Friday, September 01, 2006

What God Cares About

Have you ever had anyone try to stump you with some question about God that they think is really profound, but is actually sort of pointless? Can God make a rock so heavy that he can't lift it? Can God make a square circle? Can God count to infiniti?

It's kind of like the guy who said he doesn't believe in God because he tried praying, and God 'didn't answer' his prayer. He said, "I decided that I'd try praying, so I prayed every day that God would give me a new red Camaro. After a year, I didn't get it, so therefore I figured that prayer and God is all worthless myth." As if God's most important function in the cosmos is to give me toys.

It seems that we have far too small of a view of what God wants. When I wrestle with what God would want me to do in a given situation, or how I ought to spend my time or efforts, I've found John 10:10 to be a helpful verse. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

You can pretty well insert whatever you want into this last part of the verse, and it gets a lot easier to clarify what God really cares about. Think about God coming--putting on flesh as a human--and dying...for what purpose? Allow me to give a couple of examples:

'I have come that they may have red Camaros, and have them abundantly.'
'I have come that they may have money, and have it abundantly.'
'I have come that they may have designer clothing, and have the trendiest outfits of the season.'
'I have come that they may have larger houses in gated communities, and have mortgage payments abundantly.'
'I have come that they may have respect from other self-centered people, and have it abundantly.'

Do we see how out of place things get when you try putting the words in Jesus' mouth?

Yet other things fit better:
'I have come that they may have forgiveness, and have it to the full.'
'I have come that the heavily burdened may find rest, and find it abundantly.'
'I have come that they may have hope, and have it abundantly.'
'I have come that the wounded and oppressed might find healing, and experience it abundantly.'

What in this world is truly worth living and dying for? Whatever these things are, these are what we should be striving towards. God doesn't waste his magesty on the trivial, and the glory he's shared with us as his children should not be wasted either.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17) May God forgive us for when we exchange his glory for the petty and the ephemeral. Posted by Picasa


  1. Thanks Mark for a very thoughtful post.

    Bobby Valentine

  2. Can God create a God so big he can outgod God?

  3. Isn't it interesting that this country was founded on the idea of "In God we trust" and we have freedom of religion, yet the American "dream" is a big fat mortgage.

  4. People that have turned their backs on God for reasons you stated in your post are the most frustrating to me. Conversely, "Christians" that are just in it for what God will give them (usually materialistic desires) are, I think, a big problem for the receptivity of Christ in the world. In both cases, they've missed the point.

    In Christ,

    P.S.- Where did you find that electric flyswatter? I've been keeping an eye out for one and haven't seen one yet (at least at the Searcy Walmart).

  5. On this post I made a few weeks ago, I included a link to the place that sells them...

    Thank you all for your comments. We definitely have a big problem with materialism.

    Mark <><