continues to do the same today. It has provided mankind with truths for living, for developing personal core values, for defining one’s worldview, for establishing a moral compass, and for discovering God’s love and plan for redemption from sin and eternal life. But, there is much more to be gained from the Bible.
One of the amazing things about the Bible is that it actually does provide the information on how to live our lives. The basics for living a godly and satisfying life can be found in what are known as the Beatitudes which are Jesus’ words recorded in Matthew chapter 5. Throughout the New Testament there are many examples for dealing with man’s more common problems. However, the Bible should not be taken as a stand-alone troubleshooting guide. Equally important is to know and trust God and depend upon him. God stands ready to help throughout life and to give both guidance and wisdom if he is asked.
The apostle John, one of Jesus’ disciples, explained further the way to life with God: “Yet to all who received him (Jesus) to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12-13) God’s children have direct access to God the Father on all issues of life. God’s operating manual offers help through all of life’s trials. As God’s children, they are welcome anytime to come before God knowing with confidence that he will listen and respond. It’s called prayer. Everyone who lives according to God’s inspired words and accepts Jesus as Savior will be blessed in this life and in the life to come.
Finally, if you have a Bible, you need to check out these books of wisdom: Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs in the Old Testament. They along with the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20) and the Beatitudes referenced above (Matthew 5:2-11) will give you God’s basic operating manual for life. Reading, studying and internalizing the truth and wisdom contained in just these four of the 66 books of the Bible will provide guidance and a moral compass for living a meaningful and productive life that brings honor and glory to God.
Last week we took an overview approach to answer this question focusing on God’s love. This week we have taken an in-depth search of Scriptures to see what else we can discover about whether or not mankind has a noble purpose ordained by its creator, God.
First, what is man that God is mindful of him? (Psalm 8:4). Well, God created man, a little lower than the angels (Psalm 8:5), with a purpose to rule over the planet Earth (Genesis 1:28). This purpose was in direct conflict with the former most powerful ruler of Earth, Satan. Satan attacks man even to this day to remove man as ruler and for Satan to try to gain back his rule over Earth and to destroy Israel.
But, Jesus the Lord God takes on flesh of a man (Hebrews 2:9), coming to Earth as the “son of man.” This son of man defeats Satan at the cross, and is crowned with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:9; Psalm 8:5). Jesus raises man to a highly elevated position as a son of God and brother of Jesus, through placement in Christ (Ephesians 2:6) and adoption as sons (Galatians 4:4-5), for those who receive him (John 1:12). Man is thus raised to the highest place of significance far above that of the place of Satan.
Such a work of God brings glory to God revealing his wonderful grace and mercy. Further, after having raised man to a high position in Christ, God then uses man to join with Him in order to carry out God’s will on Earth.
Man’s purpose is thus: To be an instrument used by God in the face of a powerful enemy, wherein God rules planet Earth through man, to accomplish God’s purposes, and so bring glory to God (1Peter 4:11; Ephesians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 10:31). Therefore, we can conclude positively from the Scriptures that man has a noble purpose. A purpose that is good and honorable. A purpose that can be admired due to its impressive value in and through the work and activity of God.
(Note: The reference to man refers to mankind and includes both men and women, sons and daughters).
Mankind was created in the image of God to rule the earth and to fulfill God’s plan of redemption for the human race. Mankind’s role in this plan seems to point to a noble purpose. There are many ways to answer this question and not everyone will agree with our response but it will cause everyone to think more seriously about why mankind is on planet Earth. So, this question will be answered in two parts in successive weeks to give the reader a broad perspective on the biblical concept of a noble purpose.
Mankind has been around a long time. There are signs in cave drawings, primitive rituals, cities that go back more than 12,000 years.Humans have been living in community for the most of our history, reaching beyond mere existence and survival. A lot of smart people including psychologists, philosophers, historians, theologians and just thoughtful people have affirmed that when we live life with a sense of purpose we are healthier, happier, have better relationships and are likely to be more successful.
So, is there a noble purpose for mankind? There are clues; in fact, an abundance of clues. In spite of many attempts to reduce faith in God to rules and rituals, at the heart of God’s self-disclosure is love. If God is love and if God’s self-disclosure is to encourage and support love, then we have discovered a significant clue about a noble purpose. If love is the basis for sustainable personal relationships, restorative justice, caring for those in need, family and community building, and transformational communication, then we have found a noble purpose that has deep roots, a long track record, and universal application that comes directly from the heart and mind of God.