By a Sweetly Broken Girl who is hoping to encourage you on your walk with the Lord. October's posts include "Child of Mine" (my life story, about finding healing and wholeness after struggling with a broken home, broken heart, and broken self-image) and "Through the Furnace" (a devotional-type guide to help you on your journey to finding healing and wholeness in Christ). God bless!
Saturday, November 17, 2012
ISI 8: Bringing God Glory
What are some things
that you are passionate about in life, that really spark your enthusiasm?What are some of your “soapbox” issues, the
issues that get you fired up, that you have strong feelings and opinions about?
Open With Prayer
Read Lesson and
Psalm 96:4, 8:“For great is the Lord and most worthy of
praise . . . Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name . . .”
John 14:13:“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so
that the Son may bring glory to the Father.”
1 Corinthians 10:31:“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you
do, do it all for the glory of God.”
God is worthy of praise and
glory!Jesus’s goal was to bring glory
to the Father!We need to do everything
for God’s glory!
But do we really esteem God’s glory
as much as we are supposed to?As much
as God does?(Or do we just say that we
When I was a teenager, I thought God
was kind of selfish and self-centered to be so concerned with His glory.(Just being honest.)I mean, Wasn’t
He here for us?Aren’t we super
important?And who actually demands to be glorified?This was before I was humbled by His
But now I can’t help but want to
bring Him glory, to see Him glorified in my life above all else.Because I truly understand that He deserves
the glory just because He is who He is.He is not some peer of mine that is looking to soothe His ego or pump
Himself up a little by seeking glory for Himself.He doesn’t need to be pumped up because there
is no more “up” to go to.He is at the
top.He is the most glorious Being there
is.He doesn’t need to be glorified to
feel better.He deserves to be glorified
simply because of who He is.
Once I got that straight – and once I learned that I was not so big and that I
really needed a strong, glorious heavenly Father – I, too, became concerned
with His glory.I became concerned with
making sure that all the things I did reflected His glory to others and that He
delighted in the way I was living.I
wanted to honor Him for the holy God that He is and I wanted to thank Him for
loving me anyway.
Nowadays, in general, I don’t think
that God’s glory is as much of a priority to us as it should be, as we act like
it is.Because I believe that there are
very few Christians who have really sought to humble themselves before God.And we can’t really glorify Him if we are not
humbled before Him.
We can act like His glory is our
main concern.We can build big,
beautiful churches “all for Him.”We can
buy fancy cars and fancy clothes because “What a good God we serve; He has
blessed us so much.”We can talk about
how “it was all God’s doing” when something good happens in our lives, even if
we have gone down our own path, without Him.We can do things to try to bring Him glory, like singing at church,
talking to others about Him, keeping our homes nice and
respectable-looking.We can even go out
and find big, glamorous exciting ways to “serve” Him, and then say it was all
“for Him,” when deep down it really wasn’t, when we are not even really living
for His glory in the small, daily things.
But if we are trying to glorify Him
without a humbled heart then we are really working for our own glory or trying
to fool God and others, trying to earn brownie points or be impressive.
A falsely humble person will crumble
under the trials of life, when things are not going their way and no one is
impressed by what they have or do.
But a truly humble person is one who
has learned to trust in God’s goodness, love, and faithfulness so much that
they can still bring God glory in the hard times, when they don’t have what
they want or “need.”And they are
content with being invisible and letting God’s glory shine.They are content being the clay pots and
letting God use them as He will.And
they run to God – not away from Him -
when everything falls down around them and they hurt badly, because they know
that they have nowhere else to go, that He is all they really need.A humbled person is all about God and His
glory, no matter what’s happening in their life!
Small Roles and Tiny Contributions
In our society, we try to reach
high, to do big things to impress others.We don’t like being given small, menial jobs.We don’t like tiny, “insignificant”
roles.Even Christians want the fun,
attention-grabbing jobs.We hold up
those who go on short-term mission trips as great examples of people who are
sacrificing themselves to do “God’s work” and bring God glory.But we overlook the parents who spend their
lives raising a special-needs child or the ones who have taken in an elderly
parent or who are going to the same unsatisfying job every day to make money to
support their family.Are they any less
God-glorifying, just because their role or job is menial, overlooked,
The funny thing is, we would
celebrate and applaud someone who goes overseas as a missionary to take care of
the needy people there, but we overlook those who are taking care of the needy
people in their own town or home.But
are they really any less of a missionary than the ones who do that same job
overseas?Is their mission any less
important or God-glorifying?
