If you haven’t yet noticed, kids are great at asking the question, “Why?” I love that their little minds are so curious, but it can cause us adults to scratch our heads sometimes. I guess we get so busy with life that we don’t take the time to ask that Why question often enough. Today’s “Why” is this; Why did God create you and all things?
I imagine as you study the book of Genesis with your children, you’re going to get that question. So, let’s take some time to discover just why God made us.
Bringing the Bible to Life for Mom
Created to be Happy?
Most of us live our lives from the perspective that God made us so that we could be happy. Happiness does seem to be the thing we pursue in life. To be happy in our relationships, happy in our careers, and happy in our leisurely pursuits. We think that money, love, security, fame or power will make us happy. But what if we are pursuing the wrong purpose? Did God create us to be happy, or is there some other reason for our existence?
You might be surprised to find that our own personal happiness is not why we were created. Now, that flies in the face of what Hollywood and culture would tell us. And this ‘happiness philosophy’ is behind so much of what causes many of our cultural problems. When what makes me happy imposes upon you, well, too bad! It’s all about me, after all. I don’t care who gets hurt, pushed aside, marginalized or even abused as I pursue my own personal happiness. It’s everyone for himself.
Created to Bring Glory to God
But the Bible tells us something very different. Let’s take a look. First of all, what does it even mean to glorify God. The word glorify means to honor, respect, praise, magnify, worship, stand in awe of and extol. We are used to glorifying people and things in our world. We praise others for doing good things. We extol athletes for their athletic prowess. We stand in awe of the rich and famous. We honor people with awards. We say she “worships the ground he walks on,” when speaking of a schoolgirl crush. We glorify created things quite easily.
The Bible tells us we are to glorify God and that he alone is deserving of our glory. Jude closes out his short little letter with a charge for his readers in verse 25, “to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever, Amen.” God’s authority, dominion, majesty and eternality are what make him deserving of our glory. There is no one else like him, not by a long shot!
How To Glorify God
Okay, so if we were created to bring glory to God, how do we do that? Practically speaking, this is a very good question! It’s not as difficult as you might think. And it’s not necessarily in doing things like going to church more or giving more money to the church. We can give glory to God in our everyday lives.
Put Others First
Look up 1 Corinthians 10:31- 11:1 and you will see that we are to glorify God in all that we do. We do that by being an example of Jesus Christ in the world, not causing others to stumble, but placing their interests above our own. Basically, living unselfishly.
Walk in Love, Sincerity and Righteousness
Read Philippians 1:9-11 and you will find that the Holy Spirit enables you to live your life in love and righteousness. It’s hard to do this on your own, but God has given us a helper to enable us to live this way. And God gets the glory when the Spirit is working through us.
Point People to God by Your Works.
Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” This little verse is a whole throw-back to being created in the image of God. When we faithfully display the communicable attributes of God by the things we do (our works), then we are pointing people to God. And this brings glory to him, not us! And by the way, the entire chapter of Matthew 5 gives some very practical ways to do this!
We don’t obey God’s rules blindly. We obey them because of our love and devotion to God. God’s rules are not about inhibiting our fun, they are about protecting us, guard rails for living life to its fullest. 1 Corinthians 6:20 says it quite simply, “For you have been bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body.” Solomon concluded in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “fear God and keep his commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgement, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”
Bringing the Bible to Life for Kids
Today we are going to go a little bit beyond Genesis to find the answer to the question, Why did God create you and all things? Let’s look at what the Bible says. Let your children do the reading if they can read. Use the NIrV translation if you have it.
Read About It
- Isaiah 43:7 – “Bring back everyone who belongs to me. I created them to bring glory to me. I formed them and made them.”
- Deuteronomy 13:4 – “You must worship him. You must honor him. Keep his commands. Obey him. Serve him. Remain true to him.”
- Deuteronomy 10:12-13 – “And now, Israel, what is the Lord your God asking you to do? Honor him. Live exactly as he wants you to live. Love him. Serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. Obey the Lord’s commands and rules. I’m giving them to you today for your own good.”
- Nehemiah 9:6 – “You are the one and only Lord. You made the heavens. You made even the highest heavens. You created all the stars in the sky. You created the earth and everything on it. And you made the oceans and everything in them. You give life to everything. Every living being in heaven worships you.”
In these verses God tells us that he created us to worship him, honor him, obey him, serve him, remain true to him, and live as he wants you to live. In all of these ways, we bring glory to him.
Shine a Spotlight on God
We bring glory to someone when we praise them, honor them or respect them. We also bring glory to someone when we talk about their value. It’s like shining a spotlight on all of their wonderful qualities, so that everyone can see!
Activity: Have each child find something they cherish, something they deem wonderful and bring it into the room. Now, turn off the lights. Each child will take turns shining a flashlight on his/her valuable item AND tell why it is so valuable to them. It might be because it is beautiful, or that they love it, or that it brings comfort to them, or that it’s a favorite toy. Now, turn on the lights.
Talk About It
Explain that one way to give glory to God is to shine a spotlight on God to show how wonderful He is.
Glorify God by Telling Others About Him
You can glorify God with your words by talking about what makes God wonderful. Now have each child shine a spotlight on God, by telling one thing about God that makes Him wonderful. They can use examples from Genesis 1 to help them get started!
Bring Glory to God By What You Do
You can also glorify God in what you do and the choices you make. See if you can tell which of the following actions glorify God:
- Helping a new person at school learn where things are and introducing them to your friends.
- Making fun of the new kid at school because he dresses differently.
- Quickly apologizing when you do something wrong.
- Hiding the dish you broke when you and your brother were playing. Then blaming your brother when mom finds out!
- Shoving a person ahead of you because they aren’t moving fast enough.
- Walking with the slowest kid on the hike who is struggling to make the climb.
Now, share some more ways that our actions can bring glory to God. How have you recently observed someone bringing glory to God in what they were doing?
If you’re looking for some additional resources, be sure to sign up for our newsletter. You’ll get great resources sent straight to your inbox!