The God That Hung Jupiter Is My King

Jun 6, 2019 | Article | 2 comments

The following is a transcript of a talk I gave at a women’s event in my local church. 

I recently had a friend ask me to read Charles Spurgeon’s sermon on the Lily of the Valley. I hadn’t read it before, and it greatly blessed me. I long to see a day when the church universal has the incredibly high view of Jesus that Spurgeon preached and that Scripture reveals to us.

Reading this sermon, it hit me that Christ is so much more beautiful, powerful, and holy than we grasp. Christ is not at all like what many in the church say He is like. But He is especially not like what the world says he is like.

I’ll give you an example. Have you ever run into the argument that Christianity can’t be true because Christians can be really terrible people? Like if Christianity is true and Jesus really was God, why are all His followers such jerks? Don’t we all know how many wars and crusades and witch-trials have been carried out in Jesus’ name? Who on earth would want to be a Christian when the result of belief in Jesus can be so ugly?

Let’s try applying this logic to something else. Did you guys know that a lot of really terrible things have happened in the name of science? Human experimentation, for example, was a favorite for the Nazi scientists. We do have to credit them with a lot of what we know about the human brain and how it functions and how to fix it. The women who pioneered the science

that we currently have behind how radiation works all died horrible deaths, and all of this was for the sake of science so I’m thinking that perhaps science is bad, and we should all stop listening to scientists. Look at all the horrible things science-believers have done!

Don’t even get me started on food. I simply cannot believe in food because of all of the horrible things it has done to us throughout history. Unwisely proportioned food has been known to take the lives of infants. So many wars have been fought over food. And in fact, our dependence on food regularly drives people to greed and theft. Because of all of the horrible things that can happen because of food, I think it’d be insane for any of us to continue supporting the use of food. The results are just too disastrous for us to continue to have it in our lives.

Hopefully you see what I’m getting at here. Hopefully we can all reject the insane idea that we can actually judge the validity or necessity of something purely on the ways that humans have used and abused it. Hopefully these examples highlight something that is incredibly important.

 

Science in and of itself is not bad.

Food in and of itself is not bad.

What is bad?

We are. We are bad.We are incredibly, horribly wretched. There is simply no end to the list of ways that humans—all of us—can destroy things. We can turn the incredible goodness of food into a weapon. We can use science to harm people. And yes—many, many people have used the name of Christ to do terrible things.

Fallen humanity is no reason to reject Christ. This is all the more reason for all of us to bow the knee to Christ, because He alone is good.

Christ made an incredible claim about himself and who he is. It is the most incredible claim that has ever been made and your entire life hinges on it. His incredible, life-changing claim is this: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” (John 14:6)

You cannot miss this. Jesus’s actual claim is that he is THE way. THE truth. THE life. There is not a single way that any of us can come to God without Him. There is one truth, and HE is it. There are not multiple truths, multiple ways, multiple lives. There’s one way for all of this to go, and it’s THROUGH him.

We now live in a post-truth world, which means we live in a time when we hear people talking about “their truth.” Our culture does not believe that there is a singular truth. Truth is relative. I have my truth, you have your truth, what’s true for you might not be true for me, so on and so crookedly forth. Jesus here calls all of that garbage. If the postmodernists are right, and we all can have whatever truth we want, then Jesus is a liar, and He cannot be God.

None of us actually live as though the world operates on relative principles, do we? We insist on unchanging standards, both moral and natural. We insist that murder is bad.

We insist that stealing is bad. When we get on an airplane we insist that the laws of aerodynamics still apply to the airplane. When we go to cook dinner we insist that when enough heat is applied to water, that the water will boil. We insist on these things. We want these things. These things are good. It fact, it’d be silly to discard them.

 

There is an order to the world that we are extremely dependent on. We are all utterly dependent on the sun doing what the sun is doing right now. We are dependent on our exact distance from the sun. If our position from the sun was to change, whether we were to come closer or move farther, we’d all be dead. Right now my brain is telling my lungs to breathe. It’s controlling my blood pressure, it’s making my heart beat. All of these things are absolutely necessary to my survival and I consciously control noneof them. If my brain were to quit right this second and I were to collapse and die, it would be shocking to you. Some would call it a tragedy, for someone my age in relatively good health to die if this natural system built into my brain were to quit functioning as it’s supposed to. But why? Because the laws governing my normally functioning brain would have been intruded upon. Because we are all expecting, myself included, that because of some mysterious system going on against my will in my body, that my heart is going to continue beating.

This works with the moral order, as well. If I were to walk outside right now, and a stranger walked up to me and took my life, I hope you’d agree with me that was wrong. You should call it evil. If I were to walk up to you after this talk and slap you in the face, I hope you’d agree with me that that was wrong. If I were to take your car keys and steal your car, I think you’d agree with me that that was wrong.

The thing is, our entire world operates as if all of these things are true, as if the sun is going to be in the same place tomorrow as it is today, as if all of our involuntary bodily functions will continue tomorrow as they are today, as if none of us are allowed to slap people or steal their cars or commit murder because we all know that we shouldn’t. We operate on unchanging standards and expectations and yet our culture wants us to believe that truth is relative.

I want you to understand the absurdity of believing that truth can be relative while also believing that your neighbor shouldn’t steal your car. After all, if your neighbor’s truth is that stealing your car would bring them joy, who are you to say that it wouldn’t? If it is your neighbor’s truth that slapping you in the face is not evil, it’s actually loving, then who are you to demean their truth?

