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The Glory Seeker

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERASome of us might find it difficult to be around those who use whatever occasion or means they can to call attention to their own successes. Yet at the same time we can be blind to the endless, subtle, and ironic means by which we ourselves seek attention, affirmation, and praise.

Maybe it is because of this inclination that is rooted so deeply in our own insecurity and self-absorption that the Proverb says, “Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth–a stranger, not your own lips” (Prov 27:2).

But how then do beings like us feel around a God who seems to exist for what we don’t like to see in others? The story of the Bible is that God wants to be the center of our attention. He wants to be exalted above everyone and everything else. He longs for our praise. Few thoughts are more important than that God does everything for his own glory (Isa 48:11). If godliness is all about reflecting the glory of God, and if God is so self-centered that he wants all of the praise, what is to keep our thoughts of him from causing us to be even more preoccupied with the notice, praise, and affirmation of others?

One answer seems to be that the root meaning of godliness doesn’t mean god-likeness as much as it does reverence for God. An even better answer may be that God’s glory in being for himself—is seen in the immeasurable extent that he is for us. In other words, the glory of God’s self-centeredness is not found in his self-absorption and neediness. His glory is his goodness. His goodness is his love. And nowhere is his love seen more clearly than in the eyes, face, life, suffering, and death of Christ for us (Heb 1:1-3).

In light then do you agree or disagree that few things define our view of life, ourselves, and others than what we think of the glory of God?

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26 Responses to “The Glory Seeker”

  1. foreverblessed says:

    When I was young, and in church, I would think that way, why does God want all that attention?
    It is not for Himself that He wants that attention, He does not need our devotion,
    Job 35:4-8

    4 ‘I would like to reply to you
    and to your friends with you.
    5 Look up at the heavens and see;
    gaze at the clouds so high above you.
    6 If you sin, how does that affect him?
    If your sins are many, what does that do to him?
    7 If you are righteous, what do you give to him,
    or what does he receive from your hand?
    8 Your wickedness only affects humans like yourself,
    and your righteousness only other people.

    So I totally agree with you, He knows that if our eyes are not fixed on Him, it will be on lesser things and will distort our view of what life really is all about: God’s immeasurable love for us in Jesus, and we will love Him in return, and I pray that it is like the love of Mary of Bethany, which we discussed a few topics ago.

  2. refump says:

    I believe God created us not so He would have a being to praise Him & to worship Him, but created us to have a relationship with Him & to have a being of His creation to love & be loved. You can ask why did our parents give birth to us or why do we decide to have children. I think at the core of the the most pure reason would have to be the exchange of love. God is love & because of that He needed to create us so that He could express that love. Does love exist if it cannot be given to someone?
    The worship & praise to the glory of God is born out of that love relationship we have with God. It is not the cause but the effect.

  3. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends –

    Thinking of the blizzard moving across the northern tier today. Praying for the electricity to stay on – and those outdoors to be brought in for warmth and survival. 45F and rain on the central Pacific Coast.

    It seems to me each person reveals his/her orientation to the Creator God with every word or action that comes out of us. We are glory seekers, until we bow before the One who is the foundation of being and reality. Mart, you wrote about our Creator God:

    “His glory is his goodness. His goodness is his love. And nowhere is his love seen more clearly than in the eyes, face, life, suffering, and death of Christ for us (Heb 1:1-3).”

    We reflect our faith in God and his Christ – or we reflect our doubt and disbelief in him throughout day-to-day life. All glory that is or could be is God’s glory. Having created it all (Heb 11:3), God has since ordained, in the gift of the Lord Jesus, that whoever believes in him will turn from the way of death and walk instead on the path of life – journeying toward his glory.

    God in Christ is utterly self-giving for us, his creatures. As you said, “God’s glory is his goodness — and his goodness is his love.”


  4. tracey5tgbtg says:

    A few phrases come to mind – lyrics from songs and passages from scripture – “You shall not share Your glory with another…” “Not to us, but to Your Name be the glory” “The heavens declare the glory of God.”

    Being self-centered cannot apply to God. That is a fault of humanity. Jesus, when He was a man on earth, was not self-centered; He was God-centered. I suppose you could say that only God can be Self-centered and it is perfect and right and not sinful.

    When Moses spent time face to face with God, his face was radiant. Exodus 34:29-35. That to me is reflecting the glory of God to others. Worship Him, love Him, adore Him, meditate on His goodness, love and mercy…let your mind stay on Him. That is how we reflect godliness and give glory to God.

  5. remarutho says:

    Reflecting the glory of God’s presence, as Moses did, would be possible for a human being. We have evidence of it in the Exodus story.

