Come and See What God has Done
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” – 1 John 3:1-3
Check out last week’s sermon here.
“Yes I’m saved, eternally secure, and adopted as God’s child, but…”
“…but I don’t think that I will ever be happy if I don’t find a spouse.”
“…but if I don’t make the right career choice, my life will be unfulfilled.”
“…but (insert any other genuine pain or struggle in life).”
Insert any discouraging statement after those words, and the point will be proven that, as Pastor Mike shared Sunday, time has a way of making us dull to the beautiful realities of the work of the Gospel. We are too easily bored!
Due to our natural state (Jesus called it, “the flesh” in Matthew 26:41 as did Paul in Romans 7:18) we tend to get so bored that we can talk about our relationship with the holy, holy, holy God as if it were a college degree we earned. Yes, at the time it meant a lot and involved a lot of my life, but now our conversion, and what happened in it, is as normal as a look at the diploma on the wall (or possibly in a dusty box in the basement as mine is).
Is it really true that we can get bored with God?
Give yourself an honest moment of self-reflection, and you will attribute any missteps into sin, failure to represent Christ, and that bored Sunday morning yawn to the ‘sin’ of boredom or familiarity.
Jesus affirms the truism of human nature that “familiarity breeds contempt,” with His words in Mark 6:4 after being rejected by His own people in Nazareth, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” Jesus’ statement affirms that He believed the natural state of people was to mistrust those they were familiar with.
So too, in Jeremiah’s day, a sort of familiarity with the temple of God led God, through Jeremiah, to reprimand the people of Judah for their excess of worship and absence of love for God through their disregard for the oppressed.
“Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’” – Jeremiah 7:4
The people of Judah loved the things associated with God (the temple), but their familiarity with God did not lead to reverant fear and obedience. They forgot the heart behind the law to love God above all and their neighbor as they love themselves (Leviticus 19:18).
Yes, time, through our natural state of sin, has a way of making us dull to beautiful realities. We are too easily bored.
An Invitation To See Wonder
John invites us again to see God’s love afresh, so that we would continue after Him purifying ourselves and hopefully looking to that day when we will be like him!
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us…” – 1 John 3:1
We fight boredom and familiarity by seeing and remembering the wonder of salvation. I invite you to see the same wonder through the hymns.
In Your New Birth…
Charles Wesley, in the classic hymn, And Can It Be prods our hearts to worship that dead hearts are transformed to life by the work of the Spirit. I pray these thoughts lifts your hearts beyond familiarity to wonder and worship!
“And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?”
You do not know how it happened; it was not in your own power or intellect that changed you. One day, through the miraculous work of God by the Spirit (John 3:1-8), you saw Jesus and the work he accomplished as beautiful. You gained an interest in the Savior’s blood. He was no longer foolish to you; He became the joy of all your heart.
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
You gained an interest in the Savior as you pondered the thought that the Jesus, whose hands and feet you pierced with the nails of sin and rebellion, was the same God-man who pursued you in love to point of death.
Your heart cannot but scream…
“Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?”
In God’s adoption of you…
Of our adoption, Stuart Townsend, in the hymn, How Deep The Father’s Love helps us reflect more on the works of God in saving us to be His kids.
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
Are you feeling ‘wretch-like’ today, wondering whether or not God loves you? His Words says He gave His only Son for wretches like you.
“…God shows his love for us in that while we were still [wretches], Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8
“How great the pain of searing loss –
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.”
How wretched is your sin? Greater and more costly than you can truly ever know. How great is God’s love? Greater than your easily bored mind can even comprehend. But this, you know at the least, in the pain and suffering, the Savior felt on your behalf, God reached down His hand and says, “You are MY child!” The wounds that marred Jesus were the means God used to bring you in as his own.
“And because [the Son of God redeemed you,] you are sons, [and] God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “[Daddy!] Father!” – Galatians 4:6
God has done wonderful things, and our faith is founded in wonder. Wonder today! Ask God to help you see His love and kindness afresh!