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Holy and Wonderful God
Let me begin this morning by continuing our scripture readings which speak about God's greatness and holiness. I want you to get a feeling for the awesomeness of our God.
Rev. 4:8 - 11
Rev. 5:9, 10, 12 - 14
Rev. 7:9 - 17
The songwriter wrote -"Holy holy, holy Lord God Almighty". The whole earth is full of your presence. From the tiniest parts of the atom to the largest stars. Man is still discovering the vast bodies of the universe. Who can number the stars in the heavens. No man knows their number as we continue to discover lights which represent stars and other celestial bodies trillions of miles away but you Oh God created each one with its uniqueness and placed them in their orbits and paths. What a great God you are. Man has just photographed this planet to map each hill and valley, each little stream and the mighty rivers. The ponds and the lakes. The puddles and the oceans. Man thinks this is a great accomplishment but you Oh God made each brook bubble up from the ground and flow to the ocean through rivers, over rapids and magnificent waterfalls. What a great God you are.
I can remember the fun I had as a small boy after a tremendous downpour. That was awesome. The dark clouds rolled in; the water came down so heavy from the heavens to water our crops. How did yo do that God? The peals of thunder and crack of lightening leaving the smell of ozone. You must have some electrical plant up in the heavens. Maybe you are parting the clouds to let us see a little of your awesome glory and brightness. There was a freshness in the clean air the storm left behind and a beautiful rainbow left in the sky - your promise to mankind. You also left behind puddles - a child's delight. What a great place to play as a kid - letting the warm mud ooze though my toes. Then with a stick or a little shovel I would dig channels between the puddles, watching the water rush from one puddle to another. It was fun creating the great lakes. You must have had the same fun making our streams, lakes and rivers. Shaping the mountains and digging out the valleys. Making cliffs and running the water through gorges creating raging rapids and quiet peaceful rivers as they move toward the mighty oceans. What a great time you must have had forming this little ball we call planet earth. Little in respect to the huge planets you also created. But you made this place a special place for us to live. What a great God you are.
You planted the trees, flowers and weeds. So many varieties and species. I can remember having to pull milkweeds, shepherds purse, sow thistle - which had nothing to do with pigs, and hundreds of other weeds from the tomato, soybean and raspberry fields. Help us Oh God to be wise stewards of your great creation. Forgive us when we carelessly litter or damage what you have so thoughtfully created for us. As I think about the plants you have created, I am reminded of your greatness. The prayer plant - folds it leaves each evening and opens them during the day to receive your blessings. What a beautiful reminder for me to open up my life to your daily blessings and remember to pray and thank you for them in the evening. I need to be in worship no only for a few moments on the Lord's at church but throughout the week. What a wonderful reminder of your greatness you have place in my home.
Thank you for brightening my day with light and flowers. Thank you for the beautiful perfume the exudes from the flowers you have created. Just last night as I got up in the middle of the night, I could smell the strong aroma of the hoya plant which is blooming in our dining room. The beautiful clusters of pink fuzzy petalled little star shaped flowers. On each flower is a small drop of perfume to fill our home with a wonderful scent that lifts my heart to glorify you when I think about the complexity of this creation. Wow God you are a great God.
The star shaped reminder of this flower helps me to reflect on the other stars - the five pointed star of David and the Star of Bethlehem. I am reminded to pray for your people, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who were once ruled by the mighty king David. Your word exhorts me to pray for the salvation and safety of Jerusalem. May I be faithful to your word. The Star of Bethlehem reminds me of the coming of Your Son to earth. The wise men came to worship Him. May I be wise in taking time to worship and adore Your precious Son. Thank you for that wonderful gift of love You sent to us.
The rose with its bright colours, perfectly unfolding petals and lovely fragrance. A flower that is give at valentines and other times of the year from one lover to another. You are our lover and this flower reminds me of your love for me. Thank you for sending your only son Jesus to die for my sins to bring me forgiveness, peace, joy and happiness. What a great lover you are, God. You give us security for we know that you are always there and will never leave us or forsake us.
Forgive us when we leave you and let other and things crowd you out of our lives. Forgive us when you are no longer our first love. Draw us back to your bosom so that we may love and adore you. May we fall to our knees in worship and adoration. Accept our humble words of gratefulness, praise, love and cries for mercy. We have failed you many time but you pick us up, strengthen us and set us on the straight and narrow path once again. Forgive us for the hardness of our hearts when we consciously go against your paths of purity and true love. Your mercies are renewed every day. As we experience your gentle prodding may be we sensitive to your spirit and obedient to your word.
Thank you for cheering my world with beautiful bird songs. As I rose early this morning to spend time with you, I could hear the cheery sounds of birds singing and thanking you for another wonderful day. May I never destroy my environment so as to scare away the cheerful songs you want me to hear and enjoy. May I listen to them as I would your voice and enjoy your creation. My life is so busy, I seldom listen carefully to you. Calm my soul, may I sense your presence and listen to your voice.
When Solomon prayed at the dedication of the temple built to worship you, your glory filled the temple as we read in II Chronicles 7:1 - 4.
But after that you came to him to remind him that even though his people saw your glory filling the temple you had to remind him that the people would turn from you but you said that "if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place." God, you will hear us even if we wander from you. You will forgive us and continue to love us but may it never have to happen because we have left our first love and been lured into sin.
Instead of loving you we have lusted for beauty, for wealth and for power. We are filled with impurity, insecurity, anger and bitterness. We have compromised with the world and called it tolerance or being accepting. We put on a good show but our hearts are far from you. Have mercy on us Oh God. Have mercy.
May we be vessels of honour not trying to find ways to cheat and deceive. Help us to be honest people who represent the God of holiness, purity and truth. Forgive us for the wasted time and hundreds of dollars we have spent entertaining ourselves with immorality, killing, fighting, and watching your standards being mocked. We have wasted precious time and finances on frivolousness and pleasure and neglected our responsibility to bring the love of God to a needy and spiritually dying world. Forgive us Lord, Forgive us please.
May we become more excited about worshipping you than watching the world series, the superbowl or the Stanley Cup play-offs. May our hearts be thrilled at the thought of spending hours daily in your presence, not just a few minutes with you once a week. May we join with the elders and angelic host who worship you day and night. May your presence flow from us and your glory shine from our countenance. You are a great God. We love you.
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