Photo: Singer and songwriter Rich Mullins
Bible Readings and Devotion for July 30, 2020
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:
Devotion for July 30, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
In my youth in the 1970s and 1980s there was a new slang term used by many. It took a long-established word and transformed the use into an almost silly term. In some cases, this word became something that was said by people who were often dismissed by others as unintelligent or even confused by the effect of drugs. Sadly, when it was used in the proper and original context many others would treat it as though the speaker was just a silly youth.
The word about which I write is, “awesome.” This word, in its long-standing definition, is a perfect word to describe God. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word as, “Adjective: extremely impressive or daunting, inspiring awe, example – the awesome power of the atomic bomb.”
The dictionary also recognizes that an informal use of the word includes, “adjective: extremely good, excellent, as in, the band is truly awesome! And adverb: extremely well, excellently – my yearly review went awesome.”
Our reading from Psalm 76:7 reminds us of the truly great nature of the Lord. When addressing the Lord, the psalmist notes, “But you indeed are awesome!” This is very much the more formal and long standing definition of this powerful word.
If we were to use the informal definition in reference to our God, then it would be grossly understating things. When we speak about our God as being, “awesome,” we are not saying he is like a good wave for surfing, or that we had a good day. We are talking about the creator of all that exists. We are talking about the almighty God who has lovingly humbled himself to meet us in human life, sin and death, so that we might have life. We are talking about the God who suffered and redeemed us from the power of sin, death and evil. We are talking about the found of true, self-giving love. This is not a minor thing. Nothing is greater than God. Nothing even comes close when compared to our amazing and awesome God.
Many years ago the now late Rich Mullins wrote and performed a song about the supreme awesome nature of our loving God. This video link includes the song and lyrics.
For today’s prayer I suggest you pray through this great hymn of the church.
Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
Text: Walter Chalmers Smith, 1824-1908, alt.
1 Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise!
2 Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
thy justice like mountains high soaring above
thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.
3 To all, life thou givest, to both great and small;
in all life thou livest, the true life of all;
we blossom and flourish like leaves on the tree,
and wither and perish, but naught changeth thee.
4 Thou reignest in glory; thou dwellest in light;
thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
all laud we would render; oh, help us to see
’tis only the splendor of light hideth thee! Amen