Isaiah 43:7 “everyone who is called by my name, whom I have created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
Often times we can ask ourselves this question, why has God created us? What is the purpose? What do the scriptures have to say in regard to this matter? Scripture points out that all things are created for God’s glory. We can see through the word of God that even nature itself glorifies God. Psalm 19:1 says “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork”, Psalm 8:1 says “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.” In fact the Bible tells us all things are to praise God, as it says in Psalm 150:6 “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!”
So from this viewpoint, mankind is also created to ascribe “glory” to God. But what does the word “glory” mean in the first place? In order to apply this passage into our lives, we need to first understand the meaning of the word “glory”. There are 20 different variations of the word ‘glory’ in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, and words commonly translated as “glory”, in our English Bibles. Depending on the context in which it is used, “glory” can be used in several different ways. Mostly it is associated with ascribing splendor and majesty to God, but glory is also used as a verb, as in “to glory in something”.
When used as a verb, “glory” means to put confidence in and boast about or praise something. This may be used in the sense of glorifying in God or Jesus Christ, which the Bible portrays as something that is good, and in the another sense of the word it can mean to glorify in yourself or your own nature, which the Bible portrays as sinful.
The original Hebrew word (Kabod) means “weight” or “heaviness”. This word is also used to express importance, honor and majesty. The word glory as related to God in the Old Testament bears with it the idea of greatness of splendor. In the New Testament, the word translated “glory” means dignity, honor, praise and worship.
With this understanding, let us read Isaiah 43:7 again, which says “everyone who is called by my name, whom I have created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” Now we that we have a clearer understanding of the word glory, let’s try and unpack how it is that we can fulfill the purpose of giving all glory to God, which is the very reason we are made. We are image-bearers of the Almighty God. We are created to bring glory to Him, to honor Him, to praise His glorious name, to thank Him for His abundance in our life and to praise Him for His abundant grace, the riches of His love, His splendor and majesty and a God who is righteous and just and having power in His name that we may come to Him in reverence and awe. This is the very purpose of man – to glorify God in every way.
If it is now revealed to us that we are formed and created for the glory of God, then the next question is, why should we give Glory to God? Isn’t that a selfish and prideful attitude for God to demand glory to Himself. In this instance it is important to remember that God is the creator and you are the creation. Who are you to question Him, O man? On the other hand, God is gracious in every way and has revealed His word for us in order for us to understand and know Him and to know what is the ultimate purpose and good in this act of glorifying God.
Firstly, Glorifying God means to acknowledge His greatness and give Him honor by praising and worshiping Him, primarily because He, and He alone deserves to be praised, honored and worshiped. 1 Chronicles 16:28-29 says “Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;”
Secondly, He is due all glory because He gives us our very being itself. Psalm 100:3 says “Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his;” In a worldly sense we are quick to give gratitude and praise to someone we know, that has saved our very life from danger or even from death itself. Sometimes we don’t even know how to thank that person for what he/she has done for us. We tend to hold that person in high regard and praise their actions. Sometimes we even use the phrase “I am forever indebted to you”. This shows a kind of gratitude towards that person because of the enormity of their actions toward you and you feel you owe them something in return but don’t know how. You sometimes even use the phrase, “I don’t know how I’m ever going to repay you!”.
In the same way, what we need to realize is that not only has God saved our very lives from the wages of sin and death, and given us eternal life, but that he is the very author of life; it is the kindness of God to gift us our very life. When you look at this, isn’t it only reasonable that we should glorify Him? Shouldn’t we live to Him, seeing that we also “live by Him”. Romans 11:36 says: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
Another reason we are compelled to glorify God is because all our hopes hang on Him. Psalm 39:7 says “And now, O LORD, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.” Not only is our very hope and expectation in Him but He is the source of all things in your life. Psalm 87:7 says “All my springs are in you.” The springs of grace, mercy, love, faith, provision, healing and everything that will lead you to give glory to His Holy Name. Not only that but He gave His one and only Son, Jesus Christ to come and die for our sins in our place and to take the sin of the world on His shoulders that we should be cleansed of all sin and made right before God. All of this was given as a free gift that cost us nothing, but cost Him everything. You would be totally and utterly ungrateful, unappreciative and thankless if we then questioned, why should I give God Glory, or isn’t is selfish for God to demand glory from his own creation. He is completely and totally worthy of all glory that is due to his name, and his name only. Praise God!
