So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
Bible teacher and author George Sweeting wrote, “Some words were coined especially for use in heaven; such a word is glory.” He’s right. But the problem is that those words have to be understood here on earth. More than 500 times the word glory is connected to God in the Bible. But what does it mean? Look up the word glory in the Merriam-Webster dictionary and you will find several definitions including 1. “Praise or honor” often associated with worship, 2. Something that secures praise, such as “he had a glorious career,” 3. Magnificence like referring to the glory of Greece, and 4. A ray or spot of light such as a halo.
You undoubtedly recall that when Jesus was born, angels hovered in the fields outside of Bethlehem and proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14).
On one occasion, I asked a retired Keswick conference speaker, a very godly man well into his 80s, if he understood what the glory of God is all about, and he blushed, his complexion turning a pale pink that contrasted with his busy white hair, and he replied, “I’ve been studying the Bible for more than 50 years and I still don’t understand what the glory of God is about.” David the shepherd boy of Israel, who spent many long nights studying the stars as he watched his father’s flock, said that the heavens declare the glory of God.
Theologians tell you that the glory of God is the manifestation of His being, nature, person, and character. OK, you say. But just what does that mean? In your personal life do you strive to glorify God? And is there more to it than simply saying, “Praise the Lord”?
Simply put, you glorify God when you make Him look good. It’s just that simple.
In his book Walking from East to West, Ravi Zacharias tells a story that brings all of this down to the bottom shelf, the level where we live. He was born in India and didn’t have a particularly pleasant boyhood. He could never really please his father. Eventually, he found Christ, and sharing him took him all over the world. He was brilliant, often debating intellectuals at leading universities all over the world.
Then he was invited home to India where he was to be honored for his great achievements, but at the dinner held in his honor, the speakers talked about his father—not him. He sat there thinking, “This is about me—not my father!” Then he realized that in that culture a son’s great achievements were considered the glory of the father, so in talking about his father—yes, honored the son.
So what does it mean to glorify God in the 21st century? Simply put, you glorify God when you make Him look good. It’s just that simple. And how do you make Him look good? By how you live. By how you treat your wife, your husband, your children. By honesty and integrity.
Remember Jesus told the disciples that they were the light of the world, but in reality, there is no light in the heart of anyone until Jesus makes a heart his home. Then His light within you makes you different—a difference that the world notices.
Want to make God look good? There are two ways you can: by what you say and by how you live. One is your verbal witness. The second is your visual witness. Of course, he inhabits the praises of His people and wants to receive praise, honor, and glory, but you also glorify God by your life, by making Him look good. Making God look good is what bringing glory to Him is all about.
Resource reading: Romans 12:1-8