Life is filled with many motivations. The promise of a job after education drives us to work hard in school. We are motivated to seek out work so that we can provide for our families. There are numerous motivations in life, but there is one motivation in life that surpasses all others, the glory of God. For the believer, the glory of God should be the driving force in all that we do. There is no greater calling in this life than to seek the glory of God. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 10:31 summarizes it very well, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I want us to consider three areas in order to help us see and live for the glory of God.
The Scriptures are filled with the theme of the glory of God. One writer states, “God’s glory dominates scripture. Some here suggested that glory is the Bible’s unifying theme. That the word appears over four hundred times in Scripture supports this possibility.” No greater passage but Psalm 115:1 emphasizes this theme, “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, But to Your name give glory. Because of your lovingkindness, because of Your truth.” The Psalmist declares that all glory is to be given to God for all that He has done, and not to us. This is the overarching message of the Bible.
God does all things for His glory as we discover throughout the pages of Holy writ. This truth is found in Isaiah 42:8, “I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give my glory to another, Nor my praise to graven images.” God is a jealous God, one that longs to receive worship and glory, not because He is selfish, but the very opposite. God is the only Being that deserves complete devotion. There are other passages that show us why God acts. Isaiah 43:25, “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake,” If God is motivated for His glory then we as His followers should be motivated by His glory.
What brings glory to God more than a ransomed life that is turned away from self-worship to the exclusive worship of God? If God does everything for His sake, then for believers to reciprocate that same motivation will naturally move believers to live a life that glorifies God. In Numbers 25:11, Phinehas, a son of Aaron, was motivated by the glory of YHWH. The wrath of God had broken out among the Israelites because they were joining themselves with the daughters of Moab. This led to the worship of their false gods and caused God to discipline his people. Phinehas because of his desire to honor God stood before the people and God, killing the Israelites with the Midianite women, which ceased a deadly plague among the people. Moses writes, “he was jealous for his God” (Numbers 25:13). The glory of God moved Phinehas to action. What a fitting example of how God’s glory should motivate us. The Scriptures are dominated by the glory of God. God does all things for His glory. Thus believers should be incited to bring glory to God.
1 John MacArthur, Biblical doctrine: a systematic summary of Bible truth (Wheaton: Crossway, 2017), 226.