Then all your people will be righteous
and they will possess the land forever.
They are the shoot I have planted,
the work of my hands,
for the display of my splendor.

Isaiah 60:21

 

In Isaiah 60:21, the Lord promises to restore Israel in order to display his own “splendor.” In the Common English Bible, the Lord says he has acted “to glorify [him]self.” When we hear this, it can seem odd at first, even inappropriate. After all, if we seek our own glory, we might be rightly accused of being narcissistic. If, for example, I were to confess that I’m writing these Life for Leaders devotions to amplify my glory, you’d be rightly concerned about my selfish motivation. We learn early in life never to say anything like, “I did this for the display of my splendor.”

A child looking up at the splendor of a lit Christmas tree.But what is inappropriate for us is absolutely right for God. Because God is utterly glorious, it is always right for his glory to be celebrated. Moreover, when we respond to God by recognizing his glory, we are enriched. We are lifted up. We find our rightful place in the cosmos.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks about our chief purpose as human beings. It answers that our “chief end” is “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” How does this happen? Surely we glorify God and enjoy him when we gather with his people for God-focused worship. But that’s just the beginning. We glorify God and enjoy him when we fulfill our divine purpose, serving him in the world. God is glorified just as much when you seek to honor him in your work as when you sing praises to him in church.

In this season of Advent, we remember the announcement of the angels, “Glory to God in the highest.” May our remembrance encourage us to live for God’s glory each day, in every avenue of life, at home and at work, in our neighborhoods and in the shopping malls, in our spending and in our giving, in our speaking and in our silence.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

When you think of glorifying God, what images or activities come to mind?

Are there ways you glorify God in your daily work?

How can you glorify God today?

PRAYER:

Gracious God, you have saved me to be one of your children so that I might live for the praise of your glory. Indeed, my chief purpose in life is to glorify you and enjoy you forever.

May this be true of my life! May I glorify you in my words and deeds, in my dreams and daydreams. May I live for your glory whether I’m in a worship service or at a ballgame, whether I’m sitting in traffic or at my desk. Be glorified, dear Lord, through me, each and every day. Amen.

 

Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentaryWhen the Messiah Is Not Who You Expected