A few things in our lives are sweet: the giggle of children playing, a song everyone knows, the joyful tears of someone cured, a humble heart, a patient mind, a debt paid by another, and the one, whom in everything, glorifies God.
“I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.” (Psalms 86:12)
When we spread out our hands to God and worship Him, we are glorifying Him. When we give thanks to Him and praise Him in all things, all glory belongs to Him. And when we dedicate all that we do to Him, His is the glory now and forever.
God redeemed our lives through Christ’s sacrifice. Jesus’ death and resurrection paid for the debt of our sins. God has forgiven us, and He now calls us His children. O how great our God is for Him to have given Himself wholly this way to call us His sons and daughters!
In the same way, we should give of ourselves wholly to God, dedicating every moment in thought to Him, blessing our enemies, giving to the poor, showing compassion toward those who hate us, removing gossip from our tongues, and living pure and orderly lives according our Father who is in Heaven.
In this way, we glorify God.
Look to the mountains from a terrace on a hillside; behold the grand landscape set before us. Look to the sea and the beautiful waters that lap upon the shore. The billions of stars in the night sky declare God’s glory, as does all creation.
Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise!
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!”
God’s awesome deeds manifest everywhere. We can see His handwork in how He had shaped the mountains into glorious fixtures, unmovable except by His Word. We can see how His divine spirit had hovered over the seas, molding its depths for us to marvel. We can see His works unfold every night when we look to the starry sky in awesome wonder. Who are we that God should be so mindful of us?
The whole creation shouts for joy for God’s marvelous works. He set the earth on its axis. He made the sway in the ocean currents. He purposed the drifting clouds in the sky for our imagination. He created the trees as protectors of our souls. He poured His heart into brooks, streams and rivers so that we could look upon those waters and never forget the power of His spirit.
In all things, God’s power is great, mighty and good. Nothing comes close to His wonderful majesty. Always remember how awesome God’s deeds are.
God’s voice is unmistakable. Should we have lived in ancient times, we would have heard a booming, thunderous, earthshaking sound pouring forth from the midst of a thick cloud. The book of Job, which chronicles the suffering and repentance of a wealthy man, said this about God’s voice:
Keep listening to the thunder of his voice
and the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
Under the whole heaven he lets it go,
and his lightning to the corners of the earth.
After it his voice roars;
he thunders with his majestic voice,
and he does not restrain the lightnings when his voice is heard.
Not all scripture points to a pillar-rattling sound emanating from God’s mouth, however. When God spoke to the prophet Elijah, He instructed him to stand on the mount in order for him to hear His voice. What Elijah then experience took him by surprise, “And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper” (1 Kings 19:11-12).
As Christians, that low whisper—that still small voice dwells in us. We hear it when we face difficult decisions. We hear it when we need comfort. We hear it when we need God’s support. We hear it when things are not working the way they should. His voice is our direction. His voice is our safety. His voice is where to which we lean. His voice will bring us back to where we need to be.
Let us continue to hear God’s voice.
There is no other God than God. He is the Great God. He is ruler of the heavens, creator of all things and the high judge. He is all-merciful, kind to the brokenhearted and always forgiving. His love is greater than all the love we could ever have for anyone. His joy is endless.
“Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth.” (Psalms 47:1-2)
The greatness of His grace is beyond measure, for He gave His son Jesus as a sacrifice to pay for all our sins. As true as the sun rises and the sun sets, so is God’s love for His children. His love for us never fails. From age to age, His deeds are witness to His greatness. The oceans came together by His command. The earth came to be by His Word. He spoke and it became so. The light testifies His heart and the darkness flees.
All other gods are dust. They cannot hear our voices, see our trials, speak relief, smell our sacrifices or feel a thing. They are senseless. God hears our whispers in the night, sees when we stumble and fall, speaks comfort through His Word, smells the sweet aroma of our prayers and feels compassion for us when we need His help. He is all-knowing, all-merciful and all-loving.
He is the Great God.
Lord God my Father and King, I come before you now to ask that you may not turn away from me. Please, Father, do not reject me, for my sins are many. I have not kept your commandments, I have defiled my oath to you, and I have taken pleasure in the evil that you so hate.
Why, Father, can I not do good when your spirit encourages me to do good? Why is it that my heart longs for evil, when I know that it will push me away from you? Please do not take your spirit away from me. Please look upon me and see my mind’s intent. I struggle every day with knowing that my sins separate me from you. My burden is too great for me to bear. I soak my pillow every night knowing I am nothing but a wretch.
Help me God. Forgive me of my iniquities. Give me the strength to overcome. Provide me with the will to purge that which is evil in my life, for your word is pure, right and just. Your commandments are perfect. You are perfect. Lead me to want you always. Strengthen me to want to love you always.
I am a sinner. I am sorry for all the wrongs I have committed. Forgive me, my God. You and only you are my salvation. Lead me out of temptation. Remove bitterness from my heart and from my mind. Pour more of your spirit into me, Father, so that I may live a life dedicated to your glory. Help me in all that I do, and give me strength. I am lost without you, God.
Please hear my prayer for forgiveness.
The more a person gives, the more a person reaps. No one knew this more than Jesus, for He had given his life freely, and by doing so, He ultimately reaped eternity.
Few commands are as bold, as eloquent and as simple as that given by Jesus, when He said:
“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38)
There is great pleasure when giving generously not expecting anything in return. The people of the ancient city of Corinth knew this, and the Apostle Paul commended them for it. In spite of a severe test of affliction, they gave of their own accord according to their means and beyond (2 Corinthians 8:2-3). They even went so far as to beg Paul to partake in the relief of the saints, something he did not expect.
But how could a people have turned so quickly from their sins, for it was a short time ago that these same Corinthians were harboring adulterers in their midst?
The answer is God. They purged the sinners among them and gave themselves first to Christ, then to the will of God (verse 5). By doing so, they reaped the reward of God’s grace on their lives (verse 6). In other words, the ancient Corinthians were not looking to receiving anything at all, but it was by God’s generosity that grace fell upon them.
In the same way, we ought to live by giving fully to others as God has given to us, for we will then reap a reward especially prepared for us because we will have given without expectation.
To know God is to keep His commandments. His commandments protect us from the penalty of sin. For sin is pleasing to the eyes, a treat to the senses, but stings as a scorpion, never diminishing the pain of its venom on the heart of its victim.
The Apostle John talks about knowing God this way:
“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:3-4)
Is it a wonder when Jesus said, “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’” (Matthew 7:22-23) that He places high regard to knowing Him as a people who keep his commandments?
We are not workers of lawlessness. Knowing God is about doing what Jesus said, with a purity of heart and a spirit of humility. What we need is God’s heart in us. He will then change us to be more like Him, demonstrating love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The fruits of His spirit will be evident, and Christ Jesus will not have an opportunity to say that He never knew us.
To know God is to keep His commandments.