So, how is it that God is glorified through us? There are many ways to do this but today let us look at just some ways we can glorify God?
GLORIFY GOD BY BELIEVING IN HIM
What I would like to propose today is that, if the chief end of man is to glorify God then, this is only truly possible when we are most satisfied in Him. Straight away we see something significant here. When we think of praise or glory that is given to someone, sometimes it can be of gratitude and other times we can think of it as a chore, or something we need to do in order to obtain favor. When we think of giving glory to God, we can often and very easily fall into the trap of thinking of it as a demand and that, it just has to be done. From the Christian and Biblical viewpoint this is the very opposite of the intent. We fail to understand that everything God requires of us is “ultimately” for our good. God is for us and not against us. In order to fully fulfill the reason for our creation, then what the Bible says is that; it is only when we glorify God, fulfilling our very purpose – it is then and only then that our souls are truly satisfied, feel complete and fulfilled. Anything outside of this will keep you wanting and unfulfilled, no matter what and how you try to fill that hole. By glorifying God, we are pursuing our joy in Him.
First and foremost, in order for us to come to the place of pursuing our joy in Him and glorying God, it is essential for us to be saved. We must come in repentance of our sins and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ through faith in Him, accepting the free gift of the sacrifice of the Christ on the cross as an atonement for our sins. In this way you will stand justified before God the Father. Hebrews 11:6 says “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and the he rewards those who seek him.”
If we reject the reason for our creation, which is to glorify God and we reject Christ by not believing in His name, then the Bible also explains and shows us the outcome of pursuing our satisfaction outside of God. Jeremiah 2:12-13 says “Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the LORD, for my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me. The fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” The Bible says that God is against anyone that does not seek their joy in God. Again in Deuteronomy 28:47-48 saying “Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things, therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you.” And this is exactly what some people are doing. Worshiping their enemy. Our ultimate enemy is Satan, and those without faith are enslaved to do the things that are of him and not of God. Those who are not of God, are in fact serving the purpose of their enemy – the devil, who wants to completely destroy you and keep you from the Father in heaven. So I would suggest to those in this situation, wake up and do not serve your enemy any longer, but serve the living God who is for you and not against you. As it says in 1 Corinthians 15:34 “Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning.”
The word of God shows us the path that we should take in order to find our joy in God. When we pursue this joy in Christ, then it will lead us to glorify God. When you believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, then you will find your ultimate joy in Him. Psalm 37:4 says “Delight in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.”, and again in Psalm 100:1-2 saying “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!”
So by believing you not only glorify God and find your fulfillment in Christ, but there is also great joy in doing so.
But it does not stop at only believing; this is just the beginning. The life that pleases and glorifies God is one that “keeps on growing in knowledge”. It is continually seeking to know God better. At this point, I would like to clarify a misunderstanding that many of us fall into. Growing in the knowledge of God is not the same as seeking to learn how to get more out of God for your own selfish needs. Do not fall into the mentality of only being concerned with how we can tap into God’s resources, only to get prayers answered (the way you want to), and how to get God to meet your needs the way you want to and banish all of our problems away. Question this, is this truly loving God or is it really loving yourself?
GLORIFY GOD BY DECLARING HIM
The Bible tells us that all of creation declares His glory. In-fact we read in Psalm 19:1-4 saying “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes our through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.”
If all of creation declare the glory of God, then there is a greater onus for us to glorify God. This is because we are made in the image of God, we are his image-bearers. If we are image-bearers of God, then we need to declare His glory. How can we glorify God by declaring Him. The way to declare Him is not just to be an image-bearer but also display Him in our every action, word and deed.
