Wednesdays with Watson is a weekly reading taken from my favorite Puritan writer, Thomas Watson. This week’s selection is taken from All Things for Good.
Question. How can we be said properly to glorify God? He is infinite in His perfections, and can receive no augmentation from us.
Answer. It is true that in a strict sense we cannot bring glory to God, but in an evangelical sense we may. When we do what in us lies to lift up God’s name in the world, and to cause others to have high reverential thoughts of God, this the Lord interprets as a glorifying of Him; as a man is said to dishonour God, when he causes the name of God to be evil spoken of.
We are said to advance God’s glory in three ways:
(1) When we aim at His glory; when we make Him the first in our thoughts, and the last in our end. As all the rivers run into the sea, and all the lines meet in the centre, so all our actions terminate and centre in God. (2) We advance God’s glory by being fruitful in grace. ‘Herein is
my Father glorified, that ye bring forth much fruit’ (John 15.8). Barrenness reflects dishonour upon God. We glorify God when we grow in fairness as the lily, in tallness as the cedar, in fruitfulness as the vine. (3) We glorify God when we give the praise and glory of all we do unto God. It was an excellent and humble speech of a king of Sweden; he feared lest the people’s ascribing that glory to him which was due to God should cause him to be removed before his work was done. When the silkworm weaves her curious work, she hides herself under the silk, and is not seen. When we have done our best, we must vanish away in our own thoughts, and transfer the glory of all to God. The apostle Paul said, ‘I laboured more abundantly than they all’ (1 Cor. 15.10). One would think this speech savoured of pride; but the apostle pulls off the crown from his own head, and sets it upon the head of free-grace, ‘Yet not I, hut the grace of God which was with me.’ Constantine’ used to write the name of Christ over the door; so should we over our duties.
Thus let us endeavour to make the name of God glorious and renowned. If God seek our good, let us seek His glory. If He make all things tend to our edification, let us make all things tend to His exaltation. So much for the privilege mentioned in the text.