Weekly Newsletter

Pastor David’s Weekly Devotional
     There is a subtle, yet damnable, heresy that can obscure our view of God and distort our perspective on Christ and of Christianity.  It is a cancerous tumor that can grow undetected with deadly consequences.  This dangerous falsity is thinking that God ultimately created everything to glorify us.  That is, to think that He created us to make much of us and we worship Him because He loves us so much.  This self-centered view of God is narcissistic and idolatrous.

     The reason this is so insidious, often imperceptible, is because it has a root of truth in it.  God truly loves us with an infinite and eternal love, and He demonstrated His sovereign and sacred love to us in both creating and saving us (see Jn.17:23-26; Rom.5:6-10; 8:28-39; Eph.1:4-6; 1Jn.3:1).  As Christians, God truly loves us with a perfect and an everlasting love.  But we must not pervert that truth by worshiping and loving God solely, or supremely, on the basis of His love for us.  We must not be seduced into thinking that God’s ultimate will is our personal happiness and wellbeing, or that God is worthy of worship because He is so good to us.  God’s ultimate will is His own glory, and God is worthy of worship because He (alone) is God.

     Over three hundred years ago, Jonathan Edwards (who is generally considered the greatest American preacher who has ever lived) captured the essence of this understanding by making the stark distinction between those who love God because He has made so much of them, and those who love God and seek to make much of Him.  I believe Edwards stated it brilliantly when he said:

“This is…the difference between the joy of the hypocrite, and the joy of the true saint.  The [hypocrite] rejoices in himself; self is the first foundation of his joy: the [true saint] rejoices in God… True saints have their minds, in the first place, inexpressibly pleased and delighted with the sweet ideas of the glorious and amiable nature of the things of God.  And this is the spring of all their delights, and the cream of all their pleasures…  But the dependence of the affections of hypocrites is in a contrary order: they first rejoice . . . that they are made so much of by God; and then on that ground, he seems in a sort, lovely to them.”

     Any religion or theology that magnifies self apart from Christ is a destructive and damnable belief.  For apart from Christ we are: sinners (Rom.5:8), blind (2Cor.4:4), dead in our sins (Eph.2:1), hostile toward God (Rom.8:7), enemies of God (Rom.5:10), alienated from God (Col.1:21), slaves to sin (Rom.6:20), children of the devil (1Jn.3:10), powerless (Rom.5:6), foolish (Tit.3:3), disobedient (Tit.3:3), deceived (Tit.3:3), without hope and without God (Eph.2:12).  The truth is, apart from Christ there is nothing – absolutely and eternally not a thing – redeemable or loveable about us.  God has indeed made much of us as His children, and will continue to do so for all eternity.  But His divine worth and glory do not change with – nor are they subject to – the perspectives, whims, and experiences of His creation.
 
     The point is this: God truly loves us, but He is not lovely simply because He loves us.  God is lovely because He is God!  To put it another way, God is not glorious solely because of what He does, He is also glorious because of who He is.  Therefore, we are not to make much of God because He has made so much of us.  Rather, we make much of God because He alone is God!  John Piper put it this way: “The love of God is not God’s making much of us, but God’s saving us from self-centeredness so that we can enjoy making much of him forever.”

Together in and for Christ,
Pastor David

Scripture Readings for the Week (Monday – Sunday ~ Week #10):
Genesis 36-39; Ruth; Psalm 27-29; Job 19-20; Isaiah 51-55; Matthew 26-28; 1 Corinthians 3-4
Recommended Reading:
“Living for God’s glory” by Joel Beeke

1 Comment


Robert Duffy - March 14th, 2022 at 3:52pm

Excellent stuff!