Proclaiming God’s glory to the world always begins by taking a look at our own hearts. We cannot declare that God is above every other name if “we” are still on the throne of our hearts and not God. We cannot proclaim his excellencies and then seek personal selfish gain, success, approval and affirmation from others etc. Declaring of God’s glory starts with our humility. It begins with a life of sacrifice to the one who has given up everything for us.
When we set Christ as number one in our lives and in our hearts, then we are set free to magnify Jesus. It is only when we set our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ who freed us from the weight of sin and death and when your whole life becomes about Him, then in this freedom we find the life that we were always meant for, to glorify God and to declare His Glory to the world.
Notice that we cannot achieve this in our own strength, it must be the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Romans 11 says “For from him and through him and to him are all things.” The ability to glorify God and honor him only comes through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. So allow Christ into your life, so that you may surrender your life to God in order to declare His glory in everything you do.
1 Peter 4:11 says “whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves as one who serves by the strength God supplied – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
In order to declare the Glory of God, you must also produce the fruit of your salvation and a display of the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. For example when you plant a fruit tree in your garden. You have high expectations of it to produce the fruit of its kind. If it is an apple tree, then you would expect the tree to produce apples. When the tree is full of apple’s and the tree is overhanging with abundant fruit, then people look at the tree and speak of the goodness of the tree.
This is the same for the children of God. In order for us to flourish like a well-watered plant and to produce the kind of fruit that declares the glory of God, there are some things we must allow God to do in our lives. Let us continue to look at the analogy of a tree. If you are a green thumb, you will know some of the secrets of producing more fruit from your garden plants. The first thing when a new tree is planted is that before you even begin to try encourage fruiting on a tree, you need to make sure that the plant is old enough and healthy enough to bear the load. Usually standard fruit trees need anywhere from 5 to 7 years before they are ready to produce. In a similar way for you to produce the fruit of Christ in your life, what you require is time, and time for you to mature in Christ. There is a requirement of patience. James 1:4 says “And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing.” What is meant by steadfastness is patience and perseverance. There is a requirement to grow in order to produce fruit. There are many scriptures in the Bible that describe the need to grow and mature spiritually. Ephesians 4:15 says “we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,” and again in 2 Peter 3:18 saying “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Ultimately this is what is pleasing to God, in-fact Jesus Himself says in John 15:8 “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”
Secondly, there is a requirement for pruning. Fruit trees ideally need to be trained in their first few years of growth into the shape you want them to maintain throughout their productive lives. In a similar fashion, in order to declare the glory of God you need to maintain a certain shape. An outward proof of the internal change and this is the shape that declares the glory of God. In order to do this, there must be pruning. Getting rid of those things in your life, that is not of God and that doesn’t contribute to your life in Christ. It can sometimes be a painful process, where God may discipline you, mold you and make you into the person that declares the glory of God. The end result of the pruning is a beautiful tree with abundant fruits, and the end results of God’s pruning in your life is a life that shouts out and declares the glory of God through your person.
Ephesians 4:22-32 gives you instruction on exactly what must be pruned in your life. It says “…put of your old self which belongs to your former manner of life and corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupt talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Once this pruning takes place, then you begin to see the fruits of the Spirit, as it says in Galatians 5:22-24 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
The Bible is very clear in explaining to us what the fruits of a follower of Christ are. Our example is Christ Himself. If a believers behavior contradicts what the word says, he is not really transformed in Christ. In-fact the scriptures tell us that if we declare Jesus Christ as Lord and have a relationship with Him but still walk in the darkness of disobedience then we need to test ourselves to see whether we are truly re-generate. 1 John 1:6 says “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”
Thirdly, you need good soil for your fruit bearing plant to maximize its output. In a similar fashion you need to cultivate and nurture yourself which is an intentional move towards seeking and cultivating you heart to allow the spiritual seed in you to grow and develop. Jesus tells us that those who cultivate good soil in their hearts will result in hearing the word, accepting it and then finally producing thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown. This is the person whose heart is not hard, receiving the word of God into their lives and working the soil of their hearts, ploughing it, weeding it and fertilizing it and so become productive whose end is abundant fruit that declares the glory of God to all those surrounding it and far beyond its reaches. Amen.
