Does God Only Care About God?

Hey, thanks again for sending in questions about our sermons or even our services. We we really love hearing what you heard and being able to respond to any questions that you might have, so keep sending those in in future weeks. To a question this week based off our sermon last week called Reset, when we said god’s primary purpose in creating the church is for his glory, to display his manifold wisdom to all of the universe. And so one of the questions that came in was, is God only concerned about his glory or does he care about us as well? Just kind of on our own, right?

And I love the opportunity to be able to respond to this and understand how maybe this sounded for at least some of you and clear it up for anybody else who heard the same thing. Absolutely. God cares about us just on our own terms, not associated with his glory. Absolutely. We’re just talking about what is ultimate in God’s heart, what’s primary in God’s heart, what God worships, what God serves, what does God center his life around?

That’s what we mean when we say, what is primary, what does God center his life around? And the answer is, God just like us. We are told to do that, right? It’s the first commandment in the Ten Commandments. When I was a little kid, I don’t remember the rest of the Ten Commandments song, but I remember the first commandment.

So I apologize to my kids choir teacher from a million years ago. But it’s number one. We’ve just begun. God must be first in your life. Maybe some of you heard that when you were a little kid.

If not, you have enjoyed it. Now, I’m sure Nate will put me on the worship team starting next week, but God must be first in your life. That’s the first commandment. And so the question is, does God follow his own rules? And the answer is yes, that God is first in God’s heart.

That doesn’t mean that there’s not a lot of other things in God’s heart too. When Jesus asked what was the first and greatest commandment, he says, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength. Right. He says, and then the second is like, it love your neighbor as yourself. So of course we need to love our neighbor.

And that’s a huge purpose of the church in building one another up, is just love for our brothers and sisters. A lot of parts in Ephesians there talk about how we treat each other and then working on our own personal holiness as well. So absolutely don’t want to say that doesn’t exist at all. We’re just talking about really what’s primary. And even in later parts of Ephesians, we mentioned two verses in there in Ephesians of God created the church or God seated us in the heavenly realms to display the riches of his grace, and then the purpose of the church is to display the manifold wisdom.

But then over in Ephesians 521 when it’s the beginning of a section talking about husbands and wives and it says submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. So even in our interactions, husbands and wives, like there is this element what’s primary is submit to one another out of reverence for that person. Now, obviously we should have reverence for other folks. On Romans it talks about give everyone the honor that they deserve, like honor, esteem one another for sure. But here we’re told Ephesians 521 you do that out of reverence for Christ.

The primary motivation is serving God, obeying him, making much of him, displaying him. And actually what will happen is if God is primary, then everything else we will love appropriately. If we put something else primary above God, then we will not love the rest of everything on our list appropriately. This is from St. Augustine a long time ago he talked about, rightly, ordered loves and loves that are not ordered correctly.

And he says God needs to be first. And really any type of sin that we have is because we have flipped something up over where God needs to be. And you might have noticed this in your own life. Maybe you had a boyfriend or girlfriend at one point that was, I think the technical term is clingy. And they made you the center of their world, right?

They looked at you and said without you I’m nothing. And that was too much pressure on you, right? And it destroyed the relationship. There is only one thing that we can look at and say without you I am nothing. And that is God, right?

That’s how we’re wired. And so God’s wired the same way. God would only look at himself and say without you I am nothing. That’s what we mean by ultimate things or primary things.

Only one being gets to be in that primary place. But again, that’s not to say there’s not a bunch of other places of love and not a bunch of other places that people are esteemed or honored just on their own terms, in their own right. And we do believe that if God is number one, then the rest of the things will work out the way that they should work out. And same with God. God needs to be number one for God.

And if he is, if he is, then other things will work out the way that they should work out. Well, hey, thanks again for that question. We hope that this was helpful and we would love for you to keep sending these in.