[Don’t get me wrong, I also applaud
missionaries.I am not belittling their
work.I think that those who do mission
work in needy places will have great rewards in heaven.And they are also reaching people who,
because of their need, might be more open to the gospel in ways that affluent,
self-centered, take-the-Bible-for-granted America is not.So their efforts might produce more results
and effect more people for the Lord.
But I also want to acknowledge the
sacrifice and the faithfulness of those who do their “mission work” in their
own home or town.I think they can feel
overlooked or like their efforts are not as important.But we have work to do for God wherever we
are.Wherever God puts us, we are missionaries.Are you living like it?]
We live like God is only present in
the grand things.Like His presence is
felt more in the exciting moments and the big accomplishments than in the
boring, small ones.We feel like we are
more favored by God, more blessed, and like we please Him more when we are
given new, exciting, glamorous jobs in the spotlight.I mean, isn’t He the big God of big
But you know what?He is also the God of the little things.Of the boring, daily jobs.Of the small tasks.Of the desert times and long waits and hard
trials and “prison” periods.
But we don’t want to believe that
God might actually give us small roles or might put us on the sidelines or
might give us tedious, menial, daily jobs that no one notices.We don’t like to think that He might ask us
to give up our exciting dreams and our big plans for ourselves so that we can
follow Him into the barren deserts to become lowly shepherds.We can’t imagine that He would ask us to
praise Him and bring Him glory in such a tiny way.We’d rather have more and bigger and
But there are times that this is
exactly what God asks of us!And you are
not going to hear that in the advertisements or the motivational speeches.But you will find it in the Bible.
There was Joseph who was left in a
prison (not to mention captivity) for years for something he didn’t do.He certainly didn’t get what he
“deserved.”And yet, he was responsible
for and faithful in making the most of prison-life, doing his best for God’s
glory anyway, instead of just pining for greater things.
How about Jeremiah?He was God’s spokesman for decades to a
rebellious people.That was his
God-given role.He was called to
sacrifice his life and his comfort to be a witness (alone) to people who would
not listen to him, who would persecute him.Talk about a discouraging job.Being called to be a failure.(But not in God’s eyes!)
Daniel lived in captivity for
decades and was required to serve the captors.Not his idea of how his life would go.But he still faithfully followed and served God, even with his altered
dreams and goals and plans.
Moses lived a humble life as a
backwoods shepherd for decades, giving up the palace life.And then led rebellious, grumbling Israelites
around the desert for the rest of his life, dying in the desert before making
it to the Promised Land.
Paul traded his life as one of the
haughty, powerful, spiritually-elite in order to become a fool for Christ,
spreading God’s Word (which he had fought against in his earlier years), while
much of the time facing opposition, persecution, imprisonment, etc.
Because of his faith, John was
banished to an island to die, where he ended up writing the book of
How many of these people, when they
were young, had bigger dreams for their lives?Ideas and plans of what would make them happy and fulfilled?How many looked forward to glamorous jobs and
exciting opportunities and a full life?How many thought they would serve God in big ways?Bringing Him lots of glory through grand
But these godly people of the past
were asked to take lowly roles and positions.To “settle for less.”To glorify
God in disappointing circumstances and hidden ways.To let go of their dreams and follow God into
the hard times.To get comfortable with
God wasn’t just the God of the big
things and big times, but of the boring, daily, difficult things and times,
too.And these people knew it!And they knew how to do their best for God’s
glory, no matter their position or job.
“But a poor widow came and put in
two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus
said, ‘I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury
than all the others.They gave out of
their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to
live on.’”(Mark 12:42-44)
Do you ever feel like your
contribution to the Kingdom doesn’t really make a splash?Because it is so small and unflashy, compared
to others?Do you ever feel like your
spiritual accomplishments might seem laughable and pitiful?Like you just don’t measure up?Like others are bringing God lots of glory
with their bigger roles but you are making Him shake His head in shame because
you have such an insignificant role?
I know I do.
When discouragement gets the best of
me, I feel like I am the most pitiful of all believers.I try and try to “live Christ” in so many
ways, but no one really sees it.My
efforts and accomplishments seem so minor compared to others.
