The verse highlighted in this post is from Section II of our Investing Challenge.
“…and I will declare thy greatness.”
~ Psalm 145:6b
As we continue learning about investing in the kingdom of God, I believe one of the most sobering responsibilities is the aspect we are learning about now: conversation. Can you think of a reason why this one would be so important? According to Proverbs 18:21, death and life are in the power of the tongue. We actually have the ability to impart life and/or death by the words we speak. What a sobering fact! With this in mind, doesn’t it seem natural that someone (if they had any concern for others at all) would resolve to always be careful about what they said? But there is a problem; according to James 3:8, no one can tame the tongue. Sure, we might be able to go for a while, just saying good and “life-giving” things to others; but then come those times when we find unkind and damaging words coming out of our mouth. So what is the answer? We all have the potential to mightily invest in the kingdom of God through our conversations, but how can we expect to do this consistently? The answer might surprise you!
But before we talk about the answer to this dilemma, lets look at the verse we have for today: “…and I will declare thy greatness” – Psalm 145:6b. Have you ever really stopped and thought about the greatness of God? Have you ever thought about declaring it? One problem I’m sure most of us have is that we don’t really know God’s greatness. Sure, we know that He is great. But what does that really mean? How can we engage in conversation with others about the greatness of God if we don’t really know much about it? We can attempt to get the idea across by saying He is amazing, awesome, all-knowing, mighty, etc; but these are really just synonyms for the word/idea we are trying to convey, and it leaves the final conclusion rather abstract. “Just imagine the greatest thing you can think of, and God is even greater!” Though this statement is true, it doesn’t articulate, specifically, God’s greatness.
I truly believe that God does not want us to merely know about His greatness, but to experientially know His greatness. When we personally experience the mighty acts of the Lord in our lives, we can go beyond simply telling people that “God is great” to telling them how He is great. We can go beyond trying to describe something that is “out there” (impersonal), and instead tell them something that is dynamically working in our very own lives.
But how does this all come about? When it comes down to the grind of things, is there really something we can do in order for this experiencing the greatness of God to take place on a personal level? Actually, there is! Jesus Christ gave us a promise in the book of John, just shortly before He was betrayed and arrested. The promise, though, is stated with a condition that is found earlier in the verse. It reads:
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” – John 14:21
Here we are given the promise of Jesus that He will manifest Himself to us. What an awesome statement! When Christ manifests Himself to us personally, we can from that point on declare His greatness from personal experience! But lest we give way to merely seeking an “experience” with Christ, let us take note on how this manifestation comes about – the condition of this promise. The promise is granted to those that have and keep His commandments. From this point someone might say, “OK, from this moment on, I purpose to do all that Christ commands.” But that is not what Jesus is instructing us to do. We have a tendency to hear the phrase “keep His commandments” and think that it is up to our resolve and will-power to carry them out. But such a mindset is fleshly in nature, and destined to fail. No matter how high our resolve to do what is right, this lower nature of ours can never attain or maintain the righteousness Christ demands. It didn’t work for salvation, and can’t work for the Christian life, either. Even if we do live a “righteous” life, if it is the result of our own resolve, it is still seen as filthy rags in the sight of God.
So, if keeping God’s commandments doesn’t mean biting the bullet and doing it whatever the cost, then what does it mean?
…. Tomorrow, you’ll get the answer to that question! 🙂