All For His Sake

“He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3

“For your name’s sake, O Lord,
    pardon my guilt, for it is great.” Psalm 25:11

“Do not remember against us our former iniquities;
    let your compassion come speedily to meet us,
    for we are brought very low.
Help us, O God of our salvation,
    for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and atone for our sins,
    for your name’s sake!
Why should the nations say,
    ‘Where is their God?..’

But we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
    will give thanks to you forever;
    from generation to generation we will recount your praise.”
Psalm 79:8-10a,13

“Though our iniquities testify against us,
    act, O Lord, for your name’s sake;
for our backslidings are many;
    we have sinned against you…

“Do not spurn us, for your name’s sake;
    do not dishonor your glorious throne;
    remember and do not break your covenant with us.” Jeremiah 14:7,21

The unspeakable splendor of a mountain sunset, vivid fiery clear color in clearer air emblazoned in glory, is magnificent to behold. Given by God for our enthrallment and pleasure? Not exactly. The Creator spreads His lavish display to enlist our souls to take joy and delight in Him for His sake and glory, not because it captivates us with feel-good wonder. Yes, we lift our eyes and are dwarfed before the Immeasurable, but our what is man? moments are used by the Almighty to draw out praise to the Him who made and redeemed us, who gave us dominion so we could praise His excellent name forever. O, how turned around we get in this world! We make life about me, and strive for sensory surprise and fulfillment that satisfies me, when rapturous joy and pleasure come only when He is exalted. (Psalm 8:1,3-6)

We are born under the condemnation of sin we have inherited, and in our smugness might think that the loving Jesus saves for our sake. But in fact, what He has done and does on our behalf (yes, it is out of pure, divine love) is ultimately for His sake, not that we would be famous exemplars of salvation but that He would be known and exalted in our transformed lives. Our self-centered wiring is hard to recalibrate, but by His example and grace and faithful sanctification, He turns our affections in the right direction. (Psalm 51:5; Isaiah 49:3; John 3:16; 1 John 1:8-9)

God is greatly glorified by His perfect character and the actions that flow from it: justifying, pardoning, saving, and restoring His people. He is exalted in delivering, helping, and leading us. Every act is about Him, and is done for us for the sake of His name, kingdom, and eternal purposes. How well is His ‘sake’ displayed in us?

Do we pray, behave, and endeavor with this mindset? How would it change our motives, the caliber of our work, the way we spend money and recreate and serve and schedule our time if we lived and breathed for Jesus’s sake instead of our own?

Lord, remind that You are the end and glory of all creation and of my life. Convict and correct any self-ward inclinations or prideful actions, that I might fully live, and live fully, for Your sake alone.

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