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What does it mean to glorify God?

To "glorify" God is to give Him honour. In the Old Testament, the term glory refers to God and connotes magnificence and splendour. The term translated "glory" in the New Testament indicates "dignity, honour, praise, and worship." When we combine the two, we discover that glorifying God entails acknowledging His magnificence and honouring Him by praising and adoring Him, largely because He, and He alone, deserves to be praised, honoured, and adored. God's splendour is the essence of His nature, and we honour Him by acknowledging that essence.

The difficulty that arises is, if God has all the glory, as He does, how do we "give Him" glory? How can we give God something that is rightfully His? The key is found in 1 Chronicles 16:28-29, where it says, "Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations, honour and power, ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name." Bring a sacrifice and come before him; worship the LORD in his holiness." We observe two actions on our part in this verse that make up the activity of worshipping God. First, we "ascribe" or give Him glory since it is His right. No one else is worthy of the praise and worship that we lavish on Him. This is confirmed in Isaiah 42:8: "I am the LORD; that is my name!" I will not give someone my fame or praise to idols." Second, as part of our worship that glorifies God, we are to "present an offering" to Him. What is the offering we make to God in order to glorify Him?

The offering we make to God when we come before Him in the grandeur or beauty of His holiness includes agreement, obedience, submission, and reciting or glorifying His characteristics. Begin by agreeing with what God says, especially about Himself. "I am the Lord God," God states in Isaiah 42:5. I made the skies to look like an open tent above. I created the planet and all that grows on it. "Because I am the source of life for everyone who exist on this planet, pay attention to what I say." Because of who He is, holy, perfect, and true (Psalm 19:7), His proclamations and statutes are holy, perfect, and true, and we glorify Him by listening to and agreeing with them. God's Word, the Bible, is His Word to us, and it contains everything we need for life in Him. Listening to and agreeing with Him, however, will not bring Him glory unless we also submit to Him and obey the commands in His Word. "But the LORD's love is with those who fear him from everlasting to eternal, and his righteousness with their children's children—with those who maintain his covenant and remember to obey his laws" (Psalm 103:17-18). In John 14:15, Jesus reiterated the idea that glorifying and loving God are synonymous: "If you love me, you will obey what I command."


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