Monday, April 16, 2007

He's Not Just God. He's MY God!

And you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Jeremiah 30:22
...and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness.
Jeremiah 31:14
This is the gospel. And we don't even know it.

Jeremiah 30:22 is the rock solid foundation of Jeremiah 31:14. The former is the ground on which the latter is able to stand -- indeed without which it doesn't stand. God makes two statements in verse 30:22 which we can see directly worked out in verse 31:14. Verse 30:22 is the essence of everything the Bible aims to communicate to us. It is the sweetest of all promises from which every other promise we find in the Bible proceeds. Let's take the second statement made in verse 30:22 first because the first statement is rooted in it. Verse 30:22 doesn't communicate what it communicates if the word God is replaced by servant or friend or anything else.
I will be your God.
The outworking of the fact that He is God is played out in verse 31:14 in that He is the One who is filled with all goodness. He is the One who can pour out all goodness because all goodness originates in Him. But something else is true about this goodness based on what God says in this verse. And what's true about this goodness that God pours out is that it is so immeasurable and staggering in its immensity that it is able to more than satisfy every heart. And so it is guaranteed to satisfy the heart that it aims to satisfy. My people shall be satisfied with my goodness. This is what it means for Him to be God and these truths couldn't be communicated using any other word to convey what He is to me besides God. I don't want Him to be my friend. I don't want Him to be my servant. I don't want Him to be my advisor. I don't want Him to be my helper or co-pilot. I want Him to be my God. I need Him to be my God! Oh that this postmodern generation would know and love the sweetness of that word!
You shall be my people.
Now let's take the second statement made in verse 30:22. The outworking of the fact that we are His people, or that He is our God, is played out in verse 31:14 in that all that He is in His infinite goodness that can more than satisfy every soul is directed at us. It's not just a general goodness directed at every heart. It's a directed goodness aimed at a specific target -- namely, His chosen people -- so that our souls will indeed be satisfied forever.

It simply doesn't get any better than this.

But it's not true for everyone. Who is this sweet promise of Jeremiah 30:22 true for?

Throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus desires to show those around Him that He is sent by the Father and is indeed one with the Father. He repeatedly uses the term my Father to communicate that God is His Father. But nowhere along the way does He say that God is our Father. Why? Because sinful man has no claim to a family of perfect holiness. A sinful creature has no right to call God his Father. Only the spotless Son of God can rightfully call God His Father because He is without sin. Until...
Jesus said to [Mary Magdalene], "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' "
John 20:17
After rising from the dead, Jesus tells Mary that He is ascending to His Father. But not just His Father. For the first time, He intentionally makes it clear that He is ascending to a Father who has more than one descendant. God is not just Jesus' Father. God is not just Jesus' God. He's the Father of the Twelve. He's the Father of Mary. He's the God of the Twelve. He's the God of Mary. He's my Father. He's my God.

What happened so that God can now be my Father and my God even though He wasn't before? Through His death and resurrection, Jesus has taken upon Himself my sin and wickedness that made me an enemy of God rather than a son of God. The implication of this was that not only was God's goodness not aimed at me to satisfy my soul forever, but His wrath was aimed at me to torment my soul forever. God was not neutral. He never is. He's either for us or against us.

But by inexplicable, undeserved grace, I am now able to go from being an enemy of God to an adopted son of God by embracing Jesus as my life, my righteousness, my treasure, my all in all so that I'm holding on so tightly to Jesus that when God looks at me, He sees the righteousness of His Son (alien to me) instead of my inherent wickedness and instead of aiming His infinite condemnation at me, He aims His infinite goodness at me.

So now infinite goodness, infinite justice, infinite righteousness, infinite wisdom, infinite power, and infinite love are directed at me rather than against me because Jesus absorbed all that was directed against me in His death. The infinite energies of the One who neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:4) are now used to build me up and make me happy forever instead of to tear me down and make me miserable forever.

The same is true for any who would embrace Jesus. You want God to be your Father? Embrace Jesus. Cling to Jesus. You want God to be your God? Embrace Jesus. Cling to Jesus.

So, once again, who is the sweet promise of Jeremiah 30:22 true for? Who is a part of the people of Israel? Anyone who would embrace and cling to Jesus Christ as his or her treasure. Not a person more and not a person less.

There's only One reason that God is not just God but is my God: the perfect and precious Jesus Christ.
But to all who did receive him (Jesus), who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:12,13
Father, I tremble to think that I don't even deserve to offer up these words to You right now. It is sheer grace that I can call You Father and draw near to Your throne of grace. And how humbling it is to know that Your good pleasure to be my Father and my God, to be the God of Israel, is rooted in Your infinite pleasure and love for Your Son and not in Your pleasure in me. Thank You that Your Son died so that You would be my Father and my God even though You weren't before. Father, these things are too lofty for our minds. But oh how precious are such thoughts! And so I pray that You would make us a people who know that Your great delight in being our God and Father isn't ultimately about Your great delight in us but rather about Your infinitely overflowing delight in Your Son Jesus. Give us that kind of delight in Him. Destroy our infatuations with self and low affections for Christ and instead make us to long for that day when we will be able to love Jesus the way You love Him, which we know will one day come because Your Son prayed for it before He went to the cross. And You always give Him what He asks for because He is infinitely worthy. Christ is our great hope and security in this vapor of a life because He is all in all. May we know what it means that Jesus is the source, the means, and the end goal of our faith. In His precious name, Amen.

1 comment:

Justin said...

woooo amen