On this beautiful, sunny winter day, let’s call to mind a central, life-changing truth that sets Christianity apart from all other world religions: The great, magnificent, one-and-only God is not only the transcendent Lord of all, but also the immanent, personal Lord. Ponder these words from Psalm 104 with me:
“Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD my God, You are very great;
You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak,
Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain.”
Transcendence meets immanence. Did you miss it? Look again at the second line. The psalmist declares His praise to our Creator using the most revered name of God (YHWH, signified by all caps), but then says that this most revered One, is also his God – “my God” (v. 1b). In praise to the LORD, we speak as people in personal relationship with the omnipotent One. Yet the psalmist also does not diminish the “holy other” nature of God in his words of direct, personal communion. With all enthusiasm and reverence, he speaks of the Lord’s greatness, majesty, unapproachable light, and His work of cosmic creation. Psalm 104 continues these themes in specific, beautiful detail.
In God’s immeasurable power, He is not only the ruler and Creator over all things but also the personal Savior of all who trust in Him. The God who has the power to make all things also has the power to make personal, real contact with those whom He has made. Herein is the heart of the Gospel!
His Journey (Not Ours)
God is not a divine watchmaker who spun the world into existence and left us to merely keep on spinning. God is not an unapproachable judge hovering like a hidden monster on a mountaintop. God is not a disinterested or unloving Creator who has no care for His creation. God is not befriended or appeased by us climbing a twenty-seven step ladder or making an arduous pilgrimage.
No, the all-powerful God was powerful enough to journey to us, come to our home – Earth – and bear our sin, die as our substitute. Why? “…to bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18b). He made the journey we could not make. He won the battle we could not win. He carried the cross for all our sins “so that we become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
As the ancient psalmist rejoiced in his personal communion with God, looking forward in faith to the Promised One who would come, so we look back in faith to the Promised One who came… and through Him we, too, can proclaim, “O LORD my God, You are very great!”
I am looking forward with great anticipation to our gathering tomorrow as we glory in God through collective worship at North Park Baptist Church. Would you join me in prayer for continued renewal, revival, and spiritual awakening in all our hearts?
May Jesus Christ be praised!