Our culture, in many ways, demands God’s standards. They want His moral truth. God says don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t commit adultery, don’t lie, don’t covet. We want everyone else to obey these commands because it protects us from harm. We want the natural order He has built into our bodies to give us our next heartbeat. The problem is that we don’t always want HIM. We all always want God’s benefits. It’s just that we don’t always want his commands.

Get excited though, because I have really, really good news for you. We’re humans, so when we hear the word “command”, we tend to get kinda uptight. “Command” is a bad word, right? We don’t want to be commanded. We don’t think anyone should get to tell us what to do. Well here’s the good news: the one who made you, the one who built you and is right this very second commanding your lungs to breathe, the good news about Him is that HE. IS. GOOD.

He is a very good God. John tells us in 1 John 4 that God is love. He IS love. That means that Jesus, God in the flesh, is always loving. Everything that He does is loving. The heartbeat you just had is God’s love towards you. Our position in the solar system that sustains our very existence is God’s love towards you. I could even make a case that some weird mole you have that you aren’t particularly fond of is God’s love towards you, but I’ll save that for another time.

 

Part of God’s love towards us is his incredible patience towards us. Because if you’re anything like me, even as you’re sitting here, you’re thinking thoughts about God that aren’t true. Maybe you’re thinking about a time that you didn’t feel he was being very patient with you. Maybe you’re thinking about a time when you read about something He did in Scripture, or you saw something he allowed to happen, something horrible that he allowed to happen, and you’re thinking, God wasn’t being patient with me then. God wasn’t being very loving with me then. If that’s what you’re thinking then you’re just proving the point. God has so much patience and love towards you, He is still making your heart beat. Even when we sit here enjoying our next breath solely due to his great mercy, we question his goodness. It is truly to our shame.

 

But Christ is not a wimp. He is not a pushover. He is not weak. When he went through the temple flipping tables and brandishing a whip, he was being loving then, too. Demanding that people stop sinning, stop behaving in an evil way, is loving. The most loving thing we can do when people are engaged in rebellion against God, is warn them away from it. Scripture often speaks of Christ as both a lion and a lamb. So don’t get confused. Christ is not weak. He is not small.

 

The ladies who come to study at my house on Tuesday nights have already heard this from me, cause I can’t stop talking about it. It’s one of my favorite things to think about, particularly when I feel small or out of control but I want you all to think about Jupiter with me for a second. The planet Jupiter, fifth planet from the sun, largest planet by far, 483,631,840 miles from the sun. Did you know that the Great Red Spot on Jupiter is two times as large as Earth? TWO TIMES. The spot, that one spot on Jupiter is two times bigger than our planet. We think that Jupiter has at least 79 moons, but we haven’t been able to confirm that yet. And it wasn’t that long ago that we discovered that Jupiter has rings. They aren’t as large as Saturn’s, which is why we didn’t know, but imagine that for a second. There have been rings around Jupiter that not one human being saw or even knew about in all of history until recently.

 

So what does Jupiter mean? Why am I talking about Jupiter when you came to hear about Jesus? Or maybe you came for the food, either way. I’m talking about Jupiter because it demonstrates that Christ is King. It demonstrates that Christ, the one who spoke the universe into existence out of nothing, is King over everything. He set rings around Jupiter before there was a single human being who even knew what Jupiter was. He did this millennia before any of us would have any clue they were there, before anyone could congratulate him on his excellent craftsmanship or appreciate his incredible skill. He put them there.

 

Not a single one of us in this room or a single human that’s ever been born can even begin to wrap our minds around a creator God so large that Jupiter is but a tiny speck to Him. Science cannot even begin to tell us with any amount of certainty what the size of the universe is. We don’t know. We have guesses. But the terrifying and amazing fact is that our universe is so large, so filled with trillions and trillions of galaxies that we will never see because of how small we are. And the God who is commanding your heart beat right now, he made all of it. With a word. He spoke. And it came into existence, beauty and wonder and size and majesty that we cannot even begin to comprehend. He did that. He didn’t break a sweat. He made Jupiter with ease and there are days that I have a hard time just making dinner. And that is the God that holds me. He is the God that is holding you. He holds an entire universe together with a word.

 

And what did the Word do? Well the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1 tells us this. God became flesh and he dwelt among us. The almighty God for whom there is not a single rogue atom in the universe, became a man. And He did this because He promised us he would. All the way back in Genesis, the very beginning of time, which is when we went and screwed everything up, He promised that he would send a son that would destroy sin, Satan, and death, and that son was Jesus Christ, God’s own son.

 

You see Jesus is not some wimpy maybe-savior who’s gently knocking on the door of your heart asking if He can come in. He is the reason your heart is beating. He’s the reason hearts exist. He came up with that idea. The insane idea of a weird fleshy muscle pounding every second of the day moving weird-smelling liquid throughout our bodies, delivering oxygen, allowing us to move. It’s a weird idea. It’s an amazing, miraculous system. And no matter how smart any of us are, none of us have ever come close to ever conceiving of a system as complicated as our own heartbeats. I can barely handle a five-ingredient lasagna. That is how glorious our Creator is! He’s so glorious, he’s so beyond anything we can imagine that he put rings around Jupiter that testify of His glory and his power and magnitude ages before any of us very small creatures ever could have known they were there. Scripture says that the heavens declare the glory of God and the more we learn about the heavens, the more we should be absolutely convinced that this is the truth. He is the truth. Because He made it.

