The follow article is what I’ve learned from the
testimonies of John Piper and Erwin McManus. God’s treasure is His own glory, and His love is shown to us by allowing us to be part of His glory.
To understand God’s love towards us is to understand
that nobody is an adequate Christian. The very nature of man is to rebel against God. Paul wrote about our man’s true
nature in Romans, which is to sin against God.
"I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the
power of sin, as it is written: None is righteous, no not one; no one seeks for God....There is no fear of God before their
eyes.” Romans 3:9-10 and 18.
Paul himself wrote about his own struggles with sin.
“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as
a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Romans 7:14-15
The Christian life is full of struggles and trials. We
struggle because we have to fight our own sinful nature- and although we are doing God’s will, it doesn’t mean
that our lives will be free from struggles. Look at every single person that played a leading role in the Bible- their lives
were full of struggles. David feared death from Saul for a long period of time, thinking that any day he will die just because
he did God’s will in becoming king- and God didn’t just make his fear go away. Joseph was sold into slavery by
his own family just because he was doing God’s will- and God didn’t just make all his pain go away. Stephen was
the first Christian martyr- and I’m sure that as each stone was slamming into his skull, cracking it bit by bit, with
the pain spreading throughout his body like a plague, a part of him wanted it to just stop- and God didn’t do a thing.
And as John the Baptist, the one that paved the way for Christ and followed Him with such assurance, was in prison, he started
to wonder. In Matthew 11 he sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus in verse 3:
“Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”
How can John question Jesus now if in the past he was so
sure that Jesus was the Son of God? The reason is because John is about to die in prison. The blade will fall on his neck
and his head will be severed in a bloody mess- so John started to have doubts. Jesus answered John in verse 4-6:
“Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive
sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is
preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me”
In other words, He’s saying, “I’m healing the deaf, the blind,
and the lame- but John, you will still die. Don’t fall away because of me.”
God’s glory was in stake in each man’s case.
God doesn’t see the sufferings of Stephen, Joseph, John, and David as too great a price for His glory. God loves and
treasures His glory above all else, enjoys His own works (Psalms 104:31), and if he didn’t, He would fail to be God.
Even when Jesus was about to be crucified he said:
"The hour has come
for the Son of Man to be glorified." John 12:23
His death on the cross was for His own glory. Our misconception of the cross is that we think everything is about us-
Jesus died for us- He sacrificed for us. The truth is Jesus died on the cross so that He may be glorified in the grace that
he has given us. His love towards us is shown through the act of allowing us to be part of His glory through His death on
the cross. His love for us so great, that He would allow us, rebels of God, to be part of His glory. In His love and sacrifice,
He is still glorified.
God is seeking one thing- His glory. If whatever we’re
praying for isn’t for His glory, there is no way that He’ll give it to us. He knows that there is only one being
that is perfect in everyway- it’s Himself. If we are thinking about glorifying anything else besides God in our prayers,
our very intention in our prayer becomes a sin. We live to serve God because He’s the only one that is worthy and the
only one worth worshiping and seeking.
How do we do this if our very nature is to rebel against
God? How can we ever serve Him if all we think about is how to please ourselves with the things of this world and not of the
things of God? The Christian life isn’t hard; it’s impossible- until you look at Jesus-
“If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides,
so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 4:11
That verse sums up what Christianity is all about. We don’t
rely on our own strengths to serve God, because if we do, we will fail every single time. Notice what that verse is truly
about- everything in that verse is built upon God’s glory. If our intentions don’t glorify God, then we’re
not serving Him. If we’re not serving Him, we’re serving something else, and that’s idolatry.
Jesus, give us the strength to serve You, give us the joy
to enjoy You, for You are the only one we should give glory to and the only one we could receive infinite joy from.