I make it a point to show interest
in people and to reach out and give them a listening ear when they need it
because I know how it hurts to feel overlooked.I helped a man pick up the blueberries he dropped all over the floor of
the store while everyone else walked past.(I know how embarrassing it is to be the only one on your hands and
knees cleaning stuff up.)I bought a
chicken for the man who waited in line with just a hot, ready-to-go, cooked
chicken, but who realized his store card expired when he got to the front of
the line.I feed and love my family
every day and try to raise wise, godly, thoughtful children.I do my best to do my best as a homemaker and
neighbor because I know that this is where God has me at this season in my
life.I write things that I hope will
draw others to God’s love, truth, and healing, and I keep writing despite the
fact that no one that I know wants to read it.I struggle daily to accept certain discouragements with grace, to remain
thankful and content despite a broken heart, to let earthly trials become
spiritual lessons, to live for eternity, and to let God be my all when others
let me down.
These contributions don’t really
make any big difference to the world.They don’t really amount to anything or change lives and hearts like I
wish it did.No one really sees them or
would consider them noteworthy.And
others – fellow church-goers who serve at church, sing in the choir, or have
some sort of niche that is their ministry - would probably snicker if I told
them about these “contributions” to the Kingdom.They would pat my head and say, “Well, now .
. . Isn’t that cute?But why don’t you
run along and the leave the Kingdom work up to those of us who are doing the
important jobs, the ones that matter and that make a difference?”
This widow’s offering didn’t measure
up to what others gave.It wasn’t going
to make any big difference to the church, by earthly calculations.Compared to the abundance that others gave,
hers would be considered pitiful.No one
even noticed her offering, her sacrifice.
But Jesus did!
And when He did, He didn’t see two
tiny coins, barely worth a penny.He saw
a great sacrifice, a contribution greater than what anyone else gave.Because she gave her all.She didn’t have much to give but she gave
what she had.And while it might have
been almost nothing by earthly standards and compared to what others gave, it
was a huge contribution on heaven’s scales and it would make a huge difference
by eternal standards.Even if no one
else saw or noticed her tiny offering, Jesus saw it, blessed it, and was
incredibly touched by it.It was
glorifying to Him and it mattered greatly to Him!Enough to point it out to others.
Now compare this to the religious
elite in Mark 12:28-40.Jesus says that they have flowing robes, sit
in the important seats and places of honor, they have lots of houses (taken
from widows), and pray long, showy prayers.They obviously have status, power, and wealth.They seem spiritual, important, and wise,
like they have it all together spiritually.If people look at their accomplishments and their standing in the
spiritual community, they would think,
These are the people to be like, to emulate.They are bringing God so much glory.A poor widow’s two coins are laughable compared to the contributions of
these great religious giants!
Yet Jesus says that those “teachers
of the law” – those religious giants who seemed so godly and accomplished –
would be punished severely!Whereas, the
widow who wasn’t noticed and didn’t matter to others was noticed by Jesus.And blessed!
Some of the greatest successes in
the world’s eyes are actually great failures in God’s eyes.And some of the greatest failures in the
world’s eyes are actually great successes in God’s eyes.I guess the key is, Whose eyes are we looking through?By whose standards are we judging “success”?
It doesn’t matter if we don’t have a lot to
give or if others notice or if others give more or if they have bigger
roles.It doesn’t matter if our skills
don’t match up and if we can’t accomplish the great things that others
What matters is not if we stand in a
position of great influence, power, and success in front of others but if we
stand in humility before the Lord!What
matters is not what others see but what the Lord sees!What matters is not what’s in our wallets or
on our list of accomplishments but what’s in our hearts!What matters is not what we gain but what we
give!If we are faithful to give
whatever we have for Him!To give our
all for the Lord, to do our best for His glory no matter what we do, to work at
it with our heart because we are working for Him!
This issue is close to my heart
right now.I have tried to do the big,
grand things, and my efforts have fallen flat.I have taken those short-term missions trips that were glamorous and
exciting, feeling like I was really doing something great for God.And I had great plans of getting my degree
and working as a counselor, helping many people find healing.
