How to Magnify God

I never expected this to become a series, these thoughts on remaining on the vine. Committing to a series makes me restless with nervousness, given the sporadic nature of my writing. And why would I want to write on a topic already being shared by Kristi, who is more capable than I?

But the words of scripture would not let me be. They remained ever-present in my mind and beckoned me to look further. When I received a comment asking for more, I was drawn to dig a little deeper. Perhaps it is just for me. God knows I’ve needed this. It has been far too long since I have really dug into the Word and gotten dirt under my fingernails in the pursuit of truth. I forgot how engaging and refreshing it is. So, I’ll press on. Hopefully, my thoughts will be the harmony to Kristi’s melody.

Before I move forward, I have to visit the connection between gratitude and abiding again. I was first struck with the thought that if we can do nothing apart from God, then everything we do is a gift from Him. Every breath, every moment, every fruit, every work. It’s all His doing.

How do we remember this? How do we give God the recognition He deserves? How do we bring Him into focus? How do we magnify God?

Psalm 69:30 says: “I will magnify God with thanksgiving.”

Why is thanksgiving so crucial? John Piper explains:

When we give thanks to him from our hearts, God is magnified. Gratitude glorifies God.

Why does it? The answer is simple: Givers are more glorious than receivers. Benefactors are more glorious than beneficiaries. When we thank God, we acknowledge and display that he is the giver; he is the benefactor. We pay him a high compliment. …saying “thank you” is a compliment; it magnifies people: You did a good thing for me; I’m indebted to you….

Therefore, when gratitude springs up in the human heart toward God, he is magnified as the wealthy source of our blessing. He is acknowledged as giver and benefactor and therefore as glorious. But when gratitude does not spring up in our hearts at God’s great goodness to us, it probably means that we don’t want to pay him a compliment; we don’t want to magnify him as our benefactor.

And there is a very good reason that human beings by nature do not want to magnify God with thanksgiving or glorify him as their benefactor. The reason is that it detracts from their own glory, and all people by nature love their own glory more than the glory of God. – John Piper (emphasis mine)

In failing to give God the thanksgiving He deserves, I am refusing to accept that I am just a branch, that I am indebted to Him because He is the benefactor, the Giver, the Vine.

I cannot remain on the vine if I am pretending to be the vine.

So I thank the Giver and magnify Him for these gifts:

703. sister calling for mothering advice

704. grapefruit, a sunshiny fruit that is ripe in the cold of winter

705. snow days

706. letters from our WorldVision children

707. taxes done

708. four specific ways God allowed us to give this week

709. furnace fixed (no need to reset it three or four times a day)

710. clouds against a blue sky

711. delighting in His Word

712. lunch date with my girl

713. singing praise music in the car

714. her reaching to clasp my hand

715. visiting my grandparents and then my parents on the same day

716. a safe drive home in an unexpected snowstorm

717. squeak and thump of wipers, making music

718. warm pup in my lap

719. daughter making Valentines

How can you magnify God today?

In hope,

About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.


  1. Excellent point…we were never meant to even try to be the vine!

  2. Teena says

    Thanks, Shelli. Your words are beautiful & needed.

    Haven’t blogged in a week. Kept meaning to and today my sustaining longing (unspoken prayer request) caught me in a blue funk.

    God is faithful.
    Thankfulness brings joy…


  3. Teena says

    Thanks, Shelli. Your words are beautiful & needed.

    Haven’t blogged in a week. Kept meaning to and today my sustaining longing (unspoken prayer request) caught me in a blue funk.

    God is faithful.
    Thankfulness brings joy…(From Ann’s book chapter 2)


  4. THANK YOU for writing on this topic along with me, Shelli – I so appreciate the insight and heart God has given you. The connection with gratitude is such a good thing to chew on today – thanks!