Do you want to feel secure in God’s love? I read about the most paradoxical assurance of God’s love for you and I. It will seem totally anti-intuitive to what we would expect. For wouldn’t you think that assurance of God’s love should come from God valuing us so much that He sent Jesus to die for us? That’s certainly what I’ve always thought and I Peter 1:18-19 is what I’ve depended upon to verify that: “knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (NASB).
I’m not going to dispute that but consider the following idea which may be a different perspective. I’m thinking it is even more powerful. It’s based on Isaiah 48:9-11:
“For the sake of My name I delay My wrath,
And for My praise I restrain it for you,
In order not to cut you off.
“Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
“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.”
John Piper in his book, Brothers We are Not Professionals, brings out the idea from that passage and other verses: “God’s ultimate commitment is to Himself and not to us. And therein lies our security. God loves His glory above all.” And Pastor Piper quotes the passage above. Then he writes, “God performs salvation for His own sake. He justifies the people called by His name in order that He may be glorified.”
Do you see? Which would be better? To know we’re loved because we’re His creation or to know we’re loved because it’s all about God’s glory. Somehow the dependence upon God’s glory seems more solid. God isn’t going to do anything that will diminish or endanger His glory. Because He really is worthy of His glory!
Pastor Piper warns us, “Why is it important to be stunned by the God-centeredness of God? Because many people are willing to be God-centered as long as they feel that God is man-centered. It is a subtle danger. We may think we are centering our lives on God, when we are really making Him a means of self-esteem. Over against this danger I urge you to ponder the implications, brothers, that God loves His glory more than He loves us and that this is the foundation of His love for us.”
What do you think? Which seems more secure? God’s love because He created us or God’s love because it brings Him glory? Certainly food for thought.