In part I of God’s Heart for the Nations, we saw God’s heart for the nations, and how reaching the nations is part of God’s ultimate plan.
In part II of God’s Heart for the Nations, we saw how the Father initiates in the choice of Israel to begin the process of redemption.
Today, we’ll focus in on how the Son accomplishes the redemption that will be for the nations.
In the film, “Finding Nemo,” Nemo’s father goes looking for Nemo at all costs. It’s an act of pursuing love. It can be a wonderful parable about the Father’s love and pursuit of us.
Lost people matter to God.
Jesus uses the word “Lost” so I’m not ashamed to use it when appropriate.
We see the parables of
- the Lost sheep,
- the lost coin, and
- the lost son
in Luke 15 as parables of the Father’s heart for his children.
We see that Jesus came to seek and save the Lost. We read that Jesus had to go through Samaria to reach the Samaritan woman. Lost people are not a nebulous “them.”
They are people with faces, names, and people that we know.
The Father’s Heart
He longs that no one should perish (1 Tim 2.4).
In fact, God so loved the world that he gave His only son (John 3.16), not to condemn the world, but to save it. The lake of fire was not prepared for humanity, but for the devil and his angels.
God was pleased — so it says in Colossians 1:19-20.
The verb “please” has in it’s root the idea of taking a decision because of the intended pleasure from carrying out the decision.
You can be pleased by surprise or by intent.
If I tasted a food that I have never tasted before, I might find something tasty and be pleased by surprise.
Or I might be surprised by a rotten flavor that I may never want to have in my mouth again.
One can be pleased by intent.
After walking in the hot sun in the afternoon, I know that my body will be refreshed and cooled by jumping into a swimming pool. Knowing that the outcome of my decision will produce pleasure, I will make that decision. Or put it this way. I know the caffeine buzz I will get by drinking a morning cup of coffee. Knowing that pleasure is coming, I drink my coffee. I’m pleased by intent.
Was God pleased by accident?
Or was God pleased by intent?
Did the incarnation bring God a surprise? Or was it his plan that he foreknew would bring him joy to send his son into the world?
Two aspects to the Father’s pleasure
God’s pleasure came as a result of
First – the incarnation. “To have all of his fullness dwell in Christ.” God became man. That’s an act of pursuing Grace.
Second – the purpose. “To reconcile to himself all things.” To restore to himself the fallen creation. That’s an act of pursuing Grace.
All things — nations, peoples, individuals.
To every nation
This blessing of God can be offered to every nation on earth – offering reconciliation, hope for healing, and hope for restoration. Abraham’s offspring will continue to bless the nation.
It is the work of the Son that makes this possible.
Image Credit: Nemo image believed to be fair use for teaching purposes.