Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Life that Magnifies God

In Psalm 34:1-3 David said, “I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord, the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.” 

What does it mean to magnify God? The word Magnify means to make large, praise, honor, boast about, lift up, promote, to declare great. How do we make God large? There really are two different ways to look at this word magnify. We could look at it like we would under a microscope of under a magnify glass which makes the small object bigger or we can look at this word like we would through a telescope, which takes what is far away and extremely large and brings it near. A life that magnifies the Lord does just that. It is a life that brings God near those it comes in contact with! 

The Life of the Lord Jesus 
That is exactly what the life of the Lord Jesus did. His was the perfect life that glorified and magnified God. In Psalm 69 we read of the inner feelings and sufferings of the Lord Jesus (Ps. 69:2-4, 7-12, 20-21). But we also see what such a life accomplished for the glory of God when the Psalm said prophetically speaking of the Lord "I will praise the name of God with a song. And I will magnify Him with thanksgiving" (Ps. 69:30). In Hebrews 10:5 we see that the Lord Jesus was the very vehicle that God would use to bring Himself near to us. We read "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body you have prepare for Me." These verses come from Psalm 40, a Psalm that speaks of the Lord as the burnt offering, but it goes onto to declare, "Let all those who seek you rejoice and be glad in you, let such as love your salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified" ( Ps. 40:16). This is what the life of the Lord Jesus did. He glorified God in every way, and in doing so He also brought God near to us. Scripture would say, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God" and then, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory full of grace and truth" (John 1:1, 14). In John 14:9 He could say, "If you seen me you have seen the Father" He magnified God, He was "God manifested in the flesh," In and through His body He brought God near to us that we might behold His greatness. 

Our Lives 
Our lives ought to magnify God as well! I believe scripture teaches us that our entire being ought to magnify God. Our spirit, soul and body. Think of what Mary said in Luke 1:46, "My soul magnifies the Lord." The soul is the seat of our emotions, so in her inner most being she wanted to magnify her God. John the baptist had the same desire when he said of the Lord Jesus, "He must increase and I must decrease" (John 3:30). We too ought to have this same desire that not only emotionally in our inner most being should the Lord be magnified, but in and through our bodies! Paul brings this ought when he said, "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s." In Romans 12:1-2 he says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." 

An example of such a life would be what we read of in Daniel 1:8 and 3:28. They purposed in their heart to live for God and would not bow down to any other God! And in a very practical way their lives brought God near for all to see! 

Paul was willing for his own life to bring glory to God. In fact he desired to magnify the Lord by living or by dying, it really didn't matter to him. Listen to what he says in Philippians 1:20-25, "according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith." Paul wanted to go to be with Christ, but he also wanted saints in Philippi to grow in the spiritual walk with God. He wanted their lives to bear fruit for the glory of God and he also wanted their faith to be full of joy that comes from living for Christ! So whether by death or by life he desired to magnify, to bring Christ near to them! 

At the end of his life Paul could say, "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing" (2 Timothy 4:6-8). Paul could say, "I have magnified Christ, I am ready ready to set sail. I have brought Him near to you by the way I lived for Him here and now I want to magnify Him by and through my death! 

Oh that our life would bring God near to those whose lives we touch. May the not see us but see Him who we desire to magnify!

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