A Good Good God: The Greatness of God

A Good Good God: The Greatness of God

How Do You Define Greatness: Appearances, Affluence, Abundance?

Think of the most powerful people you can. Think of the most wonderful, wondrous and mighty Kings you can remember?  Who are they.  Perhaps you are thinking of Alexander the Great.  Maybe you are remembering a mighty Pharaoh of old or a great Roman Caesar. Maybe you are remembering a powerful Russian Czar. 

When I think about powerful, majestic, inspirational people I think about thrones.  I think about palaces.  I think of great monuments built during and after their lifetime.  A few years ago, my wife and I traveled to China.  What an amazing country.  We stood in the center of Tiananmen Square, the center of Communist China.  It was in that square that we saw the massive mausoleum dedicated to the famed Chinese leader Mao Zedong.  Despite was is taught in American history books about Mao, the Chinese people love and respect him.  Mao’s body lay’s perfectly preserved for all to see in this huge monument.  I can remember our tour guide Jimmy telling my wife and I that Mao was the greatest man to have ever lived.  They really believe that.  




Greatness is really something isn’t it.  

The Chinese say Mao is the greatest.

American say that Abe Lincoln or George Washington is the greatest.  

If you are British you might say a King or a Queen is the greatest.  

Greatness varies from place to place and from person to person doesn’t it.  Muhammad Ali claimed he was the greatest.  Was he? Were they? 

We often judge greatness by worldly standards don’t we.  Greatness is often defined by outward appearances.  Greatness is often defined by power or affluence.  Greatness is often seen as possessions and material abundance.  

As a kid, I used to watch a TV show on MTV called Cribs.  Cribs chronicled the extreme wealth and abundance of sports stars and entertainers.  Teenagers would watch and dream about living that sort of lifestyle.  Money.  Power. Fame.  Those people were great!  

Question, do those great people, do the greatest Kings and Queens the world has ever seen compare to God?  

Can they compare to His power?

Can they compare to His majesty?

Can they compare to His wisdom?

Let’s see what the prophet Isaiah has to say about the greatness of our God.

Isaiah 40:12-31 NLT
12 Who else has held the oceans in his hand?
    Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers?
Who else knows the weight of the earth
    or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale?
13 Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord?
    Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him?
14 Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice?
    Does he need instruction about what is good?
Did someone teach him what is right
    or show him the path of justice?
15 No, for all the nations of the world
    are but a drop in the bucket.
They are nothing more
    than dust on the scales.
He picks up the whole earth
    as though it were a grain of sand.
16 All the wood in Lebanon’s forests
    and all Lebanon’s animals would not be enough
    to make a burnt offering worthy of our God.
17 The nations of the world are worth nothing to him.
    In his eyes they count for less than nothing—
    mere emptiness and froth.
18 To whom can you compare God?
    What image can you find to resemble him?
19 Can he be compared to an idol formed in a mold,
    overlaid with gold, and decorated with silver chains?
20 Or if people are too poor for that,
    they might at least choose wood that won’t decay
and a skilled craftsman
    to carve an image that won’t fall down!
21 Haven’t you heard? Don’t you understand?
    Are you deaf to the words of God—
the words he gave before the world began?
    Are you so ignorant?
22 God sits above the circle of the earth.
    The people below seem like grasshoppers to him!
He spreads out the heavens like a curtain
    and makes his tent from them.
23 He judges the great people of the world
    and brings them all to nothing.
24 They hardly get started, barely taking root,
    when he blows on them and they wither.
    The wind carries them off like chaff.
25 “To whom will you compare me?
    Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One.
26 Look up into the heavens.
    Who created all the stars?
He brings them out like an army, one after another,
    calling each by its name.
Because of his great power and incomparable strength,
    not a single one is missing.
27 O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?
    O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
28 Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint. 

The Greatness of God Is…

I. Inspiring vs. 12
Isaiah 40:12 NLT
12 Who else has held the oceans in his hand?
    Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers?
Who else knows the weight of the earth
    or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale?

Quote From A.W. Tozer
“God dwells in His creation and is everywhere invisibly present in all His works.  He is transcendent above all His works even while He is immanent within them.”

