We all know people, even unbelievers, who seem to be natural servants. They are always serving others one way or another. But God does not get the glory; they do. It is their reputation that is enhanced. But when we, natural servants or not, serve in dependence upon the grace of God with the strength He supplies, God is glorified.
A man’s most glorious actions will at last be found to be but glorious sins, if he hath made himself, and not the glory of God, the end of those actions.
When we believe that we ought to be satisfied, rather than God glorified, we set God below ourselves, imagine that He should submit His own honor to our advantage; we make ourselves more glorious than God, as though we were not made for Him, but He made for us; this is to have a very low esteem of the majesty of God.
For human beings self-worship is the worst sin, for God it is the epitome of His righteousness.
A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling "darkness" on the walls of his cell.
The design of the universe…is very magnificent and shouldn’t be taken for granted. In fact, I believe that is why Einstein had so little use for organized religion… He must have looked at what the preachers said about God and felt that they were blaspheming. He had seen much more majesty then they had ever imagined, and they were just not talking about the real thing. My guess is that he simply felt that religions he’d run across did not have proper respect…for the author of the universe.
We have tended to turn the Christian faith into “a relationship through Christ with a God who is the divine vending machine in the sky, there to meet our every need. ‘Unhappy? Unattractive? Unsuccessful? Unmarried? Unfulfilled? Come to Christ and he’ll give you everything you ask for.” We forget God is not primarily in the business of meeting needs. When we make Him out to be, we squeeze Him out of his rightful place at the center of our lives and put ourselves in His place. God is in the business of being God. Christianity cannot be reduced to God meeting people’s needs, and when we attempt to do so, we invariably distort the heart of the Christian message (David Henderson).
If we don’t share Jonathan Edwards’ God-entranced vision of all things, we will not consciously join God in the purpose for which He created the universe. And if we do not join God in advancing His aim for the universe, then we waste our lives and we oppose our Creator.
In our proud love affair with ourselves we pour contempt, whether we know it or not, on the worth of God’s glory. As our pride pours contempt upon God’s glory, His righteousness obliges Him to pour wrath upon our pride.
Somebody once told John Bunyan that he had preached a delightful sermon. "You are too late," said John, "the devil told me that before I left the pulpit." Satan is adept in teaching us how to steal our Master’s glory.
For an act to be good, it must arise from good motives. And one of those motives must be the glory of God. Where that motive is missing, every act has a fatal flaw. An unsaved man may have some good motives in what he does. That is, he may do something for the sake of others. That is fine, as far as it goes. We do not want to deny that. But it does not go far enough. God commands, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). But each thing the unbeliever does breaks this command. For that reason, he never once pleases God.
From the creature’s point of view, some things might have been better… But from the point of view of the great Purpose which swallows up everything else, that is to say, the Glory of God, all is best. If we do not see it this way, it is our own ignorance at work.