 

And don’t we know this already, in our weird fleshy hearts? Don’t we already know just from looking around us that God is so far above us, so more beautiful and amazing than we can comprehend? I haven’t made any pottery since about the third grade, but I remember what my pitiful looking vase looked like when I was done with it. I mean, it was bad. But it was the best I could do. And I hope you’d agree that even as a 9 year old, I was bigger, more capable, more pleasing to the eye, smarter, and more creative than the lump of clay I basically turned into a vase. Well compared to God, this incredible universe we know almost nothing about is about as complicated and beautiful and pleasing to the eye as my third grade vase was to me. THAT is how the heavens declare the glory of God, because compared to his beauty and his majesty and his power and his strength and his wisdom, the entire universe is a lump of clay.

 

This is why we should all be okay with being commanded by this God. The only reasonable response to this God is complete adoration and obedience. Anything else would be my vase from 3rd grade trying to steal my car. It’s not even possible. It’s a ridiculous thought. But that’s how ridiculous it is to disobey God. That’s how ridiculous it is not to trust him. That’s how ridiculous it is to think we are in control and He is not. It’s absurd.

 

But think about the implications of this. They’re huge. They consume everything. They SHOULD consume everything. Since God made you, He knows exactly who you are and exactly what you need. The glory of God is your rest. God is so glorious, you don’t have to be. The world tells you you have to be a certain way, you have to do certain things. You have to look a certain way to have value. But you don’t. You’re a human being. You weren’t meant to have glory. You were meant to reflect His glory. You are meant to worship Him and give Him glory. Christ is glorious, so you don’t have to be. All we have to do is love Him.

 

And why wouldn’t we? I mean think about this for a second, truly. Why wouldn’t we? He created us. He sustains us. He loves us. He gives and he gives and he gives and he gives to us. He is the most powerful being there ever has been or ever will be. And he planned every moment of our lives before he created us with loving care, before he put us together in our mother’s wombs he planned out how many heart beats he would graciously give us despite how much he knew we would spit in his face, we would doubt him, we wouldn’t trust him, we wouldn’t seek him, he was planning out all the ways he would lavish his love upon us. Can you imagine? Can any of us say we have ever even come close to being that patient with anyone in our lives? He is tireless. His love and his patience and His grace towards us is absolutely tireless. Why wouldn’t we worship Him?

 

Jesus is our King. He deserves all of our worship. He deserves every moment of our lives. And not only that, but he demands it. He demands your obedience in all of your life. In all that we do. He said that if we love him, we will obey him. These two actions go hand in hand and one does not exist without the other. You cannot love Christ if you won’t obey him, and you cannot obey him if you do not love him.

 

But isn’t that great news? The One who is truth and is the way we should go and IS our very life, HE is the one we GET to spend our lives loving and obeying! When you look at this incredible universe, do you see anything other than an amazing God? If you do, you need to look with new eyes. Look to the heavens that declare His glory. Look to his provision. Listen to your heartbeats. It is incumbent upon us to worship this God for who he truly is.

 

He has declared that he is the truth. He is the way. He is the life. He graciously stepped into his own creation and became a man. He lived the sinless life that we could not live, and he bore the wrath of God on the cross that we deserved. His did this so that we could die with him, and in his resurrection, we resurrected with him. Romans 6 tells us that our death with Christ is a death to sin. It’s a death to our sinful nature. His resurrected secured a new nature for us. We live now through Christ. We live for Christ. We live because of Christ. We are now no longer slaves to sin.

 

This means that we can now obey him. We must obey him. We aren’t so much princesses in God’s kingdom as we are staff members. We have work to do. And this work that we GET to do is kingdom work in service to the one who bought us.

 

We have a job to do, ladies. Our job is joyful obedience to the great King who made us and bought us with his own blood. Jesus died so that you no longer have to be a slave to your idols. You have been set free from self-loathing. You have been set free from self-obsession. You have nothing more that you have to earn. Your value is fixed, because your value is hidden in Christ. Our job is to look more and more like Christ.

 

Christ willingly submitted himself to the Father’s will, and He did this to the point of death. Our job is to imitate Christ’s self-sacrificial love to the people around us. We are literally called to lay down our lives in service of others. This is a radical call. This is the opposite of theft, murder, adultery, and covetousness. This has so many implications for us. I started writing down a list of some of those implications but that started turning into it’s own talk so I’ll be brief and hit on a few that I really want to leave you with today.

 

You see, the world loves self-sacrifice. Every great movie made by unbelievers includes incredible sacrifice. We cry over beloved characters who lay down their lives for others, and these are all archetypes of the greatest sacrifice ever made by God himself on the cross. Think about it. Bing bong in Inside Out. Gandalf when he threw himself off a bridge in the Lord of the Rings. Jack Dawson when he didn’t get on that floating door at the end of Titanic so Rose could live. Harry Potter laid down his life to save his friends. We admire these characters. They touch us. Why? Because we know that self-sacrifice is the greatest act of love we can commit.

 

So why do we do it? We do it because God commands it. God requires it of us. We do it because it brings him honor and it brings him glory. We do it to please God. And there is nothing that God commands us to do that isn’t GOOD for us. You see a life lived for your own self-satisfaction is no life at all. You might as well steal your neighbors car if satisfaction in and of itself is your ultimate goal. But Christ tells us to come and die. Die in him so that we might live in him.

 

This means that running on a hamster wheel of meeting your own felt needs and dreams and desires….they might need to die. It’s so easy for us to believe that we would be fulfilled if we just got that next promotion. Lost those next ten pounds. Had more friends. Maybe if we had more money in the bank we’d finally be able to rest in Christ. Maybe if our kids were a little more obedient, then we could be more obedient and fulfilled and happy. Maybe if our husbands were a little kinder maybe then we could be better wives.

