Bringing glory to God… All followers of Jesus Christ want to bring glory to God. It’s a no-brainer.
But, what brings glory to God?
That’s not always a no-brainer… because it’s not the same in all situations.
Dave Black wrote about this in his blog yesterday (Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 8:20 a.m.):
This morning, for example, I was really trying to wrap my head around the Christian’s purpose in life. We often say, “Why, it’s to glorify God, of course!” I have no problem with those words. But are we willing to pray, “Lord, glorify Yourself through me”? The reason I say this is because God sometimes has some strange ways of bringing glory to Himself. Lazarus’s sickness was for the glory of God (John 11:4). Peter’s death was to be a means by which he would glorify God (John 21:19). Much discussion, I believe, has confused rather than clarified this matter of glorifying God. It is possible to glorify God more by death than by life, in sickness than in health, during those twisted, terrifying periods of life when everything seems dark, even in those drab and normal days when nothing is “happening.” It is easily possible to so idealize “glorifying God” that we come dangerously close to denuding the expression of any meaning. Look at your life. By the world’s standards, it may or not be successful, but that’s really irrelevant. Satan is a great imitator, and he has a false gospel, a false discipleship, and a false sanctification. Especially vulnerable are those who get caught up in following some famous Bible teacher’s pet theories and religious vagaries, never settling and abiding in the Truth themselves. It is of first importance that the Christian learn to glorify God no matter what happens to him or her, whatever it takes, whatever it means, even if it means being dropped to the bottom of the ladder, even if it means stooping to drudgery or bending low in unappreciated service to others.
Think about it just a minute…
James was killed in prison, but Peter was released from Prison… Which one glorified God?
Stephen was stoned to death by the crowd in Jerusalem, but Paul was rescued from the crowd by the Romans… Which one glorified God?
Barnabas traveled from Jerusalem to Antioch and beyond, but Philip stopped traveling when he got to Caesarea… Which one glorified God?
Eutychus was raised from the dead, but Stephen was not… Which one glorified God?
I could go on and on using various examples in Scripture. Which examples glorified God? We cannot determine the answer to that question by looking at the outcome.
Whether someone died or not does not necessarily bring glory to God. Whether someone gave money or not does not necessarily give God glory. Whether or not someone speaks does not necessarily glorify God. Whether or not someone travels around the world does not necessarily glorify God.
So, what brings glory to God?