Glorifying God devotions by Pastor Chris
“This is my Son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17).
Our dog Polo is easily pleased with himself as witnessed here when he slouches onto a couch. Or chases a ball. Or gobbles his food.
What is pleasing in our world? What is going well in your life? Your personal health, your close relationships, your lifelong work, your unspoken goals?
I increasingly meet very few truly pleased, happy and contented people in their inner beings.
Perhaps, it’s easier, then, to ask what is not going well?
For some, it could be the war torn countries we are born into, from Syria to the rest of the world. Where daily living is a daily nightmare.
For most, it could be the desperately purposeless work, broken relationships and humdrum life we are resigned to. Where daily living is daily drudgery.
For almost all, we live with this existential escape clause: “Nobody and nowhere is perfect”. And so a wife tears her hair out , a husband rages his way through life, a child numbs himself to daily pain, an aging grandparent hardens herself to increasing solitary abandonment.
Not so with God!
Life was meant to be perfect when he wisely created us. Life IS meant to be perfect now – enroute to heaven – that He has re-created us by sending His Son Jesus to die on the Cross for us.
In God’s eyes, life can only be perfect because of two seemingly incompatible qualities: authority and humility. We will only have God’s perfect new life if we live under his rightful authority and with his disarming humility.
God is perfectly pleased with his Son whom he has given ultimate authority to end the illegitimate rule of Satan and self – the root cause of all our broken lives and dreams – which conspire to make us infinitely proud.
God has given Satan-crushing and sin-smashing authority to his Son to save and rule us, as promised in Psalm 2:7.
On the other hand, God has also called us to an all-new empowering life but only if we believe in the disarming humility of His suffering servant, Jesus, as promised in Isaiah 42:1.
He goes humbly to cruel death on a cruel cross without any protest of his innocence against the totally unjust charges thrown at him.
The perfect life – free from Satan’s wrongful authority and our destructive pride – is only possible because of Jesus’ rightful authority and his constructive humility.
That is why Jesus went into the Judean countryside preaching the kingdom of heaven and healing every disease. It was a glimpse of God’s perfect world – a life without the Devil, decay, disease and death. Little wonder, God is pleased with him.
Jesus kindly and patiently invites us to this perfect life.
We desperately need his sin-smashing authority for every moment of our sin-indulgent autonomy. We urgently need Jesus’ disarming humility for all our moments of destructive pride.
The next time you are tempted to autonomy – by taking things into your hands – by giving into temptation to satiate your pride, pleasure or power, stop! Weigh how much that displeases God. Consider the humility of Christ instead.
God is pleased with his Son. Are we?