 

No. Christ died to set you free from all of this. You are not enough. Your next job promotion isn’t going to be enough and if you do lose ten pounds, it still won’t be enough and if you had more friends, that wouldn’t fix the problem either. Your problem is not in any of these things. Our problem is not our looks or mental state or our felt needs. Every single one of us has a great need. Our greatest need is to be set right with God. And once that need is met, we won’t be looking to anyone or anything else to fulfill us. We won’t even have time, because our love for God will propel us into a life of service to our King. He is enough. And only He is enough.

 

A lot of times I think we tend to think that this is just a lot of work. It’s just too hard. All that self-sacrifice stuff, it’s too much, I’m too weak. But that’s not true. It’s true that it’s a lot of work but you are never a truer, more fulfilled version of yourself than when you are living in obedience to Christ because looking like Christ is what God created you for. You weren’t created to look for rest outside of God because there is no rest outside of God. There might be band-aids. There might be momentary pleasures, sure. But Psalm 16:11 tells us that it is in God’s presence that we experience the fullness of joy. It is in God that lasting pleasure can be found.

 

What is truly exhausting, what I can testify to firsthand, is just how exhausting it is to live for your own glory. It’s so exhausting. Because here is the truth: I am not worthy of glory. I’m simply not. I am not worthy of worship. And when we seek glory for ourselves, when we seek for worship from others for ourselves, doesn’t it just hurt? Isn’t that where a lot of our pain comes from? When we’re busy going around waiting for others to worship us? Don’t we get our feelings hurt when our kids don’t treat us like the intelligent mothers we are? Don’t we get so offended when someone doesn’t like how we dress? How dare they? Right? Don’t we all get down when we think people just aren’t appreciating us enough? And then we trap ourselves in the lie that if everyone else just treated us right well then we’d be happy and we’d be less grumpy. Right?

 

No. That’s not how it works. None of us are worthy of worship. And if we did finally get everyone around us to just see how truly amazing we are, would it ever be enough? Wouldn’t there always be someone out there who wasn’t getting their worship of you just right? There’s no end to this. There’s no rest in this. There’s no peace in this. Why? Because we aren’t meant be glorified. We are meant to be the glorifiers. WE are meant to glorify God. And when we do that, we aren’t self-seeking but we are seeking to love others because it glorifies God, that’s peaceful. That’s full of rest. There’s no bitterness or resentment there. A christian should be someone that’s very difficult to offend because we know our place before our King. We are servants. We aren’t looking for praise. We are looking for ways to praise our King. That’s freeing. You wanna be free? You wanna feel rest? Peace? Contentment?

 

Worship the King. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. So get your yoke on. You’re never empty. You’re never running on empty when the Spirit of God is with you. He promises in His word to enable us to do good works. If the works you are doing are not something you feel able to do, maybe they aren’t good works. Maybe it’s not the work you should be working. The christian life is absolutely one that includes hard work. But it is good work. It is work that HE will enable you to do, so you have to be resting in Him to do them. He is not a tyrannical King. He is a good King. And he is enough for you.

 

So I want to end with this. Maybe you have some missing dots. Maybe you’re wondering what is so fulfilling about a life full of Christian duties and commands and obedience. Maybe you’re wondering how its possible that Christ could be king over something as simple as your laundry routine or your workout routine or all of things I am claiming He is absolutely Lord over. Well 1 Peter 1:3 tells us that God has given us all that we need for life and godliness. Not some things. Not a few things. Not some suggestions. He says that we have been given ALL that we need for life and godliness and we have those things in Scripture.

 

Christ is absolutely King over your laundry routine. He is absolutely King over your workout routine. He is absolutely King over your Netflix history, your browser history, your wallet, and how you speak to your husband. If you don’t know how and you wanna know how, this is your formal invite. Myself and a few others are going to be reading the New Testament together over the summer. Starting June 3rd, we are doing a bible reading challenge. We are doing this because we believe that what God has said about Scripture is true. That in it we actually do have all that we need for life and godliness. We believe that the Word of God is true and that the truth sets us free. We believe that Scripture is able to teach us, correct us, and feed us.

 

So come and eat with us. We believe that God loves us so much that he has set a table with a feast on it in His word and we believe that His word is life-changing. We don’t need to scramble around under the table looking for scraps from other christians we might think might be smarter and wiser than us. No, we just need to believe that what the Bible says about the Bible is true–it’s sharper than any two edged-sword and God wants to talk to us. Scripture is how God talks to us. The creator of Jupiter. He wrote a book for us. He wants us to come, eat from it, and live.

 

It’s not a trivial thing to do. Ever heard of the Reformation? It was an explosion of intellectual thought, the toppling of tyrannical governments and church, an explosion in technology and medical care, an explosion in Christian liberty, women’s freedoms and women’s rights. What kicked all of that off? Why did the largest, sweeping change in human history happen at this time?

 

It happened because for the first time in centuries, people could read the Bible. Before this happened, the common man didn’t have access to the Scriptures like we have today. But with the invention of the printing press and with the leadership of bold men who insisted that people be able to read the Scriptures for themselves, we are sitting in a world right now that would have looked drastically different otherwise.

 

It was regular people reading the Scriptures that changed the face of the world. If you want a revival, don’t build a tent and wait for a feeling. Open your Bible.

 

 

 

The following is a transcript of a talk I gave at a women’s event in my local church. 

I recently had a friend ask me to read Charles Spurgeon’s sermon on the Lily of the Valley. I hadn’t read it before, and it greatly blessed me. I long to see a day when the church universal has the incredibly high view of Jesus that Spurgeon preached and that Scripture reveals to us.

