As seek to rightly relate to God, we must consider the vast difference between Him and ourselves. He is infinite. We are finite. He is self existent. We depend on Him for all things. He knows all. We know so very little. He is perfect. We are imperfect. His perfection especially involves His existence as a purely unselfish triune Being who has never known a moment of furthering His own benefit at the expense of others. Scripture teaches that God is love, and that love does not seek its own benefit (I John 4:8; I Corinthians 13:5). We have no personal frame of reference for such a sensibility. In our best moments, we can never be sure that some trace of fleshly self-centeredness does not adulterate our motivations. The Apostle Paul taught that we might even give our body to be burned, but do so from a motive less than loving (I Corinthians 13:3).
It greatly challenges us to think of our Lord in this plainly declared Biblical way. Again, other than God and His Word, we have no other experience or awareness of pristinely pure unselfishness. We all tend to transfer our sensibilities to God, even as we seek to rightly and Biblically relate to Him. We must rather seek to remember the character and nature of God's love as we commune with Him. Also, as we read the Scriptures that proclaim such Divine goodness, we should keep in mind that God always acts unselfishly, even as He works to fulfill the eternal purpose that glorifies His person, name, and actions. This is what love does, again, because this is what love is, as existing in the essence of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. "For God so loved that He gave His only begotten Son" does not merely report the redemptive working of the Gospel. It also describes the other-devoted nature of our wondrous Lord: "God… loved… He gave." Indeed, consider that the Lord Jesus declared, "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and give His life a ransom for many." Ponder that the same Savior also said, "The Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works" (Matthew 20:28; John 14:10). Thus, we see that the Son's unselfishness proceeded from the Father, the revelation of which comes to us through the Holy Spirit, of whom the Lord Jesus said, "He shall not speak of Himself" (John 16:14). I can only think of one verbal or written response to this revelation of God's triune altruism: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty!"
God always acts unselfishly, whether in blessing, or even in the exercise of His wrath against the wicked. If this raises questions in our minds, the reason involves the aforementioned difference between Him and ourselves. Consider also that in those who trust the Lord Jesus, our Heavenly Father works to conform us to His loving image (Romans 8:28-29). "We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (I John 3:2). The salvation of Christ will one day completely deliver us from the cruel tyranny of self centeredness unto the blessed peace of "His love… perfected in us" (I John 4:12). In that day, relating to Him will involve far less mystery. Still, however, God will be God, we will be ourselves, and we will never exhaust the discovery of His wonder, and the sublime glory of....
"The love of Christ, which passeth knowledge."
"My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."
Weekly Memory Verse
Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.