He is worth it

I was reading a book and the author was talking about the infinite worth of God. That phrase “infinite worth” jumped out at me. I’ve never thought about that before. If I didn’t know Jesus and someone told me about Him, would He be worth my time? When I tell someone about Jesus is He more interesting than a pop icon like Michael Jackson or more valuable than Abraham Lincoln? This may seem like a strange concept but maybe it isn’t if we think about it for a moment. So many (in the west for sure) have a fear derived understanding of God that they have never considered the question. John says this:

1Jo 4:8-11 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (ESVST)

Is God worthy of our love and adoration? It is a great question. Some might be very disturbed to ask such a thing but don’t worry God isn’t. He is quite confident in who He is. My opinion of Him has no bearing on His nature towards me. If you told miss America she was the ugliest and most unqualified person on the stage I’m sure she wouldn’t be affected by the comment. She might think you were a little crazy. She just won the whole thing and is certain of her identity. God is way bigger and better than that. Ask yourself does God need my compliments to feel good about himself? Hopefully your answer is no. God is unoffendable. If you don’t see it that way and are instead afraid of this line of reasoning then read this verse again:

1Jo 4:18 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (ESVST)

Now look at the cross and what do you see? Jesus let us beat him beyond recognition and subject him to capital punishment when he was the only one who ever lived from perfect love. What was His response? Forgiveness. What was the father’s response? Resurrection without retribution but with reconciliation. What was the Holy Spirit’s response? Making his home in use.

Religion will often use the fear of an angry God to get a response from humans. Hopefully you are beginning to see that kind of manipulation is not from God but a tool the enemy uses to keep us from a relationship with God. “Worship God or else” is reserved for pagan god worship like Molech or Baal. If Molech followers didn’t worship right or offer the right sacrifices then the wrath was sure to fall in the form of curses and disease and death. I am so glad that Jesus is not like that.

So you have to ask yourself why we worship God? “Because He said so” is a religious-duty answer. Jesus came to replace religion with relationship. He came to reconcile and restore so we could come out of religious bondage to an angry God and instead fall in love with the real God. So if you think about it, we worship God because he is worthy and we love him. We adore him because he is adorable. We praise him because he is praiseworthy. We honor him because he is honorable.

Have you ever thought about the intrinsic worth of God? At first that may seem like a strange question but I believe this is what Jesus came to reveal. In our fallen nature we had an image of God that wasn’t based on intrinsic worth but based on fear. Jesus tells us not to fear. Don’t hear me wrong. God is God and is omni-everything. The power of God definitely invokes reactions of admiration and respect but God is seeking our intimacy. Jesus said God is our Father which should have us seeking affection and protection. The infinite nature of God commands our attention but doesn’t produce intimacy. Jesus said we are one with Him and he is our groom which is as intimate as it gets.

The root of this revelation of God by Jesus is God’s goodness. When I talk about His goodness maybe you have an image of a really clean God. Maybe you see moral perfection or perfect behavior. Maybe you see total and absolute separation from that nasty thing called sin. On some level those observations are true but that isn’t the goodness that Jesus reveals. Jesus was sinless but broke the law multiple times. He came to take our sins but wasn’t repulsed by them. He became our sin but never condemned us for them. His behavior was perfect but he got angry at the religious opposed to His Grace. His performance was perfectly moral but he made wine for people who were probably pretty “happy” already. Jesus came to change our understanding.

Jesus revealed the intrinsic worth of God in relationship. He loved perfectly. His perfect love for us was expressed as a servant to us that washes feet. His goodness in relationship was revealed on the cross as he took our beating and rejection. His goodness towards us was free of fear and full of freedom. The sinners came to him because they were better with Him. The broken came to him to be fixed. The hurt were comforted. The rejected were accepted. And of course the sick were healed. This is the intrinsic worth of God expressed in Jesus.

Let your mind ponder the greatness of God. Think about how good He is. Stop with the thoughts of a Spock-like perfect moral robot but instead see Jesus in the dirt loving a woman caught in adultery. See Jesus leaning against a well having an illegal conversation with a sexually immoral anti-Semite. Hear Jesus praise the prostitute at his feet.

Listen to the Holy Spirit as he declares the goodness of God just like this amazing day:

Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance… 11… we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” (ESVST)

Or like Paul says here:

Rom 5:5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God ‘s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (ESVST)

So go ahead and think about how worthy he is to be praised. You have permission to ponder his goodness. You are encouraged to dream about how good He really is towards you. You should ask Holy Spirit to reveal to You God’s infinite worth. Now imagine this: He made you to receive all that goodness. Your worth is found in His infinite worth. Jesus came to prove it. Now that should encourage you. He is that good.

Yay God!

Lance

Grace

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