    Jesus, on the other hand embodied the glory of God — he was and is God — as on the mountain when he went up with Peter, John and James to pray. (Matt 17:1-9) We do not have in us what Jesus has. The greatest wonder is that people could ignore his divinity while he was walking the earth as a human in the flesh. How could they — how can we — miss this?

    It may be we humans claim the glory of God for ourselves by seizing those divine character qualities of goodness and love as though they could be ours. They don’t belong to us. We receive them as gifts in his presence.

    Can it be we try to “steal” or “possess” what our great God gives us freely and willingly? Have to agree that worship and adoration are our only true responses to God’s glory. We have nothing else to offer, as far as I can tell.

  6. poohpity says:

    I would have to agree that what we think of God does define how we look at everything else.

  7. poohpity says:

    “preoccupied with the notice, praise, and affirmation of others?” Mart, you mentioned one was to reflect reverence for God that brought to mind a devotion I read today about Corrie Ten Boom and her ability to forgive her captors. After speaking in front of a group of people they were applauding her testimony which was bringing Glory to God yet when she left the crowd she feel to her knees again bringing a bouquet of praise and honor to God who gave her that ability in the first place. That brought to mind what Jesus talked about in Matt 5:43-47 NIV. A form of godliness and then in verse 48 the call to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect as in loving His enemies enough to lay down His life for them.

    So how one views God it does effect everything else in our lives. If we view God as harsh, angry and punishing giving us a list of do not’s rather than what was done for us that seems to be how we will treat others, view ourselves and look at the world around us. If we consider how much we are loved by God then we even see our trials, suffering and sorrows in a different light not by asking why me or questioning God’s goodness but knowing that He is with us in it all and there is such a bigger plan than what we may understand, see or feel. Then we can learn to praise God in, around and through it all but if not a hard heart is sure to follow.

    Everything we have ever needed God has provided.

  8. SFDBWV says:

    Suppose if you take the word “Glory” and define it or replace it with “Responsibility”.

    Suddenly the awesome responsibility that God has placed upon Himself becomes more clear.

    Is it an egomaniac who purposely, willingly and with pure love takes upon Himself the eternal care of his creation, or an omnipotent loving Creator who understands, the needs of His creation and provides exactly what is needed….forever.

    Understanding that our view of God is in constant motion always growing and changing, should say that not only is our view of life in part defined by this, but also that each affect the view of the other, almost in a circle without end.

    Deep subject Mart, one that can ferret out a lot of “Thinking”.


  9. BruceC says:

    Love ultimately is a matter of choice. No one can be forced to love. God has chosen to love us and made the ultimate sacrifice to show it. Will we choose to love God? That is the question facing all humans.
    He has exalted us above all other things He has created. Will we exalt Him above all else?

    I had a little trouble last night. About 7:30 PM right after supper I began to feel bloated to the extreme and began to belch so loud and long that the windows almost rattled. The the excruciating pain set in. My upper back and ribs on both sides. I had two similar attacks in the last two weeks; but I took antacids and it dissipated. However this grew more intense so it was time for the Emergency Squad. I did not want to drive and did not want my wife to either in case something happened. Anyway to shorten the story, after several tests they ruled out heart and found I have gallstones. They had to give me morphine to make the pain subside too. I was sent home 12 hours later and they decided to wait until next week for surgery so the inflammation would go down, I have to be on a fat-free bland diet until. Keep me in prayer as having emphysema may pose some complications. Pray for my wife too as she in more than a little anxious. But I am in the hands of our Lord; Creator of all life, Saviour, and lover of my soul.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  10. SFDBWV says:

    Bruce I hope this morning finds you in less distress; I am sure the below zero temps aren’t helping either. It is minus 9 here and still dropping.

    My first wife had her gallbladder removed when she was in her thirties and had an Aunt that died from a ruptured one, it is very serious stuff.

    She also couldn’t eat beef without problems after having the gallbladder removed; hope that isn’t the case for you.

    Anxiety is a very normal response to most every situation in our lives, even when we try not to allow it in; I am sure your wife is going to worry about you no matter what, I know mine does.

    I had failed the stool test for blood and so yesterday had to have a colonoscopy. Everyone who has had the experience knows how fun that is. The doctor found no cancer in my colon, but worked 40 minutes seeing where he could as a portion of my colon was out of reach for his probe. He says I have a “tortured” colon stretched and elongated from a very large rupture in my groin; one that I have dealt with for over 10 years. I have to do another test to make certain I have no cancer in the area he couldn’t get to before he will say I am clear, so nothing seems to ever have finality.

    Whereas I feel ok, nothing is going to remove the worries someone that loves you will stress over; another cost of love…concern.

    Wonderful how so many of us find we are *concerned* for the wellbeing of each other here.

    As regular followers of this blog know I live in a small town in West Virginia. Living in a small town and having roots there mean that we all know a great deal not only about each other, but about each others roots as well. Certainly an extended family is what each person of this community feels about the other.

