Introduction

Introduction

Devotional

Love So Great

Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.  There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the earth. (Psalm 19:2-4)
When we cannot summon anything else to be grateful for, we just need to open our eyes and look around.  Creation testifies day and night to His beauty, and God left us without excuse when He fashioned us with five senses, a brain, and emotions in order to observe and process all that He has made.

For what can be known about God is plain to us, because God has shown it to us.  For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.  So we are without excuse.  (Romans 1:19-20)

We are without excuse.  I love this, and if I’m completely honest, there are times when I hate this.  All at once, the rose opening in springtime declares the awesomeness of God and reveals the dullness and ingratitude of my heart.  Day after day, the heavens and every living (and non-living) thing on the earth declares the extravagant love of our Maker; and if we have eyes to see, the weight and scope of that reality is absolutely mind-blowing.  If we believe the words of Genesis 1, that God created all things, and if we believe the truth that continues throughout the Bible, that it is the Lord who upholds and governs every part of creation (Lev 26:3-4, Job 5:10, Job 37: 6 & 9-13, Neh. 9:5-6, Ps 65:7-11, Ps 104:7-13, Ps 104:27-30, Ps 145:16, Ps 147:8 & 15-18, Mt 6:26-30, Mt 10:29, and many other verses), then something as simple as the grass growing in our backyard can leave us speechless before Him.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praises to our God on the lyre, Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who provides rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains. (Psalm 147:7-8)
Have you ever asked the question why?   When you look at the sky, have you wondered why God makes it beautiful?  He doesn’t have to make a rose smell sweet, the stars sparkle, or the grass green.  But He does.   And He could do all of that just for Himself, because God enjoys His own masterpieces in and of Himself.   But the Godhead went even further in Genesis.   He created man and woman in His image to enjoy all that He has made.  When the Holy Three formed us out of the dust and breathed the breath of God into our image-bearing bodies, He gave us senses with which to see, hear, taste, touch, and smell the depth of the wonder in all that He has spoken into being.  Our Creator is extravagant, and clearly, He wants to share His extravagant heart with us.

Several years ago, we were watching Planet Earth with our kids, and as we were looking at these insane creatures, all lit up and brilliant with colors in the ocean’s depths, our oldest son said, “It’s just crazy that God made all these things!  I mean, no one even sees this stuff – He just made them because He enjoys it!”  Out of the mouths of babes He prepares praise, right?  These crazy creatures of the deep are there simply because of the happy and joyful heart of our God.  Humanity has barely begun to scratch the surface of the love of God in Creation.  Every day, we are discovering something new in the macro and micro worlds around us.  And God lets us!  He invites us into this magnificent world He has made so that we might know Him, love Him, and enjoy all of it with Him.  Isn’t that stunning?  The next time you look at a blade of grass, a tree, a raindrop, the ocean, your skin, or your breath on a cold windowpane, remember that all of these things are invitations into the heart of our Maker and revelations of the glory of our God.  

They are miracles.  They are signs.  They are testimonies.  They are instantaneous incarnations.  They remind us of the same truth: the unseen is now visible.  The distant has drawn near.  His Majesty has come to be seen.  And He is in the most common of earth’s corners.

In fact, it is the normality, not the uniqueness of God’s miracles that causes them to be so staggering.  Rather than shocking the globe with an occasional demonstration of deity, God has opted to display His power daily.  Proverbially.  Pounding waves.  Prism-cast colors.  Birth, death, life.  We are surrounded by miracles.  God is throwing testimonies at us like fireworks, each one exploding, “God is! God is!”  (Max Lucado)

“God is! God is! God is!”.  And He is good and extravagant.  The Godhead is so full of joy and love that He actually wants to bring us into the fellowship of those miracles with Him.  Just think...if a flower or a sunset can look this brilliant in such a broken world, can you even imagine what He has in store for us in Heaven and in the New Earth?   The breathtaking beauty of a galaxy of stars swirling through the night sky is nothing compared to what God Himself is like.  When we stand trembling at the ocean’s shore overwhelmed by its deep mysteries and the wildness of its pounding waves, we are barely scratching the surface of the God who set its borders with a word and who commands the winds and waves like they’re nothing.  Can you even begin to grasp what lies in the heart and mind of the Creator of everything around us?

Let us not walk through the corridors of Creation without pausing to gaze upon the beautiful artistry that surrounds us and beholding the portrait of God’s heart revealed by the works of His hands. Let us rejoice and be glad, for our Lord is not the callous, distant God that the enemy of our joy has portrayed Him to be.  It is God who causes that flower to push its way through mud and dirt to find the sun, and your gaze. It is God who causes trees and diatoms to release the oxygen that every cell of your body needs for its very survival, and God who keeps the sun close enough to give us light and keep us thawed, but far enough that we are not consumed in an inferno.  It is God who spins the earth and paints the orange and purple sky above you at sunset, and the same God who brings the rain to the thirsty earth in spring and autumn.  It is God who causes millions of unique and intricate snowflakes to cover the earth, reminding us of the One who washes white as snow and bringing us into the stillness of knowing that He alone is God.   That beating you feel within your sweet toddler’s chest, that breath that just fell from your lips, those eyes with which you saw the snow-capped mountains in all their majesty, those taste buds which squealed with delight as you tasted that yummy Thanksgiving dinner… all that defines your world and your days...hear Him beckoning you with each beat of your heart and each breath from your lungs.  The Creator is calling you to see and believe, and to praise Him with wholly grateful hearts.  His love is great and He is greatly to be praised!  O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth!