DEVOTIONS AND SERMONS

                 Index

 
Mighty God In Minne Me
 

Let's go back to 700 BC:

Isaiah 9:5-7
5 Every warrior's boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.


Jesus is not just a prophet, not just a teacher. He's the Mighty God, the exact representation of God's glory in human form. He is 100% God, and just took a human shell for a limited time. Not a created being.

John 5:22-23
22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,
23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.


John 10:25
Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me,

John 17:21-22
21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:


We know that Jesus' actions in the New Testament show us the character of God. Have we ever thought that God's actions in the Old Testament show us the character of Jesus?

1. Mighty God / Mighty Jesus

Jesus has always been and always will be. He created time. Jesus is the very definition of love. We wouldn't know love at all if it weren't for God. Everything that has a trace of love in it comes from the Mighty mind of Jesus. Jesus loves everybody. Every single person matters to him. We many times give preferential treatment to people who we like more. Athletes, physical strength, etc. God cares about the most diseased, frail carcass of a human being. He also cares about the strongest, most-handsome, most brilliant as well.

Jesus is perfect. He's the same yesterday, today and forever. Why is that? He's perfect. He never lies. He's incapable of lying. Lying is the world's native language. TV, newspaper, even our own ideas are often wrong. Jesus is always right. Jesus is the only one who can forgive sin. Your wife can forget it, but only Jesus can forgive it. Nobody on earth can really forgive you from an eternal perspective.

Jesus is the true Creator. He spoke, and it stood there. "Let there be light". God strikes a match out of his hip pocket, and the universe is created. That was Jesus. Jesus looked up at the stars by the Sea of Galilee, and knew them by name. He had been insulted all day by people who didn't know who he was. Imagine that. He holds the oceans in the palm of his hand. We still can't find the bottom of the Marianas Trench. It's at least as deep as Mount Everest is high. The fish look like aliens from another world.

The Mighty Jesus knows all our thoughts even before we think them. Can we imagine what that would be like if the evangelist knew everyone's thoughts in the room? Can we imagine the potential for evil, and yet Jesus was so full of love for everyone. He knew excuses that were going to be made, lies that were going to be told. Jesus has the power to over-ride all physical laws. He can make the sun stand still, and not burn the earth.

Psalm 8:1-9
1 For the director of music. According to gittith. A psalm of David. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:
7 all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!


This passage, though short, has many different chapters that show us the Mighty Jesus.

a. Children

We see the Mighty God in children. If you've ever had a child, you're seriously humbled. Two cells come together, mitosis begins instantly. Nobody can explain that. How do some cells form the liver and other cells form the eyeball? Nobody knows. Even the most average of human beings is amazingly complex. We don't do anything--the mom eats and sleeps, and a human being comes out.

Once they begin to talk a bit, children say profound things. We see the Mighty God in them. They believe in God. They know there must have been a Creator. Children can show incredible amounts of love. They learn selfishness from adults. Children even around 12 years old, still likes a kiss and a hug. There's something special about that.

b. The universe

Neutron stars and so-called because their protons and electrons have crushed together. They're only 20 miles across, but have as much mass as the sun. A pinhead of material from a neutron star can weigh as much as a million tons. That's as much as two of the world's largest supertankers put together, in a pinhead. God pinches that out between his thumb and forefinger, like a watermelon seed

The nearest star to us, after the sun, is Alpha Centauri, four light years, 24 trillion miles. To drive there at 55 miles per hour, we could reach the sun in 193 years. It would take you 52 million years to reach Alpha Centauri. That's the closest.

Let's talk about black holes. Black holes are the collapsed remnants of giant stars, when they fall in on themselves. Not even light can escape their gravitational force. If a 20 pound telephone book were brought within 20 feet, it would weigh 1 trillion tons. These are all forces that the Mighty Jesus sets in motion and controls.

The center of the sun is 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. If a pinhead could be brought to that temperature, it would burn everything for 60 miles. God set the sun there for us, at exactly the right distance, perfectly regulated.

