God’s Greatness – A Source of Comfort – Dr. Charles Stanley

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God’s Greatness – A Source of Comfort – Dr. Charles Stanley

When we talk to God, how do we speak to Him? What is the primary subject of our prayers—our own cares and concerns? Dr. Stanley discusses how our understanding of the greatness of God affects how we pray.

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And the son of god, Jesus, the lord said, I am the way the truth and the life.
No one comes to the father, but by me.
Therefore, go into all the work teaching and preaching the gospel to every single person that are immodest parts of the earth.
In touch, the teaching ministry of Doctor Charles Stanley.
Next on in touch, God’s greatness, a source of comfort.
When you think about god, how do you visualize him?
I mean, do you see him as a young man? Do you see him as middle age?
Do you see him as an old man? With white hair sitting on a throne somewhere.
When you talk to him, what do you talk about? What is the theme of your conversation?
What’s the major thing you’re interested in?
What do you admit that most of the time that most of our conversation of it to him is about something that we need?
If we were really and truly honest, we would sorta be at the center of our conversation, what we need, what we want, our cares, and so forth.
Don’t you imagine that god would oftentimes love to hear us talk about him and to praise him and adore him and worship him, and maybe recall his attributes and his characteristics and how great and good and mighty and powerful and loving and kind he is to us.
Rather than so much of the time hearing about our needs, which he is more than willing to grant.
Well, when you not look at the scriptures, and we look at the prayers of these old testament saints so often when they prayed at the heart of their prayer, was the greatness and the power and the might and the majesty of almighty god.
And that’s what I’m gonna talk about in this passage because If you, for example, were to call in the Psalms, how often you have read the Psalms and how many times the greatness of god is mentioned in the Psalms, for example.
Yeah. The Psalm it says, he speaks of god being very great that he’s a great king, that his mercies are great.
His loving kindness is a great.
Uh, his deeds are great and that, uh, his, uh, that he is, uh, that he does great things.
That his glory is great, his strength is great, his deliverances are great, that he do it mighty things.
The scripture says are great things.
That his name is great and that he does great wonders and that his greatness is beyond human understanding.
Now I want you to turn to the 86th Psalm.
And in the Psalm, David begins like most of us begin our prayers.
He starts off by talking about his affliction.
And I want us to read a few verses of this Psalm, and then I want you to notice until the end of this first portion, that the basis for which he makes his request is his understanding, faith in and believe, belief in the greatness of god.
He says beginning in verse 1 of Psalm 86, talking to the father.
Now he says incline thineer o lord and answer me, but I’m afflicted and needy.
Doesn’t that sound like us? That’s where we start them off. Oh, lord.
Do preserve my soul from a godly man Oh, thou my god save thy servant who trust in thee.
Be gracious to me, oh, lord. For to thee, I cry all day long.
Make glad the soul of our servant for, to thee, oh, lord, I lift up my soul.
For thou lord, are good and ready to forgive? And abundant and loving kindness to all who call upon thee.
See now he’s talking about he switched over to god now.
Give earl lord to my prayer and give heed to the voice of my supplications.
In the day of my trouble, I shall call upon thee, but that will answer me.
There is no one like the among the gods.
Oh lord, see how He talks about what his need is, and he talks about how great god is.
For thou will answer me. There is no one like the among the gods, oh lord.
Now are there any works like thine?
All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before the old lord, and they shall glorify thy name.
Look at this next verse. For thou art great and doest wonderful deeds, thou alone art god.
I think this the need that we have, and we just sort of lay in there and hang in there, but I need this and I need that and I need the other.
If you’ll notice, not only that he present his needs, but he mixed his needs beautifully balanced with the nature, the attributes, the greatness, the power, and the love of god.
He says, I know you’re gonna hear an answer my prayer. You’re a great god.
All the nations of the earth come before you. He says thou art god and the only true god.
What I would like for us to think about this morning and and some ways here is the greatness of god maybe in a little different way than we normally think about it.
And I want us to think about how god reveals his greatness to us.
And one of the ways that his greatness is revealed is the fact that he, if you’ll think about, what he’s like in areas that you and I normally would use specific words, and that is that how great is god in relation to space We know that he’s everywhere, but when we think about, well, god is over there and god is over here.
We think about finite objects, and we think, well, now this pulpit here is right here.
This pulpit can’t be any other place as long as it’s right here because all finite objects are limited to where they are.
So we say it’s here. It can’t be here. And over yonder and over here at the same time.
God is spirit. He is absolutely limitless.
He cannot be limited by anything when it comes to space because god is the one who created space.
