Thursday, January 3, 2013

What could God gain?

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us."

-John 1:14 NIV

My devotional this morning instructs me to: "...ask yourself, Why would God go through all of this for me? Why would He leave heaven and come down here to die? What could He possibly gain that would make the pain worth it?" (7 Minutes with Jesus, Navpress, 2005) (Sidebar: Yes, I'm reading a devotional for teens that promises deep spiritual progress in just 7 minutes a day, go ahead, judge me)

The word gain catches my attention. Could God, the creator of everything, who is in Himself complete and fulfilled have anything to GAIN from this outlandish plan for salvation? The short answer is no, I think. It seems that I have the most to gain from God's willingness to enter His creation, He does not reach out, stoop down, humble Himself for his profit, but for ours. Why though? Why would God do such a thing?

Ephesians 2:4-5 says, "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved."

Because of His great love for us...

I have often said that a love this great deserves a response. And usually I was talking about the one time response to Christ's invitation into relationship with Him. That this great act of love and mercy was like a marriage proposal that we have to either accept or deny. I still believe that is true, but I think it's more than that.

A love this great, one that motivates the God of heaven to leave His throne so that we might be in right relationship with Him, demands a daily response. God did not send His son so that I might "accept Him" and then go on about my life as I would have anyway: trying to be a good person, motivating myself, exhausting my personal resources in a daily attempt to be as good as or better than those I compare myself to, and then go to Heaven someday. NO--God sent His Son so that I might be in RIGHT RELATIONSHIP with Him now, and every minute from now through eternity.

I told Grafton the other day (sort of melodramatically and apparently with a fever I did not realize I had yet) that my life seemed to lack meaning. I think it's because meaning exists when I allow God to give my life meaning instead of trying to create meaning in my own way. Spoiler alert: The meaning of life is still to Know God and Make Him Known. I must know Him...and His great love...and respond by meeting Him and resting in His presence.
And so, today I did...and He reminded me that He loves me deeply, truly, and sacrificially. That His presence is indeed what I long for and what gives my life meaning.   

I wanted to journal my thoughts and literally the computer was easier to reach than a notebook and so I wrote them here. Hope you don't mind.