Glory to God in the Highest…What’s that Really Mean?

Glory to God in the highest the angels said to ordinary shepherds when Jesus came. And we say those words again every year when Christmas comes. In songs. On cards. In sermons. When we read the Christmas story to our children.

But what do those words really mean?

What brings God glory in the highest?

That baby in a manger grew up and one day  someone asked him a similar question: “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” {Mark 12:28}. 

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” {Mark 2:29-30}

Love is what matters most to God.

And when Jesus came to earth, He was the embodiment of love. So “Glory to God in the highest” was the perfect way to begin His birth announcement.

We tend to make “bringing glory to God” something mysterious and complicated. We think we have to move across the world and become a missionary. Or have flawless, smiling faces that never show how broken we are inside. Or perfectly meet a set of spiritual standards some spiritual authority has handed to us along with heavy guilt.

In other words, we mistakenly believe this: I have to bring God glory. 

But here’s the wonderful truth and the whole hope of Christmas: God brought His glory to us.

“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” {John 3:16} Love was placed inside a manger and now lives inside of us. Our part is simple sharing what we’ve received. “We love because He first loved us” {1 John 4:19}. Do you want to bring glory to God? Then simply let Jesus share His love through you. Every day, wherever you are, however you can. 

Love brings God glory. 

And when we love, we declare with our lives what the angels did with their lips: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” {Luke 2:14} 


Holley Gerth

More encouragement like this: You’re Already Amazing
Books by Holley Gerth
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12 of the Most Encouraging Books from 2014

2014 brought a lot of things–including new books from some of my favorite (in)courage authors. I’ve enjoyed their words this year and I think you and those you want to encourage will too so I’m sharing them here!

Just pretend you’re exploring my personal book shelf and picking out what you love most. The books are in no particular order and you can click on each pic to browse. Subscribers, if you can’t see the images click here. {And Christmas is coming so here’s a little gift for you…20% off any or all of these fabulous books with code HGFRIENDS.}

I’ll just let you enjoy these while I go get you a coffee or tea refill from the kitchen {and another brownie too}…

Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes Lee

Chasing God by Angie Smith Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith Let's All Be Brave by Annie Downs Notes From a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider Rhinestone Jesus by Kristen Welch Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker Unwrapping the Greatest Gify by Ann VoskampThe Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs

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What books have encouraged you this year?


Holley Gerth

Books by Holley Gerth
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Help When Christmas is Stressing You Out

The wrapping paper lays scattered across the coffee table.

Cookie dough sits in the refrigerator waiting for its turn in the oven.

Text messages and voicemails beckon “answer me” from your phone.

The to-do has a few lonely items without a checkmark next to them.

Sometimes it feels this time of year that it will never be done. 

So we rush through the holy. We stress out through the sacred. We worry that we won’t get it right. We fall into bed exhausted at night. We act like Christmas coming depends on us but Christmas is a Person and He already came. 

He whispers to our weary hearts what He said on the cross: “It is finished” {John 19:30}.

In other words, all that really needs doing has already been done.

We can relax, rest, enjoy…let the house get a little messy, the wrapping paper be a bit crooked, the cookies be scandalously eaten raw with the family and friends we’ve finally gotten back to on that phone.

Christmas is meant to be a gift not a burden. Receive it. Know that you’re loved. Know that it’s enough. Know there is grace for you that came on a tree without any twinkling lights. Know that it is finished. 

Then rest. And rejoice. Because Christ still has Christmas covered.

Always has, always will.



Holley Gerth

More encouragement like this: What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days
Books by Holley Gerth
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Welcome to the Coffee for Your Heart weekly link-up! You’re an encourager so I’m asking you to pour out a little love with your words every Wednesday {link-up goes live at 5:30am CST}. Simply write an encouraging blog post and then share it here. Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to to see all the fun and join in too.

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