There was no such thing as space until he created it. Before the creation of the world, what was there?
You and I cannot even describe it.
God in his he in his intoneness, that is he is infinity in every aspect of his being, and you cannot separate who god is from his attributes.
So when you and I say that he is within us, because that’s what Jesus said.
He says I’m abiding in you and you and me, the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us, And we trust Jesus Christ as our savior so that we can rightfully say that god is now indwelling us.
He’s living on the inside of us.
My heart, your heart, people who live in Brazil, he’s in their heart, people who live in South Africa, he’s in their heart, people who live in China, he’s in their heart, He’s in their hearts.
He’s in our heart. How how do you define and locate god? You cannot locate him.
You can take all of the measurements And you can take maps and globes, and you name it.
You cannot put a finger on where god is.
While he is everywhere, You cannot say he’s here, but not over here.
And so he is above all space and beyond all of that.
He is the kind of god who is absolutely limitless.
Now what does that do for me when I come to him with my own request and my own desires?
For example, what comfort is there in this?
And because I want I want us to see this in the light of the greatness of god, our comfort.
And that is if he is infinite, limitless in his in his capacity, unlimited by space, then that means this that no matter where you and I are, Whatever the situation, the circumstance, you cannot say that god is not there.
And when a person walks through a period of deep dark aloneness in their life.
What you and I want to say to them is that the god who is the guy who is spirit He is not limited by space, so no matter where you are today, tomorrow, or where you’ll be next year, or where you have been, you have never taken a single step.
You have never breathed one single breath outside of the presence of god.
Now to all of us who believe us, that is the most comforting reassuring thing.
That when we walk through this deep, dark valleys of aloneness and feel that aloneness, it may be something we feel, but we’re not feeling reality.
Reality says, I’m walking in the presence of this god, whom I cannot touch with my physical hands, whom I cannot see with my physical eyes, and whom I I cannot feel this way, but he is here.
You cannot name a place god is not because he says where shall I go to hide From the presence of god, there is no place to hide from him.
God is above time. He is above space, and he reveals his greatness in the fact that he is.
Secondly, god’s greatness is revealed in the fact that he is above and beyond all time.
Time cannot limit god. Now when we think of time, we have to fit into certain schedules, and that’s the way we operate.
The wonderful thing about god is this.
That when he look when he thinks in terms of time, he is above all time, and therefore, time has no effect upon him.
There are no there’s nothing outside of god that affects god.
There’s nothing outside of god that makes god do anything. And so he sees all things in relationship to time.
Now god is like a little boy who stands up in the top of the steeple and watch the parade from where it starts to where it ends.
And so at each segment along the parade, he can see the whole thing.
Now he sees this band here, This man here and these people marching here, he sees each one in their order, each one in their perspective.
And so he sees it all at the same time, but at any given time, he sees any part of it in any given place.
That’s the way he looks at your life and mine. That’s the way he looks at all of society.
That’s why he sees all of history.
God sees all of history from beginning to end, and therefore, he is not affected by what’s going on in time.
And here’s one civilization that can last a 1000 years, and here’s one of the last 300 years.
So all of that is under the scrutiny. All of that is under the vision of god.
He’s seeing all these things that are going on. He is above and beyond all of that.
And so when people rise to power and they threaten each other, how insignificant they are compared to this almighty god who is above all space and all time and who is looking and seeing all things equally at the same time.
And so the wonderful thing about that for us is this, that here we are in life moving along and god who’s not limited to time, can therefore can see it all at the same time.
He knows what’s in the next block in your life. He knows what’s two blocks away in the parade.
He knows what’s three blocks away.
So when god in his infinite wisdom above and beyond all time says to us, wait.
Wait upon the lord, be of good courage, and he will strengthen your heart weight.
You know why he says, wait? Because he, unlimited gun time, seeing it all, knows what’s coming.
And, therefore, he knows that at this time in your life, it is time to slow down.
At this time in your life, it’s time to move on.
At this time in your life, he knows he’s gonna have you take a turn.
And so, therefore, one of the comforts of the fact that god is above and beyond beyond all time and spaces that he is controlling and will govern and guide our life in every single segment.
We don’t have to worry about the timing as long as you and I are walking in time and in concert with him.
And so as you’ll think about all of the scriptures, for example, how oftentimes that, the, uh, old testament characters, especially, god would work in their lives.
And you you and I can see how the timing was so very, very important.
Turn to the 90th Psalm, the 90th Psalm, and the first couple of verses here.
He says, lord thou has been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were born, o thou didst give birth to the earth and the world before all of time, even from everlasting to everlasting, Valwart god.
