Declare Jehovah his glory among the nations
We have started a short Bible Class series on the three objectives we have set ourselves as a church – this was the ﬁrst on 29 January.
“1 Oh sing unto Jehovah a new song: Sing unto Jehovah, all the earth.
2 Sing unto Jehovah, bless his name; Show forth his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations, His marvellous works among all the peoples. 4 For great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised: He is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols; But Jehovah made the heavens.
6 Honor and majesty are before him: Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
7 Ascribe unto Jehovah, ye kindreds of the peoples, Ascribe unto Jehovah glory and strength.
8 Ascribe unto Jehovah the glory due unto his name: Bring an offering, and come into his courts.
9 Oh worship Jehovah in holy array: Tremble before him, all the earth.” (Ps 96:1-9 ASV)
We read Psalm 96:1-9 and saw that we “ascribe” or give glory to God because it is his due. and we are to “bring an offering” as part of the worship that glorifies him. And we are to praise him among the nations and among the people.
In pairs we looked as several verses in both Testaments, drawing out of them examples of what God and Jesus were glorified for and how they were. We wrote these on a ﬂip chart – shown more legibly below.
How people in the Bible gave God glory:
- Not being ashamed by suffering as a Christian
- In spirit and in truth
- Worship in Holiness
- Faith and Obedience
- With music
- Every deed prompted by faith
- Using instruments
- Any service in God’s strength
- Bowing down
- With gladness
- With our bodies / in purity
- Lifting of hands
- Being built into Christ and each other Thanksgiving
- Honouring Jesus as the Son of God
- Calling on God
- With their substance and ﬁrst fruits
- Doing good works
- In everything
- In all things
- Declare his marvellous deeds among all peoples
- By bearing fruit Keeping the Sabbath
- With one mind and mouth
- With all their heart
- Being in unity
Reasons To Glorify God and His Son
- Having unity
- Giving us understanding of the Law
- Because God is God
- For his help
- Being our Shepherd
- God is faithfulness and just
- He is just and right
- The things we have seen and heard
- Ascribing events to God’s activity – miracles
- Delivered from troubles
- He is great, and has honour and majesty
- He has done wonderful things
- He has chosen us
- His eternal power
- We were bought with a price
- Seeing the faith and obedience of others
- He is the creator
- His judgements
- The coming marriage of the Lamb and his Bride
- Being raised up when corrected
Ways to give glory
Here are a whole range of reasons to give glory to God and his Son – some of which may not feature in our worship. And there are also lots of ways in which we can do this. Many are included in our services, such as, ‘using instruments’ and ‘calling on God’. Others we don’t often think of as a means of glorifying God: ‘being in unity’, ‘doing good works’ and in ‘faith and obedience’.
Most striking was how often glorifying God and Christ in all we do came up in different ways: ‘in all things’, ‘any service in God’s strength’, ‘every deed prompted by faith’ and ‘in everything’.
The purpose for our relationship with God and Jesus is to give them glory:
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being pre-destined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:11-12
This leaves us some questions:
• How can we develop our worship so it has the fullness of the examples we ﬁnd in scripture?
• How can we increase the range of ways in which we glorify our God to encompass those we ﬁnd in Scripture?
• And, how can we develop an attitude in which we glorify God and Christ ‘in everything’?
We have already been prompted to think about this by Jan S’s prayer theme for last month. I think it is worth repeating it here:
Prayer theme for February: – Pray that in everything we do, we do it all to the glory of God
Why are we here?
That’s a question people have been asking for centuries: why do we exist, what is life all about?
For many, there’s no real answer and life has little meaning beyond what they can see and feel in the here and now. But for those who believe in God as our creator and saviour, the answer is there in His words through the prophet Isaiah:
But now thus says the LORD, he who created you …”Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine … everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” (Isaiah 43)
We have been created ‘for God’s glory’! But what exactly does that mean?
What is God’s glory, and how on earth can we give glory to Him?
“The LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend”, and Moses dared to ask God “Please show me your glory” (Exodus 33).
And what did he see then?
Not the brightness, the sapphire pavement, the devouring ﬁre … but God’s goodness, his grace and his mercy, his Name; in other words, God’s essence, his character. That is what the Lord wants us to share with him: his own nature, his characteristics. That’s why we were made “in his image”, both male and female; we are created to reﬂect the glory of the Creator!
God’s glory is one of those wonder-full themes that runs through the whole of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation where, at the end, when all things are fulﬁlled, the new Jerusalem is ﬂooded with the light of the glory of God. This renewal is made possible through Jesus who, Hebrews tells us,
“is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Hebrews 1:3).
God’s glory may be a dazzling brightness, but it’s one we can see and begin to experience when we look at Jesus. And by following our Master, by trying to develop his characteristics – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness – we can begin to be part of his glory. This is how we “give him glory”; this is how we glorify him. Paul told the Corinthian disciples:
“Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Anything and everything we do in our lives, in our church worship, in our relationships with others, it can all be done to God’s glory, to glorify him, if we do it in his spirit, with right motives and in love. As we do,
“we all, … beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Peter too continues the theme when he encourages us (1 Peter 4) to maintain constant love for one another, to be hospitable and to use whatever gifts we have been given:
“in order that in everything God may be gloriﬁed through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen”
The pastoral committee would like to build on these ideas so that we focus on this our ﬁrst objective. Our ﬁrst suggestion is that we help our presidents to incorporate ‘glorifying God and his Son’ more consciously into our services. We are going to set a date for them and anyone else who wants to contribute, to meet and develop ideas. Keep an ear out for more in the announcements soon!