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“GOD IS LORD” – Oct 20

October 20, 2013

“It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord God; let that be known to you.  Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.”  Ezekiel 36:32

I have been thinking about how we make our decisions and why those decisions can be so inconsistent with what we say that we believe.  I wrote about those thoughts in my last post, Acceptable Worship.  Inevitably, this line of thinking converges upon our perfect example, Jesus Christ.  I have inconsistent moral motivations because my beliefs are often unsound and my desires blemished.  However, Christ does not have those flaws.  He has perfect understanding of the world; therefore, unwavering belief.  He has a pure and sinless heart; therefore, perfect desires.

Christ had perfect moral motivation that resulted in action.  He came into this for a purpose.  He told us what that purpose was:

…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  (John 10:10-11)

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.  For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.  (John 6:38-40)

VinothChandar / Foter / CC BY

Jesus demonstrated his perfect moral motivation through His actions here on earth.  His desire was to do the will of the Father.  The will of the Father was for Him to lay down His life and then take it up again, so that we might have eternal life.  That is what He did.

However, why would the Father send His son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, into this world, to suffer and die on a cross so that we might have eternal life?

There is a common theme asserted for the motivation behind the Father sending Jesus.  I have heard this assertion made in many songs, books, and sermons.  The declarations are made of God’s motivation as being His love for you and me.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that however believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  (John 3:16-17)

God showed His love for this world by sending His son but why does He love us?

Does God love me because He knows my value and sees my potential?
Does God love me to confirm my value?
Does God show His love to me because I am His prized possession?

I do believe that it is important for us to understand God’s motivation.  It is important because God has told us the reason for His actions on many occasions.  I have been reading through Ezekiel.  From chapter 34 through 36, God makes clear that His actions have a motivation.  The prophecies of condemnation and blessings all end with a similar stated purpose;

You will know that I am the Lord. 

Ezekiel prophesied regarding the new covenant that be established through Christ.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.  And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)

That is a very loving act of God.  It is particularly loving when you consider that God condemned other nations for the same actions that the nation of Israel had been doing.  So, did God condemn the other nations and blessed Israel because He loved Israel more?  We don’t need to speculate since He tells why He acted:

Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.  And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them.  And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. (Ezekiel 36:22-23 )

God did not promise to put a new heart into the people of Israel because they were inherently more valuable than the people of other nations.  He did not love them because they were His prized possession.

He set aside the nation of Israel because of His Great Name. 

God shows His incredible love not because of the value of the loved but due to the purpose of the loved.  To act based on the value of man is to deny what God knows to be true; that there is nothing more valuable than His name.  We are not God’s prized possession.  His name is His prized possession because there is nothing more prized then Him.

When we believe that redemptive history is based on God’s love for the value of man then we place man at the center of God’s purpose.  This has lead to so much confusion in our faith.

God did not create man to be glorified. 

God knows perfectly the value of creation.  There is nothing greater than the Father.

God created man to glorify Him.

God’s will, His desire, is that all of creation acknowledge what is of most value in the universe; to know that He is the Lord.  Therefore, God sent His son, Jesus Christ, in love, to save us and give us new hearts, so that all of mankind will know that He is the Lord when He vindicates His holiness before the world through us.

A Perfect Heart / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

God saved us for a purpose much greater than our personal value.  God saved us for the highest purpose.  It is through the redeemed that God’s holiness is made known to the world.  There is no higher purpose for mankind.

To think that I was saved because of my inherent value actually diminishes God’s love.  The love shown to me is so great because it not only redeemed my soul but also my purpose.  By God’s love, I have been brought into the anthem of all creation; that God is Lord.  I could not be a part of vindicating the holiness of God before the nations if it were not for this great love shown to me.

When we recognize God’s motivation in showing us love, we will understand the purpose behind the holiness to which we have been called.  Christ’s perfect example calls us to live not according to our own will but the will of Him who has shown us so much love.

May we live so that the holiness of God can be seen in our lives as a billboard to the most valuable reality in the universe, that God is the Lord.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for loving me to a degree that is beyond myself.  Thank you for showing me the greatest love that is possible.  Thank you for redeeming my soul and my purpose.  May your name be vindicated through me.  May the nations see your holiness through me.  Help me to live in holiness through the power of your Spirit for your glory.   I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

5 comments

  1. […] Posts: UNKNOWN MARVELS GOD IS (NOT) MY BUDDY GOD IS LORD DENYING THE […]


  2. This post raises an excellent point, one that, if we remembered it, would obviate a lot of our confusion, discomfort and questions. It is all about God, not about me. I am greatly blessed to be a tool in His hand to bring Him glory! What a great God we serve!


  3. Blessed by your blog. Thank you for concise words on weighty subjects


  4. This post contains a powerful…no, THE powerful truth. I need to really let this marinate in my mind and spirit. It’s one thing to know we are redeemed through JESUS Christ. It is another thing to really question why and not center the answer on ourselves. Wow. Thanks for this.


  5. Wow! The picture accompanying this post stopped me in my tracks and made my heart skip a beat! May we continue to strive to emulate Christ’s perfect example and to trust in Him completely. Thank you for putting such a beautiful and meaningful article together.



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