Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So what IS the point???

The Bible says “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth... in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory” (Genesis 1:1, Romans 9:23).

In other words, God's purpose in creating the universe was to create people who would know and enjoy the glory of God for eternity. Do you live for this? Do you hear this design for your life and feel a passion to pursue it?

Perhaps you feel it’s impossible for you. If that’s how you feel, please remember it is all mercy. Impossible to you, yes, but not to God. "With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God" (Mark 10:27).

Or perhaps you don’t pursue this purpose for your life because you don’t want to see glory, you want to be glory. However, if you seek your own glory rather than seeing and savoring God’s glory, you will be bitterly disappointed in the end. Because in the end you will not be glorious, and everyone will see that and turn their face away.

Or perhaps you don’t pursue with passion to know the glory of God because you simply have no taste for it and don’t know what it is and therefore cannot feel drawn to it. To you I would say: The glory of God is shining everywhere. You live and move and have your being in God. When the psalmist says, "The heavens are telling the glory of God" (Psalm 19:1), it does not mean that sunrises and sunsets are the glory of God. It means, their magnificence across the bow of the earth, and their spectacular array of colors, and their evocative power to awaken deep emotions are tiny reflections and mere shadows of the glory to which they point. God is reaching out to us to say: it’s like this, only better – lots better!

C. S. Lewis once said: Nature never taught me that there exists a God of glory and of infinite majesty. I had to learn that in other ways. But nature gave the word glory a meaning for me. I do not see how the "fear" of God could have ever meant to me anything but the lowest prudential efforts to be safe, if I had never seen certain ominous ravines and unapproachable crags. And if nature had never awakened certain longings in me, huge areas of what I can now mean by the "love" of God would never, so far as I can see, have existed.

In other words, to you who say, you have never tasted the glory of God, I say, you have tasted many of its appetizers. Have you ever looked up? Have you ever been hugged? Have you ever admired anything? Have you ever sat in front of a warm fire? Have you ever tasted sexual desire? Have you ever walked in the woods, sat by a lake, lain in a summer hammock? Have you ever drunk your favorite drink on a hot day or eaten anything good? Every desire is either a devout or a distorted enticement to the glory of heaven.

You say you haven’t tasted God’s glory. I say. You have tasted the appetizers. Go on to the meal. You have seen the shadows; look at the substance. You have walked in the warm rays of the day; turn and look at the sun itself. You have heard echoes of God’s glory everywhere; tune your heart to the original music.

And the best place to get your heart tuned is at the cross of Jesus Christ. "We have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). If you want the most concentrated display of the glory of God, look at Jesus in the Gospels, and look especially at the cross. This will focus your eyes and tune your heart and waken your taste buds so that you will see and hear and taste the glory of the true God everywhere.

That is what you were made for. I plead with you: don’t throw your life away. God made you to know his glory. Pursue that with all your heart and above all else.


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