What it looks like to magnify God

Yesterday I blogged about the greatest Christmas song ever written – The Magnificat – and how Mary burst forth in praise when she met up with her relative Elizabeth.

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!” ~ Luke 1:46-47

We explored what it means when our soul praises and our spirit rejoices – a celebration that involves every fiber of our being. And I explained that the name The Magnificat comes from the Latin translation meaning “magnify my soul, magnify the Lord.”

We all know that to magnify something is to enlarge it, to make it more visible. But what exactly does it look like to magnify God? This much is for certain:

To magnify or glorify God is not just something we do with our lips or when we gather on Sunday mornings; it’s what we do with our whole life.

Dallas Willard gives what I think is the best definition of what it means to magnify or glorify God when he says:

“It means to live in such a way that when people look at your life, they say, ‘What a good God God must be to think up somebody like you.'”

When others look at us, does what they see magnify God and draw attention to Him; or do they see just another human being doing life like most of the world – focused on their own concerns and comfort?

John Ortberg tells the story of their church hosting a Christmas party for their leaders. They contacted a vendor, a business guy, to help them with the desserts. One staff person called this guy and said:

“I work at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church. We are going to have a party for our Elders and there’s a man at our church who recommended you to us. Can you help us with a dessert deal?”

And this vendor said, “You mean this guy goes to your church and he recommended me?”

The staff person said, “Yeah, do you know that guy?”

The vendor said, “Know him? I’ll tell you what. Not only do I know him. He is such a good guy. He has been so kind to me and the people that I work with that if you’re his church, I will provide my part of the dessert for free. You are not paying me anything. I will give the dessert away to a church that produces a person like that.”

How amazing is that?!

Lord, be magnified in me today and in Your church always!




Filed under Christmas, Glory of God, influence with the world, involvement with the church, Praise, Worship

5 responses to “What it looks like to magnify God

  1. Don

    Woe! Now that make you do a little self examination. Not sure I like what I see, but keep them coming thats what I need.

    • It is a sobering thing to consider but if it didn’t startle us a bit it would mean we didn’t care. And it’s not so much about feeling the pressure of measuring up but of staying available to the Spirit because God has more life for us to embrace and live out. Thanks for sharing the journey brother!

  2. Good post Rick. We need to do more in our churches to train our people to live boldly and positively for Christ. Until our people learn to live with an intensely local focus on their friends and neighbors we will have minimal impact on the culture. We have got to learn to live for the gospel-good of our neighbors and not ourselves.

    • Well said Marty and thanks for stopping by my blog. I enjoyed browsing your blog and look forward to reading more when I get a chance. God bless and thanks for sharing the journey!

  3. Pingback: Magnificat 121911 « Mennonite Preacher

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