REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Barry Kang who heads Symphony Church in Boston, is an updated version of his blog first posted on April 12, 2013. He is a graduate of Stanford University (BA), Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Our Words Fail Us in View of God’s Greatness”
Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. 6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep.
When we contemplate the greatness of God, our minds strain under the stress of describing what is essentially the infinitude of his majesty. That is why when David sought to describe God’s greatness, he looked to nature for analogies that might help us grasp the ungraspable. God’s love, he tells us, reaches to the heavens. His faithfulness stretches to the sky. God’s righteousness is like the mighty mountains. His justice is like the ocean’s deep.
Amazingly, even these images as beautiful and evocative as they are, fail to adequately describe God’s beauty and character. How beautiful is God? He is more beautiful! How loving is God? He is more loving. When we stretch our imaginations to consider the immensity of God, we still fall short.
So is considering God’s greatness a pointless exercise? NO! The unsurpassable majesty of God’s beauty means that we will never stop finding things to marvel at when we set our eyes upon God!
Have you marveled at God’s greatness recently? What helps you to consider God’s goodness and greatness? This day, let us look for scenes that will help us begin to picture the greatness of God.
Prayer: Father, I ask that you open up my heart that I may gaze with fresh delight upon your beauty. This day, may I see reminders of your majesty all around me. Help me to pause in those moments and give you the glory and praise you deserve. In Jesus’s name, I pray. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 28
Lunch Break Study
Read Ephesians 3:14-19 (NIV): For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Questions to Consider
- For what reason does Paul kneel before the Father (verse 14, c.f. Eph 3:1-13)? From what you know of how Jewish men were accustomed to pray, what does it mean that Paul was kneeling?
- What are four specific things that Paul asks for in this prayer?
- How can one know a love that surpasses knowledge (verse 19)?
- The custom of Jewish men was to pray standing up with hands (and arms) held high. In contrast to this custom, Paul is brought to his knees before God in prayer, as he contemplates with awe of the reconciling work God has done through Jesus Christ (Eph 3:1-13).
- Paul prays for four specific things for the church in Ephesus [Note: each prayer request is loftier than the one before]: first, that they may be strengthened by the indwelling of Christ through his Spirit; second, that they may be rooted and grounded in love; third, that they may know Christ’s love in all its dimensions, although it is beyond knowledge; fourth, that they may be filled completely with the very fullness of God.
- When we understand that the love of Christ is beyond our understanding, we are beginning to understand the love of God. This oxymoron must be taken seriously. The love of Christ is so profound that we can never plumb its depths. The love of Christ is so vast that no human mind can encompass its extent. But it is still the supreme object of Christian knowledge and so Paul prays that we might begin to grasp the ungraspable. As one scholar puts it, “the attempt to know the unknowable is a paradox which is at the heart of all true religion.”
There is nothing more worthy of our attention and meditation than the love of Christ. Even as it dwarfs our ability to comprehend, we can take confidence in this: Jesus loves us and he desires for us to know the fullness of his love. He is so near us!
How have you experienced the nearness of God this week? Have you been able to lift up honest and bold prayers? Write of your joys and frustrations where it comes to God and invite God to widen your perspective.