“Everything on earth has been made by God through Jesus Christ.” John 1:3
Without him nothing is alive, healthy, beautiful, or precious. People are no exception. In much more than a physical sense, every Christian is alive, healthy, beautiful, and precious because of God’s grace and goodness. He abundantly gives us new life and a living hope. He has promised us a perfect inheritance that will never perish or fade (1 Peter 1:4). The life we now live is by faith in Jesus Christ, who loved us first and gave his life (Galatians 2:20; 1 John 4:19). All of this results in immeasurable glory given to God.
How can I glorify God and be completely satisfied? It’s through abundant life in Jesus Christ. Jesus brings God the most glory. Jesus brings people complete satisfaction. There are both believers and unbelievers who view Christianity as a big trade-off: I will lose any hope of happiness in order to please God and escape hell. However, God loves to give good gifts to his children, and the best gift is salvation by grace through faith in Jesus. Beyond that, God loves growth and fruitfulness. Let’s look at how God’s goodness to us makes us flourish and brings him fame.
GOD’S HOLY NAME
Ezekiel 36 paints a beautiful picture of God’s grace for his ultimate glory and our ultimate good. Far surpassing any good he does to his people is God’s concern for his holy name. The Bible unmistakably reveals the overarching purpose of God’s grace:
“It is not for your sake, O house Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name” Ezekiel 36:22
This means that God’s reputation is on the line. It means that God alone will be praised for the restoration of his people, a sinful people who have misrepresented him to the surrounding nations. Before the eyes of all mankind, he will clear himself of any blame or suspicion, and rightly so, for he is just and holy. There is nothing in heaven or earth more important than God and a correct understanding of who he is on the part of every human being, who each eventually glorify him by bowing to him and confessing that he is Lord (Romans 14:11).
FORGIVENESS OF SIN
The first good thing God does for any of us is by giving us physical life. Unfortunately, because of sin we are all spiritually dead. So God needs to act if we are ever to have spiritual life. This is exactly what he does: he acts. God loves us first and he raises us from life to death when we respond in faith to the truth of the gospel. In Ezekiel God’s people are in trouble because they are unclean. But God says he will clean them with clean water, give them a new heart, and leave his Spirit within them (Ezekiel 36:25-27). God is glorified by saving sinners.
REPEATED, UNDESERVED, BLESSINGS
God not only saves us from sin, but he wants to pour out his blessings on us. This does not mean that the Christian life on Earth is full of good health, plenty of money, freedom from sickness and suffering, and perfect relationships. It means that there is a future life for all of God’s people that will be better than anything we can imagine. It’s a life characterized by peace, prosperity, justice, love, and ultimate happiness. We cannot be happy apart from God. God brings us the most happiness.
When we arrive in glory for eternity, we will look back and remember how we sinned against God and rejected him. But then we will celebrate his choice to forgive and bless us in spite of our deserved punishment of hell. We will live the fullest, most satisfied life possible, and God will receive all the glory that he so deserves. He is seeking his glory, but also our happiness in him. Our flourishing brings God glory.