So let us be united with Christ and as it says in 2 Peter 1:4 “…become partakers of the divine nature,” through the work of the Holy Spirit in us that we boldly declare the glory of God to all those around us and fulfill the purpose for which we are made.
GLORIFY GOD THROUGH YOUR PRAISE AND WORSHIP
Psalm 50:3 says “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”. Similarly in the New Testament the Apostle Paul summarizes the way we should order our lives in order to glorify God.
The highest call and purpose of man is the joyful act of glorifying. Notice here, that this is a ‘joyful’ act. As I mentioned earlier when we fulfill the very purpose for which we were created, which is to glorify God and when we do this in worship, it is a joyful act and not something we have to put on. What is special about glorifying God through worship is that it combines the other two points I mentioned above, “Glorifying God by Believing in Him” and “Glorifying God by Declaring Him”. When you praise the Lord, you do it because you believe in Him and you have faith in the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly when you praise, you are declaring His glory, His honor, His praise, His power, His majesty outwardly. So it is both an inward and outward glorification of God.
God is seeking those who will bring Him glory, not just through the Sunday worship time, not just for an hour every day but what He seeks is worship every day, every moment through all our activities. We cannot worship God properly on Sunday or just in our prayer times if we are not worshiping God throughout the week. In-fact 1 Corinthians 10:31 says “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
So, the only way to achieve “glory to God” through worship, is only when it is done to Him in spirit and truth. John 4:23-24 says “But the hour is coming, as is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” Worshiping the Father in spirit is to worship from the heart, from deep within you. It is not the external worship, because external worship can also be performed by those who are not right with God. Matthew 15:8 gives us an example of this, saying “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
Now, worshiping the Father in truth, is to worship God for all that He is in the majesty of His attributes revealed in all of scripture. We glorify God and worship Him for His love, and not only for His love but also for His righteousness and justice. We glorify and worship Him for His Kindness, His sovereignty and for His grace. We worship Him, when He gives and when He takes away. Job 1:20-21 says “And he said, Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” We worship God for all of His ways. The Bible is the source of our worshiping in truth, and as we do this, notice that worship in “spirit” flows out of worship in “truth” through the revealed word of God. As you fill your heart and mind with the pure word of God, the truth of God will move your spirit to praise and love and glorify God through worship in Him. So today, glorify God through your praise and worship.
In conclusion, I hope you have now understood the very essence of why we are created and are image bearers of the living God. The very reason that we were created is to glorify God and we have looked at three essential ways in which this can be done. By believing in Him, by declaring Him and by worshiping Him.
It is only when you do this you will be complete, because this is when you fulfill the purpose of your very being. Without this, there is a part of you missing, without Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit in your life, you will be always left wanting.
So, today if you are struggling to find meaning for your life, that there is something missing which you just cannot pinpoint. There is something in you searching for answers and you find yourself lacking, without an answer to the sin problem in your life and having no hope. This is the time to come in repentance before the Lord Jesus Christ and give your life to Him. In fact, he first gave His life for you and made atonement for all of your sins on the cross, so that you could be washed and made clean, as white as snow before God. Hebrews 8:12 says “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” You are made righteous in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” This is the greatest privilege in our life, so take some time to come before the Lord, cry out to him that you may make Him Lord of your life, repent of your sins and believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, you will be able to be complete, when you live for Him, through Him, and by Him, as it says in Romans 11:36 “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
Finally, let us fulfil our very purpose and walk in the joy of the Lord. Let’s finish by reading 2 Thessalonians 1:12 “so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Amen. God Bless.