Awesome God (worship song)
Our God is an awesome God he reigns
From heaven above with wisdom, power and love
Our God is an awesome God
How Great Thou Art (worship song)
O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed,
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee;
How great thou art, how great thou art!
Acts 17, Verses 22 - 34, Sermon on Mars Hill - 22 So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. 23 For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ 29 Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. 30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” 32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, “We shall hear you again concerning this.” 33 So Paul went out of their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.
Today I was sitting in a bible study at church when I really took something in that was being taught, and I thought, "Our God is an awesome God". My focus shifted to this and I realized I was in a room with others who had declared that "God is Good!"; I was in a place of righteous worship, reflection and fellowship. I felt God shined a light on us in that moment. We were studying God's covenant with Israel and the many times they fell away. Often they fell into observing what neighboring nations were involved in, including orgies, human sacrifice, improper sexual relations, and deity worship outside of God. Looking back now, God's laws and commandments determined a path and pattern of righteousness for all people to inherit one day through the new covenant brought by Jesus Christ and the future judgement. All this which existed in part because of this prior relationship with God and Israel. Paul in Acts 17 is right - God will come to judge the entire world in righteousness through Jesus Christ at the appointed time. He is no longer the "unknown God" and He is a righteous God.
In a book by Jack Cottrell, "The Faith Once and For All", the characteristics of God are listed as follows: God is Spirit, Self-existent, One, Three (Father, Son, Spirit), Infinite, Eternal, Righteous, Immutable, Transcendent, Sovereign, Omnipotent, Wise, Good, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Immanent, Glorious, Holy, Loving, Jealous, Wrathful, Merciful, Patient, and Gracious. In the introduction it says, “Because God is holy, he is jealous and wrathful in the presence of sin; because he is love, he is merciful, patient and gracious toward sinners.” I am studying the biblical definitions and text associated with these traits so I can get a fuller understanding of God as part of my faith and prayer life. I want to make sure as part of my faith-journey I fully understand just how glorious God really is.
It is amazing to think of the world on God's terms rather than the alternative. In American culture there is an inherited belief system from Christianity that promotes justice, kindness, humility, family values, compassion on the poor, respect for all, work ethic and other forms of righteousness. Yes, darkness lives here; darkness has its place everywhere; it cannot be denied as humans are fallen. At the same time, we send missionaries into much darker places. In some places the worship of other gods, or another god, leads people into sexual slavery, or beatings, or because of a certain belief about karma for droves of people to turn a blind eye to the poor. When Mother Theresa first set foot in India her faith was tested for what she saw was terrifying. Christian missionaries are often overwhelmed with the situations they are confronted, but they most often are very passionate about their work because they seek what is good. Corruption is at a larger scale in most other countries than here at home. Often people blame corporatism, socialism or communism, but intermixed in these systems is a lack of respect for biblical values and freedom of religion, either through state-force or propaganda. Yet, God still reaches the hearts of the righteous and continues his kingship over the authorities.
The new law of the New Testament means one should have faith in Christ and pursue righteousness as evidence for that belief. Our God has a true form of justice that has worked itself over man throughout history molding and shaping him for appointed times and a bright future. God will also finally judge each and every man, woman and child. God is perfect in every way, so it is with great relief and great fear that he is both our Maker and Judge. In the end, the debased may be given over to evil and hell, while the remaining in a heavenly resting place. The complexity of it all is for God and Jesus to understand; we tend to oversimplify it in our minds. But our God is not simple - he is great. "O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds, Thy hands have made, I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed, Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee; How great thou art, how great thou art!"
Dear God, I am unsure when you are guiding my thoughts and actions, or in my presence before me, as I have a creative imagination and it is hard to pinpoint. Yet, today at church when my focus became pinpoint clear and the background surroundings faded out, I imagined You were there to be seen shining a light on us. I see answers to my prayers looking back, and callings to do what is more righteous when I am otherwise not up to it. I agree You work in mysterious ways, and it is not for me to know. Your ways, however, are great! As the Maker of all things I find You glorious and wise. When people dare to say, "God is Love!", I am assured of Your mercy, patience and graciousness. As the Author of the final judgement, I fear and respect the outcome, knowing that what is holy is perfect and righteous. I pray for those that are suffering in immeasurable ways, especially the vulnerable. May people not turn a blind eye to what suffering they see, and strive to make a difference for those in need. May the authorities not be given over to debased minds, and instead declare justice and freedom of religion in their lands; may they set an example of humility and skill in governing; may they resist war and violence on their own people and other nations. May Christianity flourish wherever it is planted. In the name of Jesus, the Christ, Amen.
The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.