You can download stuff off the Internet directly from the Hubble telescope. It circles the earth eleven or twelve times every day. Every few centuries a rock impacts the earth with the potential to disrupt civilization Thousands of unknown asteroids likely exist. Four have passed inside the moon in 10 years. Were one of these to strike the ocean, a dangerous tidal wave could easily develop.

There are craters in all the planets. Why doesn't the earth have all these craters? The Mighty Jesus sets up a shield for us.

c. Animal kingdom

The least impressive creature in the zoo is probably man, except for our brain. The male mole cricket sends out his mating call in hi-fi stereo, through homemade speakers. He burrows out a twin-tunnel in the ground, sits at the branch and plays his music Passing females are attracted by the sound, and that's how they mate.

The Arctic Tern flies from North Pole to South Pole and back every year--22,000 miles. It lives where the days are longest, and flies up to 100 miles per day to keep up. Who taught them this path? Who taught them the route? We get lost, avoid storms, etc. Somehow they stay on course. They have a flawless stellar navigation system. They've removed their ears and eyes, and they can still find their way. That's from God

Your average garden-variety bird flying. That in itself is amazing. They've always done that Fish in the sea. Dolphins can talk underwater, even without vocal cords. They force air past valves and flaps, and can make about 32 different sounds. They talk to one another, and they can converse with whales as well. Think that's impressive? The average human being has a vocabulary of about 4,000 words.

We don't have time to talk about the 20-pound brain of the sperm whale. The fastest-moving animal isn't the cheetah, but the peregrine falcon flying at over 200 mph. Talk to Bill Throne piloting a plane at 200mph to within 1 inch of earth and snatching a mouse. That's a ride for Hershey Park right there. That's the power of the Mighty Jesus.

Sunrise and sunset have inspired literally thousands of paintings, songs, poems Thousands of colors, it's incredible. What about snow, looking at mountains. Flowers, thousands of varieties all with different smells and colors. Most animals only see in black and white. Bees don't need thousands of smells, only one. It's all a big kiss from the Mighty Jesus here.

d. Through the church

Ephesians 3:10-11
10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,
11 according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.


God's crowning glory is not the creation, but the church and the transforming power of Christ. God thinks the church is more impressive than any created animal or heavenly body God: "My screaming advertisement of my mighty-ness is the church I've created"

What prevents us from seeing the mighty-ness of Jesus? Being focused on the mighty-ness of ourselves and the mighty-ness of our problems. We look at the universe like a new VCR we've just bought. We don't read the directions, don't know all the great things it can do. We just plug the cable into the back of the TV, and run to Blockbuster.

We walk around this incredible planet with the mole doing stereo in the ground beside us. We've got our children, our families, an incredible universe and all we do is play and eject. We don't see the Mighty Jesus all around us, because we're too full of ourselves. We have to be a bit of an artist to really love God. Absorb ourselves in life.

2. "Minnie Me"

1 Corinthians 8:1-3
1 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.
2 The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.
3 But the man who loves God is known by God.


The man who has big thoughts of himself--"I understand what it's all about" "I understand all about the Christian life. I know all about marriage, raising children . . ." This man can never, never see the mightiness of Jesus. You'll see yourself before the Lord. Your picture of Jesus shrinks when you see yourself. In fact, you can't see Jesus.

Michael Johnson can run 29 miles per hour. An 1800-pound hippo can run 40 miles per hour. We need a perspective on ourselves. We're arrogant beings. Fast men are slow creatures. If we had to run to survive, we'd be eaten by almost everything.

We are so impressed with ourselves. Why do we need houses to protect us, then?

Ecclesiastes 6:12
For who knows what is good for a man in life, during the few and meaningless days he passes through like a shadow? Who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone?

Isaiah 40:6-7
6 A voice says, "Cry out." And I said, "What shall I cry?" "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.
7 The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass.


