Tuesday, July 5, 2011

There Is Something Strange You Need To Understand About God

I am a fortunate man in that God has seen fit to open my eyes to my greatest weaknesses. This is a good thing because as long as I am aware of them I am willing to allow the Spirit to help me overcome them every day. The thing is, in overcoming these weaknesses daily I have discover that they are the things that Jesus glorifies himself through in my life. You see, I am a very lazy man at heart, although most people in my life would never know it. In fact, they would call me anything but lazy. I am also a very selfish man yet God called me into an office and ministry of a servant where selfishness has been banished.

Jesus is funny that way, identifying our weaknesses and then choosing to glorify himself through them. That is the part we must come to understand. He does what he does because he loves us but there is more to it. He does it in such a way that his glory is revealed to the world, that his character of love will shine through, that people will discover who he is through us and our weaknesses.

Think of Israel for a moment. Don't believe for a moment that Abraham was something special. He was a man like many other men at that time and it was by God's grace that he was chosen. But why was he chosen, to what end, to what purpose? God wanted to create a new nation, one that he would teach and mould after his own character, one in which he could reveal himself to the world. They were meant to be a nation of priests that God would us to reveal his glory to the world. That is the reason he rescued them from Egypt in the manner that he did. It is the reason he  created a country for them. It is the reason he poured out his favour upon them, because they were to live for his glory. But to be a priest is to be a servant and to be a servant is to give yourself selflessly to others. Israel did not do this. They kept the blessings to themselves, they became spoiled and they thought only of themselves. They became useless to God.

This is extremely important to always keep in mind because we were saved for more than just the blessing and fellowship with God. We were saved with a greater purpose in mind, that we would be used to bring God glory, that he would reveal himself through us. Why do you think the two greatest commandments are to love God and to love others? We have all been called as priests, as servants, not to pursue our own desires but to allow God to direct us and use us for the sake of other people. The apostle Paul understood the purpose of his salvation and calling:

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. (1 Timothy 1:15-16)

This is how Paul saw his salvation, that he had become a trophy of God's grace; that others would look on what God had done for him and realize that God would do the same for them. This is the reason Paul never hid what he used to be in order that people would see Jesus glorified through his weaknesses, failings and sin. Paul never tried to be something he wasn't but remained real and allowed Jesus to receive the glory for the victories in his life. There is a reason why the greatest persecutor of the Church became one of her greatest champions.

Our salvation has a greater purpose than how it benefits us. God's blessings and favour have a greater purpose than what they do for me. Not only have we been saved like Israel was saved from slavery but we have also been called to serve just as Israel was called to serve. We have been called into the royal priesthood, so that the world would see what he has done with such a foolish people and they would realize there is hope for them. We were not saved because there is anything special about us; we were saved because of God's mercy and grace, to reveal his glory to the world. We have been saved to serve. There is nothing special about us other than we chose to do the same thing as Abraham: to believe God.

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)

No comments: