Is God’s Glory Selfish?

In a recent sermon I listened to, the speaker asked, “Why would God love someone like me?” He answered, “It’s for His glory.”

Imagine, for a moment, a young couple, snuggled together next to a fireplace, enjoying one another’s company in true romantic fashion. The wife murmurs to the husband, “Why do you love me so much?” He turns his head, looks into her eyes, and says, “Because I knew you would make me look good.”

Did you have a negative reaction to that? I’m sure she did. The problem here is that we have a misunderstanding of what glory is. Glory is not “looking good,” or for that matter, looking great, or even looking awesome. A friend of mine said it this way: “What is glory but the revelation of God’s character?1

You see, dear brothers and sisters, God loves us because that is who He is. God is love. When He takes a poor, wretched, rebellious sinner and washes that wretch in the precious blood of Jesus, brings them into the family, and makes them the bride of His Son, that is when He is glorified! Not because it makes Him look good, but because it reveals His goodness.

It shows that He is holy – He cannot have us as we were. It shows that He is just – every sin must be dealt with. It shows that He is merciful – He made provision for the whole world. It shows that He is love – He offered Himself. This is the glory of God! Not self-seeking, but self-revealing! When I fall weeping at those nail-scarred feet and ask, “How could you love me so?”, He will lift up my head, look into my eyes, and say, “It is who I am.”

“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world… And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”2


  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHx-SudPDyU []
  2. John 17:24-26 []

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