Monthly Archives: April 2015

Why is the genealogy of Jesus important?


When reading the bible maybe you’ve been tempted to skip over the “begat” sections. “Abraham begat Isaac, Isaac begat Jacob, and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.” There are seemingly endless genealogies in the Old Testament where the lives of entire generations are summed up in the name of just one person… and some generations are not even mentioned at all. But Titus 3:9 cautions us to “avoid foolish questions and genealogies and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.” 1 Timothy 1:4 echoes this warning. So why does Matthew’s gospel of Jesus start out with His genealogy as reviewed through the lineage of Joseph who didn’t even father our Lord?


It could be very exhilarating to pursue a discussion of why Jesus is called the “Son of Abraham” and the “Son of David” and ponder the cultural customs in which these labels made perfect sense, even if they mystify us. We could question the three sets of 14 generations listed, even to delve into why some generations did not make the list but were skipped over. We could research the possible relationship of the 42 generations to Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy weeks of years and how it represents the number of salvation and deliverance. We might get caught up in the ‘religion’ of numerology and the significance over all the numbers referenced in the bible. We could study “secret bible codes” or get caught up in Gnostic stories like The Da Vinci Code that pursue secret and mystic genealogies in attempt to find ‘hidden wisdom.’


But let’s not.


Not that study is bad, but because there is something much more basic and important we should learn first to apply to our lives.


Consider how Matthew’s genealogy of Christ demonstrates the grace of God. Ponder the inclusion of five women (very unusual in those times), all whose reputations were considered tarnished. Reflect on how God works His grace through broken lives of ordinary people (like you and me) to achieve extraordinary results. No doubt He worked through the generations of people whose names were omitted from the history lists. This should give a humble reminder that the history of man is not all about us! The passing of generations is not about prideful genealogy. Then what is the purpose of this genealogical list?


It’s about God’s purpose and plan and our faithful response to it. Biblical history is not just about the redemption of man. It is the story of God – His Story – where God’s glory is the supreme focus. History wasn’t so much about Joseph having a perfect wedding. It was about his faithful response to the revelation of the Messiah born to his wife. That’s his part in history.


And this is true for you and me today. We tend to see the world as it revolves around our life, our plans, our ambitions, hopes and dreams, our family, our job, our happiness, our comforts and pleasures, our release from pain, sorrow, and hardship of every kind. But that’s not the main point. The big news headlines is that God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life and to be part of His Story by participating in His glory.


Maybe YOU will do something great for God that will be remembered for generations to come. But that’s not what it’s all about. It’s about remaining faithful in the unwritten generations that glorify God by enjoy Him – forever. Faith expressing itself in love is what counts most.


What if salvation was all you had?


We ask God for so many things: safe travel, a happy day, a secure job, good health, more of nearly everything, and so much more. And it’s well we do come before Him with our petitions for He encourages us to depend on Him for all our needs. He wants us to ask for everything in the name of Jesus, according to His will, not ours. IF we desire Him more than anything else, He will give us the desires of our heart.


If you have ever been to a land where believers have no access to clean water, safe food, or barely sufficient shelter, you’d realize we live in a land of plenty. We say we walk by faith and yet we all depend so much on our own resources as much – perhaps more – than we sometimes depend on God. And I wondered:


If all we had was our salvation would that be enough?


What if the job goes south (perhaps literally) and leaves you behind? What if you lose your prized home? What if suddenly and unexpectedly your healthy life is turned upside down by cancer, Alzheimer’s, or some other chronic condition? What if you lost your family and fortune? Job experienced all this and he remained faithful to His God. Would we? Or would we be like His friends saying, “Curse God and die.”


It won’t always be prosperous times for us. The bible is clear that times are coming when it will be very hard to even survive. It’s likely that in a single day, money will lose all its value. Your lifetime savings will be worthless. Standing firm in the faith will come only at a very high cost, even your life. And then there are the bowl judgments that will pour over the earth with unimaginable destruction.


Maybe real believers will have been raptured to heaven by then. But maybe we’ll have to endure a much stronger testing of our faith than we’d like to think. It doesn’t have to be the end times to test our faith. All sorts of trials come into our lives with no invitation. And the question is:


What if salvation was all I had?
Will God be enough if I have nothing else?


What if your rights were curtailed and you couldn’t go to a public church that worshipped Jesus? What if your means of earning an income or even enjoying basic comforts were taken away by a wretched disease? What if inconsolable sorrow came upon you at the loss of a child? What if your friends abandoned you? Would dwelling in the presence of God be enough for your soul? Would His grace be sufficient and His strength manifest in your weakness? Could you praise Him in the storm? Could you find His goodness and beauty in the smallest places around and within you? Could you see His spark of goodness in others you meet, even those you don’t particularly like?


