For the Love of God

As I have mentioned before, when it comes to teaching the Bible, D.A. Carson is my favorite contemporary Bible teacher. Among his many works, is a two volume devotional For the Love of God. The devotional follows daily Bible reading based on Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s reading plan. I own both volumes but discovered after the purchase that they are available for free via the Gospel Coalition. I guess this is understandable since Carson is one of the two founding members of the Gospel Coalition.

So, what’s the point?

The point is first of all, that you can receive this devotional through your email daily. I recommend you do so. Even if you have your own Bible reading plan (which I do) it is well worth it to read a daily exegetical piece on Scripture by Carson. Second, and in line with the first, today’s reading really resonated with me. Writing on Psalm 136 Carson states:

Some final reflections: (1) The expression “Give thanks” that opens the first three verses and the last suggests more than a casual “Thanks a lot.” It has to do with “confessing” (in the old-fashioned sense), “acknowledging” (with thoughtful God-centeredness), with grateful worship. (2) This God brooks no rivals. He is the God of gods, the Lord of lords (Ps. 136:2, 3). (3) Informed as they are by pluralism, our ears find it strange to append the refrain “His love endures forever” to such lines as “who struck down great kings” and “[h]e swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea.” But these actions were expressions of God’s elective love for his chosen people. The notion that God loves all people exactly the same way and in every respect finds little support in Scripture.”

We live in a day and age when it is popular to talk about the love of God. I often hear, and regrettably hear it in the church, that everyone is a child of God. This is simply not true. Only those who count Jesus as their Lord and Savior have been adopted by God into the household of God. We are all made in the image of God and so everyone deserves respect for that reason, but we are not all children of God. We are all called to love our neighbor as ourselves, but we are not all children of God.

Being called a child of God is a right; it is a privilege; and most of all: it is a gift that God bestows.

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