We all have the same calling: to glorify God in everything we do. This is why we are here. Scripture says God created us for His glory (Isa. 43:7) and instructs us to “do everything for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).
But how? How can we give glory to “the King of glory” (Ps. 24:8)? Glory belongs to God (John 17:5; Acts 7:55). God reveals His glory (Ex 24:17; 40:34; Ps. 19:1). We can observe His glory (John 1:14). But how do we give Him glory?
To glorify God is not to bestow glory on God or add to His glory, but to recognize and acknowledge His glory. The basic meaning of the word glory is “heavy in weight.” It is the “weighty importance and shining majesty that accompany God’s presence.”* The verb glorify means “to give weight to” or “to honor.” Thus, to glorify God is to recognize God for who He really is and to respond appropriately.
Here are 10 scriptural ways we can glorify God:
1. Praise Him with your lips.
“My lips will glorify you” (Ps 63:3). The noblest use of our tongues is to give praise to God.
2. Obey His Word.
To the corrupt priests in Malachi’s day, the Lord said: “If you don’t listen, and if you don’t take it to heart to honor my name, … I will send a curse among you” (Mal. 2:2). How had they dishonored God’s name? They had disobeyed God’s Law by presenting defiled food on the altar (Mal. 1:6-7; see also Deut. 15:21).
3. Pray in Jesus’ name.
“Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13). To pray in Jesus’ name is to align our prayers and desires with God’s purposes.
4. Produce spiritual fruit.
“My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples” (John 15:8). The fruit that issues out of our union with and obedience to Christ brings God glory. The Bible names several kinds of spiritual fruit, including: the fruit we bear when we win others to Christ (Rom. 1:13), the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), and our good deeds (Col. 1:10).
5. Remain sexual pure.
“Flee sexual immorality! … glorify God with your body” (1 Cor. 6:18-20).
6. Seek the good of others.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31). The context is Paul’s discussion of whether it was right for believers to eat meat offered to idols. He stated the guiding principle in verse 24, “No one is to seek his own good, but the good of the other person.” When we make lifestyle choices for the good of others, we glorify God.
7. Give generously.
The result of the Corinthians’ giving to the poor believers in Jerusalem would be that “they will glorify God for your obedient confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity” (2 Cor. 9:13).
8. Live honorably among unbelievers.
“Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that when they slander you as evildoers, they will observe your good works and will glorify God on the day he visits” (1 Pet. 2:12). Jesus said, “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).
9. Be faithful when persecuted.
“But if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed but let him glorify God in having that name” (1 Pet. 4:16). If we want to glorify God, then we’ll not be ashamed of the name of Jesus.
10. Face death with faith.
Jesus predicted Peter would die as a martyr and “would glorify God” in his death (John 21:19). Paul hoped Christ would be glorified in his death (Phil. 1:20). We can show God to be great in the way we approach death because we know “to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).
*Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Revised and Expanded, p. 647.
Mike Livingstone works at Lifeway Christian Resources as content editor for Explore the Bible materials.