Give Him Glory (Psalm 96:6-8)
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. ⁷Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! ⁸Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! —Psalm 96:6-8
In our Sunday School worship time a while back, we were singing,
In my life, Lord, be glorified, be glorified, In my life, Lord, be glorified today. In my church . . . In my home . . . In my heart, Lord be glorified today.
When we were all done singing, I asked the children “How do you glorify the Lord?” There was silence for a few seconds and then one of the students said, “You have to say it!”
Yes! Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord and give Him the glory!
If you are a teacher in Sunday School, you already know the conviction God brings through His Word and a child’s uncluttered view of Him. And so, I was led to ask myself whether I “say it” and if these two declarations are true of me:
“My mouth is filled with Your praise, and with Your glory all the day.” (Psalm 71:8)
“Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples!” (Psalm 96:3)
The natural man craves glory. Just as Esau exchanged his birthright for a bowl of soup, so man willingly exchanges the glory of his Creator for that of the creature (Romans 1:22-24). The cosmic battle line is set on who will get the glory. We know who has the victory, for all creation will glorify the Lord saying,
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:12-13)
As Christians, it is imperative that we meditate on the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father. If we don’t, we will succumb to the world’s intimidation to remain quiet about God’s glory. God tells us in Ephesians 5:16 to “make the most of your time, for the days are evil.” In these evil days, take every opportunity to glorify Him.
Our hesitation is not because God is unknown to us, but because of who we know ourselves to be. Our past sin or present struggles can hold us hostage. Co-workers know us. Family members know us. We are afraid of appearing to be self-righteous or having false humility if we say, “not me, but to God be the glory!” Don’t be afraid. Think instead of Revelation 5 and the scene in heaven where all creation will give Him glory. Then, say it.
We may lack the unction to glorify God because of spiritual short-sightedness. We may have forgotten the immeasurable grace He has poured out on us in Christ Jesus. His forgiveness and grace for past sins, as well as His grace for today and forever, are ours. Yes, it is our duty to grieve our sin, but not so much that we forget we have been cleansed of our former sins (2 Peter 1:9). Remembering that cleansing brings growth in love and compassion. It keeps us humble and cultivates the mind of Christ in us, making us truly useful for the Kingdom’s sake. What joy it is to ascribe all the glory due His name as He works in us the pleasure of His will. Boldly declare with all the saints, “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Your name give glory” (Psalm 115:1)!
Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). The light is not the good deed, but the truth of the Gospel declared through us. That we belong to Jesus Christ should be plain to a watching world and, belonging to Him, our lives should be marked by loving actions. His ownership of us makes our good deeds so clearly His outworking that onlookers will give glory to our heavenly Father. That is amazing. Jesus did not qualify this as a command for perfect people, but for those who are His.
No matter our station in life, our race and nation, our strengths and weaknesses, our successes and failures, we are to declare His glorious gospel and go about doing good, leaving no doubt that we do these things by the strength of the Lord, giving Him the glory due His name.
Do you fear giving God glory publicly when you are praised for doing something good? What are you afraid of, specifically? Acknowledge your fears and bring them to God.
Prepare now for your next job review. Think about how you can humbly and graciously turn any praise your boss gives you into an opportunity to share the gospel with him (or her).
Read through Psalms 96 and 24. Write down the verses that have the word glory in them. What do they tell you about God? Let those realities move you to praise Him.
Betty Dodge is wife to Rick, a mom to adult children, and grandmother to seven. She is a Bible teacher for women and children, as well as a regular contributor to the Fighter Verses Blog. One of Betty's greatest joys is seeing God working in believers as they learn His Word and grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.