But now, I am in one of those “small
job” periods of life.I am a mom.It’s my job.It’s what I do.I wash the same
dishes every day.I do the same, never-shrinking
piles of laundry every day.(Okay, maybe
more like every other day. . . Alright,
maybe every third day, if I’m being really honest.)I have to make breakfasts and lunches and
think up seven different dinners every week that will please six people with
different tastes, listening to the same complaints about what we are having for
dinner night after night.I have to do
math and reading and other schoolwork with the kids, checking progress and
grading papers and praying that God helps me do my best to grow my boys up
academically since I am not just their mom but also their teacher.(God help me!)And I have to do this every day, waking up
the next day and doing it all over again, with no weekend breaks, no vacation, no
pay raises or promotions, no punching out at five o’clock, and no overtime
And I know that, to the world, it is
not glamorous or exciting.But to me, it
is my mission right now, my God-given role, no matter how trivial the daily
jobs seem to be and how little I feel like I have accomplished.And I have been learning that it’s not about
the role we have, but it’s about doing whatever we do for God’s glory.
“ . . . whatever you do, do it all
for the glory of God.”(1 Corinthians 10:31)
“Whatever you do, work at it with
all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”(Colossians 3:23)
These verses do not say that we have
to go out and find big jobs that bring God lots of glory.They are saying that we are to glorify God in
the jobs we currently have, in the daily things we do, no matter how big or glamorous
or public they are.We can wash dishes
for His glory.We can make dinner for
His glory.We can go to the same boring
job every day for His glory.We can be
kind to our neighbor for His glory.We
can be a backwoods shepherd or a prisoner or an exile on an island for His
glory.It’s not about adding some new
task that seems more glorifying to Him.It is about doing the same things we already do and living the life we
already have, but changing our reason for doing it.
As a mom, I should not be washing
dishes or making food to get appreciation from my family or just because it’s
my duty.I should be doing it – to the
best of my ability and with a thankful heart – because I know this is the job
God gave me today and because it glorifies Him when I do it with all my
heart.It should be enough for me to
know that He is watching me and that He cares about how I do it and that He
will reward my faithfulness someday.(And I wouldn’t trade this job – being a mother - for anything.I am absolutely convinced in the core of my
being that this is where I need to be for now.And I am thankful for this job and this role.It might not mean much to the world, but it
means the world to me.)
It doesn’t matter how big, exciting,
or fulfilling the job is; it matters how we do it and if we are doing our best
for Him.I think this is why God
(through Paul) could tell the slaves, “obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only
when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart
and reverence for the Lord.Whatever you
do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since
you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”(Colossians
And it’s why He could tell the
masters of the slaves, “Provide your slaves
with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in
It’s not about being the slave or
being the master.It’s not about your
position or your circumstances.It’s
about doing your best at your current job, in your current role, to please God
and for His glory and because you know that He is watching you and will reward
you accordingly. (That's not to say that God thinks slavery is okay or
that He doesn't care about unfair treatment of slaves. It's
just saying that whenever you do your best in whatever your life is, He is
pleased with you and will reward you.Because you are really working for Him.)
The mother or kindergarten teacher
or garbage man or store clerk who is humbly and faithfully doing their best at
their job out of thankfulness and for God’s glory is as honoring and pleasing
to God as a president of a business or a leader of a huge organization or an
overseas missionary who is faithfully, humbly, thankfully doing their job for
God’s glory.(Read that again!)
There are no small jobs in God’s
If we are not living for God’s
glory, we are living for ours.And our
lives will not be honoring to Him.It
does not bring Him glory when . . .
1.We build up our treasures or successes on earth, pursuing “happiness”
instead of joy in the Lord.
2.We are discontent when things don’t go our way or we don’t get what we
3.We compare our roles and contributions to others, instead of being more
concerned with how God sees it.
4.We excuse or rationalize our bad choices.
5.We put on a good Christian performance to be noticed by others.(False humility)
6.We think we are worshipping God by singing loudly and emotionally, yet
we are not living out our worship in a life that honors Him.
7.We do not see Him for who He really is, clinging to our own ideas of who
He should be or who we want Him to be.
8.We “work” to glorify Him or to impress Him while holding back parts of
our hearts and keeping up walls.We
still live out of our fears, instead of living out of His love and out of love
for Him.(God cannot be fully glorified
by a person who doesn’t fully trust Him or love Him, and who doesn’t let Him
fully love and heal them.)