The tragic slaughter of Christian students in Kenya might make us wonder, “Would I take a bullet for Christ?” But the real question isn’t, “Am I willing to die for Christ?” Perhaps the most important and relevant question is, “Am I willing to LIVE for Christ?” If salvation was all I had (and that is so very much!) would that be enough for me? And if so, should I not be completely satisfied in God today since he has blessed me with so much more?!



I should love…WHO?!


We love those who’ve been kind, who’ve stuck with us through tough times, and forgiven our past wrongs. We love those who agree with us, who support a common cause, those we admire.


Jesus says that if we truly love Him we will do what He says. We will love our neighbors as ourselves. We will ‘feed His sheep.’ Okay, got that, right? Wait a minute. He’s saying something else. Let’s listen:


“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbors and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:43-45


What?!! Loving my enemies and praying for those who persecute me is a condition of being a child of God? You gotta be kidding, right? Pray for ISIS followers who are killing Christians? We’d rather plea with God to destroy our enemies! And let’s not get started about praying for someone with a different political preference. We don’t even want to pray for people in our path who are just a bit disagreeable or unlovable.


But Jesus who turned the tables of the temple ‘thieves’ seeks to turn the tables of our own selfish ambitions too. He wants to deepen our love for Him – and for others. Loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute us is one of the deepest expressions of love. The bible says we were enemies with God and yet He so loved us that He gave His Son Jesus so we could be saved. How can we say we love Jesus, and not do as he says…love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us?


But HOW should we pray for our enemies?


Pray for their salvation, for saving faith so they will receive Christ and trust only in Him. (Romans 10:9, Ephesians 2:8-9, John 1:12, John 14:6, Acts 4:12) Pray they will embrace true wisdom revealed by Almighty God. (Ephesians 1:17) Impossible? Consider one of the world’s most ardent persecutors of Christians, the man we know as the apostle Paul whose life was completely transformed by the power of God. Consider Daniel Shayestah, who was a faithful member of Iran’s ruthless Red Guard, but responded immediately to follow Jesus after being warned in a dream. God is still in the transformation business.


Pray for evil to be restrained. Pray that the God-offending ways of our enemies will be thwarted and frustrated at every turn in their path. Pray for the protection of believers and testimonies that boldly confront the lies of their persecutors and actually advance the gospel. (Philippians 1:12)


Pray for God’s will to be done. We know what vengeance we would unleash on our enemies, but God warns: “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19) Military action may be needed to curtail the wrath of destruction of our enemies. But our role is to pray for God’s divine will be done – to save or destroy, according to His purpose.


We who were once enemies with God need to obey Jesus and pray for those who still remain His enemies. Pray for their salvation, for protection from evil, and for God’s will be done. If they are converted, that’s God’s choice. If they refuse to repent of evil ways, they will receive their just punishment. As for you and me, let’s pray.


Who have you written off as hopeless and beyond salvation? Who is it, that the very thought of them creates a bitterness in your soul? Who have you marginalized through your apathy to their views and existence? These are the enemies Jesus called us to love. If you’re thinking this is beyond your ability, you are absolutely right. So let Jesus-in-you do the loving, on His terms, not yours. And watch how your world changes as your spirit cooperates with His.


The only thing that matters


We have really been enjoying reading through the New Testament in our daily devotion reading plan. I’m doing an inductive study, journaling my responses to three questions of each passage:

What does it say?
What does it mean?
How do I apply it to my life?


I am always pleased to rediscover those verses that highlight basic truths for living. We read one of those in Galatians 5. Paul was warning the church (and us!) about being enslaved by the law and the sinful nature (actually our own desires). Pursuing his ‘run the race’ theme he encourages us to stand firm and seek the freedom Christ offers. The part that spoke to me was this summary of the gospel of Jesus in V 6:


“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”


This echoes the consistent message I’ve received through this entire cancer journey. I keep yearning for less of this or more of that. I want to fight but sometimes all I can do and stand firm and let God do the fighting:


“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14)


But in my quiet times with God (and some not so quiet ones) I keep hearing this same message, that through it all, the thing that matters most is staying faithful.


I shared this with one of my former students, who has been suffering from a different form of Leukemia for several years. I’ve lost count of the number of chemo cycles she has endured. She writes:

“Four treatments down and ten to go this cycle. Question of the day…..when do you say enough is enough? When do you say I am too tired to keep up this fight, especially when it feels like it really doesn’t matter whether you do or you don’t?”


