In the 17th century, a large group of theologians came together to discuss and clarify key theological questions. One of the critical questions this group answered was, “What is the chief aim of man (ultimately, what is the purpose of life)?” Their answer was simple and profound: To glorify God and enjoy him forever. It is a definition that is frequently used to this day.
So, what does it look like to glorify God? This is too rich a statement to unpack in a short paragraph, but several immediate phrases come to my mind: to praise him for the gift of his son, to stand in awe of him, to worship him for who he is, and to thank him for his unending love and mercy.
- What does glorifying God mean to you, and what is one tangible way you glorify him?
READ THE WORD: JOHN 17:1-5 (ESV)
17:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- In verse 1, what did Jesus desire to do with the glory given to him?
- God’s glory is ultimately made known to us when God gives us eternal life. How did Jesus explain who receives eternal life in verse 3?
- In verse 4, what was one of the ways Jesus glorified God?
- If you truly believed that God saw you in the same exact way as he sees his son, Jesus, how might you glorify God differently?
RESPOND TO GOD
John Piper, a current pastor and strong theologian, once said that the 17th century statement mentioned above should actually state that the purpose of life is, “to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.” When we experience and enjoy the presence of God, we bring unbelievable glory to him. Take a moment to look at the contrasts in the following columns:
|Experiencing God’s Presence
|Life Without God’s Presence
- Cry out to God, asking to experience and enjoy Christ in such a way this week that he would be glorified.