9.We are still living self-sufficiently, in our own power and wisdom.Maybe we want to glorify Him and hope that
our lives do, but we are not living in dependence on Him.And this will cause us to crumble under the
trials, because we are doing it in our own, tiny strength and wisdom.
10.We don’t put in the time and effort to seek His Will and to learn to
listen to Him.We just do what we think
is glorifying, but don’t talk our lives and choices over with Him.
11.We don’t let Him prune off things that don’t bring Him glory.We glorify Him as best we can without having
to let go of or weed out certain, unglorifying parts of ourselves and our
12.We do “just fine” with lazy spiritual disciplines and we squander our
spiritual gifts and opportunities.
But if we are truly humbled people
and living for His glory . . .
1.We will want to meet with Him in His Word and in prayer and all
throughout our day because we need Him.
2.We will find Him and His goodness everywhere, in everything.And be thankful.
3.We will still glorify Him when prayers are not answered the way we
4.Worship will become more than just singing at church.It will be honoring Him with everything we
do, big things and little things.(No
amount of singing at church can make up for lifestyle that is dishonoring to
Him.But even gardening or doing the
dishes or going to your same boring job every day can be worship if you do it
with the right heart attitude.)
5.We will seek to be pruned.
6.We will be concerned that our life always reflects His glory because He
deserves it and because other people are watching.Their hearts and lives are at stake.
7.We will not want to steal His glory because we know that everything should
point back to God.
8.We won’t be as concerned with how many positions we fill in church and
in society or with how big and exciting our job is.We will be more concerned that we serve with
the right attitude and for the right reasons.(Which means that we’ll only and always do what God calls us to do, even
if they are small and mundane tasks that we have to do over and over again
every day.But we will do it to the best
of our ability because it glorifies God.)
9.We also won’t be as concerned with what happens after we obey as we will
be with just making sure that we obey.We will know that our job is to obey and His job is to use our obedience
as He wills.
10.We will use our talents to bring Him glory.
11.We’ll live with an awareness that we do not only glorify Him on earth,
to other people, but also in the spirit realm.So what we do in private matters.Angels and demons are watching us.But which ones are patting their leader on the back saying, “Look at
what he or she just did or thought.That
brought you a little more glory.”?
12.As we face our trials, we will lean on His strength and wisdom, and we
will trust that He is sovereign, that He will guide us and carry us through
them, and that He will eventually work it all out for good.We will be able to say, “You are God, I am
not.I trust You.Your Will be done.”Even when times are tough and He says, “No.”
13.We will take our stand for Him, even in the face of opposition and
mocking and persecution.But we will know
that it’s not our duty to force Him on anyone.Just to live for Him in our own lives.
14.We will hold our possessions, our successes, our accomplishments, and
even other people loosely because we will know that nothing in our life is
really ours, to be used for our own pleasure.But everything is God’s, a tool in His hand to do with what He
wants.For His glory and kingdom!
Zeroing in on Pruning
I mentioned our resistance to being
pruned vs. our willingness to be pruned.How we respond to God’s pruning will tell us a lot about our
relationship with Him.
Throughout our lives, we will find
ourselves being pruned over and over again as God continues to weed out
anything that doesn’t bring Him glory and that isn’t for our best.And this isn’t always easy.We like things to be our way.We like holding onto certain ungodly or
selfish things.We want certain freedoms
But in order to grow in
righteousness as Christians, to reach wholeness, and to get to the point where
everything is about God’s glory, we need to be pruned . . .
- of selfish motives and goals
- of envy and bitterness
- of unreasonable expectations of
ourselves, other people, and the Lord
- of “idols of the heart”
- of the walls that keep God from
fully entering our hearts and minds and lives
- of pride and self-inflating
behaviors and attitudes
- of our phony, polished, “I’m such
a great Christian” facade so that we can reach humility and true brokenness
before the Lord
- of “good enough” so that we can
strive for “best”
- of habits and pursuits and
behaviors that are morally-questionable or out-right ungodly
- of misconceptions that we have
about faith, ourselves, life, and God
- of lazy spiritual disciplines and
the comfortable-ness that keeps us parked on the side of the road in our
- of our pursuit for fulfillment in
anything outside of God
- of our “need” for earthly success,
approval, and appreciation so that we can get to the point where we are content
with knowing that God alone sees and cares and values us and will reward us in
- of so many more things not listed
Sometimes pruning comes through
gentle guidance and insight.Sometimes
it comes through the times when God has to discipline us.Sometimes it comes when times are sweet and
when we desire growth.Sometimes it
comes through the struggles and when we are fighting, kicking, and digging in
our heels the whole way.Sometimes we
never even see it coming.And sometimes
He has to prune off things simply because it’s not the right timing.But there is always a reason for every cut
There are so many seasons of
life.And every season of life prunes us
and grows us in different ways, bringing its own challenges and spiritual
priorities, goals, and lessons.And we
need to fully, deliberately live within the season God places us in, letting
Him prune off whatever doesn’t fit for the time being.