    Sure there’s gossip and spats and hurt feelings, but there is also genuine *concern* and even when some have difficulty admitting it that concern is love in one of it’s many forms.

    You all get a taste of that small town life by being a part of this community here on this blog, including spats and genuine love.

    One of those *what* moments given in Scripture is when Jesus weeps only moments before He resurrects Lazarus back to life. Why would he cry over the matter of Lazarus’s death knowing in only a few minutes Lazarus would be alive and well again?

    One reason is because Jesus who is God understands what concern is and how it affects us with all the emotions we feel around any sad event. If we can *feel* these emotions then just imagine how they are magnified in how God *feels* concerning us, His children and responsibility.

    God can handle the *glory* He bears, we only share a little taste of that glory and sometimes its weight seems unbearable and would be without Him.


  11. bullwinkle says:

    Bruce and Steve, adding those specific concerns to my prayer list. Steve, I too live in a small town, but not the one that I spent most of my life in. Employment took me away nearly 7 years ago. It is quite different not knowing the history and concerns of people when tragedies occur.
    As for the topic, thinking about how each one of us tends to be a glory seeker, even when we think that we are not. Place a group picture in front of us and the first person we will look for will be ourselves or our children. Just “human nature”, part of the flesh.
    Paul understood this when he spoke of a man caring for his own body and how we should have that same concern for others, Eph 5:29. If we were truly good at that, we would be reflecting the Glory of God and honoring God.

  12. SFDBWV says:

    If we see God of the Bible a being who wants us to be see Him as the center of our lives and not ourselves, and are confused by it, we need to look then to the God of the NT and what we see is a God whose concerns are directed toward us yet through Him.

    So the fuller picture of God we see is that by denying self and centering on others, we are centering on Him.

    It is there also in the harshness of the OT, but can be seen when we look.

    Thank you Pete for your concern.


  13. cbrown says:

    Bruce and Steve praying for you as well. My prayer for myself is that I will be a vessel worthy to serve the Living Water that Jesus talked about in the Our Daily Bread devotional this AM. I use to think serving Him meant effort. I now realize it means loving obedience. Praise God!

  14. poohpity says:

    There are times when we think we are denying self and focusing on others but it is really having a martyr complex. The thoughts of there is no one else that can do a better job at what I am doing than me therefore I will not let anyone try because if they do and succeed then that means I am insignificant. So people will burn their selves out thinking they have to be everything to everybody and put themselves in the place of God. Denying self means giving up control and my will.

    If a person has the view of God not being involved in every area of our lives they tend to think they need to solve the problems of the world themselves. Like, if I had only been there then I would have taken care of that for you. Looking at problems in light of what I can do rather than what God can do.

    If one has never been in need then they will never learn that God provides. If they are always talking then they have not learned that God speaks. When one prays they tell God how to do things rather than trusting He may have a better way. God centered rather than self centered.

    Giving Glory to God says I know that everything that there is God has His hand in or it came by His hand or He can handle it or He already knew about it and had a plan. Our view of God is so important.

  15. fadingman says:

    “But how then do beings like us feel around a God who seems to exist for what we don’t like to see in others?”

    I did a study almost 20 years ago on giving glory to God, and had wondered the same thing. I remember Mohammed Ali boasting, “I’m the greatest!” Many people didn’t like his boasting, yet he was able to prove it by winning fights.

    We don’t like pride in other people because it appears they’re making themselves out to be better, setting themselves above us. But God really is better… infinitely above us in every good way. If anyone deserves to demand glory, He does!

    And yet, God doesn’t compel us to give Him glory. He commands it, but lets us go our own way. I see this as similar to a marriage relationship. The wife is to honor the husband, and the husband is to love the wife. There is no command for the husband to compel his wife to honor him, nor a wife to compel her husband to love her. It is their duty, but it should be done because they love one another. With true love, there is no need for the command.

    Our main purpose for existence is to bring glory to God. This is not merely a matter to telling God what He already knows (i.e. “You’re the greatest”). It is that we are to reveal as much as possible of the character and nature of God through our lives. If we love Him, we will want to glorify Him to everyone we meet. We will want others to know this God who is the greatest!

  16. poohpity says:

    God has a plan and how can I be part of it or I have a plan what is God’s part in it?

  17. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all… we are fearfully and wonderfully made, in the inner hidden parts we are designed and put together, but in the spirit we are perfected, in the flesh we are weak and vulnerable, in the spirit a conqueror.
    When the flesh hurts, yes, we hurt, when the spirit overcomes the flesh we are healed regardless of the condition of the flesh we walk in, we can walk the victory of the spirit which God alone can provide.
    May that conquering spirit of God in us, today fill us all to overflowing, even as outwardly we a wasting away inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
    We can all Pray in that Conquering Spirit for those who need today that boast in their flesh and in their spirit. To Our God the giver of all things be Praised.

