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.
In yesterday’s devotion, we began to consider how Ephesians 1:11-14 answers the question, Why are you here? The succinct answer in this verse is: You exist for the praise of God’s glory. That gets right to the point. But what does it mean?
The Greek word for glory is doxa (related to our word “doxology”). In classical Greek, it meant “opinion or notion.” It came to refer to the high opinion people have of someone, that person’s “reputation or honor.” Thus, God’s glory could be said to be his outstanding reputation and honor. Yet, in biblical usage, doxa is used especially for God’s “radiance or splendor.” It has to do not just with how people regard God but also with the revelation of God’s marvelous and unparalleled nature. If, for example, God is blazing light, then his glory is the radiance that emanates from him. God’s glory is the revelation of his character. It inspires and shapes our perception of God and motivates our worship of him.
It makes sense that there should be a necessary connection between God’s glory and our praise, as in the phrase “for the praise of his glory.” When we perceive the wonderful character of God (his glory), we are drawn to express our own awestruck wonder (through praise). For example, we find this association of praise and glory in Psalm 66:1-2: “Shout for joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious.”
The more we perceive God’s glory, the more we consider his self-revelation to us, the more we reflect on his marvelous deeds, the more we will be drawn to praise him with our words and our lives and, indeed, with our very being.
Something to Think About:
In what ways does the glory of God inspire your praise?
When you hear the phrase “God’s glory,” what comes to mind? What ideas? What images? What experiences?
How has God made his glory known to you?
Something to Do:
As you do your work today, offer yourself and your work to God. Begin your day by telling the Lord that all you will do is for him.
To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life our redemption to win,
And opened the life-gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice;
Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory; great things He hath done.
Oh, perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport when Jesus we see. Amen.
“To God be the Glory” by Fanny Crosby, 1875. Public domain.