What Does it Mean to “Glorify” God?

Recently at church, we had a dedication service for several children, including our son Judah. Our church gave us the children’s devotional book Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Jago. We’ve not completed it yet, but just like The Jesus Storybook Bible—which is also by Lloyd-Jones and Jago—it’s fantastic. (I reviewed the Jesus Storybook Bible here.)

At times, my family has struggled to have consistent family devotions. There are several reasons for this, I’m sure. In part, our lives are constantly changing—new kids coming and older kids getting older. Also, we’ve struggled because I’ve been more ambitious than was probably sustainable. This led to good spurts but not consistency.

But whatever the reasons were, since we were given this book, we’ve had good success. About three or four times a week, I read one of the short devotionals during dinner. I try to make the reading as interactive as possible, which isn’t hard because the material lends itself to discussion, and . . . well . . .  I have five very “active” kids.

Below is one of my favorite entries so far. It answers the questions “what does it mean to glorify God?” and “why does God even ‘need’ us to glorify him at all?” Obviously, the answers to these questions could get deep fast, but Lloyd-Jones has a way of making the complex simple—for children and adults.

After I read this one, I asked my kids questions like, “What does it mean to glorify basketball?” “And what does it mean to glorify a book . . . and a friend . . . and a sunset?”

Then, when I came back to the question of what it means to glorify God, which according to Lloyd-Jones, means “to make much of Him,” my kids understood. And my heart sang.

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God tells us to glorify him. “Glorify” means to “make a big deal of.” When someone makes a big deal of you, it fills up your heart with joy.

But why does God need us to make a big deal of him? Why does he need us to get joy?

He doesn’t. In the beginning God the Father and Jesus, his Son, together with the Holy Spirit, were already there—a loving family, glorifying each other in this wonderful Dance of Joy.

No. God didn’t create us so he could get joy—he already had it.

He created us so that he could share it.

He knows it’s the thing your heart most needs to be happy. When God says, “Glorify me!”, he’s really saying, “Be filled with Joy!”

He’s inviting us into his Forever Happiness.


[Photo by Jasper Boer / Unsplash]