Reading this sermon, it hit me that Christ is so much more beautiful, powerful, and holy than we grasp. Christ is not at all like what many in the church say He is like. But He is especially not like what the world says he is like.

I’ll give you an example. Have you ever run into the argument that Christianity can’t be true because Christians can be really terrible people? Like if Christianity is true and Jesus really was God, why are all His followers such jerks? Don’t we all know how many wars and crusades and witch-trials have been carried out in Jesus’ name? Who on earth would want to be a Christian when the result of belief in Jesus can be so ugly?

Let’s try applying this logic to something else. Did you guys know that a lot of really terrible things have happened in the name of science? Human experimentation, for example, was a favorite for the Nazi scientists. We do have to credit them with a lot of what we know about the human brain and how it functions and how to fix it. The women who pioneered the science that we currently have behind how radiation works all died horrible deaths, and all of this was for the sake of science so I’m thinking that perhaps science is bad, and we should all stop listening to scientists. Look at all the horrible things science-believers have done!

Don’t even get me started on food. I simply cannot believe in food because of all of the horrible things it has done to us throughout history. Unwisely proportioned food has been known to take the lives of infants. So many wars have been fought over food. And in fact, our dependence on food regularly drives people to greed and theft. Because of all of the horrible things that can happen because of food, I think it’d be insane for any of us to continue supporting the use of food. The results are just too disastrous for us to continue to have it in our lives.

Hopefully you see what I’m getting at here. Hopefully we can all reject the insane idea that we can actually judge the validity or necessity of something purely on the ways that humans have used and abused it. Hopefully these examples highlight something that is incredibly important.

 

Science in and of itself is not bad.

Food in and of itself is not bad.

What is bad?

We are. We are bad.We are incredibly, horribly wretched. There is simply no end to the list of ways that humans—all of us—can destroy things. We can turn the incredible goodness of food into a weapon. We can use science to harm people. And yes—many, many people have used the name of Christ to do terrible things.

Fallen humanity is no reason to reject Christ. This is all the more reason for all of us to bow the knee to Christ, because He alone is good.

Christ made an incredible claim about himself and who he is. It is the most incredible claim that has ever been made and your entire life hinges on it. His incredible, life-changing claim is this: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” (John 14:6)

You cannot miss this. Jesus’s actual claim is that he is THE way. THE truth. THE life. There is not a single way that any of us can come to God without Him. There is one truth, and HE is it. There are not multiple truths, multiple ways, multiple lives. There’s one way for all of this to go, and it’s THROUGH him.

We now live in a post-truth world, which means we live in a time when we hear people talking about “their truth.” Our culture does not believe that there is a singular truth. Truth is relative. I have my truth, you have your truth, what’s true for you might not be true for me, so on and so crookedly forth. Jesus here calls all of that garbage. If the postmodernists are right, and we all can have whatever truth we want, then Jesus is a liar, and He cannot be God.

None of us actually live as though the world operates on relative principles, do we? We insist on unchanging standards, both moral and natural. We insist that murder is bad.

We insist that stealing is bad. When we get on an airplane we insist that the laws of aerodynamics still apply to the airplane. When we go to cook dinner we insist that when enough heat is applied to water, that the water will boil. We insist on these things. We want these things. These things are good. It fact, it’d be silly to discard them.

 

There is an order to the world that we are extremely dependent on. We are all utterly dependent on the sun doing what the sun is doing right now. We are dependent on our exact distance from the sun. If our position from the sun was to change, whether we were to come closer or move farther, we’d all be dead. Right now my brain is telling my lungs to breathe. It’s controlling my blood pressure, it’s making my heart beat. All of these things are absolutely necessary to my survival and I consciously control noneof them. If my brain were to quit right this second and I were to collapse and die, it would be shocking to you. Some would call it a tragedy, for someone my age in relatively good health to die if this natural system built into my brain were to quit functioning as it’s supposed to. But why? Because the laws governing my normally functioning brain would have been intruded upon. Because we are all expecting, myself included, that because of some mysterious system going on against my will in my body, that my heart is going to continue beating.

This works with the moral order, as well. If I were to walk outside right now, and a stranger walked up to me and took my life, I hope you’d agree with me that was wrong. You should call it evil. If I were to walk up to you after this talk and slap you in the face, I hope you’d agree with me that that was wrong. If I were to take your car keys and steal your car, I think you’d agree with me that that was wrong.

The thing is, our entire world operates as if all of these things are true, as if the sun is going to be in the same place tomorrow as it is today, as if all of our involuntary bodily functions will continue tomorrow as they are today, as if none of us are allowed to slap people or steal their cars or commit murder because we all know that we shouldn’t. We operate on unchanging standards and expectations and yet our culture wants us to believe that truth is relative.

I want you to understand the absurdity of believing that truth can be relative while also believing that your neighbor shouldn’t steal your car. After all, if your neighbor’s truth is that stealing your car would bring them joy, who are you to say that it wouldn’t? If it is your neighbor’s truth that slapping you in the face is not evil, it’s actually loving, then who are you to demean their truth?

Our culture, in many ways, demands God’s standards. They want His moral truth. God says don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t commit adultery, don’t lie, don’t covet. We want everyone else to obey these commands because it protects us from harm. We want the natural order He has built into our bodies to give us our next heartbeat. The problem is that we don’t always want HIM. We all always want God’s benefits. It’s just that we don’t always want his commands.

