Sunday, 2 January 2011

Notes on John 1:14 - The Glory of God is a Heart of Love

Found here. Most people think of God as merely an amalgamation of superhero attributes.
What, in your opinion is God’s greatest attribute?
  • his power? 
  • his managerial prowess in answering prayers from all across the world at once? 
  • his ability to be everywhere and see everything all at the same time? 
  • his ability to order the events of human history?
  • his eternal existence?
  • his knowledge? How he effortlessly keeps track of how many hairs there are on your head, a number which, changes more rapidly than you care to admit as you get older! 
  • his holiness? That over eons and eons and eons and more of existing, he has never had a filthy thought, never been proud, rude, selfish, deceitful, manipulative, violent or cruel in any way.

The right answer is love (1 John 4:8,16). The Father the Son and the Holy Spirit have loved and enjoyed each other ever since forever, and their desire is to catch up a people into their life and love to join them forever. God’s glory, the highest possible thing that you can say about God, the thing that is foundational to his nature as Father, Son and Holy Spirit is that he is love.All the attributes mentioned above are fruits that grow out of the soil of God's great eternal triune love.

So John 1:14 makes perfect sense: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

If God were merely a God of power, then when Jesus came he would have got out the big guns and fireworks, and wowed us with great displays of his prowess, but he would never have given himself to be crucified.

Love expresses itself best not in selfishness or self-congratulation, but in self-sacrifice. In Jesus we see, perfectly, the heart of the unseen Father.
In short, everything you see Jesus being in his earthly life, is the exact representation of everything God the Father has always been eternally in himself.

That is why the cross and only the cross – the crucifixion of the Son of God - can qualify as the greatest expression of God’s glory, because it is the greatest expression of who God is at the deepest level, it is the expression of God's heart of love. The Father giving up his only beloved Son to die, the Son giving up his life and the Spirit, in the place of executioner according to the Father’s wish, tearfully taking the life of the beloved Son as it is freely offered.

All to release us from the curse of sin, to remove the wrath of God from over our heads that would have seen us plunged into Hell, and instead, to be welcomed as dearly loved children into the heavenly family.

In the light of all that, how is your heart before him right now?
  • Disappointed / Frustrated with how the last year has turned out? 
  • Mourning because of some failure or a missed opportunity?
  • Feeling inadequate because of some big obstacle in you or around you that you can’t get over?
  • Harassed by multiple expectations of family, friends, work, home life, church life, clubs etc?
  • Lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - Christianity is just one of the things on the to do list?
  • In a pattern of sin you need to confess and repent from?
  • Distracted by fear of future - How your job / family / singleness / health will turn out this year?
  • On the front foot with a 15 point plan for spiritual growth this year?
We then watched this video: a beautiful example of Zeph. 3:17.

Whether you know your earthly father or not, whether you're proud to be associated with him or not, your heavenly Father has given everything he could possibly give to have you in his family.

He wants your heart - will you give it to him?

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