GOD’S WORD FOR MAY 23
GOD’S WORD FOR MAY 23 ~ ~ Psalm 135:6-7 ~ ~ “Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that He did in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.
He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightnings for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries.”
Excerpts from Chapter two of John Piper’s, “The Pleasures of God”
“The Pleasure of God in all He does” ~ ~ ( Anything in perenthesis are my additions.)
Since God is not under constraint by forces outside Himself to act contrary to His good pleasure, …then all His acts are the expression of joy and He has pleasure in all that He does, and He cannot be kept back from doing what He delights most to do.
The point is that God acts in sovereign freedom. His acts do not spring from the need to make up deficiencies but from the passion to express the abundance of His delight. This is the meaning of freedom.
He is free in that He has no deficiencies that make Him dependent, and He is sovereign in that He can act on His delights without being stopped by powers outside Himself. “All that He pleases, He does” thus His freedom is a sovereign freedom.
The word translated “pleasure” is the same root word in Ps 1:2, “His delight is in the law of the Lord”
His delight is the joy that He has in the reflection of His own glory in the person of His Son. But part of that glory is infinite power, and the unique function
of His power is to make way for the overflow of His joy in the work of creation and redemption (salvation).
It is His power that removes –in God’s time and God’s way– any obstacles to the accomplishment of His good pleasure. Thus the declaration that God does all that He pleases is a declaration of His power. This is what we mean by sovereignty—God’s power always makes way for His perfections to be expressed according to His good pleasure.
I love the image that C.S. Lewis gives of God’s sovereign freedom in creation. It shows how the good pleasure of His heart to create and save is the happy overflow of His all-sufficiency, Lewis says,
“To be sovereign of the universe is no great matter to God….We must keep always before our eyes that vision of Lady Julian’s in which God carried in His hand a little object like a nut, and that nut was “all that is made.” God who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creatures in order that He may love and perfect them”
This connection between power and pleasure is behind 1 Timothy 6:15-16 where Paul calls God “the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality”
We see that “blessed” means “happy” (1Timothy 1:11) Thus Paul is speaking of the “happy and only Sovereign” Notice what is stressed in calling God “blessed” or “happy.” God’s sole and unique power over all other powers is stressed. First, He is called the “only Sovereign—not just the Sovereign, but the ONLY Sovereign. In other words, He has no serious competitors for His power. He is the ONLY POWERFUL ONE.
(In these times, many people believe in a “higher power” “some kind of energy” They even believe the universe itself –a part of His creation—as a form of “god”. Many believe that mankind itself is a god, or that each of us is our own god. Some believe in Jesus, but it is their own version—one who will wink and smile at every sin they commit. They will even read the Bible, but their jesus came from their own mind in deception. These are the false Christs that Jesus warned us about in Matthew 24:23-24. It won’t be necessarily a person, but many times it’s a false and fatal idea. They all come from satan, but everyone who believes in these will be in hell with the demons who taught it, because God must judge. He is Sovereign~ ~Mt 24:23-24~ ~ “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” There is only one Sovereign God, and you can only connect with Him through His Son Jesus Christ described in the bible.)
Then Paul says that this happy God is “King of kings.” Again the point is that He is over all other royal authorities that might seem to challenge His power and His freedom to act as He pleases.
Then Paul says that He is “Lord of lords.” If there are any lords or gods —and there are!—Paul emphasizes that there is none that can successfully overthrow the power and freedom of the Lord of lords (1Cor 8:5-6~ ~ “ For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.”
Finally, Paul says that “He alone has immortality” God is in a class by Himself. All other beings depend upon His creative power for existence and life (Acts 17:25 ~ ~ “ Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.” ) He depends upon no one.
To sum up, He is the ONLY Sovereign. Therefore He is the HAPPY Sovereign, because there is none that can frustrate what He aims to do according to His good pleasure. C.S. Lewis put it like this:
“The freedom of God consists in the fact that no cause other than Himself produces His acts and no external obstacle impedes them—that His own goodness is the root from which they all grow and His own omnipotence the air in which they all flower.”
(WE CAN TRUST HIM WITH OUR OWN LIVES AND THE EVENTS WE SEE AROUND US.)
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