October 3, 2014

Romans 4:17 God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

In all this talk of righteousness by faith we have to remember the object of that faith. There’s a Japanese proverb that says, “Even a sardine’s head can be an object of worship.” Believing in a sardine’s head isn’t going to make you righteous! In our finiteness we can’t know the infinity of God, but we have to know at least that He is infinite. That’s a major reason for the Biblical record, so that we can know the wide variety of things He has done to reveal Himself and save His people. Of course the ultimate example of that is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, but it isn’t limited to that. All the Old Testament stories are also to teach us about Him, sometimes in positive ways and sometimes in negative ways. (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11) We cannot grasp all that God is, so He uses expressions like “riding on the clouds” or “walking the earth” to bring Himself more into our field of view. However, this verse reminds us to go back to Genesis 1 and remember that God spoke the universe into being. Atheists try to deny that, but they can’t explain where the universe came from apart from that. They postulate a “big bang,” but can’t even imagine where or how it came to be. That actually is a pun of sorts, because it all existed because God said, “Be.” Books have been written on the subject of “Your God is Too Small,” but writing about it doesn’t change it. Each of us needs to receive a progressive revelation of the greatness of God. The more we understand, the more we are able to understand.

My own vision of God is too small, I know, but that shouldn’t keep me from helping others expand their vision of Him. By His grace I can be instrumental in someone receiving a bigger revelation of God than I have! I find I am constantly reminding people that nothing is impossible for God. (Luke 1:37) Even so, sometimes I too need to be reminded! As a pastor, one of my strongest desires is that the people in my care know that God is big enough and strong enough to use them for His purposes and His glory. That’s a very big part of discipleship. So many people have trouble believing that God could actually use them, even when they see Him use me. It’s like the angel speaking to Gideon and calling him a “mighty warrior.” (Judges 6:12) He had been threshing grain in a wine press out of fear of the Philistines! God was indeed calling something that was not as though it was! I desire that every believer truly know Whom they have believed, so that together we may be fully available as His instruments for His glory.

Father, You allowed me to talk about this with people again yesterday. Thank You. I pray that I would in no way limit by unbelief what You want to do in and through me and this church. May Your Name be hallowed and Your kingdom come as Your will is done perfectly right here, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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