James 4:13-14
13 Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money."
14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.


Proverbs 16:25
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

So often we're totally confident, totally wrong and stunned that we're wrong.

1 Corinthians 1:19-25
19 For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.


God at his weakest moment can still crush the entire universe. Men who don't believe in God try to come up with theories about why life exists on earth.

Job 4:15-21
15 A spirit glided past my face, and the hair on my body stood on end.
16 It stopped, but I could not tell what it was. A form stood before my eyes, and I heard a hushed voice:
17 'Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker?
18 If God places no trust in his servants, if he charges his angels with error,
19 how much more those who live in houses of clay, whose foundations are in the dust, who are crushed more readily than a moth!
20 Between dawn and dusk they are broken to pieces; unnoticed, they perish forever.
21 Are not the cords of their tent pulled up, so that they die without wisdom?'


The Bible compares us to grasshoppers. What about our own sinfulness? Sometimes we go so far from the utter depravity of man that we sugarcoat who we really are.

Job 25:1-6
1 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
2 "Dominion and awe belong to God; he establishes order in the heights of heaven.
3 Can his forces be numbered? Upon whom does his light not rise?
4 How then can a man be righteous before God? How can one born of woman be pure?
5 If even the moon is not bright and the stars are not pure in his eyes,
6 how much less man, who is but a maggot-- a son of man, who is only a worm!"


We know that we are made pure in Jesus Christ, praise God for that. In and of ourselves, though, we are spiritual maggots and worms. We're so proud that we repented three years ago. We've done so many more maggoty deeds than Godly deeds. God chooses maggots for his ministry. "No one is righteous, not even one." That's us.

Romans 3:23
...all of us have sinned and are sinning. We will all fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace. Sometimes we are tempted to fall away and go back to living in the dumpster. Satan from the very beginning of time has been successful in getting men to be in awe of them.

A man never rises above the view of God that he has in his heart. Satan has us groveling in the gutter, doing measly things with measly faith. We have a shrunken, distorted view of Jesus, because we see ourselves in a Jesus suit.

How do we allow Mighty God into Minnie Me?

3. Mighty God in Minnie Me

If Jesus can heal a guy with mud, of course he can make a church out of maggots.

Let's look at Nebuchadnezzar. He had a problem. He'd been used by God in a mighty way.

Daniel 4:28-34
28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar.
29 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon,
30 he said, "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?"
31 The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, "This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you.
32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes."
33 Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.
34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.


His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. When you look to heaven and see how mighty Jesus is, your sanity is restored. This guy lost his mind because of his own arrogance. We get so arrogant. When we look up to heaven and see the mighty Jesus, our sanity is restored.

How do we get Mighty God in Minnie Me? Let us pray to be humbled by God. We may not like that prayer, but we need it.

Most of us struggle with a lot of arrogance and pride. Some of us, though, have a negative self-image. We have the opposite problem. We don't see Mighty God in Minnie Me, not because of our big ego. We just feel like our problems are too big, that God just can't take them away.

Matthew 11:28-30
28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."


Either let us pray to be humbled, or pray to be able to surrender our pain to Jesus. We are spiritual beings, and we need an accurate picture of Jesus in our minds. He went through terrible torture so we could be with him forever. We matter to the Lord! Meditate on His being, not on ourselves, and we'll have Mighty God in Minnie Me

John 14:23
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

Jesus doesn't enter our life through a Revelation 3 prayer. It's love and obedience. He still wants his spirit to live inside our maggot hearts. That's incredible!

Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE."

When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. "At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing."

Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. And the audience was mesmerized.

THE LESSON: Whatever our situation in life and history -- however outrageous, however desperate, whatever dry spell of the spirit, whatever dark night of the soul -- God is whispering deep within our beings, "Don't quit. Keep playing. You are not alone. Together we will transform the broken patterns into a masterwork of My creative art. Together, we will mesmerize the world with our song of peace."

God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called. Let's see the Mighty God in our lives.