And so you can’t fit god in a time.
And therefore, when we say, lord, I I I think you, uh, you you need to hurry up, and let’s get this done.
And here we are telling god to hurry up when he’s above and beyond all time and sees everything in his perfect perspective.
The greatness of god, when you and I come to him in prayer, we need to mix in our prayers not only what we’re asking him for, but to recall to his glory and to recall to his honor and to recall to his praise, those attributes that this god whom we serve is omnipresent.
All places are in his presence, that he is absolutely omniscient knows all things.
I’m the president has all power. He is above and beyond all timing and scheduling of man.
Therefore, when I come to him, I don’t have to come fretting and fuming about supposed this and the other.
If I am walking in concert with his will, since timing is under his control, and he perfectly times every single thing.
You see, sometimes we’ll hear some liberal theologian talk about the miracles in the Bible and explaining them more and say, well, these things just happen to happen at this particular time.
Why certainly they did? Who do you think was controlling the time?
God, who is above and beyond all time controls that?
So one of the aspects of his greatness is that he’s above and beyond all time and space.
A third expression of his greatness is the way he expresses his greatness through his power.
We say that god is omnipotent.
That is god in all of his infinite awesome power is in absolute control, sovereignly controlling every single aspect of life.
There’s not anything that’s not under his control.
If there is anything that is not under his control, then he’s no longer omnipotent.
And if he’s not omnipotent, then he’s no longer god. Whatever can control god is greater than god.
And, therefore, he can’t be god and have something else controlling him. Now think about this.
If you don’t believe in the sovereignty of god, if the omnipotence of god is not a reality in your life, When you come to him facing some strange and strong difficult in hardship, if you don’t believe that god is in sovereign control, here’s what you have to see.
Listen, I either believe in the sovereignty of god or I believe in victimism.
That is that I am a victim of circumstance.
If I am a child of god and god is sovereign, only what almighty sovereign omnipotent god chooses to allow can happen to you and me no matter what.
That’s why I don’t believe in accidents. And people talk about, well, good luck.
Don’t give me any of that. I don’t want good luck. I want listen, I want the intervention.
I want to be accompanied by the wisdom and the supernatural power of god, and it won’t luck.
Luck is something the world talks about. We’re talking about the supernatural power of god.
And into the life of every single believer, all that god is lives within you and me, all of the power of god exists within us.
You say, well, wait a minute now.
If all the power of god exists within us, we could do supernatural things.
Well, There are many things that can be done through a person supernaturally.
When god chooses to allow that that power to flow through that person, just because you and I are entwelt by the supernatural power of god because of his presence doesn’t mean that you and I are gonna believe him enough to allow that supernatural power to operate in our life, though we can.
That doesn’t mean that we can do anything.
It is Christ living with It is the power of god than us because he is in dwelling us.
And I can tell you this.
All of us would see more of the power of god exercise than our light If we could grasp the fact of the greatness of god in dwelling us and allow him to exercise his authority and his power which begins with the absolute total submission of my will and my ways to god.
Otherwise, what would we do? We would want to use that power for ourselves.
The supernatural power of god flows, listen to this, flows the fullest And with the most energy and with the most thrust in the life of those people who are fully submitted to the will of god, If you want the supernatural power of god in your life, then submit yourself totally to him so that it is all of god, not yourself, or you and I will take advantage of situation circumstances, and we will want to manipulate god to accomplish and achieve things that we want.
And so if I want if I want the supernatural power of god in my life, it begins with the absolute total submission of my will to this god.
His power reigns supreme over anything and everything.
Now, Likewise, his greatness is revealed and his knowledge. What is it that god knows?
We say he’s omniscient. He knows everything. Turn to 1 Psalm 147 and a 147 Psalm.
Listen to what he says. He begins this time.
Of course, this is a time of praise and thanksgiving to god, and about all the things that he does, and he says, in verse 5, of Psalm 147, great is our lord, and abundant in strength, his understanding is infinite.
That is god is so absolutely perfectly knowledgeable that god knows everything there is to know, He he he knows things that are to be known that you and I haven’t even thought about.
He knows all the truth that no man knows. Truth that has never been discovered.
There is not anything that is noble that god does not know.
That is not in there is not anything that could be noble that god doesn’t already know.
There are no limitations to his knowledge. He knows absolutely everything, and that is to our great, awesome, wonderful advantage.
Even when you and I pray, what do you think he said in Romans 8?
For example, when he said, sometimes we don’t even know how to pray as we are.
But the holy spirit god and his spirit makes intercession for us with groans, which cannot be other, even when you and I don’t even know how to ask and what to ask, what is he doing?
