“Our God is a Wonderful God”

“Our God is a Wonderful God”
Isaiah 40:21-31
1 John 1:1-4
Rev. Dr. Ronald Place
September 24, 2023

He is so far above us it is difficult to comprehend His greatness. This morning we are going to look at some of the characteristics or Attributes of our Great and Wonderful God.

The first one we will look at is “Our God is Infinite”, which means “Without Bounds”.

Psalm 147:5 – Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite. (NIV “has no limit”)

1 Kings 8:27 – Solomon – Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built!

We are so earth-centric in our thinking, it is good for us to occasionally be reminded of where we are astronomically.

Last time I spoke, I talked a lot about astronomy. I would like to review two slides I used in June 2022.

Here is our Milky Way galaxy and the position of our sun in our galaxy.

I still carry my yellow marble wherever I go.

Remember – If our sun is represented by this 1/2″ diameter marble

Earth is a grain of sand 8 feet away

Pluto is 100 yards away – The length of a football field

And if one side of the Milky Way Galaxy were here at the pulpit, on this scale, the other side would touch the Planet Venus.

These distances are so hard to comprehend.

Our sun is an average size star.  The largest known star in our galaxy is Stephenson 2 DFK 1 (also called Stephenson RSGC2-01).

If our sun is 1/2″ in diameter (hold up marble), Stephenson is 90 feet in diameter – probably three times the height of this chapel ceiling.

And remember, our galaxy is just one of over a billion galaxies, each with over a billion stars.

Our God, who created all this, is wonderful beyond comprehension.

The second attribute is “Our God is All Powerful”.

Jeremiah 32:17 – Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

Isaiah 44:24 – I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself.

When we become overwhelmed by circumstances and we begin to think there is no way out, we need to remind ourselves that there is nothing is too difficult for our God.  All we need to do is ask Him for help and trust that He will take care of us.

The third attribute is “Our God is All Knowing”.

Psalm 147:5 – Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.

1 John 3:20 – If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

If you are God and you create a universe, you pretty much have to know everything

God also knows all our actions, and He even knows our thoughts.

Jesus said in Luke 12:7 that our God even knows the number of hairs on our head!  And for some of us, that requires a database that has to be constantly updated with fewer numbers!

The fourth attribute is “Our God is Present Everywhere”.

Psalm 139:7-9

Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

If I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

Jeremiah 23:23-24 – Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far away? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.

I used to begin my prayers with, “I come into your presence this morning to worship you.”

And then a few years ago it hit me, I am always in His presence.  I am never not in His presence.  So now I begin my prayers with, “I pause from my routine this morning to worship you.”

The next attribute is “Our God is Everlasting to Everlasting”.

Psalm 41:13 – A Psalm of David

Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.

Psalm 90:2 – A Psalm of Moses

Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

The concept of “No Beginning and No End” is difficult to comprehend.  It is easier to accept “No End” because we can always say, “Tomorrow”.  However, our time-oriented minds find it very difficult to comprehend “No Beginning”.

Secular scientists have estimated the age of our universe to be 13.8 billion years.  Although, two months ago an article in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” postulated the universe is 26.7 billion years old.

Either way, imagine a timeline that runs from Houston and to Amarillo.  Let’s let the width of this pulpit represent 30 billion years on that timeline.  What did God do with all that “Time” in the past from here to Houston, or, what will He do with all that “Time” in the future from here to Amarillo?

Another attribute is “Our God is Faithful”.

Deuteronomy 7:9 – Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.

II Timothy 2:13 – If we are faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself.

Often we are disappointed when a family member or friend says they will do something and then they do not do it.  Fortunately for us, our God is Faithful, and He always does what He says He will do.

Another attribute is “Our God is Merciful”.

Deuteronomy 4:31 – For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.

Luke 6:36 – Jesus is speaking – Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Jesus told many parables about mercy.  Compassion falls into this category.  I hate to confess how many times the thought, “They got what they deserved” has crossed my mind.  Fortunately, God is more lenient with me than I am with my neighbor!

“Our God is Patient” is another attribute.

Psalm 103:8 – A Psalm of David – The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Patience, or a lack of it, is something we observe daily in our local traffic.  Patience is something most of us wish others had more of it when they are dealing with us.  However, if we look in a mirror, we would probably discover we are as impatient as they are.

Fortunately, our God is not like that.  He waits for us even though we do not deserve it.

“Our God is Forgiving” is the next attribute.

Micah 7:18 – Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?

Psalm 130:3-4 – If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?  But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

This is another hard attribute of God for me.  I know and believe that God forgives me when I ask him.  My problem is, I have difficulty forgiving myself.

“Our God is Loving” is one of my favorite attributes.

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world (which we call Planet Earth) that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Every morning during my personal time of prayer and worship, I get caught up in my thoughts around God’s love.

Going back to how incomprehensible this universe of ours is, I just cannot get my head around the thought that God cares for us as He does.

Our universe has unimaginable distances that are measured in light years.

And billions of galaxies, each with billions of stars.  That is a billion times a billion!  How do you comprehend a quintillion number of stars that our God created?  That’s a 1 followed by 18 zeros.

And then I try to comprehend how God would even remember Earth, much less care about this little piece of rock that revolves around this average star?

The only answer that I can come up with is – that God loves us so much, that He does care about us, and even sent His Son to redeem us from our depraved condition.

I think of it this way:

The Part that Jesus played was to reconcile us to God.

The Price that Jesus paid was to come to this planet and take on a human form.

And the Sacrifice that Jesus made was to take upon Himself my sin, and then allow His own creation to crucify Him.

To me, that is just mind boggling!!  That is agape love.

Three more – “Our God is Just”.

Deuteronomy 32:4 – He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just.  A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

Psalm 89:14 – Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.

God is just, but I am glad His patience and mercy are there.  Because if God gave me what I deserved, I would be in a heap of trouble!

Sometimes we wonder why so many people who do bad things “get away with it”.  Rest assured; they will have their day before our just God.

“Our God is Jealous”.

Exodus 20:5 – Referring to idol worship – You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.

Exodus 34:14 – Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

The children of Israel irritated God more on this issue than any other issue.

Over and over throughout the Old Testament, God had to deal with His chosen people for bowing to idols and raising His jealousy.

Lastly, we consider that our “Our God is Holy, Holy, Holy”.

Isaiah 6:3 – And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Revelation 4:8 – Each of the four living creatures, day and night, never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”

This last attribute is beautiful.  “Holy, Holy, Holy”.

God is perfect, sinless.  Yet, not only does He tolerate us, He has adopted us as His children, and He asks us to call him “Father”.

Our God is Indeed a Wonderful God!!

About Rev. Dr. Ronald Place