Summary: The praise song "How Great is our God" is a statement of faith - Our God Is Great! But the question today is "How Great Is YOUR God?" Do you know the answer to that question?
Back in the 1800s, there was a famous intellectual and agnostic named T.H. Huxley. One weekend when Huxley was with a group of men at a weekend house party, on that Sunday morning, most of theEm were preparing to go to church - Huxley approached a man he knew was a sincere Christian and said, “Suppose you stay at home and tell my why you are a Christian.” The Christian didn’t want to. He knew how skilled an arguer Huxley… and he hesitated. But Huxley smiled and assured him, “I don’t want to argue with you. I just want you to tell me simply what this Christ means to you.” So the man did… and when he finished, Huxley had tears in his eyes. “I would give my right hand if only I could believe that!”
APPLY: This month we’re looking at the great songs of faith - and today’s sermon is based on the hymn “How Great Is Our God” written by Chris Tomlin a mere 16 years ago (back in 2004). It’s a powerful song of praise and it’s a declarative statement. It’s a statement of truth: Our God is great!!!
How GREAT is our God! He is great, He is majestic, He is worthy of praise. As part of the song says “Name above all names/ worthy of our praise. My heart will sing ‘How great is our God!’”
And I love the chorus: “How great is our God, sing with me, how great is our God, and all will see how great, how great is our God.”
But, as I thinking on the title of that hymn somehow it came out different. Instead of a statement, my mind put it in the form of a question: “How Great IS your God?”
How Great is YOUR God? Could you explain to someone - what God means to you? Could you explain why you believe He not only exists, but that He is a GREAT God? I’m not asking if you think you could convince someone to believe it. I’m asking if you could just tell somebody WHY God means so much to you?
That’s sort of what Psalm 145 is all about. David has written a song of praise to God, and in that song, he tells us WHY he believes what he believes.
He writes: “On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.” Psalm 145:5-7
David said “I will declare your greatness” (i.e. – “How Great Is My God”). And one of the reasons that David saw God as being great had to do with the wondrous works David has observed. The majesty of God’s creation.
David had been a shepherd, and he’d spent a lot of his time out underneath the stars. You can almost imagine him (as a young man) laying on a hillside. His father’s sheep are bedded down for the night, and David looks up into the night sky and begins to be filled with wonder.
ILLUS: Abraham Lincoln once wrote: “I never behold (the heavens filled with stars) that I do not feel I am looking in the face of God. I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up, into the heavens and say there is no God.”
There’s something about a clear night filled with a huge moon and bright shining stars that creates a sense of wonder in most people. And this is probably what inspired David to write: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” Psalm 8:3-4
ILLUS: A father told of taking his family to the Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. He said the stars seemed so close you felt as if you could touch them. Their 3 boys decided that they would put their sleeping bags out on the ground so they could go to sleep watching the stars. The man and his wife had just settled down for the night when their youngest came into the tent, dragging his sleeping bag with him. What is the matter? Is it getting too cold?" "No," he answered. "I just never knew I was so small." (Reader’s Digest, 9/81 p. 126)
And so you can imagine David looking up at the majesty of the night sky and being filled with awe, and suddenly feeling… REALLY small. How could a God who has created all this beauty be concerned with him? How could such a God be mindful of him or care what happens to him?