“To Him who loves us”
God loves us. Love is the beginning and the ending of the story. And love is everything in between. God created us in the beginning for love.
He gave us choice, because love does not coerce. All the misery in the world, all the pain and suffering, is because God gave us freedom of will and allowed us to go our own way. He released us to our own choices in hope that we would choose Him because we want to, because we love Him.
God sustains the world on a delicate edge, finely-tuned from the moment of creation to sustain life, and He holds it in balance to give humanity the opportunity to enter into relationship with God our creator. His handiwork is obvious if we want to see it, not so obvious if we don’t, because love does not coerce.
“Who freed us from our sins by His blood”
God allowed us to pursue our own ways and seek our own ends because He loves us, and He wants us to love Him, not because we must, but because we choose to love Him. Choice is a dangerous thing, however, and the world is full of the flotsam and jetsam of the bad choices of humanity. We are mired in it.
We have all missed the mark. We have each missed the mark. We are stained by the muck we have accumulated pursuing the errors of our ways. All the unkind words, the unforgiving and judgmental attitudes, the lustful thoughts, the selfish and hurtful actions have stained and affected our hearts.
God frees us from the prisons of our own hearts. He washes us clean from the stain of sin. We only have to come to Him, humbly, with a repentant and contrite heart, asking God to enter in and take His rightful place in our lives. He earned it. He died for it.
“Who made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve God”
We are not the captains of our own souls or lives regardless of what we think. Though we have free will in these short lives that we live, God is eternal, and His kingdom is forever. He made us to be with Him in right relation to Him forever, but the choice is ours.
Our purpose is found in taking our place in connection with God. Our natural tendency to want to worship something is fulfilled only in serving God, the rightful object of our attention.
We are not righteous in ourselves, but God has made us right, through the sacrificial gift of God, Himself. Having humbled Himself, in love, to become a man, He lived a perfectly sinless life, and then sacrificed Himself to satisfy his perfect justice so that He could show perfect mercy in forgiving our sins and restoring those who believe and commit to Him There is no greater purpose for us..
“Be all glory and power forever”
God is God, regardless of our relation to Him. We can glorify, praise and worship Him, or curse and resist Him. We were made for communion with God in love. God didn’t have to make us that way. He didn’t make anything else in the entirety of creation that way, but us.
God deserves our praise and worship. Even if He wasn’t loving and merciful, He would deserve it, But, we gladly give Him our worship and praise because He has shown His love for us. Though He had nothing to gain, but our love, He emptied Himself, became one of us and He lived an obedient life in the flesh, even to the point of dying on the cross – for us! He deserves our praise.
But He is no wimpy god. He is the all-powerful God who made the heavens and the earth. Though He refrains from displays of His power, because He loves us, He is “no tame lion” as C.S. Lewis observes. He is fearful and awe-inspiring compared to us, such that we would have little choice but to bow in utter submission in His direct presence.
“He is coming with the clouds”
God will make Himself directly known when the time is right. There will be no mistaking who or what He is. We won’t miss it. We could not possibly miss it when God reveals Himself as He is in all of His power and glory.
That will be a fearful day for all who have exercised the choice god gave us to pursue our own ends to the exclusion of God and all that He is. For all who done evil and for all who have rejected God, that day will be a day of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Wailing and gnashing of teeth, not because God is cruel or unkind, but because God is love, and He will not coerce our love of Him. Wailing and gnashing of teeth because they have rejected God.
It will be a joyous day of celebration for all who have chosen to love Him. For all who have submitted to Him and allowed Him to wash the stain of sin away, to take residence in the heart and soul and who have yielded to His rightful authority, that day will be filled with great wonder and joy. God is coming for us to give over his creation to us in harmony with Him forever. Amen!
 Revelations 1:6-7