I posted on this topic not too long ago and the theme continues. The other night, the thought came to me and I wrote one line: “There is a huge difference between: 1) loving someone simply for who they are; and, 2) loving someone based solely on what they do for me.”
This morning I read the following. The first paragraph is somewhat difficult to follow; but, read it slowly and it will make sense:
I press on this because I believe that if we think that we are God-centered simply because we consciously or unconsciously believe God is man-centered, then our God-centeredness is in reality man-centeredness. Teaching God's God-centeredness forces this issue of whether we treasure God because of his excellence or mainly because he endorses ours.
God's eternal, radical, ultimate commitment to his own self-exaltation permeates Scripture. His aim to be exalted glorified, admired, magnified, praised, and reverenced is seen to be the ultimate goal of all creation, all providence, and all saving acts. Listen to what His Word teaches us about Him:
"He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace”. God created the natural world to display his glory: "The heavens declare the glory of God". "You are my servant Israel in whom I will be glorified". . . that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory.
"He saved them [at the Red Sea] for his name's sake that he might make known his mighty power" "I have raised you up for this very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth". "I acted [in the wilderness] for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.
[After asking for a king] "Fear not . . . For the Lord will not cast away his people for his great name's sake. "Thus says the Lord God, It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act [in bringing you back from the exile], but for the sake of my holy name . . . . And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name . . . and the nations will know that I am the Lord". "For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another".
"Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy". "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour'? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify Your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again"
"He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised" "God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father".
"I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins" "Whoever serves [let him serve], as one who serves by the strength that God supplies-in order that in everything God may be glorified".
"Immediately an angel of the Lord smote [Herod] because he did not give glory to God" ". . . when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints and to be marveled at in all who have believed. "Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory, which thou hast given me in Thy love for me before the foundation of the world". "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea".
"And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the lamb"
This is not megalomania because, unlike our self-exaltation, God's self-exaltation draws attention to what gives greatest and longest joy, namely, himself. When we exalt ourselves, we lure people away from the one thing that can satisfy their souls-the infinite beauty of God. When God exalts himself, he manifests the one thing that can satisfy our souls, namely, God.
Therefore, God is the one being in the universe for whom self-exaltation is the most loving act, since love labors and suffers to enthrall us with what is infinitely and eternally satisfying, namely, God. Therefore, when God exalts God and commands us to join him, he is pursuing our highest, deepest, longest happiness. This is love, not megalomania.
God's pursuit of his glory and our pursuit of our joy turn out to be the same pursuit. This is what Christ died to achieve. "Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God" When we are brought to God as our highest treasure, he gets the glory and we get the pleasure.
Paraphrased from an address given by John Piper- November 2008
To see this and believe this and experience this will radically transform the way you relate to God; the way you worship God, the way you share Christ with others, and the way you view everything while you live in this world.
May God the Father, through the Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit burn this into our heart, mind and soul. Such “Joy” to be found and experienced!