We have often heard it said that our purpose is to glorify God. The Westminster Confession even says, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” But, how do we glorify God? What do we do that brings God glory? Here are a few passages of Scripture to help us think about this:
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16 ESV)
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6 ESV)
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV)
By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission flowing from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others… (2 Corinthians 9:13 ESV)
Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:12 ESV)
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies- in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV)
But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. (1 Peter 4:15-16 ESV)
We certainly bring God glory by thinking rightly about him, as the Spirit renews our minds and we are conformed to his kingdom instead of to this world. But, we also bring God glory by acting in a right manner, both in our character and in our relationships with other people as we walk in the Spirit. These are not distinct ways of bringing God glory, but they should coexist. Thinking rightly about God cannot exist apart from acting rightly in response to God. If we are not bringing God glory through our actions, then we are demonstrating that we are not thinking rightly about God and are therefore not bringing God glory with our thoughts and attitudes. When the Spirit changes our thoughts, he also changes our actions.
Are you glorifying God and causing others to glorify God because of your actions and your service?