Get excited though, because I have really, really good news for you. We’re humans, so when we hear the word “command”, we tend to get kinda uptight. “Command” is a bad word, right? We don’t want to be commanded. We don’t think anyone should get to tell us what to do. Well here’s the good news: the one who made you, the one who built you and is right this very second commanding your lungs to breathe, the good news about Him is that HE. IS. GOOD.

He is a very good God. John tells us in 1 John 4 that God is love. He IS love. That means that Jesus, God in the flesh, is always loving. Everything that He does is loving. The heartbeat you just had is God’s love towards you. Our position in the solar system that sustains our very existence is God’s love towards you. I could even make a case that some weird mole you have that you aren’t particularly fond of is God’s love towards you, but I’ll save that for another time.

 

Part of God’s love towards us is his incredible patience towards us. Because if you’re anything like me, even as you’re sitting here, you’re thinking thoughts about God that aren’t true. Maybe you’re thinking about a time that you didn’t feel he was being very patient with you. Maybe you’re thinking about a time when you read about something He did in Scripture, or you saw something he allowed to happen, something horrible that he allowed to happen, and you’re thinking, God wasn’t being patient with me then. God wasn’t being very loving with me then. If that’s what you’re thinking then you’re just proving the point. God has so much patience and love towards you, He is still making your heart beat. Even when we sit here enjoying our next breath solely due to his great mercy, we question his goodness. It is truly to our shame.

 

But Christ is not a wimp. He is not a pushover. He is not weak. When he went through the temple flipping tables and brandishing a whip, he was being loving then, too. Demanding that people stop sinning, stop behaving in an evil way, is loving. The most loving thing we can do when people are engaged in rebellion against God, is warn them away from it. Scripture often speaks of Christ as both a lion and a lamb. So don’t get confused. Christ is not weak. He is not small.

 

The ladies who come to study at my house on Tuesday nights have already heard this from me, cause I can’t stop talking about it. It’s one of my favorite things to think about, particularly when I feel small or out of control but I want you all to think about Jupiter with me for a second. The planet Jupiter, fifth planet from the sun, largest planet by far, 483,631,840 miles from the sun. Did you know that the Great Red Spot on Jupiter is two times as large as Earth? TWO TIMES. The spot, that one spot on Jupiter is two times bigger than our planet. We think that Jupiter has at least 79 moons, but we haven’t been able to confirm that yet. And it wasn’t that long ago that we discovered that Jupiter has rings. They aren’t as large as Saturn’s, which is why we didn’t know, but imagine that for a second. There have been rings around Jupiter that not one human being saw or even knew about in all of history until recently.

 

So what does Jupiter mean? Why am I talking about Jupiter when you came to hear about Jesus? Or maybe you came for the food, either way. I’m talking about Jupiter because it demonstrates that Christ is King. It demonstrates that Christ, the one who spoke the universe into existence out of nothing, is King over everything. He set rings around Jupiter before there was a single human being who even knew what Jupiter was. He did this millennia before any of us would have any clue they were there, before anyone could congratulate him on his excellent craftsmanship or appreciate his incredible skill. He put them there.

 

Not a single one of us in this room or a single human that’s ever been born can even begin to wrap our minds around a creator God so large that Jupiter is but a tiny speck to Him. Science cannot even begin to tell us with any amount of certainty what the size of the universe is. We don’t know. We have guesses. But the terrifying and amazing fact is that our universe is so large, so filled with trillions and trillions of galaxies that we will never see because of how small we are. And the God who is commanding your heart beat right now, he made all of it. With a word. He spoke. And it came into existence, beauty and wonder and size and majesty that we cannot even begin to comprehend. He did that. He didn’t break a sweat. He made Jupiter with ease and there are days that I have a hard time just making dinner. And that is the God that holds me. He is the God that is holding you. He holds an entire universe together with a word.

 

And what did the Word do? Well the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1 tells us this. God became flesh and he dwelt among us. The almighty God for whom there is not a single rogue atom in the universe, became a man. And He did this because He promised us he would. All the way back in Genesis, the very beginning of time, which is when we went and screwed everything up, He promised that he would send a son that would destroy sin, Satan, and death, and that son was Jesus Christ, God’s own son.

 

You see Jesus is not some wimpy maybe-savior who’s gently knocking on the door of your heart asking if He can come in. He is the reason your heart is beating. He’s the reason hearts exist. He came up with that idea. The insane idea of a weird fleshy muscle pounding every second of the day moving weird-smelling liquid throughout our bodies, delivering oxygen, allowing us to move. It’s a weird idea. It’s an amazing, miraculous system. And no matter how smart any of us are, none of us have ever come close to ever conceiving of a system as complicated as our own heartbeats. I can barely handle a five-ingredient lasagna. That is how glorious our Creator is! He’s so glorious, he’s so beyond anything we can imagine that he put rings around Jupiter that testify of His glory and his power and magnitude ages before any of us very small creatures ever could have known they were there. Scripture says that the heavens declare the glory of God and the more we learn about the heavens, the more we should be absolutely convinced that this is the truth. He is the truth. Because He made it.

 

And don’t we know this already, in our weird fleshy hearts? Don’t we already know just from looking around us that God is so far above us, so more beautiful and amazing than we can comprehend? I haven’t made any pottery since about the third grade, but I remember what my pitiful looking vase looked like when I was done with it. I mean, it was bad. But it was the best I could do. And I hope you’d agree that even as a 9 year old, I was bigger, more capable, more pleasing to the eye, smarter, and more creative than the lump of clay I basically turned into a vase. Well compared to God, this incredible universe we know almost nothing about is about as complicated and beautiful and pleasing to the eye as my third grade vase was to me. THAT is how the heavens declare the glory of God, because compared to his beauty and his majesty and his power and his strength and his wisdom, the entire universe is a lump of clay.

