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Glory to God 3
Created for God’s Glory (Isaiah 43:7)
Isaiah 43:7 “. . . everyone who is called by my name, whom I have created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
Glory to God in the highest . . .
GLORIFY GOD BY DECLARING HIS GLORY
God’s Word tells us that all of creation declares His glory. Psalm 19:1-4 says “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 creation declares the glory of God, then there’s even more of an obligation for us to glorify God. This is because we’re made in the image of God, we’re His image-bearers. If we’re image-bearers of God, then we need to declare His glory. The way to declare His glory isn’t just to be an image-bearer but also to display Him in our every action, word and deed.
Proclaiming God’s glory to the world begins by taking a look at our own hearts. We can’t declare that God is above every other name if “we” are still on the throne of our hearts and not with God. We can’t proclaim His excellencies and then seek personal selfish gain, success, approval and affirmation from others etc. Declaring 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’re 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 our whole lives become about Him, that in this freedom we find the life that we were always meant for, to glorify God and to declare His Glory to the world.
We can’t 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 our lives, so that we may surrender our life to God in order to declare His glory in everything we do.
1 Peter 4:11 says “whoever speaks, speak as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, serve 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, we must also produce the fruit of our salvation and display of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. For example, when we plant a fruit tree in our garden, we have high expectations of it to produce the fruit of its kind. If it’s an apple tree, then we 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 well-watered plants and to produce the kinds of fruit that declare the glory of God, there are some things we must allow God to do in our lives.
When a new tree is planted, before we even begin to try encourage fruiting on a tree, we 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’re ready to produce. In a similar way, for us to produce the fruit of Christ in our lives, what we require is time, and time for us to mature in Christ.
There’s 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 God’s Word 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.”
Then there is a requirement for pruning. Fruit trees ideally need to be trained in their first few years of growth into the shape we want them to maintain throughout their productive lives. In a similar fashion, in order to declare the glory of God, we 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.
Pruning involves getting rid of those things in our lives that are not of God and that don’t contribute to our lives in Christ. It can sometimes be a painful process, where God may discipline us, mold us and make us 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 our lives is a life that shouts out and declares the glory of God through our person.
Ephesians 4:22-32 gives us instruction on exactly what must be pruned in our lives. It says “…put off 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. When angry, 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, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Once this pruning takes place, then we 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.”
God’s Word is very clear in explaining to us what the fruits of a follower of Christ are. Our example is Christ Himself. If a believer’s 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 regenerate. 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.”
We also need good soil for our fruit bearing plant to maximize its output. In a similar fashion we need to cultivate and nurture ourselves which is an intentional move towards seeking and cultivating our hearts to allow the spiritual seed in us 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 becoming 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’s 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’re made.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!
Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and king,
The triumphs of His grace!
My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad,
The honors of Thy name.
Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease—
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’Tis life, and health, and peace.
He breaks the pow’r of canceled sin,
He sets the pris’ner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.
He speaks, and, list’ning to His voice,
New life the dead receive,
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
The humble poor believe.
Glory to God, and praise and love
Be ever, ever giv’n
By saints below and saints above,
The church in earth and heav’n.
Charles Wesley, 1739