Looking at her posted photo, I could see the frustration and hopelessness in her eyes. I’ve been there, though I suspect her battle is much more extensive than mine. You’ve been there too. Maybe you are there today. The phrase that catches my attention is “IT FEELS LIKE”. We can’t seem to escape our feelings. After all, the body and soul are constantly interpreting the world to us and clamoring for our attention. Our spirit, united with The Spirit interprets GOD’s reality to us, but so often is out shouted by the cries of our body and soul. The body and soul say, “It feels like it doesn’t matter.” The Spirit says, “The ONLY thing that matters is faith – expressing itself in love.”


Have you ever kept a journal of your daily walk with God? Part of that story is the accounting of your daily experiences as told in a dialog between your body, soul, spirit – and the Spirit of God who reveals guiding truth and sustaining grace and power for living a life defined by love. It is this ongoing dialog that grows and nourishes the only thing that counts:


Faith expressing itself in love. 



The Swing


We are more than a body that lives for a while and then dies. We are created souls with a spirit that lives forever. To understand the purpose of our life and how to live it, we must understand how our body, soul, and spirit work together…or against each other. Without this, we experience the same dilemma as Paul:


“For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:18-25, condensed)


Like Paul we can be in two places at the same time: desiring to walk by faith but actually walking by sight. This ‘wretched’ place stems from the dilemma of thinking we can get closer to God by continually striving to be better. It’s like our spiritual goal is the old Avis Car Rental motto: “We try harder.”


Hebrews 4:9-13 tells us there is a solution our dilemma: Rest in God. His Word divides soul, spirit and body, revealing our thoughts and intentions. Nothing is hidden; all is laid bare before God. Those who stray from Him “will never enter my rest” (Psalm 95:11) but “anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works.” (Hebrews 4:11)


Dan Stone’s illustration of ‘The Swing’ helps explain both our dilemma and our solution. If you still have it, take out the illustration of The Line. It’s a horizontal line reaching left to right across the page. Above the line is our eternal life where the believer’s  spirit is united now and forever with God’s Spirit. Below the line in our temporary life on earth, our soul is seated in our body on a swing suspended from the line separating the unseen from the seen. Like Paul, we intend to follow God but our thoughts, feelings, and actions are contrary to this. Our swing constantly moves left to right, from ‘bad’ to ‘good.’


If we don’t understand God’s rest, we try to control the swing by our own power. We try to ‘nail’ the swing to the God’s ‘good’ side by trying harder.  But like Paul, we end up doing what we don’t want, and not doing what we do! We try to live the ‘good’ Christian life in our below the line experiences, but the life flowing-power of God only comes from above the line where our spirit is united with His.  Our spirit, guided by God, speaks to our soul. But our noisy soul also listens to our body which tells it what it sees and feels on the ever-moving swing. We’ll either be frustrated by living by sight (below the line) or empowered by living by faith where we are already one with Christ (above the line). When the starting point our dilemmas is seen from our point of reference, the swing will always present a problem for us to solve, trying to be good when we think and act opposed to it. Choosing to look at life from our union with God, the problems of the swing become a matter for Him to resolve as He works in us. We simply respond to Him – by faith, believing we already are who He says we are, thinking and behaving that way.


Our soul says, “This is how I FEEL.” Like Elijah, our fearful soul experiences the earthquake, wind, and fire around us.  We need to listen to our spirit who communicates God’s still small voice who says, “This is who I AM in you.”


Live in His presence, where your spirit meets His Spirit and speaks peace to your soul and your body. Listen for His still small voice and find His rest and peace.



Body, soul, and spirit


Are you primarily a physical being with a spiritual component? Or are you a spiritual being with a physical component? How you think about this determines how you view and respond to all of life.


We read in Genesis that we are created in God’s image. But what does that really mean? God took dust of the earth and made man. He breathed into us and gave us life. In fact, we are more than just a body. As God is three persons in one (Father, Son, and Spirit), so in His image He made us also with three parts: body, soul and spirit. And we are commanded to keep them all pure before God:

“May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).


We easily understand the body part. Paul describes it as the temporary ‘tent’ in which we live. “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Corinthians 5:1)


The body’s ‘tent’ is meant for earth and is temporary but the permanent ‘building’ that God has designed for us includes not only the body but also our soul and spirit which live forever.