 

This is why we should all be okay with being commanded by this God. The only reasonable response to this God is complete adoration and obedience. Anything else would be my vase from 3rd grade trying to steal my car. It’s not even possible. It’s a ridiculous thought. But that’s how ridiculous it is to disobey God. That’s how ridiculous it is not to trust him. That’s how ridiculous it is to think we are in control and He is not. It’s absurd.

 

But think about the implications of this. They’re huge. They consume everything. They SHOULD consume everything. Since God made you, He knows exactly who you are and exactly what you need. The glory of God is your rest. God is so glorious, you don’t have to be. The world tells you you have to be a certain way, you have to do certain things. You have to look a certain way to have value. But you don’t. You’re a human being. You weren’t meant to have glory. You were meant to reflect His glory. You are meant to worship Him and give Him glory. Christ is glorious, so you don’t have to be. All we have to do is love Him.

 

And why wouldn’t we? I mean think about this for a second, truly. Why wouldn’t we? He created us. He sustains us. He loves us. He gives and he gives and he gives and he gives to us. He is the most powerful being there ever has been or ever will be. And he planned every moment of our lives before he created us with loving care, before he put us together in our mother’s wombs he planned out how many heart beats he would graciously give us despite how much he knew we would spit in his face, we would doubt him, we wouldn’t trust him, we wouldn’t seek him, he was planning out all the ways he would lavish his love upon us. Can you imagine? Can any of us say we have ever even come close to being that patient with anyone in our lives? He is tireless. His love and his patience and His grace towards us is absolutely tireless. Why wouldn’t we worship Him?

 

Jesus is our King. He deserves all of our worship. He deserves every moment of our lives. And not only that, but he demands it. He demands your obedience in all of your life. In all that we do. He said that if we love him, we will obey him. These two actions go hand in hand and one does not exist without the other. You cannot love Christ if you won’t obey him, and you cannot obey him if you do not love him.

 

But isn’t that great news? The One who is truth and is the way we should go and IS our very life, HE is the one we GET to spend our lives loving and obeying! When you look at this incredible universe, do you see anything other than an amazing God? If you do, you need to look with new eyes. Look to the heavens that declare His glory. Look to his provision. Listen to your heartbeats. It is incumbent upon us to worship this God for who he truly is.

 

He has declared that he is the truth. He is the way. He is the life. He graciously stepped into his own creation and became a man. He lived the sinless life that we could not live, and he bore the wrath of God on the cross that we deserved. His did this so that we could die with him, and in his resurrection, we resurrected with him. Romans 6 tells us that our death with Christ is a death to sin. It’s a death to our sinful nature. His resurrected secured a new nature for us. We live now through Christ. We live for Christ. We live because of Christ. We are now no longer slaves to sin.

 

This means that we can now obey him. We must obey him. We aren’t so much princesses in God’s kingdom as we are staff members. We have work to do. And this work that we GET to do is kingdom work in service to the one who bought us.

 

We have a job to do, ladies. Our job is joyful obedience to the great King who made us and bought us with his own blood. Jesus died so that you no longer have to be a slave to your idols. You have been set free from self-loathing. You have been set free from self-obsession. You have nothing more that you have to earn. Your value is fixed, because your value is hidden in Christ. Our job is to look more and more like Christ.

 

Christ willingly submitted himself to the Father’s will, and He did this to the point of death. Our job is to imitate Christ’s self-sacrificial love to the people around us. We are literally called to lay down our lives in service of others. This is a radical call. This is the opposite of theft, murder, adultery, and covetousness. This has so many implications for us. I started writing down a list of some of those implications but that started turning into it’s own talk so I’ll be brief and hit on a few that I really want to leave you with today.

 

You see, the world loves self-sacrifice. Every great movie made by unbelievers includes incredible sacrifice. We cry over beloved characters who lay down their lives for others, and these are all archetypes of the greatest sacrifice ever made by God himself on the cross. Think about it. Bing bong in Inside Out. Gandalf when he threw himself off a bridge in the Lord of the Rings. Jack Dawson when he didn’t get on that floating door at the end of Titanic so Rose could live. Harry Potter laid down his life to save his friends. We admire these characters. They touch us. Why? Because we know that self-sacrifice is the greatest act of love we can commit.

 

So why do we do it? We do it because God commands it. God requires it of us. We do it because it brings him honor and it brings him glory. We do it to please God. And there is nothing that God commands us to do that isn’t GOOD for us. You see a life lived for your own self-satisfaction is no life at all. You might as well steal your neighbors car if satisfaction in and of itself is your ultimate goal. But Christ tells us to come and die. Die in him so that we might live in him.

 

This means that running on a hamster wheel of meeting your own felt needs and dreams and desires….they might need to die. It’s so easy for us to believe that we would be fulfilled if we just got that next promotion. Lost those next ten pounds. Had more friends. Maybe if we had more money in the bank we’d finally be able to rest in Christ. Maybe if our kids were a little more obedient, then we could be more obedient and fulfilled and happy. Maybe if our husbands were a little kinder maybe then we could be better wives.

 

No. Christ died to set you free from all of this. You are not enough. Your next job promotion isn’t going to be enough and if you do lose ten pounds, it still won’t be enough and if you had more friends, that wouldn’t fix the problem either. Your problem is not in any of these things. Our problem is not our looks or mental state or our felt needs. Every single one of us has a great need. Our greatest need is to be set right with God. And once that need is met, we won’t be looking to anyone or anything else to fulfill us. We won’t even have time, because our love for God will propel us into a life of service to our King. He is enough. And only He is enough.

