March 22nd – 26th, 2018
Dr. Allen Roberts, Pastor
Euclid Avenue Baptist Church
As Christians we often hear references made to “the greatness and glory of God.” This theological thought is certainly taught and discussed within the academic realm of our Southern Baptist colleges and seminaries. It also has its rightful place within the context of the local church, particularly through the preaching – teaching of God’s Word, and through the use of music in corporate worship settings. Thus, we seem to possess some degree of familiarity with this wondrously rich, biblical concept.
Whenever I hear of, or read about, any reference made to “the greatness and glory of God,” I cannot help but think of the passage in Exodus 33:12 – 23. In that passage of Scripture, we find Moses upon Mount Sinai, meeting with the Lord God Almighty Himself. It was there that Moses sought assurance from God for at least two things: 1) that he had found grace in the sight of the Lord, and 2) that God’s very presence would go with, and before, him and the people of Israel as they made their way to the Promised Land of Canaan. The Lord then provided Moses the assurance which he longed for, declaring in v.14, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest,” and then in v.17, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”
But then, in v.18, Moses made another request: “Please, show me Your glory.”
Moses asked for what?! Was this not the same man to whom God had revealed Himself through a burning bush at Mount Horeb? Was this not the same man to whom God had spoken directly, calling him to lead the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt? Was this not the same man who had stood before Egypt’s Pharaoh and declared in the authority of Jehovah God, “Let My people go?” Was this not the same man who had witnessed the miraculous power of God through ten specific plagues brought against Pharaoh and all of Egypt? Was this not the same man who had placed his trust in Jehovah God for miracles of protection and deliverance, and for water and food, as he led the people of Israel towards the Promised Land of Canaan?
Moses’ request tells us something about the deepest yearnings of his heart. When he stated, “Please, show me Your glory,” that request revealed he longed for something more than just a position of leadership and influence, or miracles, or even a life of ease and convenience. Moses wanted to know the fullness of God’s very life in intimate fellowship. He yearned for the peace and assurance of being fully accepted in the presence of God.
So, what does Moses’ request from so long ago have to do with you and me today as followers of the Lord Jesus, you may ask? I believe that the request made in Exodus 33:18 not only disclosed the desire and longing of Moses’ heart, but it also reveals the deepest desire and longing of those who belong to Christ even today.
Every form of disobedience on our part towards God and His Word is nothing less than an inadequate, unsatisfying substitute for knowing the fullness of the life of Jesus in abiding fellowship. Every form of disobedience we choose is nothing less than an empty substitute for experiencing the peace of knowing that you have found grace in the sight of Almighty God through His Son, Jesus.
Nothing compares to the greatness and glory of our Creator and Redeemer! And we are a people who desperately need to be awakened again to the incomparable greatness and glory of our God and Savior! The church in America is in dire, urgent need of having her heart captured again by the wondrous grace and mercies of Jesus Christ and His life-changing Gospel. As the people of God, may we stand up and sing with renewed wonder and gratitude the words of that old hymn, “I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene, and wonder how He could love me, a sinner, condemned, unclean!”
Consequently, I am convinced as well that there is a probing question which lingers within the minds of many professing believers today in relation to this subject. The question is this: “In what ways can we personally recognize the greatness of God, the glory of God?”
Our ability and experiences in recognizing the greatness and glory of God may be quite different from that of Moses. However, a renewed awakening to the greatness and glory of God can prove to be just as life-changing for you and me as it was for Moses’ life.
Listed below you will find five specific areas in which we can recognize the greatness and glory of our Lord. These particular areas are rich in biblical theology, but this devotion is intended to be much more than a theological exercise. As you read through the related passages of Scripture in each section, the intent is that we would encounter the living God who knows us, and yet, loves us so greatly that He gave His one of a kind Son to redeem us from our sin. We must remember that “the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
May each of our hearts once again be awakened to, and captured by, the greatness and glory of God and Savior in life-changing ways!
Scripture passages for reading and meditation:
1) In Creation
- Genesis 1:1 (1:1 – 31 & 2:1 – 25)
- John 1:1 – 3, 14
- Colossians 1:15 – 17
- Revelation 4:11
2) The Person and Eternality of Jesus
In prophetic statements
- Isaiah 7:14 & 9:6 – 7 \ Matthew 1:18 – 25 \ Luke 1:26 – 38
- Isaiah 43:11 \ 44:6 \ 45:21c – 22
- Romans 11:33 – 36
- Revelation 1:8, 11, 17 – 18
- Revelation 19:16
- Philippians 2:9 – 11
The “I Am” Statements
- John 8:58— “I AM” (cf. Exodus 3:1 – 15)
- John 6:35— “I am the bread of life”
- John 8:12— “I am the light of the world”
- John 10:7— “I am the door of the sheep”
- John 10:11, 14— “I am the good shepherd”
- John 11:25 – 26— “I am the resurrection and the life”
- John 14:6— “I am the way, the truth, and the life”
- John 15:1 – 8— “I am the true vine”
3) God’s Miracle of Salvation
- Luke 19:10 \ John 3:16 – 17
- Romans 3:21 – 26 \ 5:1 – 2, 8 – 11 \ 8:1 – 11 & 31 – 39 \ 10:9 – 13
- Ephesians 1:3 – 7 \ 2:1 – 10
- Colossians 1:13 – 14 & 19 – 23 \ 2:13 – 15
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 – 21
- 1 John 5:10 – 13
- Revelation 1:4 – 6
4) The Resurrection Power of Jesus Christ
- John 11:25 – 26
- Matthew 28:1 – 10 \ Mark 16:1 – 8 \ Luke 24:1 – 12 \ John 20:1 – 10
- 1 Corinthians 15:1 – 58
- Revelation 20:11 – 15
5) In Eschatology: the Promised Return of Jesus Christ
- John 14:1 – 4
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 18
- Revelation 1:7 – 8 \ 4:1 – 11 \ 5:1 – 14 \ 19:1 – 10 & 11 – 19 \ 21:1 – 22:5