..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"Daniel Purposed" & The Eternal Purpose of God

This is part two of a bible study on Daniel

"Daniel Purposed" & The Eternal Purpose of God

We have been studying the concept
of Daniel "purposing" in his heart
to serve God. Let us look at the
Divine Inventor of all that is,
the Purposer of Purpose--
and see what the very purpose of
God is in creation and in redemption.

Romans 8:28 & 29 tells us that "All
things work together for good to those
who love God, to those who are called
according to His purpose. For whom
He foreknew, He also predestined to be
conformed into the image of His Son
that He might be the firstborn among
many brethren."

Often the reading of verse 28 is
taken out of context in this way:
it is often read on its own and
fails to emphasize vs. 29!

The purpose of God is completely
centered in Christ! It is all
about Jesus! If we can begin
to understand the purpose of
God and begin to allow it to
penetrate our thinking and
eclipse our self-obscessive thinking
with ourselves we will soon
come to a great place of
freedom. We will no longer be
viewing our own personal lives,
along with their problems, victories,
defeats and various trials as
the center point of our
existence. We have been created
through and for Christ! (Colossians

Often when we hear Romans 8:28
quoted it is quoted to assure us
that all will be well, and indeed,
all WILL be well--because God
will triumph with His purposes
for Christ! We get to be part of
that, we get to watch that,
applaud it, participate in that,
be we must never forget that
we are UNTO HIM and not He
unto us.

This whole grand universe is not
about everything ultimately "going
right" for me, but everything being
brought into Christ! Ephesians 1: 9-10
says, "having made known to us
the mystery of His will,
according to His good pleasure,
which He purposed in Himself,

that in the dispensation of the
fulness of the times He might
gather together in one all
things in Christ, both which are
in heaven, and which are on
earth--IN HIM!"

When God created this whole
world, when He planned and
purposed all that would be,
He put Christ at the center
of it, and this thought
brought Him great pleasure!

Christ above all! Christ in
all! Christ at the center of
all things! Christ holding
all things together! All things
inside of Christ!

We need to grasp the Christ-
centeredness of this universe.
We need to allow our minds to
hold that truth for it shall
change the way we relate to
ourselves and to our lives.

So often we are still thinking
that it is all about us. Christ
yes, has won our salvation,
but the salvation now seems to
makes it all about me, again,
and how I can gain from that.

Dear Ones, we are all presents
for Christ, handcrafted by God,
perfected and purified by the
Holy Spirit. We are all called
to be "unto Him." Yes, we have
meaning and existence, and happiness
and salvation, but they are all
merely happy by-products of God's
gift to His Son Jesus!

When doubts plague us, when
we wonder about what our purpose
is, when we look to find meaning,
we often put ourselves at the
center of that search. If we put
Christ at the center, where God
puts Him, then we could find our
place much more readily: we
are wrapped under the tree of Calvary,
now a glorious tree of life, and not
a somber tree of death, as a present
for Christ.

At Calvary, Christ proved that
the Father's confidence
in Him was right: that all
things rightfully belong to Him
because He payed the ultimate
price and not only that, but
because of the absolute
loveliness of His Person.

The salvation that Christ
won for us was not the end,
but the restoration for what
was just beginning: the consummation
of all things in Christ.

The plan of God in the garden
of Eden was just the beginning
of God's plan. God did not intend
to just create a few happy people
in the garden of God. He intended
to sweep it all into a grander,
more glorious place: a family,
even a bride for His Son. The
garden of eden starts with a few,
but ends up as the great City of God
even, the Lamb's wife (Rev 21:9,10).

That plan was momentarily challenged
by our sinful choice, but God
had already foreseen, predestined,
fore-ordained a greater victory!

Often the mentality that we come
away with from the modern gospel
is that we need to "accept Jesus"
so that we can go to heaven.
That is just the beginning! And
in some ways that is not even
the point. Jesus does not need
"accepting". God has already
accepted Him. We need to be
accepted by HIM!

God did not make heaven to have
a nice place to put us when we
die! "Heaven" is not going to
be all about us, but all about
Christ receiving all that is due
to Him!

T.Austin-Sparks writes this:

"The intention in the heart of God
in bringing this universe into
existence was that, ultimately,
the whole creation should display
the glory and supremacy of His Son,
Jesus Christ; and this one little
fragment, "and in Him all things
hold together" (Col. 1:17), says quite
clearly that but for the Lord Jesus Christ
the whole universe would disintegrate,
fall apart; it would be without
its uniting factor; it would cease
to have a reason for being maintained
as a complete and concrete whole.

Its holding together, its failure to
disintegrate and break up, is because
of this: God has determined that the
Lord Jesus shall be the centre, the
governing centre, of this whole universe,
and He - God's Son - is the explanation
of creation. But for Him, there never
would have been a creation. Take Him out,
and creation loses its purpose and its
object, and need not go on any longer.
"Christ is all, and in all", was the
thought, the ruling thought, in the
mind of God in the creation of the universe."

Wow! Who is man that You are mindful of
Him,and the son of man, that you should visit
him (Psalm 8:4)? Austin-Sparks further comments
on the purpose of man:

What is the explanation of man? ... God
intended that every man entering this
world should be conformed to the image
of His Son, Jesus Christ. Multitudes
will miss it, but there will be multitudes
such as no man can number, out of every tribe
and kindred and nation and tongue, who will
realize it.

What a high calling! What a different
conception of man that is from that which
is popularly held, and what a thing to be
missed! And yet there are many who say
complainingly that if they had had
their way they would never have come into
this world. There have been those who,
in an hour of eclipse, cursed the day
that they saw the light.

Ah, but something has gone wrong there;
that is not how the Lord meant it to be,
and however much we may have blue days,
when we wonder whether really it is
worthwhile after all, let us come back
to God's thought in our very being. It
is our tremendous privilege, the highest
honour that could ever have been conferred
upon us from the Divine standpoint,
that we should have been born.

We do not always feel or speak like that,
but we are constantly compelled to bring
ourselves back to God's point of view about
this and to remember that His purpose is to
have a universe peopled with such as are
conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus
Christ, a people who are a universal
manifestation of Christ glorified with
the glory of the Father. That is a
privilege, an honour, something to be
born for! That is the explanation of man.

God wants to make known His infinite
wisdom BY THE CHURCH to the principalities
and powers in the heavenly places.
God is telling a story to all of heaven!
I wonder if the heavenly onlookers feel
it is a nailbiter or if they wait with
awed expectation to see this "fellowship of
the mystery" explained and revealed
(Ephesians 3:8-11).

Think of it, every humble Christian who
has ever lived, every saved soul in the
backwoods or the jungle, illiterate or
unknown, unlearned or without honor in
the equation of the worldly wisdom, is
part of the eternal purpose of God!
They, indeed we, are made by Christ and
to Christ and shall be a pleasure for Christ!

Angels look into these matters and shake
their heads (I Peter 1:12)! Even we who
are being saved are not clear as to the
greatness of what our salvation means!
Beloved, we need to inquire of the Lord,
take His perspective, line our minds up
with His purpose. That is a great purpose
to purpose! No lesser purpose will
ever do! Ask God to show you His
Purpose. It will change your life

(this bible study is a continuation
of a Bible Study on the book of Daniel,
further installments are archived in
this blog under "Daniel Bible Study"
and "Bible"

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