In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Several of our recent Life for Leaders devotions focused on the truth revealed in Ephesians 1:12: you exist for the praise of God’s glory. Now, we come upon a second statement of this truth. Ephesians 1:13-14 affirms that we have been sealed with the Holy Spirit, who is also God’s “earnest money” guaranteeing our future in God. All of this, we now learn, is “to the praise of his glory” (1:14).
This verse points to a close connection between the Holy Spirit and God’s glory. In fact, the Spirit helps us to exist for the praise of God’s glory. If we seek to glorify God in our own strength, we will inevitably fail. Yet God has supplied us with his own strength through the Spirit. Thus, with divine help, we can live for God’s glory.
Moreover, the Spirit helps us not only to glorify God but also to share in his glory. We see this most clearly in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” Did you catch that? You and I not only get to contemplate God’s glory, we not only get to celebrate God’s glory, but we also get to share in his glory by becoming more like him.
With the Spirit’s help, we glorify God, not only in our actions, not only in our thoughts, not only in our feelings, but even in our very existence. As we grow more deeply in our relationship with God, we become more like him, even sharing in his glory. As this happens, we reflect God’s glory to the world, so that people might be drawn to him in faith and worship.
Something to Think About:
Can you think of ways that the Holy Spirit has been transforming you to be more like God?
Do you know people who reflect God’s glory? What about them does this?
Something to Do:
Ask the Spirit of God to help you live this day for the praise of God’s glory. Ask for eyes to see how even seemingly ordinary actions can glorify God.
Gracious God, thank you for the gift of your Spirit. Thank you for helping us, by the Spirit, to see your glory. Thank you for your power in us that is helping us to live for the praise of your glory. Thank you even for beginning to transform us so that we might share in your glory. How amazing!
May your Spirit have free reign in my life today, in all that I do, whether at home or at work, whether riding on the subway or driving in my car, whether I’m with friends, colleagues, neighbors, family members, or strangers. Glorify yourself through me, O God. Amen.