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Big God/Little God

Peace comes only when we understand the bigness of God.
This sermon is part of the sermon series "God Is Big Enough". See series.


When our first child was quite small, we used to ask her, "Laura, how big are you?" She wasn't even a year old—couldn't even hardly say anything yet—and she always had the same answer: she would raise her hands and say, "So big!" Then she would raise her hands to get additional stature, as if she were saying, "I'm huge, I'm enormous! There's no telling how big I'm going to be!"

We want our growing kids to know that how they think of themselves matters. We don't want them to think of themselves as small or weak or insignificant. We want them to think they are "so big!" We are devoting this series to a much bigger question: How big is your God? How big is Christ in your life? I'm deeply convinced that the way we live is a consequence of the size of our God. The primary problem in our lives is we are not convinced that we are absolutely safe in the hands of a fully competent, all knowing, ever present, utterly loving, infinitely big God.

A shrunken God

If I wake up in the morning and go through the day with a shrunken God, there are consequences. I will live in a constant state of fear and anxiety because everything depends on me, and my mood will be governed by whatever circumstances hit me that day. If I live with a shrunken God, I will find it unnatural to pray when I have a need, because I'm not really sure, to be honest, that God makes a difference and that prayer matters. If I live with a shrunken God, I will become a slave to whatever other people think of me, because I don't live in the security of a big God's acceptance of me. If I face temptation to speak deceitful words in order to avoid trouble, I'll do it. Or if I can get credit for something at work that I haven't earned, and I don't trust ...

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John Ortberg is pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California.

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Sermon Outline:


I. A shrunken God

II. Gideon’s fear

III. A bigger presence

IV. Gideon’s first challenge

V. The big test

VI. Fear not