This Sanctuary Sunday Open Thread, with full respect to those who worship God on the Sabbath, is a place to reaffirm our worship of our Creator, our Father, our King Eternal.
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In the QTree, we’re a friendly and civil lot. We encourage free speech and the open exchange and civil discussion of different ideas. Topics aren’t constrained, and sound logic is highly encouraged, all built on a solid foundation of truth and established facts.
We have a policy of mutual respect, shown by civility. Civility encourages discussions, promotes objectivity and rational thought in discourse, and camaraderie in the participants – characteristics we strive toward in our Q Tree community.
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In The Q Tree, we’re compatriots, sitting around the campfire, roasting hot dogs, making s’mores, and discussing, agreeing, and disagreeing about whatever interests us. This board will remain a home for those who seek respectful conversations.
Please also consider the Guidelines for posting and discussion printed here: https://www.theqtree.com/2019/01/01/dear-maga-open-topic-20190101/
To God Be The Glory
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.” Putting the two together, we find that 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. God’s glory is the essence of His nature, and we give glory to Him by recognizing that essence.
A question that comes to mind is if God has all the glory, which He does, how then do we “give Him” glory? How can we give God something which is His in the first place? The key is found in 1 Chronicles 16:28-29, “Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations, 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 his holiness.”
In this verse, we see two actions on our part that make up the action of glorifying God. First, we “ascribe” or give glory to Him because it is His due. No one else deserves the praise and worship that we give to glorify Him. Isaiah 42:8 confirms this: “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.” Second, we are to “bring an offering” to God as part of the worship that glorifies Him. What is the offering we bring to God to glorify Him?
The offering we bring to God as we come before Him involves agreement, obedience, submission, and praising His attributes and Himself. Glorifying God begins with agreeing with everything He says, especially about Himself. In Isaiah 42:5, God declares, “I am the Lord God. I created the heavens like an open tent above. I made the earth and everything that grows on it. I am the source of life for all who live on this earth, so listen to what I say.”
Because of who He is, holy and perfect and true, His proclamations and statutes are holy and perfect and true (Psalm 19:7), and we glorify Him by listening to and agreeing with them. God’s Word, the Bible, is His Word to us, all that we need for life in Him. Listening to and agreeing with Him, though, will not glorify Him unless we also submit to Him and obey the commands contained in His Word. “But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who respect him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts” (Psalm 103:17-18). Jesus reiterated the idea that glorifying and loving God are one and the same in John 14:15: “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”
We also glorify God by thinking over His attributes and His deeds. Stephen, in his final sermon before he was killed for his faith, retold the story of God’s dealings with Israel from the time Abraham left his country in obedience to God’s command, all the way to the coming of Christ, the “Righteous One,” whom Israel betrayed and murdered. The crowd who heard Stephen hated what he said, covering their ears and rushing at him to stone him. “But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55).
When we tell of God’s work in our lives, how He saved us from sin, and the marvelous works He does in our hearts and minds every day, we glorify Him before others. Even though others don’t always want to hear our glorifying God, He is more than pleased by it. To glorify God is to praise His attributes—His holiness, faithfulness, mercy, grace, love, majesty, sovereignty, power, and omniscience, to name a few—going over them in our minds, and by living our lives with respect, honor and affection to God, and by abiding in Christ.
First Corinthians 10:31 teaches believers to honor the Lord in all they do: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” The context of this verse includes a discussion of the freedom believers have in Christ. We are free to make personal choices in life, but we are not to do anything that causes another person to “stumble” or sin in his own walk with God. We are to seek the good of others (1 Corinthians 10:32–33).
Further, believers may have the “right” to do anything, but not everything is beneficial (1 Corinthians 10:23). Paul used the illustration of eating meat that had been dedicated to idols. To him, such a dedication meant nothing since idols are not real gods. However, he would abstain from ever eating meat again for the good of others who might sin by following his example. Believers serve the Lord both through their personal lives and in their actions toward others.
To glorify God requires full commitment to Him. In Colossians 3:23 we read, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” The context includes Paul’s directions for Christian slaves working for human masters. Even in this role, their work was to be done as if they were serving Jesus (Colossians 3:24). To honor or glorify God in everything includes having a strong work ethic, even when we work for those we do not like or labor in difficult situations.
Glorifying God in everything means we honor Him in our thoughts and actions. Our thoughts are to be set on the things of God (Psalm 1) and the Word of God (Psalm 119:11). When we focus on God’s Word, we know what is right and can follow through with doing what is right.
Jesus always glorified His Father in heaven. There was never a moment when He did not glorify God. Our Lord’s every thought, word, and action was totally devoted to the glory of God. When Jesus faced the temptations of Satan (Matthew 4:1–11), Jesus quoted Scripture all three times. Jesus was a man of the Word, fully committed to God’s will, and His example in overcoming temptation offers hope to all of us who seek to stand firm during times of testing.
Another way we glorify God in everything we do is in the proper treatment of our bodies. In speaking of immorality, 1 Corinthians 6:19–20 teaches, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
To glorify God in everything, we must exercise faith (Hebrews 11:6), love without hypocrisy (Romans 12:9), deny ourselves (Luke 9:23), be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), and offer ourselves as “living sacrifices” to God (Romans 12:1). Every area of life is important to evaluate and live to its fullest for the glory and honor of God. We should strive for every thought and deed to bring joy to our Father in heaven.
God doesn’t want our recognition of Him to be a part-time, hit-or-miss proposition. He wants us to be continually aware of who He is, what He has done, is doing and will do for us, and to know, trust in, think about and do the precepts that He has given us . . . precepts that He knows will make our lives better for ourselves.