The soul and spirit are both eternal but the bible describes them as separate. We have a soul (Deuteronomy 4:29) and we are a soul. (Genesis 2:7 – some versions read ‘being’; others read ‘soul.’) Interestingly, ships and airplanes used to regard those who traveled on them as ‘souls’ and the maritime SOS distress signal stands for “Save Our Souls.”  (Maybe today we think of it more as ‘Save Our Skins.”) The bible never describes us as being spirits but of having a spirit, one with which we are created and a ‘new one’ given by God to those who love him:

“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.  (Ezekiel 11:19) We are urged to “get a new heart and spirit.”  (Ezekiel 18:31)


Hebrews 4:12 talks about the separation of the spirit, the soul, and the body:

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”


The important point here is that God is able to divide our soul from our spirit, which is a point of eternal consequence!


Some maintain that our intellect, will, conscience, emotions, and personality are parts of our soul and spirit while others assert that they are separate eternal elements. We could debate that extensively but the most important point to remember each day is that God designed us with both temporary and eternal elements. We relate to the world largely through our body’s five senses. We relate to God through our spirit. And it seems our noisy and emotional soul is constantly battling whether to listen to the body’s interpretation of world or our spirit who is aligned with the Spirit of God. When we’re troubled and perplexed by struggles, our challenge and need is to encourage our body and soul to talk with our spirit who is one with God’s Spirit. This sort of “talking to yourself” isn’t crazy. It’s essential for living the kingdom life in the midst of trials.


You are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ – body, soul, and spirit – by a God who knows you, searches your heart, and pursues you with His Spirit. (Psalm 139) He cares for you and longs to give you peace and joy when you abide in His presence and worship Him with every part of who you are!


“Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.” (Luke 10:27)



The gates of life


Dan Stone uses the analogy of passing through various ‘gates’ as we walk the path of a Christian life. First, is the gate of salvation. We don’t even make it that far until we admit that we have a sin problem that we can’t solve. We try to pass through by our own strength, our good deeds, our ‘religious’ behavior, our generosity, or by being a ‘good’ person. But none of this works. We only pass through the gate of salvation by surrendering all that we are and trusting in Jesus.


As we continue our journey through life, we begin to explore the meaning of life. Beyond the forgiveness of our sins (which we might forget is such a very huge deal!), we try to live a ‘good’ Christian life still in our power. We read the bible, we pray, we attend church and give money for good causes. We exhaust ourselves trying to ‘be good.’ And then we come across a second gate where we really experience “God with us.” We pass through this gate, realizing that Jesus really does want to help us through the battles of life. It’s a weight off our shoulders to know that we’re not alone in our struggles. So we continue our journey of trying to live the Christian life…with God.


Now there is a third gate that remains undiscovered by many. It only appears when we realize that we can’t live the Christian life. We pass through this gate when we acknowledge that Jesus doesn’t merely help us live our life, Jesus IS our life. “Christ is in you and HE will live the life.” Instead of viewing life from our perspective, we are able to experience life and its purpose through the viewpoint of Jesus living in us. As we pass through this third gate we realize what the inscription means:

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)


Many of us understand why we have to pass through the first gate. We realize there is no other way to escape our sin problem, no forgiveness of sin at all, without the saving grace of Jesus. And as we devote ourselves to knowing our Heavenly Father we eagerly pass through the second gate, inviting God to help us on our journey. But we hesitate at the third gate, if in fact we think about it at all. Because this part of the journey requires total surrender into God’s hands of all we hold dear: our belongings, our career, our family, in fact our very identity. It requires dying to self, letting self be “crucified with Christ”. We think maybe we could just try harder to live the Christian life in our own power. But it’s both futile and exhausting to attempt it.


We don’t walk the Christian life. Jesus-in-us IS the life. Living with Him is not enough. The abundant life is only found by letting HIM live our life – in us. “Christ in you the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)


“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” John 14:6



The line


One of the ‘Aha!’ moments in my life was when I first understood ‘The Line’ illustration outlined in Dan Stone’s book, The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out.”


Draw a horizontal line across the middle of a full sheet of paper, from left to right. Above the line, write the word “ETERNAL.” Below the line write the word “TEMPORAL.” Focus on this image for a moment. You’ve just started to draw a picture of 1 Corinthians 4:18…

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”


There are two realms or realities in life: what we see and what we can’t see. This truth is basic to living the abundant life that Jesus promises. With our eyes we see the things which don’t last. But it takes eyes of faith to ‘see’ eternal things. the Spirit of Christ living in us reveals these so we can fix our eyes on them. Both realities are of God but we are to focus on the eternal realm.


Stone writes, “The distinction between the two realms is vital to us for three reasons:
1. God designed His kingdom to work ‘by faith.’
2. It helps us to understand our true identity ‘in Christ.’
3. God designed us so that we can find our greatest fulfillment only in the unseen eternal realm.


