GGPR, “God’s Great Passions Realized,” is the most succinct way I know to express the purpose of existence. From time to time, I’ll explore these great, mysterious passions and contemplate their transmission through new creations whose hearts, thanks to Christ’s initiation of the New Covenant, long to live them out.
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All that is good and right originates with our wholly good and right God. Therefore, he appropriately wants everything and everyone everywhere to recognize and extol his greatness. For Him to desire otherwise would be wrong. And for us to give this recognition to anything or anyone else is equally wrong. Consequently, God reveals himself in the Scriptures as a jealous God–jealous of the worship and glorification that are rightfully his:
“I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another.” Isaiah 42:8
“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God.” Deuteronomy 5:7-9
“Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm: Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself? Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his? Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty. Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at every proud man and bring him low, look at every proud man and humble him, crush the wicked where they stand. Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave. Then I myself will admit to you that your own right hand can save you.” Job 40:6-14
“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.” Psalm 150:6
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31
If you’re a believer, please deliberate here. Mull over a God who is passionate about the grateful recognition of his greatness.
A believer is a new creation whose heart of stone has been exchanged for a heart replete with God’s passions (Jer. 33:33) that insists on their expression (Ez. 36:26-27). Community is God’s safeguard to protect this transmission from the residual effects of the fall. Dream with me of God’s great passion for the grateful recognition of his greatness expressed in these four areas:
- Your Private Life. Confess any areas in your life where God is not ultimate. Look out for areas where you syphon the worship that God deserves. Confess places where you’ve doubted his greatness. Reflect on areas in your own life where the greatness of God has been clearly manifest. Discover his greatness in the Bible. Prayerfully depend on God to transform your thinking where this is necessary. See whether your bank account and calendar support your profession of God’s preeminence.
- Your Circles of Influence. Praise God in the words you speak. Live your life in such a way that others can witness your belief that he is ultimate and worthy of your confidence. Model for your spouse and children God’s priority in your life–read your Bible more and engage in distractions less. Help those you love to identify areas where they are treating other things as ultimate.
- Your Church Family. Pay attention to the words you sing during worship–close your eyes if you must. Make those words your declaration. Sacrifice for causes that promote the recognition of his greatness. Beware of the tendency to approach church as a consumer.
- A Needy World. Pray for the success of the Gospel overseas. Contribute to churches and ministries that will expose dark areas to the greatness of God. Volunteer in ministries that spread the Word of God.
This is just a list. Listen to your heart. Perhaps you should write these four headings on your notepad or your computer screen and ask God to help you fill them in yourself. But always filter your heart’s leading through a community of God-fearing believers. Then act.
Below are some ideas how a partnership like Riverbend might facilitate the realization of these passions:
Continue reading ‘GGPR: The Grateful Recognition of His Greatness’