God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify Him. Ephesians 1:12-14 NLT
God so delights to be in relationship with you! In fact God says this relationship brings Him glory and praise. Its an honour to be in relationship with you. How can this be? God, the great, the glorious, the holy, the magnificent, the holy, the perfect — receives praise and glory from us? And it matters to Him?
He is the Creator and we are the created. Now through Jesus Christ His Son, the Holy Spirit has been given to us as a “deposit” guaranteeing God’s full redemption of us as His own. The people who were “lost” to Him through the ravages of sin are now His again through the rescue of Jesus Christ. It is His action towards us that causes us to be for the glory of His praise. Now you are daily empowered through the Spirit to enter into this graceful relationship and actively choose to praise and glorify God.
What did you learn about God from this text?
I had to cut short a “discovery study” with a new believer this week. We stopped with this question for the following text.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 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. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation of our sins.” 1 John 4:7-10
Love is from God.
We can be born of God.
We can know God.
God is love.
God makes His love known.
God made His love known by sending Jesus, His Son, into the world.
God wants us to live through Jesus.
God loves us even when we do not love Him.
God loved us when He sent Jesus as the sacrifice to take away our sins.
All this generated some joy for me.
And this text causes me to ask, really, what’s the evidence of knowing God?
Sometimes I think I need an enlarged vision of love.
Therefore, I need a clear vision of God. So I will fix my attention on Jesus, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.
Industry standards require conformity.
I learned this morning that Robert Zildjian the founder of Sabian Cymbals died this week. He was 89 years old. Zildjian and Sabian cymbals have been used by bands and orchestras for years. The process used by the family business was a closely guarded secret discovered by Avedis, an Armenian alchemist of the 17th century. Seeking to turn bronze into gold, Avedis found a way to combine copper, silver and tin into ingots that could be beaten into a thin disc of metal. We’ve been enjoying their cymbals ever since! Last year over 900,000 Sabian Cymbals were shipped around the world.
You can be sure each cymbal conformed to a standard! And that’s a good thing.
In God’s view of us He sees that we are under pressure to conform to the world. And that is not a good thing.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
Conformed. Pushed into the world’s pattern, mold, shape. This is especially problematic when held up to the pattern of Jesus Christ. We are to conform to Jesus.
By God’s grace, culture and societal standards can benefit us with much that is good and leans toward the values of the Kingdom of God. However, culture and society do not completely embody God’s vision for us in relationship to Him, each other, ourselves, and the stuff of earth. When we are animated by the Gospel we will discover that the Word of God creates resistance in us toward the shaping pressure of the world. Then we become