We need to focus on the tasks at
hand, learn the lesson of the moment, let go of the things He takes away, grab
onto the things He asks us to grab onto, say “no” when it’s required, say “yes”
when He directs us to, accept His “no” in patient trust, wait on the Lord when
necessary, and glorify Him wherever we are.
Being pruned – of things that don’t
bring Him glory and that don’t fit with the season of life we are in - will
happen all during our spiritual lives.(And if you think you are doing “good enough” in your Christian life –
that there is no area you need to grow in and nothing else God needs to prune
off - ask Him to reveal to you the next step for you in your spiritual
growth.You might be surprised.)
Growing in our faith and maturing as
Christians is a life-long process, full of many painful lessons, challenges,
and prunings.But the end goal of all of
this is to become more Christ-like, more whole, more healed, more humble, more
firmly rooted in Him, to help us have more impact for God’s Kingdom, and to
bring Him more glory.Because everything
that doesn’t bring Him glory and that isn’t about His Kingdom and His
righteousness will burn up in the end.And
He is more concerned with developing eternity than He is with the
Our purpose in this life is to find
Life in Him, to love Him, to praise Him, and to glorify Him, and to let Him love us.Because we need it and because He deserves
it.It’s what we were made to do!Our goal should not be to see ourselves
glorified here on earth, but to live in Him and with Him and to bring Him
glory, that others may find Life, too.We need to be concerned about building eternity . . . not a nice,
little, satisfying life in a place that will burn up in the end.
And the best way for us to glorify
Him is to remain vitally connected to Him, to offer Him whatever we have to
offer Him (even if it’s just a one-penny offering), and to do our best in
whatever job He gives us, whether it’s something big (like running for a
political office) or something small (like serving meals to our hungry kids).It’s about magnifying Him, singing His
praises, fulfilling His plans through our obedience, and bringing Him the most
glory possible wherever we are!
If you only have a penny to offer,
then offer it to the Lord with your whole heart.A loving smile for a stranger.A listening ear for those who hurt.A kind word to someone who needs
encouragement.A prayer for someone in
need.A meal for the hungry.Forgiveness for the guilty.Making someone else feel like they are
important.Helping the elderly lady
carry her bags.Caring for the
sick.Faithfully doing the unglamorous
daily jobs that no one else notices or appreciates.These are one-penny offerings that
matter.Because Jesus notices and He is
honored by our faithfulness to give whatever we have!For His Kingdom and His glory!
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who
are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you
since the creation of the world.For I
was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me
something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes
and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you
came to visit me.’”(Matthew 25:34-36)
“ . . . whatever you do, do it all
for the glory of God.”(1 Corinthians 10:31)
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and
contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm
“I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” (Matthew 12:7)
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your
heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”(Colossians
1.Does this topic trigger any thoughts or questions you want to
share?Any other Bible verses?
2.What are some of the things that make you think of God’s glory?(Such as sunsets, hummingbirds, etc.Anything that speaks of God’s glory to you
3.What do you think of the lists above?The wrong ways we treat God’s glory?The things that show that we are truly humbled and living for His
glory?Share your thoughts about them
and any changes or additions you would make to them.
4.What do you think about the list of things we need to be pruned of?What would you add?
5.Why might we resist being pruned?And do you have any examples of times God pruned you or times you
resisted being pruned?What
6.Why does God deserve
all the glory?Why should it be one of
our highest goals?And what other
goals/priorities should be really high on our list?Which shouldn’t be that usually are?
7.What are some other ways that we might bring
Him dishonor or fail to bring Him glory?How about ways we bring Him honor and glory?How about you personally?
