Category Archives: God

god insists on our happiness

When God insists that he alone be our God, he is insisting on our happiness, since nothing compares with God when it comes to satisfying our longings.

Scott J. Hafemann, The God of Promise and the Life of Faith, page 41.

the essence of worship

To worship is not just to offer compliments to God but to offer oneself to God, not as a gift but as something that always rightfully belonged to him. Worship is therefore giving God what is due to him, not just our service and obedience but our very selves. We can obey and serve God to a self-gratifying extent without ever trusting in him. The entrusting of oneself to God is the essence of worship.

Matthew Jacoby, Deeper Places, page 132.

worship is a motion away from autonomy and toward god

Throughout the psalms, a profound process of transferal takes place. One yoke is replaced with another. The exodus experience is enacted over and over again. The yoke of slavery is replaced by the yoke of God. This process is the essence of what we call worship, and it is essential that we allow the psalms to define worship in accordance with this process. It is important to understand worship on a continuum. Worship is a motion away from autonomy and toward God. It is an act of renunciation and reappropriation. We renounce our autonomy, we give up the right to set the goals for our lives, and we come under the authority of God.

Matthew Jacoby, Deeper Places, page 131-132.

god’s will is beautifully simple

The only thing we must do in life is the will of God. Given that we were created in accordance with God’s will, this is as natural to the soul as flying is to a bird or swimming is to a fish. Far from being onerous, the doing of God’s will is actually the very means by which we experience the joy of life. It is the flight path of the soul. And what is more, it is also beautifully simple. God’s will is simply that we receive, reciprocate and share his love.

Matthew Jacoby, Deeper Places, page 129.

our overindulged desires

When we call on God, we expect him to turn up right away with our requests in hand, but from where has this expectation come? It is a culturally formed expectation, not a biblically formed one. The biblical narrative – and particularly the psalms – show us that God often allows a lot of time between the seeking and the finding so as to intensify the seeking, which in turn enlarges the finding. But when we call out to God, if we don’t get an answer, if we don’t sense his peace and joy right away, we tend to give up and go away disillusioned. Our desires have been so overindulged that they are easily exhausted by expending the smallest effort in pursuit of anything. Easy pleasure and constant entertainment of the senses have immobilized our will against pursuing anything beyond arm’s reach.

Matthew Jacoby, Deeper Places, page 107.

seeking creates the capacity to know god

Here is the importance of waiting for God. Here is why gives us time, lots of time, to seek before we find. By seeking God, we exercise our desire for God, and as we exercise our desire for God, it grows. And when our desire for God grows to a place of supremacy in our hearts, then God is truly the God of our hearts. Seeking, therefore, creates within us the capacity to know God as God. It is by seeking that we are able to find God because seeking enables our hearts to receive God.

Matthew Jacoby, Deeper Places, pages 106-107.

our desire for God outgrows other desires

The more we seek God, the more our desire for God will grow. And if we keep on seeking God, if we refuse to give up until we have found God and even then keep seeking a deeper knowledge of God, if we stubbornly persist in seeking God in the face of all doubt and discouragement, then our desire for God will gradually outgrow our other desires.

Matthew Jacoby, Deeper Places, page 106.

desire gives continual joy

I never feel like I have given and received enough love. This is the wonderful thing about the role that desire plays in its right context. The perpetual nature of desire gives me continual joy in my relationships with those whom I love.

Matthew Jacoby, Deeper Places, page 104.

seeking is worship

Seeking is the greatest expression of praise and worship. By persistently seeking God, we declare that he is supremely desirable. To see God is to glorify God, that is, to declare his supreme worth. We might declare with our lips that God is worthy of all praise, but we demonstrate what is truly worth the most to us by what we pursue. The psalms in which people seek God, even from the most alienated positions, are truly psalms of praise and worship, perhaps even more so than those that explicitly make declarations of praise and worship.

Matthew Jacoby, Deeper Places, page 96.

appreciation and glorious grace

We naturally appreciate and thank God for what he has done for us. But it is too easy to be preoccupied with our benefits and overlook what God’s grace means to him. We are saved by grace because that is appropriate to God’s nature and purposes, bringing him glory as it brings us salvation. We are alerted to that at the very beginning of the epistle by the words “to the praise of his glorious grace” (Ephesians 1:6).

Walter l. Liefeld, Ephesians, page 87.