  18. poohpity says:

    I know as a woman that there is nothing more attractive than a man who’s focus and center is on God. Christian women who I have talked with that are married desire nothing more than knowing that their husbands follow after Jesus and lead their families through their example to dependence on the Lord. They see the change in their husband or wife as he/she spends time reading God’s Word and praying and then reading and praying together with the common goal of growing in a deeper relationship with the One through whom all blessing flow. How they treat each other and the respect that develops then spills over to the children. A woman wants a spiritual leader to follow but they are very aware when the man wants to be in control, domineering or authoritarian, very different than how Jesus leads.

    Any person desires to follow when they realize how much they are loved. Trust is developed, dependence is learned and the person blossoms and grows.

  19. BruceC says:


    You are in my prayers my brother in Christ! The Lord is always with you. His promises are wonderful and I am sometimes both saddened and amazed that more people do not trust and believe Him.

    If I ever forget to pray for anyone here or acknowledge their request; please forgive me as it is not intentional my family.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  20. SFDBWV says:

    It looks as if the BTA automatic topic is up and running this month and right on time for a change; now we have that awkward two subject situation in place and like the poet offered, a fork in the road and a choice of which path to take.

    As for my own health, I thank all who pray for and are genuinely concerned for me and especially my family, so I thank each and every one for placing us before God and in the care of our tender loving Father.

    Cbrown thanking you also as I read this morning your comment of wanting to be a vessel for God I was reminded of a day 15 years ago when Matthew and I knelt in prayer together and ask God to use us for His purpose and “glory”. I never could have imagined how that request would have taken Matt and I down the road we have traveled since, never.

    I have learned that if you want to be used for God prepare for the fact that He will and that it will never be easy.

    Mart’s new subject reflects this fact in the transformation of Saul to Paul and for me, reading what Paul has said concerning the remainder of his life, there is both regret and relief in that transformation. Regret for the life before Christ took over his life and relief that he did.

    I have always took comfort in being able to relate my own failings to the ones I find present in the Apostles and once when I told an old preacher I knew that he scolded me and placed Paul on a pedestal unreachable or comparable to any man.

    I have since learned that old preacher had a great many failings he never recognized or repented of even though God gave him a long life and plenty of time to learn he never changed at all just remained the way he wanted to; stubborn and unyielding.

    There is a foot of compacted snow on the ground and more coming tomorrow and Monday, yet I have to prepare a grave site at our cemetery for a burial Wednesday so I will be busy today with that today.

    I remember this lady as she bought her lots almost 40 years ago when her nephew had committed suicide at age 19 and they needed a place to bury him. She was a nice Christian lady and the matter then was one of my learning sometimes there is nothing more to say than “I am sorry for your loss and pain” and little more.

    Bless you all as you all reflect the glory of God in all that you do.


  21. saled says:

    I used to wonder about the fact that God wanted us to worship and praise him. And I believe that worship and praise are the ways that we give glory. This question about whether God was a glory hound was answered for me when I realized that our worship and praise is how God gives himself to us.

    For example, when I see Jesus reach out and touch the leper, breaking the old testament rules, worship naturally springs up in me, and I say, “YES!” From this I know him better and know that this wonderful God is for me, as well as the leper.

    Worship springs up in me often in nature. When I take my dogs out for the last time at night, the clear New England
    sky above my head is often spectacular. And I think of the words of David in Psalm 8: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have put in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him.”

    Yes, God gives himself to us through our worship of him. And I agree that our view of the glory of God does define our view of life, ourselves, and others. We don’t need to seek our own glory: it’s all his. And we don’t need to be jealous of someone’s achievements: the glory is all God’s. And somewhere in his writings Paul tells us that all things are ours in Christ. Yes, Christ in us, hope of glory.

  22. poohpity says:

    Beautifully put sal!

  23. street says:

    yep! it shapes everything we do.

  24. foreverblessed says:

    That was awesome Saled,
    BruceC I pray for you, and your family.
    And for you Steve, and your own health!

  25. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon All,

    Hope all is well in your lives. I know this blog topic is no longer current, but I totally enjoyed reading your comment on Feb. 27, Maru! :) My goal is to read all of the comments on this blog topic before moving on to the current one. Can’t resist reading them all because I’m always SO blessed by the comments on this blog site.

    Love to all…

    50 degrees in Texas right now (high today will be 60 degrees).

  26. Regina says:

    poohpity, Your comment, “Everything we have ever needed God has provided.”

    Brought this song to mind…
    Great is Thy faithfulness, oh God my Father;
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
    Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
    As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

    Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Morning by morning new mercies I see.
    *All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;*
    Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

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