He is petitioning the father in our behalf when we don’t even know how to pray.
That is the awesome wisdom and knowledge of god that has absolutely no limitation.
What a comfort to know that he knows at all?
Another way he expresses his greatness is in the expression of his constancy. That is he’s unchangeable. He is constant.
There’s not anything changing about god. And he says, for example, look in Malachi chapter 3.
3rd chapter of Malachi, he says it about as clear and is about as concise here as you’re gonna find it anywhere.
He says in the 6th verse, of Malachi chapter 3. For I, the lord, do not change.
Now you don’t get any clearer than that.
He identifies who’s speaking, he says, for I, the lord did not change.
So that when you and I learned the principles of scripture, And you and I begin to learn the ways of god.
We understand the ways of god, and we understand the teaching of scripture.
We begin to understand who he is The wonderful thing about is he never changes.
There’s not anything about him that changes, so what?
So when you and I learn a principle, don’t have to wanna is it gonna work today, but not tomorrow?
No. It’s gonna work today. It’s gonna work tomorrow.
It’s gonna work all the time because he is a changeless god. And so we sing.
Our god is an awesome god. Why is he so awesome?
Awesome because he’s above and beyond all space, above and beyond all time.
Above and beyond all knowledge, he has it all above and beyond all power. He controls all things.
He is absolutely faithful and reliable, and he’s always there. Never changing. Always trustworthy god.
But you know, one of the expressions of god, one of the revelations about god that probably for me personally, that is the most awesome one of all in his greatness.
And that is that this god who is above and beyond all time and space and has all knowledge of all things.
This god who has all power to rule and reign over all of of this universe, every single solitary person, all of nature, all of history, all of the events of mankind, all of human personality.
Here is the greatest expression of the greatness of god to me.
And that is this god in his infinite, inscrutable, unsearchable, fathomless personhood, that in all of us greatness and power and might, creation, naming the stars, numbering the hairs of our head, creating all the foul of the air and the fish of the sea.
Ruling and reigning in everything that happens in all of light. Here’s what he said.
He said, this is the way I wanna relate to you.
He says I want to be your father, your shepherd, and your friend.
Now how do we get this awesome, fabulous, immeasurable god?
And he says, I want to be your father, your shepherd, your friend, You talking about awesome.
So what did he do? Here’s what he did.
This god who spoke and said, let there be light.
Let there be the foul of the air. And the fish of the sea.
Let us make man in our own image.
This same god in his love for you and me and wanting to walk in such intimacy with us.
In all of this immeasurable, and comparable, and explainable, self of his.
He capsule himself to be born in the womb of a virgin called Mary.
Inside this young woman was god.
He was born like a normal child but conceived of the Holy Spirit, grew up like a normal little boy, only without sin, came in the teenage years without sin, the manhood.
And at the age of about thirty, he began to preach about his heavenly father.
And for 3 years, he walked among men.
The same one who said, let there be light, let there be the fish in the sea, let there be mountains, let there be waters in the firmament.
This is the same god. Who walked on this earth in the form of humanity. Claude, this is god.
Clothes in human flesh walking among men.
Talking to mankind about their heavenly father, and I’m the good shepherd.
And he says, I am your friend.
This is the same god who spoke all of us in the being who has all power.
It is the same god who spoke to the who spoke to the storm and walked on the sea, and broke the bread.
This is the same god who sent the plagues into Egypt and the floods into the early world.
This is the same god who talked about naming the stars in space.
Now he is here in human flesh. And being verbally abused by mankind, he comes to the cross.
And he takes upon himself and all of his sinless being all of the sin of all of mankind, and it is all wrapped up in him, laid upon him.
And then think about the awesomeness of this.
This same god walking in flesh, god the son, allowed himself to be separated from god to father, and to bear the punishment and the condemnation and the judgment and the guilt and the wrath of almighty god, the father, in order that all of mankind may be set free of all our sin.
They buried him in a tomb, and he couldn’t hold him. You know why?
Because nothing can hold omnipotence.
The same god who created the rock allowed himself to be sealed there.
The same god who created this earth. And allowed cotton to be grown.
And the weaving to take place wrapped in those clothes just simply moved out of that cloth and left it laying just like it was wrapped around it.
And this is the same god who’s now walking among his disciples, walk right through this door.
He’s here, and he’s gone. He’s over there.
They got just a little inkling that space, no fun objects can control him.
The greatness of god that he would come and walk among men and speak to us in a language that you and I understand.
And say to us, this is what god’s like, loving, forgiving, father, who wants the best for his children.

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