September 01, 2011

"for His name's sake"


God has been pounding on me lately. This message by Matt's hard to think of proper words to describe the way the Lord spoke to me. You know those kinds of messages or books or moments when you just feel Him tapping on your shoulder. You. Directly. Not the person next to you, but you. Exactly where you are. With the exact thing that you need to hear. The one thing that feels like salvation to your very soul. And usually, for me at least, the one thing that is so very humbling that you can do nothing but ask for forgiveness.

This was a moment like that for me. It's one of those lessons that I am still rolling around in my head and getting a grasp on. One of the simplest lessons in the Bible, but one that I obviously have not learned yet. So very simple, yet one that I most often forget. It brought to light, for me, the reason for my struggles lately. Pride. Selfishness. Too much me, and not enough Him.

Here's a taste:

"I’m going to take you to one of the most famous verses in the Bible to show you this. If
you are from Texas, you have been given this passage on a bookmark, a coffee cup or
something. You will know this text even if you have no church background. So let’s
look at it. Psalm 23, starting in verse 1, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He
makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my
soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness. . .” Now if we just stopped there, you can
argue quite a bit. He is shepherding us, He is loving us, He is restoring us, He is
providing for us and He is laying us by streams of still water. You can see God’s activity
toward us. It looks like we are the point. You can do this with a hundred other texts,
except the root of His motivation, leading, laying in green pastures, leading to still
waters, restoring of the soul, is clear in the text. Let’s look at verse 3 again. “He restores
my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” So why does God
love you? Why does God pursue you? Why does God shepherd you? Why does God
care for you? It’s not because of you. It’s for the sake of His name. It’s for the praise of
His glorious grace."

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