 

A lot of times I think we tend to think that this is just a lot of work. It’s just too hard. All that self-sacrifice stuff, it’s too much, I’m too weak. But that’s not true. It’s true that it’s a lot of work but you are never a truer, more fulfilled version of yourself than when you are living in obedience to Christ because looking like Christ is what God created you for. You weren’t created to look for rest outside of God because there is no rest outside of God. There might be band-aids. There might be momentary pleasures, sure. But Psalm 16:11 tells us that it is in God’s presence that we experience the fullness of joy. It is in God that lasting pleasure can be found.

 

What is truly exhausting, what I can testify to firsthand, is just how exhausting it is to live for your own glory. It’s so exhausting. Because here is the truth: I am not worthy of glory. I’m simply not. I am not worthy of worship. And when we seek glory for ourselves, when we seek for worship from others for ourselves, doesn’t it just hurt? Isn’t that where a lot of our pain comes from? When we’re busy going around waiting for others to worship us? Don’t we get our feelings hurt when our kids don’t treat us like the intelligent mothers we are? Don’t we get so offended when someone doesn’t like how we dress? How dare they? Right? Don’t we all get down when we think people just aren’t appreciating us enough? And then we trap ourselves in the lie that if everyone else just treated us right well then we’d be happy and we’d be less grumpy. Right?

 

No. That’s not how it works. None of us are worthy of worship. And if we did finally get everyone around us to just see how truly amazing we are, would it ever be enough? Wouldn’t there always be someone out there who wasn’t getting their worship of you just right? There’s no end to this. There’s no rest in this. There’s no peace in this. Why? Because we aren’t meant be glorified. We are meant to be the glorifiers. WE are meant to glorify God. And when we do that, we aren’t self-seeking but we are seeking to love others because it glorifies God, that’s peaceful. That’s full of rest. There’s no bitterness or resentment there. A christian should be someone that’s very difficult to offend because we know our place before our King. We are servants. We aren’t looking for praise. We are looking for ways to praise our King. That’s freeing. You wanna be free? You wanna feel rest? Peace? Contentment?

 

Worship the King. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. So get your yoke on. You’re never empty. You’re never running on empty when the Spirit of God is with you. He promises in His word to enable us to do good works. If the works you are doing are not something you feel able to do, maybe they aren’t good works. Maybe it’s not the work you should be working. The christian life is absolutely one that includes hard work. But it is good work. It is work that HE will enable you to do, so you have to be resting in Him to do them. He is not a tyrannical King. He is a good King. And he is enough for you.

 

So I want to end with this. Maybe you have some missing dots. Maybe you’re wondering what is so fulfilling about a life full of Christian duties and commands and obedience. Maybe you’re wondering how its possible that Christ could be king over something as simple as your laundry routine or your workout routine or all of things I am claiming He is absolutely Lord over. Well 1 Peter 1:3 tells us that God has given us all that we need for life and godliness. Not some things. Not a few things. Not some suggestions. He says that we have been given ALL that we need for life and godliness and we have those things in Scripture.

 

Christ is absolutely King over your laundry routine. He is absolutely King over your workout routine. He is absolutely King over your Netflix history, your browser history, your wallet, and how you speak to your husband. If you don’t know how and you wanna know how, this is your formal invite. Myself and a few others are going to be reading the New Testament together over the summer. Starting June 3rd, we are doing a bible reading challenge. We are doing this because we believe that what God has said about Scripture is true. That in it we actually do have all that we need for life and godliness. We believe that the Word of God is true and that the truth sets us free. We believe that Scripture is able to teach us, correct us, and feed us.

 

So come and eat with us. We believe that God loves us so much that he has set a table with a feast on it in His word and we believe that His word is life-changing. We don’t need to scramble around under the table looking for scraps from other christians we might think might be smarter and wiser than us. No, we just need to believe that what the Bible says about the Bible is true–it’s sharper than any two edged-sword and God wants to talk to us. Scripture is how God talks to us. The creator of Jupiter. He wrote a book for us. He wants us to come, eat from it, and live.

 

It’s not a trivial thing to do. Ever heard of the Reformation? It was an explosion of intellectual thought, the toppling of tyrannical governments and church, an explosion in technology and medical care, an explosion in Christian liberty, women’s freedoms and women’s rights. What kicked all of that off? Why did the largest, sweeping change in human history happen at this time?

 

It happened because for the first time in centuries, people could read the Bible. Before this happened, the common man didn’t have access to the Scriptures like we have today. But with the invention of the printing press and with the leadership of bold men who insisted that people be able to read the Scriptures for themselves, we are sitting in a world right now that would have looked drastically different otherwise.

 

It was regular people reading the Scriptures that changed the face of the world. If you want a revival, don’t build a tent and wait for a feeling. Open your Bible.

 

 

 

SUMMER JAEGER
Summer Jaeger is the wife to one excellent man and a homeschooling mother of four. When she is not blogging or podcasting, she is perfecting the art of the slow-cooked meal and wishing she was taking long-ish walks on the beach.
@SummrWrites Facebook sheologiansblog@gmail.com

2 Comments

  1. DiAndrea

    AAAAMMMMMEEEEEEEEEN!

    God you are so good and gracious to me.

    Is this Rachel Jankovic’s challenge? I found it on my YouVersion Bible app. Going to start! I’m behind!

    Reply
  2. Veronica Ng

    Darn! Would’ve loved to start this from the beginning! Oh well! Great post!

    Reply

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