8.Have you met (or do you know an example of) a
truly humbled person who is working for God’s glory?How can you tell?What stands out about them to you?Contrast this with someone who is falsely
9.Do you think our level of humility has an
effect on if God is glorified or not?If
so, how?And can you think of examples?
10.How does our obedience and attitude affect
God’s glory, for good or bad?
11.Do you think our spiritual disciplines affect
or relate to God’s glory at all?If so,
12.Some Christians seem to think that living
like a somber-faced, suffering martyr is the most humble way to live and like
it’s most glorifying to God.Is this the
way God expects us to live, or are they living under a delusion?Is it more glorifying to God, or is there a
degree of self-glorification there?Is
God somehow less glorified if we enjoy our work and our life?And where is the balance between enjoying
life, suffering for the Lord’s sake, and bringing God glory?
13.Is being a missionary more about the where
you are serving and the job you are doing, or is it more about how you do your
job and Who you do it for?Do you agree
with me that we are all missionaries, no matter where we are?What are some ways we might fail to live like
a missionary wherever we are?And how
might we do things differently if we lived like it?
14.Do you think Christians have a hard time
accepting and doing the small, unnoticed jobs?Why?And should we be bothered
about the “small jobs” or “small roles” or our “small contributions”?Why or why not?
15.How can we glorify God in the small daily
tasks that most of us are called to, at home, at church, at work?
16.Does what we do for God’s glory matter if no
one else sees it but God?If so, do we
have a hard time accepting this and why?(Meaning “Do we want to be noticed by others?”)Any examples from your life?
17.Is it hard to glorify God when we are facing
unanswered prayer or a long wait for an answer?What do these times bring up in us?And how can we glorify Him during these times?Any examples?
18.Can “Christian service” and living the “good
Christian” life end up being unglorifying to God?Or is it all glorifying to Him, even if we do
it for the wrong reasons?
19.I have heard it said that there shouldn’t be
Christian celebrities because being a celebrity is self-glorifying and they
cannot glory God the way He should be glorified.What do you think about this?Is it possible to glorify God and be a
celebrity at the same time?What are the
risks and are they too great?
20.I said, “God cannot be fully glorified by a
person who doesn’t fully trust Him or love Him, and who doesn’t let Him fully
love and heal them.”What do you think I
mean by this?And what are your thoughts
21.What are some unglorifying things that
Christians in our society are doing?And
what are the effects of this?
22.What kind of unglorifying things do we try to
get away with in the privacy of our own homes?If we were truly concerned with doing everything for His glory, what
changes might we have to make in our lives and homes?Any examples from your own life?
23.Think through your day.What kind of practical things can you do
throughout your day to bring God glory?What makes these things glorifying to God?(Think of things that might not specifically
seem “God-glorifying” but that can be, such as taking a vacation with your
family, eating healthy, putting up a bird-feeder, getting enough sleep, etc.?)
24.What are some ways that you feel you are
already bringing God glory?(I know that
we don’t like to share these positive examples because it feels “unhumble,” but
let’s encourage each other by our examples, if we have good ones.We are not trying to sing our praises; we are
trying to help each other along on our spiritual journeys and encourage each
25.“I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” (Matthew 12:7)How
might this verse relate to God’s glory?
26.How do you define “worship”?(Is
it just singing at church?)How do you
define “honoring God”?What is the
“right heart attitude” that turns anything – even dish washing – into worship,
into something that honors God and brings Him glory?What are some ways you worship and honor
27.What are some things that make you feel close to God, make you want to
sing His praises, or make you stand in awe of Him?How can you add more of this to your life?
28.What are some times when we think we are worshipping God but really
might not be?(Such as singing in church
while our hearts are filled with bitterness.)Do you think God feels honored and worshipped by this?(Come up with other examples.)What makes something worshipful or not?
29.How have you been able to use your talents and interests for God?What are some other ways you can use these to
honor God?And what are some unused
talents and interests that you have that you might be able to honor God
30.Since the Lord’s Day is a day of rest and worship, how do you think that
day is best spent in order to honor the Lord?(Back in the day, absolutely NO work was done that day.Should it still be that way?Is making dinner for your family considered
work?Gardening?Cleaning house?Travelling?Is what’s acceptable for that day different for everybody, or is there a
standard to follow?)
31.Do you sense that God is challenging you
about anything in this area?
there any other thoughts or questions that you want to add?