Can you recall the first prayer you learned by heart? Was it for you, as it was for me, the one still prayed by children around dinner tables to this day? "God is great, God is good, and we thank him for our food." There is wisdom in those simple words. As we began to explore last week, God is great in a way that cannot be said of any other person or thing. He is the only all-sufficient one. Everything else we will ever touch or discover is a contingent thing. It has needs. It requires something to cause or continue or comfort it. But God is not like any other. He is self-existing, self-sustaining, and self-satisfying. He has no needs outside of himself at all.
I know there are people who view God as nothing more than a projection of our minds. But the reality is that all we see and are is actually a projection of God's mind. It is "in him" that "we live and move and have our being." Just as easily as you could let go of the thought of anything that I am saying to you right now and move on to thinking about what you might have for lunch—Should I have the salad plate or the big greasy burger?—God could just let the thought of this Universe or of you and me go. He could turn his thoughts to simply enjoying himself instead, and we and this universe would be no more. Thankfully, however, God is not only great, he is also good. The true glory of God's immense greatness lies in his incomparable goodness. That's what I want to reflect on with you today.
Who is good?
The Bible says that a man once approached Jesus as he was walking "and fell on his knees before him. 'Good teacher,' he asked, 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?' 'Why do you call me good?' Jesus answered. 'No one is good, except God alone" ...
Dan Meyer is pastor of Christ Church of Oak Brook in Oak Brook, Illinois.
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