Point:
I love the way Tozer says things, don’t you? See if you can finish this sentence, “sometimes you need to stop and smell the _______.” That’s right.  Sometimes you need to stop and smell the roses.  That quote speaks to our busy lives.  Often times we are so busy that we miss the small things.  It is often in the tiny details of life that we are witness to the greatest discoveries.  I think that this is very true when you consider how wonderful creation is.  When is the last time you stopped to look around at the beautiful setting that we have here on the Eastern Shore?  When is the last time you watched the sunset over the bay?  When is the last time that you journeyed up the delta to witness the awesomeness of the wildlife?  When is the last time that you came from Spanish Fort into Daphne on Highway 98 and witnessed the massive expanse of water that separates Mobile from Fairhope, Spanish Fort and Daphne.  God’s creation is truly inspiring.  

Illustration:
Just the other night, we pulled into the garage.  Jack jumped out of the truck and yelled at me to come and join him in the driveway.  I was tired and ready to get the kids to bed but I relented.  I walked up to him and was looking straight up to the sky.  

He said, “Daddy, look up.”  

I said, “Ok, what am I looking at buddy?”

He replied, “Daddy don’t you see the stars.  They are so bright tonight.”

You see, I missed it.  I missed the awesome power and majesty of the stars and I was looking right at them.  Jack saw something wonderful and truly awe inspiring and I was on the verge of missing it.  Friends, our creation points to the works of a truly great and inspiring creator.  How can this be an accident?  

The greatness of God is truly inspiring when you think of the amazing details of our universe.  God is so mighty, so wonderful, so great that not only did He create everything, but He knows every detail about the oceans, and the mountains.  He knows the exact number of fish in the sea and is aware of every bird of the air.  

I once heard a pastor say that God is so magnificently powerful that he dances on the surface of the sun and strolls along the deck of the Titanic at the very same time.  

Quote From John Piper
Listen to what John Piper says about the greatness of God.  

“If you don’t see the greatness of God then all the things that money can buy become very exciting. If you can’t see the sun you will be impressed with a street light. If you’ve never felt thunder and lightning you’ll be impressed with fireworks. And if you turn your back on the greatness and majesty of God you’ll fall in love with a world of shadows and short-lived pleasures.”

Point:
Friends, stop and smell the roses.  Look around and see the powerful, great works of God.  They truly are inspiring.  

I Chronicles 29:11 
"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.

The Greatness of God Is…

I. Inspiring vs. 12
II. Indestructible vs. 14-16
Isaiah 40:14-16 NLT
14 Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice?
    Does he need instruction about what is good?
Did someone teach him what is right
    or show him the path of justice?
15 No, for all the nations of the world
    are but a drop in the bucket.
They are nothing more
    than dust on the scales.
He picks up the whole earth
    as though it were a grain of sand.

Point:
There are a few truths that Isaiah reveals to us, the reader, verses 14-16. Let me list some of them for you this morning.  

God doesn’t need anything.  He is full.  He is complete.  He lacks nothing.  

God never thinks.  He never mulls over a problem.  God does not need a counsel to help him make a decision.  God never makes a bad choice or an error.  God does not think, He just lives in a state of knowing.  His knowledge is perfect and immutable.  

God is uncreated and eternal.  God is not like a child needing to be taught lessons.  There is no one who can advise Him.  He is righteous, perfect judge over everything in nature.  

Many will come and many will go, but God lasts forever.  Kings will rise to power and Queens will have their servants, but God will outlast them all.  They will have their splendor, their gold and silver, but nothing can compare to the riches of God and the richness of His presence.  

God is all powerful.  He holds the planets in His hands.  

I am reminded of Paul’s words in Colossians.  

Colossians 1:15-20 ESV
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Point:
Though many have tried, no one has been successful in dismantling and destroying God.  That is because God cannot be dismantled.  He cannot be destroyed.  God stands tall.  He stands supreme over all arguments, pretenses, dialogues, discourses as the never changing, ever present, everlasting God of the ages.  He is eternal.  He is everlasting.  He is preimment and the grand designer of the universe.  

A. God is Omniscient 

Point:
God knows all things.  

