Living for the glory of God

6) How can we glorify God?

We glorify God by enjoying Him, loving Him, trusting Him, and by obeying His will, commandments and law.

“And now, Israel, what does Yahweh your God ask of you but to fear Yahweh your God, to walk in obedience to Him, to love Him, to serve Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 10:12)

Love and fear

A lot of people have difficulty reconciling the command to love God with the command to fear Him. Aren’t love and fear incompatible? (I John 3:18) But this stems from a failure to recognise that there are two types of fear. God does not want us to cower or run away from Him in terror – but He does want our reverence and obedience. A proper ‘fear’ of God is the healthy respect for His holiness that motivates us to avoid sin.

Both fear and love are necessary for a healthy relationship with God. Fear of God without love leads to legalism, and sometimes to superstition; love of God without any fear leads to moral laxity.

Love and obedience

“Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching.” (John 14:23) Christians respect and obey God out of love for Him (which is itself a response to His love for us – I John 4:19), not out of fear of damnation. We do not obey in order to earn our salvation (which is His free gift to us), but because of our salvation. “And His commands are not burdensome.” (I John 5:3,4) In principle, we are just required to love God and our neighbour – what could be simpler?
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
And to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

Living for God’s glory

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (I Corinthians 10:31)  As we follow Jesus in our daily lives, modelling ourselves upon Him, we testify to His transforming power. We should not be afraid to put our faith into action, as long as we are doing it not to gain credit for ourselves but to demonstrate that God’s way is best, and that He is worthy of our trust. In this way we glorify the God who makes such a lifestyle possible (Matthew 5:16).  For it is only by His grace that we are what we are.


Teach us Your ways, O Lord,
And let us walk in Your truth.
We put behind us
Our stubborn independence
And turn again to You.
               (from Celtic Daily Prayer: New Year)

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