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To "glorify" God means to give glory to Him. 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"...
I think there is a difference between giving glory to God and glorifying God. We give Him glory when we worship, Him, praise Him and allude to his greatness. To glorify God is when we make Him proud as it were, by living out our lives according to His Word and His promises manifesting in us. For example, if someone comes to Christ by appreciating or emulating how I live my life as a Christian, then I have glorified God.
Scriptures say that the sun, moon and stars, the heavens give glory to God - because they simply be what they are intended to be. Birds and beasts, plants and insects, glorify God by simply being what they are intended to be. You and me, glorify God by simply being fully alive - being what we are intended to be, doing God's will.
We glorify G-d by being what He intended us to be, by fulfilling our purpose in life. Every human being has a G-d given purpose. Just ask Him.
The Shorter Chatechism asks the question: What is the chief end of man? The answer given is "To glorify God and enjoy Him forever." We were made for this purpose, to glorify God in all that we do. John Piper's book The Wasted Life has much to say about this topic. Piper's analogy of us acting like a telescope has been very helpful in my own growth in this area. If I can reveal something of the character of God in my daily life to others, just like the Hubble telescope reveals hidden stars and galaxies, then I am glorifying God in a practical and effective way. All things were made for Gods glory, and every person, whether they are believers or not, will glorify God in this life or at the final judgement. As believers, we have the tremendous privilege of willingly glorifying God in this life, which is the very best that we can do and will lead to our greatest joy in this life. Glorifying God also helps us not to focus on ourselves and our petty wants and desires.
Matthew 5:13-15 Salt and Light 5:13 “You are the salt 1 of the earth. But if salt loses its flavor, 2 how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people. 5:14 You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill cannot be hidden. 5:15 People 3 do not light a lamp and put it under a basket 4 but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 1 sn Salt was used as seasoning or fertilizer (BDAG 41 s.v. ἅλας a), or as a preservative. If salt ceased to be useful, it was thrown away. With this illustration Jesus warned about a disciple who ceased to follow him. 2 sn The difficulty of this saying is understanding how salt could lose its flavor since its chemical properties cannot change. It is thus often assumed that Jesus was referring to chemically impure salt, perhaps a natural salt which, when exposed to the elements, had all the genuine salt leached out, leaving only the sediment or impurities behind. Others have suggested that the background of the saying is the use of salt blocks by Arab bakers to line the floor of their ovens; under the intense heat these blocks would eventually crystallize and undergo a change in chemical composition, finally being thrown out as unserviceable. A saying in the Talmud (b. Bekhorot 8b) attributed to R. Joshua ben Chananja (ca. A.d. 90), when asked the question “When salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again?” is said to have replied, “By salting it with the afterbirth of a mule.” He was then asked, “Then does the mule (being sterile) bear young?” to which he replied: “Can salt lose its flavor?” The point appears to be that both are impossible. The saying, while admittedly late, suggests that culturally the loss of flavor by salt was regarded as an impossibility. Genuine salt can never lose its flavor. In this case the saying by Jesus here may be similar to Matt 19:24, where it is likewise impossible for the camel to go through the eye of a sewing needle. 3 tn Grk “Nor do they light.” The plural in Greek is indefinite, referring to people in general. 4 tn Or “a bowl”; this refers to any container for dry material of about eight liters (two gallons) capacity. It could be translated “basket, box, bowl” (L&N 6.151). Men may glorify God, that is, give to Him the worship and reverence which are His due (Matthew 5:16, and generally in the Synoptic Gospels and in some other passages of the New Testament). --Walter R. Betteridge Matthew 5:16 Not a Glare, But a Glow “Let your life so shine (Matt. 5:16). It is not a glare but a glow; and we are simply to let the light shine. God prefers stars to comets. The figure is a candle, not a firecracker.” Vance Havner, Leadership, IV, 4, 1986 Reformation Days At the beginning of the Reformation, Martin of Basle, Switzerland, came to the knowledge of the truth. He accepted Jesus as his Savior. Afraid to let his friends know that he no longer believed the many falsehoods taught by his formal church, he wrote these words on a leaf of parchment. “O merciful Christ, I know that I can be saved only by the merit of Thy blood. Holy Jesus, I love Thee.” Removing a stone from the wall of his chamber, he hid behind the stone these beautiful words. The parchment was discovered more than a hundred years later. About the same time, Martin Luther of Wittenberg, Germany, also found the truth in Christ. Boldly he confessed, “My Lord has confessed me before men: I will not shrink from confessing my Lord before princes and kings!” We all know what followed. Everybody has heard what Martin Luther accomplished by his public confession of Christ. On the contrary, no one knows of Martin of Basle. If your life is to bear fruit, we cannot hid behind a stone in the wall our love for Jesus (Rom. 10:9, 10) The Christian Herald, Leadership, IV, 4, 1986
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