Last night I had the joy of meeting with some treasured partners in ministry, planning for this coming Sunday’s service at Calvary Community Church. One of the things I shared with them was a meditation brought on by a song I’ve been listening to lately.
Starting in 1999, because of the precious ministry of Bethlehem Baptist Church, and John Piper, I (and our whole family) began to have our eyes opened to the “supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples, through Jesus Christ.” That, “The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever.” Further, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”
By God’s grace, those three sentences, and all they represent and summarize, have changed our lives. For together, they lift up the truth that we are made to glorify God, and that this activity is not at odds with our joy. And this thinking and teaching is opposed to the man-centeredness that pervades society and the church.
However, I made a critical error in grasping hold of these truths. Namely, I let another one slip. You see, in seeking to glorify God above all things, and directing everything to him – in my carefulness to be God-centered rather than man-centered – I started to lose the power and comfort of the truth that God loves me.
I started thinking wrongly that to think that God would consider me, set his affection on me, care about me, could sound too man-centered, and undermine the truths regarding God-centeredness that I love. So, I shouldn’t think that way, at least not very often. I know, silly. And worse, harmful.
The truth is that it is a wondrous thing to meditate on the fact that God does set his gaze upon me (us). That he loves me (us). That he showers me with his affection. That I am his child. These thoughts do not undermine his glory, but rather increase it. What a glorious God that he would save, give his Son for, and love…..me. Just two passages:
1John 4.9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Gal. 2.20b …the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
You may be wondering, “What is the song that got all this started?” It is called The Father’s Love. We will be teaching it to the beloved at Calvary this Sunday in our morning service.
You can find it on the new Sovereign Grace Ministries album, Sons and Daughters. I highly recommend you go and purchase it. And bask in the life-altering Father’s love for you.
The plug from the website:
Do you live with a nagging suspicion of God?
Many Christians understand that Jesus died in our place to take our punishment, that our sins have been forgiven, and that one day Christ will return. But inwardly we can be tempted to wonder whether God truly loves us, cares about us, or even thinks about us.
The gospel has brought us amazing news, but sometimes we don’t live in the good of it.
These songs are meant to direct our attention to the unfathomable love God has shown us in adopting us through Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:5). We are now part of God’s family—in Christ we will forever be the objects of God’s particular and passionate mercy and love. That biblical reality, rather than leaving us focused on ourselves, drives us once again to proclaim the greatness of the God whose grace turns hopeless rebels into precious children.
“And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!” (Gal. 4:6)