I am a big fan of simple and logical—that which is easy to understand and just makes sense.
Paul said, "But knowledge puffs up while love builds up." (1 Cor. 8:1b)
I want to build up.
A couple of weeks prior to this post, I wrote three related posts:
These posts are intended to lay a logical foundation that I aim to build upon, beginning with this post.
If someone asked you, "What does GOD want from me?" what would you tell them?
It's a simple question.
In fact, it's so basic, we rarely even discuss it in these terms (in my experience, at least). Where would you begin to answer this question?
I believe the answer to this question is comprised of three fundamental truths.
1. GOD wants you to know Him.
GOD has gone to great lengths to make Himself known, despite His invisible nature (to the physical eye).
First, He has created the world that we live in, in all its beauty and wonder.
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
(Rom. 1:18-20 NIV)
Second, GOD has blessed you, and all people, richly. My dad frequently says that no living human has ever experienced what is like to be outside GOD's presence—apart from His blessings.
Jesus said it this way:
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
(Matt. 5:45b NIV)
Every blessing comes directly from GOD:
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
(Jam. 1:17 NIV)
Third, GOD has given you a message, a history of His dealings with man, which includes truths to believe, instructions to follow, and promises to be received. We call this message the Bible.
Fourth, GOD has warned that, one day, we will each stand before Him in judgment and He will punish those who do not know Him.
27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment...
(Heb. 9:27 NIV)
8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
(Rev. 21:8 NIV)
2. GOD wants you to be with Him.
GOD loves you intensely and He wants to have a strong, healthy relationship with you.
Our sins, however, place a great barrier between GOD and us.
His character will not allow Him to associate with sin, which is something He abhors vehemently.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
(Jam. 1:13-15 NIV)
This is why GOD sent Jesus to die in our place.
Jesus took our punishment upon the cross. Jesus said that to know GOD is eternal life (John 17:3). The promise of the one who comes to know GOD, through Jesus, is that they will live forever.
GOD has made His children, the Christ-followers, to be heirs of His inheritance—the kingdom of heaven (Titus 3:3-7; Rom. 8:16-17). One day, we will see His face and forever be with Him.
3. GOD wants you to be like Him.
Jesus didn't simply die for us for the purpose of forgiving our sins. He also taught us how to live.
GOD's ultimate purpose for every human (who will accept it) is to change them to look like Jesus.
GOD has chosen to use the Christ-followers as "salt and light" to the world around us, so that more people might be saved. Thus, Jesus came to transform us from what we had been into His image.
Peter said it this way:
13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” ...
4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
(1 Pet. 1:13-15; 2:4-5 NIV)
Becoming like GOD is a life-long process that GOD will complete at our death, when we put off this earthly tent which is our body.
1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
(2 Cor. 5:1 NIV)