Pascal said we were created with a God-shaped vacuum that only He could fill. This is our true identity and how God sees us NOW as followers of Jesus: Spirit-filled, Whole, and Complete, redeemed already by the finished work of His Son on the cross. This is our Changeless, Timeless, Ultimate Reality. The eternal is the Unseen realm where the great “I AM” lives in us. Write these highlighted words above the line. Because our spirit is already aligned with the Holy Spirit, you could say “I am already there in the eternal realm, with the great “I AM” who lives in me. This is my true identity.”


But below the line is where we live for the moment. It is Time-Based and always Changing. We see the Appearances of things, not as they really are. We see ourselves not as complete but In Process. We perceive truth as physical Matter. We strive after Needs. Write these highlighted words below the line.


The ‘trap’ we face is that we are always trying to become better Christians instead of focusing on who we already are – in Christ. When our spirit is truly surrendered to the Spirit of God, we are fully redeemed and whole. This is hard for us to grasp because we look at ourselves as in process. We’ll never find abundant life by focusing our eyes on the temporary realm. And we can never perceive the eternal realm unless the Holy Spirit reveals it to us. (2 Corinthians 2:10-14)


Even though we know we are saved by grace, we often live like we can be made whole and sanctified by our works. Paul says it is ‘foolish’ to attempt this.

The “rest” of the gospel is in resting from trying to become who you already are in Christ and what He has already accomplished in you. It’s found in believing you are who Jesus says you are. 


I hope you’ll hold on to your illustration and reflect on what it says about who you already are in Christ and who He is in you. Fix your eyes on what is unseen. Live by faith.



The advocate we all need


Where do you go when you need an answer? Google is the favorite of many. Or maybe you prefer the self-help aisle of the bookstore. Maybe your bookshelves are lined with books by great Christian authors. (Read or unread?) According to surveys, young parents more and more are turning to social media for help with parenting skills. Online support groups of every kind abound to offer advocates to those who are struggling with every kind of trouble. But there is another Advocate not only available to us, but one we most desperately need.


“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me,” Jesus said to His followers. (John 14:1) “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” V 15-17


But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” V 26-27


Our Advocate, the very Spirit of God speaks truth so we can have God’s perspective on the things that concern and perplex us, including our grief over lost dreams. The Advocate allows us each to see things differently and to carry on.


And the Advocate Spirit of God is not only our guide but is also our rest. Good shepherds provide rest for their flock but even shepherds need rest because they too are sheep. We rest by accepting the finished work of Christ on the cross. We don’t have to learn to be better. We need to behave like the people we already are in the redeeming eyes of God. We rest by accepting God’s love and compassion and faith. We express that faith by loving others in His name. Our day’s agenda is not that complicated. We have only two great commands by which to carry out all other tasks: love God and love others in His name.


Go ahead, use Google. But the Holy Spirit is the one Advocate we desperately need. Let Him be both your truthful guide and your rest.



Whose will?


“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42


On the eve of His crucifixion, Jesus modeled for us how we should pray. In fact, He lived that prayer, always appealing to His Father’s will. “The Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” (John 5:19)


But is that how we pray? Don’t we typically pray for OUR will to be done? Fix my problems. Heal my sickness. And quickly please. Too often, if we’re honest, we treat God like a fast food worker at a heavenly Burger King:


God:”How can I help you today?”
Me: “I’d like a deluxe meal with double portions of happiness, power, and prosperity. Heal me and make me happy. No suffering or pain or sorrow. And plenty of comfort and recognition on the side. And I’d like to king size everything. Oh wait, not like the King Jesus had it. I want only what tastes good, not what’s actually good for me. I know He prayed “Thy will be done” but honestly, I’d really like MY will be done, if it’s all the same. And can I get a ticket to heaven with that? It’s a free gift today, right?”


We want what we want, when we want it. And true, God wants us to pray for our needs. If we truly love Him, He will give us our desires, because the desires of the follower of Christ are the desires of Christ…to do what the Father is doing, to honor God.


“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ CS Lewis, The Great Divorce


Humble yourself. Confess your sins. Draw close to God and ask Him for your needs. The prayers of a righteous man (and woman and child) are effective and accomplish much. (James 5) But let’s be the people who ask chiefly for God’s will to be done…in our work and our play, our banking, our striving and resting. Let our greatest prayers be for His name to be honored…in the world, in our country (regardless of your political leaning), in our town, our church, and our home. Let’s ask Him to reveal more of Himself to us and through us; to speak through our sorrow and our joy and to use our lives for the sole purpose of making Him known. . .

According to His will.