“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me.” (Psalm 50:23)
“Glorify” is one of those Christianese terms we use so much that its meaning can feel muddled. So, when you read a passage like 1 Corinthians 10:31 that urges you to do “whatever you do…for the glory of God,” you might understandably wonder what that looks like practically—especially in the workplace.
Let’s look to God’s Word to remove some of the mystery together. Here are just five ways Scripture says you can “glorify” God at work today.
#1: Give thanks. Psalm 50:23 makes clear that simply thanking God for the gift of your work and the fruit it’s producing “glorifies” him.
#2: Do good work. Jesus said, “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). The Greek word ergon that we translate to “good...
Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you….What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me? (Psalm 116:7, 12)
A friend of mine was watching a kid play his heart out on the basketball court even though his team was up 20 points. After the game, my friend asked the boy why he was hustling so hard when victory was guaranteed. The kid’s response was perfect: “Because I love my coach.”
That’s a pretty good picture of what David is getting at in Psalm 116.
In verse 7, David instructs his soul to rest. Why? Because “the Lord has been good” to him. As we express gratitude for the things God has already done in and through our work, we can rest and be content even if the Lord doesn’t provide anything else in the future.
In short, thankfulness is a path to rest. But it’s not just a path to rest. In verse 12, David says that rest is a path to ambition—to leave it all out on the court, if you will....
[God] makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate—bringing forth food from the earth...All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. (Psalm 104:14, 27)
After praying and thanking God for our dinner, my daughter Kate (3 at the time) said, “Daddy, God didn’t give us this food. Mommy bought it at the grocery store!”
“You’re right, Kate,” I said. “Mommy did buy this food at the grocery store. But who created the apple on your plate?”
“God,” Kate answered.
“That’s right,” I said. “And he also made the farmer that picked that apple, and the engineers who built a truck to take the apples to the grocery store which was built by entrepreneurs, carpenters, and bankers. God used the work of all of those people and more to give us this dinner!”
By this point, I had long lost Kate’s attention. But one day, I pray she will read Psalm 104 and...
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17)
This is the final verse of Psalm 90, the only Psalm that credits Moses as its author. It’s not surprising that Moses concludes his Psalm with these words, as he prayed a similar prayer six times in the book of Deuteronomy alone (see Deuteronomy 2:7; 14:29; 16:15; 24:19; 28:12; 30:9).
Why was this such a frequent prayer of Moses?
First, I think Moses understood that this prayer is a practical way of reminding ourselves that God alone produces results through our work. In Deuteronomy 8:18, Moses said that “it is [God] who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” How do we remind ourselves of that truth? By joining Moses in praying the words of today’s passage.
Second, I think Moses continually offered up this prayer because it is deep within the heart of any human being for our work to outlive us. That’s what...
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
I’ve noticed a strikingly consistent theme in the biographies of history’s most impactful Christians: They thought about death—a lot.
At the age of 29, Martin Luther told a mentor “he didn’t think he would live very long.” William Wilberforce “seriously believed he was likely to die violently” before he completed his life’s work of abolishing the slave trade. And Alexander Hamilton “imagine[d] death so much it [felt] more like a memory.”
These men lived and worked hundreds of years ago when death was far more common and thinking about it was in some ways inevitable. That stands in stark contrast to our culture today. In an essay titled The Pornography of Death, anthropologist Geoffrey Gorer argued that death has replaced sex as the most taboo topic of our modern age.
But in Psalm 90, Moses says that meditating on death is one of the...
In you, Lord my God, I put my trust…Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. (Psalm 25:1, 5)
Can you repeat David’s words with a straight face? “God…my hope is in you all day long.”
I know I can’t most days. That might be true in the mornings after I have spent time in the Word meditating on the hope of the gospel. But once I sit down at my desk, it often feels like my hope is in signing the next book deal, hitting the next milestone in podcast subscribers, or helping my kids get straight As at school.
These are examples of good things that you and I should be ambitious for. Done with proper motives, they are part of the “good works which God prepared in advance for us to do” (see Ephesians 2:10).
But our good work can’t be the source of our hope. Why? Because the results of our work aren’t secure! I have no ultimate control over my next book deal or whether...
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)
Growing up, we had a tree in my yard that would produce delicious tangerines each year. Do you know what I never saw that tree do? Hoard the fruit for itself. Why? Because that’s not the purpose of a fruit tree. A fruit tree exists to share its fruit with others.
I think that’s part of what the Psalmist had in mind in today’s passage. The Psalter opens by describing “one...whose delight is in the law of the Lord” and says that whatever that person does “prospers.” Who is that prosperity for? Primarily for others—just like “a tree planted by streams...