Can People Look at
Your Life & See God’s Glory?
“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said,Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:” — John 17:1
God’s reputation is on the line. His reputation is measured by the “world” according to the way Christians live their lives.
Some time ago I had the wonderful experience of visiting Angola State Prison. Of the seven divisions of this maximum security penitentiary, there is one called Death Row. In this one pod there were around 34 men. The reason for such a large number of inmates was because, at that time, there was a stay of execution in place. These 34 men had exhausted all of their appeals and were awaiting execution by legal injection. All of them knew that when the appeal was lifted they would be entering into eternity.
It was a very sobering and yet eerily encouraging. You see, many of these men knew Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. A warden in this prison brought about many changes to this prison. Of over 7,000 men, most of them knew Christ. Something I noticed about every man is that they were all interested about God. They were all thinking about eternity and wanted a preacher to pray for them. When I asked what they wanted me ti pray for, not one asked me to pray for them not to die; instead, they asked me to pray that when they die it wold be with dignity, courage and with peace in their hearts.
It was inevitable, prophetically speaking, that Jesus would die. The Bible says, “…the hour is come;” Jesus made a request that at first sounded very strange. Jesus’ first request in verse one of chapter seventeen is, “glorify thy son, that thy son also may glorify thee.”
What did He mean by the request, “Glorify thy son.“?
To glorify God is to articulate His greatness, His goodness, and His other attributes. It’s a word that is often translated honorable or honorably. When Jesus is praying, He is asking God to die in an honorable way as He goes to the cross. Jesus wanted this event to go down in world history. When people would look at it, they’d see that Jesus behaved Himself in an honorable way. It’s very similar to what those men on death row prayed.
Why would He pray that way?
Jesus wanted the wherewithal to live and to die in a way that others would say, “This is amazing”! He wanted the way He approached His situations to honor His Father in Heaven. Isn’t that something all of us should be concerned with? To live our lives or even die in times of crisis in such a way, with such a filling of the Spirit of God, that not only would people look at us and say, “My goodness, that man handled that situation in an extraordinary way!” but ultimately, so that when they see our response it will bring honor to God and others may see it and also glorify our Father which is in Heaven.
How Does Someone Live & Die Honorably?
By living how Jesus lived and dying how Jesus died we too can have a life that produces a measure of glory directed to our older brother Jesus Christ, and will ultimately produce glory to our Heavenly Father. You see God is measured in the world’s eyes by you and I. If others know we belong to Christ then God’s reputation is on the line by the way we live our lives. So then for us to pray, not for own praise, but for us to face our circumstances with honor is extremely important, so that our attitudes and actions reflect the proper attributes of God to a lost and dying world. If this is something Christ prayed for then we ought to also pray even more so that we too can face circumstances in a Christ-like manner.
The opposite is also true. When we misbehave we do not bring honor to our Lord. In fact, when we do not respond correctly to a crisis, we cast a negative light on who God is. Our behavior is a representation of God by how we live.
How Did Jesus Christ Glorify God?
The Gospel of John
This topic was a huge focus of attention by the gospel writer John. John was given a task to present our Savior as the Son of God. There is more written in the gospel of Jon about the deity of Jesus Christ than any other gospel. At least seven times in the book of John, you read about how Jesus was able to glorify God.
1. Our Dependence on God for Miracles of Provision
John 2:11 | John 2:5
When we live dependent on God for miracles, it will glorify God. At the wedding feast they ran out of wine. Jesus’ mother Mary said, “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” She gave great counsel to the servants. Whenever Christ asks us to do something and we follow His direction we can expect a miracle. The miracle of provision is a demonstration that then will glorify God. It takes faith to glorify God. Think about the faith they had to have to obey Christ. These servants demonstrated Biblical faith and stepped out in obedience even when it seemed ridiculous. This type of obedience attracts the world to Jesus Christ. When we participate in miracles of provision we will glorify God.
2. The Power of God’s Healing & Restoration
“When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” — John 11:4
Why did Lazarus get sick? Why did Lazarus die? Lazarus died so that Jesus would be glorified. For people to see that Jesus had the power of resurrection, someone had to die. This doesn’t mean that everyone is always healed. Sometimes God does restore and heal people and he uses these times to glorify Himself. There would never be miracles without problems. Sometimes the health or physical problems are meant to glorify God. When you have a problem you must face your problems in Faith.
3. The Betrayal of Friends is an Opportunity to Glorify God
Jesus was glorified by His response to the betrayal of Judas Iscariot. Often times we say we would like to have a good testimony, but next time you are betrayed, display it by responding like Christ. When people see that they will say, “Wow! There must be something special about them.” But if you’re humble you will admit it wasn’t you that responded that way. It was Jesus in you!
If you really want to glorify God then expect betrayal. You won’t enjoy the betrayal; however, Jesus poured out His life just as much into Judas a He did John. A Proper response to betrayal will enhance your testimony.
4. Answered Prayer Glorifies God
You see, when you and I pray and God answers our prayer, that testimony is known and seen by others. God honors prayer. Answered prayer is the mark of a child of God. If we never have answered prayers then maybe we don’t pray or maybe we don’t pray in faith.
5. Bearing Fruit Glorifies God
The fruit of a Christian is other Christians. A child being conceived in birth is fruit. When Christians bear fruit it glorifies God. When people look at your life, do they see you getting involved in the work of reaching others for the cause of Christ? If you are not involved, no one will see the glory of God reflected from your life.
How can you bear fruit?
1 – Get Involved in Your Church
2 – Pass Out Tracts
3 – Get Involved in a Bus Ministry
4 – Give to Missions
6. When the Holy Spirit of God Reveals Truth it Glorifies God
God knows exactly what will happen in our lives. Therefore the Spirit of God knows exactly what you and I need for that day. When God reveals truth to us, we are glorifying God.
7. The Resistant Use of Strength Brings Glory to God
Jesus was given great authority and power, but He limited His use of that power. Some people think the greatest strength is exerted strength. True strength is displayed by resistance. What killed Jesus was not the nails in His hand or the crown of thorns on His head or the even the cross itself. It was Him giving up His life. He had all power that He could have called legions of angels to pull Him off the cross. The Bible says, “…He gave up the ghost.” When Jesus gave up His life for those He loved, and resisted what He could have done, it glorified God.