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Live to Make God Look Good | Messages | Churchisonline.com

by John Piper
Jesus Retreats Before His Last Battle

Audio Transcript

The great tragedy of the universe is that while human beings were made to glorify God because of who they are and what they see, we have all fallen short of this purpose. Romans 3:23: “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” And this means we’ve done Romans 1:23: “They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man.” And in the twenty-first century, it is mainly the one in the mirror, not on the mantle.

“God made you, and God made the universe for his glory.”

Why did God create the universe and you? The resounding answer, rolling like thunder through all the Bible is God made you, and God made the universe for his glory. If you begin to fathom that, which I did when I was about twenty-two, everything changes. Everything changes if that becomes part of the fabric of your thinking and your feeling.

Let me just listen to the thunder with you a little longer. Let’s just put our ear to Isaiah, okay? Because we started in Isaiah, let’s stay with Isaiah for just two or three more minutes.

  • Isaiah 40:4: “Every valley shall be lifted up, every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

  • Isaiah 42:8: “I am the Lord. That is my name. My glory I give to no other, for my praise will not be given to carved idols.”

  • Isaiah 44:23: “Break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest and every tree in it, for the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel.”

  • Isaiah 48:9–11: “For my namesake, I defer my anger. For the sake of my praise, I restrain it for you. I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake I do it. For my own sake I do it. How shall my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.”

  • Isaiah 49:3: “And he said to me, ‘You are my servant Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’”

  • Isaiah 60:2: “For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples, for the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you.”

  • Isaiah 61:1–3: “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, to give them the garment of praise, instead of a faint spirit, that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that he may be glorified.”

“God is most glorified in you, and you’re most satisfied in him.”

There it is. God created the world that he might be glorified by us, which does not mean that we might make him glorious or that we might make him look better — like he created us because he needed to be enhanced. Don’t treat the word “glorify” like the word “beautify.” When you take a plain room and beautify it, you make it a beautiful room. You don’t do that for God. Nobody beautifies God. Nobody. He is infinitely beautiful. That’s where it starts. When he makes us to glorify him, we’re not making him glorious. He is glorious.

What does it mean, then? It means you are called upon to display his glory. Show that he’s glorious. Act like he’s glorious. Make much of him like he’s the most valuable, glorious thing in the universe — because he is.

We are reflectors. We are images. We are calling attention to God. That’s why we live. God is the reason for our living. Whatever you do, whether you eat, or drink, do all to the glory of God. Point to the glory. Don’t improve on the glory. Point to the glory. Enjoy the glory because God is most glorified in you, and you’re most satisfied in him, but that’s another sermon.

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