God is Great

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Introduce self...
Introduce series:
For advent this year, I am going to preach through 4 simple truths...
On the surface, these truth’s seem to be little more than platitudes, but through careful examination I hope to scratch the surface and demonstrate their rich depth.
1 Timothy 6:12 (ESV)
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called...
Paul says that faith is something we must fight for...
Paul says that eternal life is something we can “take hold of...”
These four simple truths are:
God is GREAT - so we don’t have to be in control
God is GOOD - so we don’t have to look elsewhere
God is GLORIOUS - so we don’t have to fear others
God is GRACIOUS - so we don’t have to prove ourselves
These four truths were originally packaged like this in Tim Chester’s book, “You Can Change.”
He calls them the “4 G’s” and that seems pretty helpful...
My prayer for this series:
Renewal - to remember and embrace the truth about God - to be refreshed...
Equipping - Practical equipping in the fight of faith - sanctification - closing the gap between what we say we believe, (what we know to be true), and how we actually live our lives -- the fruit we bear on a daily basis.
Underlying assumptions for this series:

Every sin is a result of believing a lie

Repenting of sin is not merely changing behavior (although it includes that)
The solution to sin is not “trying harder”
Sin is idolatry. Wrong belief about God
We must believe what is true about God, and what is true about us in light of the gospel
These 4 simple truths address a great deal of false belief in our life.

Belief is root. Behavior is fruit.

The Bible is clear: Our behavior and even in large part our emotions are the direct result of our beliefs...the true beliefs of our hearts.
What you deeply hold to be true will flow out of you.
“Water bottle analogy”

Real faith is head, heart, and hands.

Few Christians would read the 4 G’s and have any issue with them intellectually…

God is GREAT - so we don’t have to be in control

Psalm 145:1–3 ESV
I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.
If the sun were a soccer ball,
Earth would be the head of a pin at the 26 yard line,
Jupiter would be the size of a grape and not even on the football field...
The largest star we know of using this scale would be as tall as the Empire State Building...
They pointed the Hubble telescope at an “empty” patch of sky… This is what they found.
How much empty space does that represent?
If you were to hold a dime at arms length, this would only represent Roosevelt’s eye on that dime.
And our God created it all.
Isaiah 40:25–28 NIV84
“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
This is one of my favorite passages...
Isaiah 55:8–9 ESV
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Or turn to the Psalms:
Psalm 103:11–12 ESV
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
Psalm 19:1–3 ESV
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.
Looking through a telescope is amazing. I love that our God reveals his greatness to us. And I love how he did it...
Looking through a microscope, you will find a world equally wonderful as when you look through a telescope...
Luke 12:7 (ESV)
Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered...
100 billion Neurons
100-1000 trillion neuro connections
The human body is made up of 37 trillion cells
The human genome, which is your DNA written out, the code that tells your cells how to build your body, would fill 130 thick volumes. No spaces.
Psalm 139:13–16 ESV
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Hebrews 1:1–3 (ESV)
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.
Jesus created everything.
Jesus holds everything together, ever galaxy and every star, every brain and every genome...
1 Peter 5:6–7 ESV
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Our God is GREAT… and get this… he CARES for you.
Well I don’t feel cared for.
You don’t know everything. God does. Stop trusting in your self and start trusting in God.
This gets us back to the first “G”

God is GREAT - so we don’t have to be in control

Our false belief that we are in control of things
Or our false belief that we need to control all things
Causes a great deal of harm in our lives.
What is the fruit of thinking you are in control or fighting to be in control?
Fear (Is something greater than God?)
Over-working, busyness, exhaustion
An inability to rest/relax/sabbath
Seeking to control people and things
Seeking security in money and the fruits of your own labor
Seeking security in relationships and trying to control those relationships
Feeling stuck inside your emotions, circumstances, and abilities (if you think you are in control, then you are the limiting factor)
Easily frustrated/angered (things you think you control don’t go like you want)
Self-exulting (You think you are greater than God, or maybe God’s right hand man)
When we see these things pop up in our lives, we should remind ourselves that God is Great!
We should fight the fight of faith and believe better what is true about God.
We should also be doing this in huddle!!
This change in root will change our fruit.
You don’t need a theology degree to address any of the things I just described… You just need to walk outside, look at the starts, remember that God is Great, and fight to believe it!
We need to deal with the ROOT issue instead of blame-shifting, minimizing, excusing, etc....
What is the fruit of truly believing God is GREAT?
The ability to rest
The ability to risk (take steps of faith and trust that God is in control)
Stability and consistency
Being able to love people without manipulating or dominating
Trusting God to change people and circumstances
You’re able to have a bigger perspective on life, circumstances trials, and suffering
We need to deal with the ROOT issue instead of blame-shifting, minimizing, excusing, etc....
We need to repent
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