Earthworm

When I think about God, and I think about me, I marvel.

He saves me.

He loves me.

He finds purpose for me.

Yesterday, I was out in my yard, and there was this long earthworm, probably about four inches or so, struggling along our pavement.  I don’t really like earthworms, but the thought of him getting squished or gobbled up by a bird in front of me distressed me.  So I (disdainfully) picked him up and carried him to a better place, under the safety of plants.  I saved him, but I didn’t love him.

But let’s suppose I had loved him.  What would that have looked like?  I might have cradled him in my palm and said, “Well, earthworm, I have a proposal for you.  How would you like to live in a terrarium in my house, with plenty of soil and moisture?”

So then I would have saved him and loved him.

But what if I had found purpose for him?  What then?  Well, then as I placed the earthworm in the terrarium, I could have said,

“When you are in your terrarium, will you plow for me?[1]”

God has saved me from Hell.  At first thought, we might think He could have just saved me because He didn’t want to see me suffer, and not because He actually loved me.  But if we know HOW He saves, then we know WHY He saves.

In my little garden example, the HOW of my rescue was that I picked the endangered earthworm up and placed him somewhere else.  The HOW helps reveal the WHY: since I wasn’t particularly inconvenienced by HOW I rescued the worm, you can figure out WHY I rescued him: out of pity, not wanting worm guts on my pavement, etc.

You only have to think for a moment about the earthworm rescue to figure out my motivation.  But God’s motivation . . . that is something not even the wisest philosopher or most brilliant psychologist could explain.

God proves He loves us by the HOW of His salvation plan.

To be saved by God is to be loved by God.

In God’s case, salvation and love cannot be separated as they could in mine.

God cannot merely pick us up from Hell and put us into Heaven.  No.  We deserve Hell because we chose to be there.  We are rifted from the righteousness of God.  Something like how a fish can’t live on the beach, our evil makes it so that we cannot survive in the righteousness of God.  We have to be separated from Him.

Here is the greatest story of salvation of all time; here is the greatest story of love: God dies for us.  When we see HOW He saves us, we know WHY He saves us: love, pure love.  Love motivated by the most extreme example of kindness and grace, incomprehensible and without comparison.

God could love us and, when we choose Him, put us in Heaven that very second.  But God actually invites us to be a part of His plan!

He finds a purpose for us–even me!

He sends us on a mission to bring people to Him.  He didn’t have to include us in His plan–it is a privilege!  Our life on earth doesn’t end with finding salvation in Jesus, our life begins with finding salvation in Jesus!  The rest of our lives shouldn’t be spent just looking forward to Heaven.  Our God isn’t a god of laziness.  He is actively involved in our lives.

He pays attention to us:

The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. (Proverbs 15:3, NIV)

He acts in our lives:

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.(Romans 5:6, NLT)

He plans for us:

–those who believe in Him–

Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan. (Ephesians 1:11, NLT)

–and those who do not–

The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.  They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:41-42, NIV)

And when we believe in Him, He finds purpose for us!–purpose that He invites us and expects us to fill our lives with:

And then he [Jesus] told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. (Mark 16:15, NLT)

The salvation, love, and purpose God offers to freely give to us . . . there is nothing like it.  This is no casual, loveless rescue void of offering us purpose.  This is the most radical, loving rescue ever, and it is followed up with even more surprise: God not only purposed to save us, but He gave us a purpose–in Him!

How deep the Father’s love for us,

How vast beyond all measure

That He should give His only Son

To make a wretch His treasure.

–by Stuart Townend[2]

We understand what love is when we realize that Christ gave his life for us. (1 John 3:16, GWT)

Photo by Jchapiewsky, profile on http://www.flickr.com/people/24311566@N07/

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

[1] Earthworms “plow” the ground, but without tractors!  Learn more at http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v20/i2/worms.asp

[2] How Deep the Father’s Love for Us, by Stuart Townend.  The group Selah sings these lyrics so incredibly beautifully, soul to soul.

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