ROMANS 11:33-36: “Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back? For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory.” NLT
OBSERVATION: Today we live in a world where people think that they are gods. This is not something that most people verbalize. However, they live as if they are the beginning and end of all truth and wisdom. One of the mantras of our day is – “I need to live my own truth!”
When we refer to our “own truth,” we are really saying that we are equal to God. This statement trumps everyone else’s truth. Therefore, it must make the individual a god. And, with each person creating their own truth and reality, we are setting up a world where everyone is a god.
The only problem with this is that we are not gods. When my truth overrides your truth there is no room for mercy and compassion. There is no tolerance for someone who is encroaching on my truth. It is the equivalent of two small children arguing on the playground who will be king of the hill. When we compare this tiny hill to the universe we see how foolish we really are!
As Paul reflects on the wonderful mercy of God, His grace extended to the Gentiles, and the future salvation of the nation of Israel, he stands back in awe and proclaims,
- “Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back? For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory.”
I will never forget the first time I saw the stars when I moved to Texas. I grew up in Southern California in the land of smoggy skies and city lights. When you looked into the sky you saw a few stars but your view was limited because of the smog and light. However, when I moved to Texas, I gazed upward and the heavens were filled with stars that I had never seen before.
When we gaze into the heavens, when we look upon the grandeur of a majestic mountainscape, or the wonders of the ocean, suddenly we feel very small. We are but one small dim light amid billions of stars shining brightly in a galaxy that has no end. We are God’s creation, not the creator. He is the source of truth and wisdom. We are humbled in HIs presence.
When we come to this place of humility, when we fully understand how great God is, we lay down our truth for His. It is only when we surrender our truth that we can walk in His love and forgiveness. Humility is the key to love. As long as we contend for our truth we will judge others and live a life of indifference and intolerance. However, when we embrace His truth our lives will be filled with His mercy and grace!
As the world raises an angry fist in every corner contending for their “own truth,” may we raise hands of surrender and submit to God’s truth. May our lives be filled with mercy and grace. May we walk in humility and love as we proclaim His truth and the wonder of our Creator. May we be like Stephen who was willing to die for the revelation of God’s truth!
- “But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!” Then they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. He fell to his knees shouting, “Lord don’t charge them with this sin!” And, with that he died.” Acts 7:55-60 NLT
Lord, this morning I stand in awe of Your greatness, love, grace, mercy, and truth. Forgive me for the times when I have lived as if I were the source of truth. May I always stand amazed before You and always be willing to proclaim Your truth to all who will hear.
In Jesus Name!