The Christian’s life is one that is devoted to bringing glory to God. To glorify God is to honor, praise, and adore Him. This is mankind’s highest and ultimate purpose in life – and the Christian must be entirely invested in bringing glory and honor to God in every area of his/her life!
Glorifying God – Mankind’s True Purpose In Life
Let’s begin this study by realizing that there are many people and many things mankind glorifies – besides God. And, whenever this occurs, that person or thing has become an idol in his/her life. Romans 1:18-23 explains the foolishness of such activity. The passage explains how God has provided all mankind with sufficient evidence of His existence through the things He has made. However, verse 21 says, “although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God.” Consequently, they “changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image like corruptible man – and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things” (verse 23). Verses 24-25 continues to explain that these individuals “exchanged the truth of God for the lie,” worshiping and serving the creature rather than the Creator. So, we learn from this (and many other passages of Scripture – as well as by nature itself) that glorifying anything/anyone besides God is utter foolishness!
We can clearly know the truth about God’s eternal power and His Deity (His nature of being God). Therefore, we must make the intentional decision to use our lives to His glory! This is, after all, our highest and ultimate purpose in life! Living our lives to glorify anything or anyone besides the one true God is a waste of our lives! The wise man, Solomon, understood this whenever he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes.
In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon explained how he searched for the true meaning of life and for true happiness. He tried to find such through wealth, pleasures, and many other earthly things. However, he discovered that all earthly things end the same way – in death. He concluded that the pursuit of all these earthly things was useless/vanity and as worthless of an endeavor as trying to chase after the wind (see Ecclesiastes 1:14)! Instead of pursuing after these things, consider what he concluded in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.”
So, the entire purpose of our existence upon this earth is to fear God and to keep His commandments. This is to glorify God! Consider this same point from Isaiah 43:7: “Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” To glorify other things/people in our lives and fail to glorify God is a tragic waste of our lives. God is our great Creator and Savior! Therefore, He is the one we must live our lives glorifying (see Ephesians 1:3-12)!
Glorifying God Through Worship
One way in which we can bring glory to God is through our worship. Indeed, God greatly desires for us to worship Him. John 4:23 tells that God is “seeking” true worshipers. The Biblical Hebrew and Greek words for “worship” express such ideas as bowing before and kissing toward. Therefore, to worship God is to cause our hearts to bow before Him and to figuratively kiss toward Him. Worship is an intentional act that expresses reverence to God and praises Him.
However, we must realize that every attempt to worship God is not pleasing in His sight. For instance, Matthew 15:7-9 makes reference to some Jews who were worshiping God in vain! Instead, John 4:23-24 tells us how worship is acceptable to God. Jesus says that “those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” So, our worship must be sincere and it must be according to God’s way of truth (not worshiping Him in a way that is contrary to the teachings of Scripture).
Glorifying God Through Our Lives
While we must be dedicated to glorifying God by worshiping Him, everything we do in life is not worship. The Bible clearly portrays worship as being an intentional act that has beginning and ending points. However, while everything we do in life is not worship, everything we do in life must be to God’s glory!
1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Similarly, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.”
God expects us to present our entire lives to Him – to be used to His glory. Romans 12:1-2 says that we must present our lives to God as living sacrifices. When we give Him full control over our lives (to use our lives in whatever ways He desires – as He directs us through His word, the Bible), we will be doing everything to His glory. However, we fail to glorify God whenever we conduct our lives in ways that are contrary to His commandments!
The true purpose of our lives is to bring glory to God. Anything short of this is a wasted life – because all other pursuits in life are only temporary. Furthermore, we must recognize the fact (according to Ephesians 1:3-12) that Jesus Christ gave His life for God to be glorified!
Certainly, then, those who are Christians (those who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ) must present their lives entirely to God and seek to glorify Him at all times. God knows that the majority of people in this world will not live their lives to His glory (as demonstrated in Romans 1). However, He does expect those who have found salvation through Jesus Christ (His church) to be devoted to glorifying Him through their worship and through their lives (see Ephesians 3:20-21)!