Psalm 147:5 ESV
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.

I John 3:20 ESV
For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.

B. God is Omnipotent

Point
God is all powerful.

Jeremiah 32:27 ESV
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?

Daniel 2:20-22 ESV
Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.

C. God is Omnipresent

Point: God is everywhere all at once.

Jeremiah 23:24 ESV
Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.

Psalm 139:7-10 ESV
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

Point:
God is not just present in this moment but He is present throughout time.  Because of God’s eternal attributes, He Himself is not bound by the construct of time and space.  God resides in this present moment as well as in future and past moments all at once with ease and comfort.  God is working out His plans in this present hour as well as past moments and future moments.  This is a hard concept to understand.  It is a hard concept for our finite minds.  I had a seminary professor explain to me saying that God is as much in 2016 as He is in 1516 and 2516.  He resides equally and fully in all time and places and spaces.  

God is most certainly indestructible.  

The Greatness of God Is…

I. Inspiring vs. 12
II. Indestructible vs. 14-16
III. Informed vs. 27
Isaiah 40:27 NLT
27 O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?
    O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?

Point:
You need to realize that Isaiah wrote these words understanding that his people, the Israelites would be living in exile.  Essentially, his people were going to be slaves.  He knew the heartache and trouble his people were going to suffer.  He knew that hard days were ahead.  

How do you react when hard days approach you?  What do you feel when you are in the midst of a massive storm?  Most of us are tempted to feel that God is absent.  He is not there when the wind and the waves capsize our lifeboats.  Where is God in the misery?  Where is God in the trouble?  Where is God?

Isaiah knew that the people would question God’s power.  He knew they would question God’s presence.  Isaiah wanted to remind his people that God had not abandoned them.  He wanted to remind them that God was aware of their trouble.  God was aware of their suffering and that He would not ignore them in their time of desperation and trouble.  

Friend, God would eventually make Himself so familiar with human suffering in the most unexpected way.  God would become man.  Jesus would be the perfect embodiment of the hypostatic union.  A being with two natures.  Jesus would be fully man thus understand everything in life from birth to death.  Jesus would be fully God.  He would be able to heal the sick and defeat the grave.  Later Isiah would comment on God’s willingness to make Himself familiar with our sorrows.

Isaiah 53:3 NLT
He was despised and rejected--a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.

Isaiah wanted his people to know that God was not distant and removed.  He was there in their suffering and in their midst.  Eventually God would become visible.  He would physically be there with them.  

And you shall name Him Emmanuel…God with us.  

Brothers and sisters, you are not alone today. God greatness is inspiring.  Take a look around and see what God has done.  Look at the lives transformed and changed.  God cannot be destroyed.  He is alive and moving.  Lastly, God knows your name.  He knows your needs.  He is up to speed and informed on your life.  You are not alone.  His Word promises over and over again that those who trust in Him will never be alone and that those who love Him are taking part in a marvelous plan.  

Romans 8:28 NLT
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Let’s talk about greatness for a moment.

His greatness cannot be fathomed. His depth to deep for any human mind to comprehend. 
His majesty is brighter than any King or Queen. His magnificence is grander than any mountain.  
His wisdom is profound and more meaningful than any philosopher.
He is more powerful than any military and more commanding than any general.
He is more loving than Mother Teresa.
He is enduringly peaceful yet all together more powerful than millions of nuclear weapons.
He is completely just and all together merciful and mighty.
He is unapologetically truthful.
He is unanimously and universally awesome.
There is no way to measure Him.  
There is only one to know Him
He is sacrificially generous. 
He is sanctimoniously righteous
He is with fear
He is Brave
He is Courageous
He is fantastically creative 
There is no depth that He cannot touch and no height that He cannot reach
Time means nothing to Him because a day is a thousand years to him and a thousand years a day.

Friends, who am I talking about?  Of course I am talking about the great King Jesus. With Him there is no match.  No one can equal His glory, His might or His greatness!

Closing Video
Friends, to close the service today, I would like to play you one of my most favorite videos.  It is about the greatness of God.  Chances are you have seen it before as I have used it in other sermons. I am thankful today that God is my King.  Are you?




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