Live for God’s Glory

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August 6, 2017

Psalm 19:1-6

Allen Burns

Scripture Reading: Psalm 19:1-6 Sermon Title: Created for Glory Sermon Text: Psalm 19:1-6 Memory Verse: Psalm 19:1 MAIN IDEA: Fulfill your created purpose and live for the glory of God. The Heavens Are Created for God’s Glory The Sun is Created for God’s Glory We are Created for God’s Glory   NOTE: “Scripture quotations are from the NASB." This manuscript is provided as a courtesy and is not intended for publication. The audio and video message differs from the manuscript. Thanks for understanding.  

The Heavens Are Created For God’s Glory

We are impressed by people who accomplish great and amazing things. People like inventor, Elon Musk and Clara Barton founder of the Red Cross. It’s a joy to look back at the accomplishments of Jesse Owens. We are inspired by the wisdom and moral compass of Abraham Lincoln. We gaze at the works of Michelangelo and Georgia O’Keefe. When we get tired of humans, we allow our minds to imagine superhumans who are even more fantastic. We spend hours watching movies with Super Man, Wonder Woman, the Hulk, or Spider Man, to name a few.   We find an attraction for the amazing! Which is why we need to consider the greatness of the Holy One of Israel. Psalm 19 is telling us, “Look up! Get your eyes off your stuff, stop thinking about humans or imaginary idols and look at the heavens.” After looking at the heavens, contemplate the words of the Prophet Isaiah, he writes: “To whom then will you liken Me That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing. (Isaiah 40:25-26) We first hear of the heavens in the creation account in Genesis. The Bible says the Lord God, Creator of all things, spoke. “Let there be light”; and there was light. (Gen. 1:3) He said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. (Gen. 1:14-15) God needs no material or resources. He has no external energy source to plug-in His tools and draw power. All He does is speak and He creates a frighteningly massive, indescribable universe filled with power, wisdom and wonders.

They declare God’s infinite greatness

The biggest and best telescopes known to mankind give us a glimpse into the reality that God is infinitely great. Scientists claim there are up to 100 billion galaxies in the known universe. And, for every grain of sand on Earth, there are over 10,000 stars in the universe. The universe is incomprehensibly enormous. As you know, we live in one of the 100 billion galaxies. The rest of the universe makes the Milky Way look small. It is far from small. There are an estimated 300-400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. If the Milky Way were the size of the Earth, the sun would be about 1/50th of a millimeter in diameter (half the width of a human hair).

They declare God’s eternal power

The universe God made is incredibly powerful and mighty. All the energy we harness here on the earth comes from our sun. But, the energy and power of our sun pale in comparison to some of the other stars. Every star we see at night is brighter than our sun. If we can see it, it is brighter. One star named Pistol shines about 10 billion times brighter than our sun. Some stars are scary big. Red hypergiants are 100 times bigger than our sun. One is named VY Canis Majoris (Canis means dog or wolf). It is over 1,800 times larger than the size of the sun. If VY Canis Majoris is the height of our church ceiling, our sun is the diameter of a pen. There is more to God’s power than making things very big. God compacts neutron stars and makes them very dense. If we were to take a teaspoon of a neutron star, it has the same mass as 900 Great Pyramids of Giza. Imagine compressing a Boeing 747 airplane into a grain of sand and, for fun, challenging someone to lift that grain of sand. Some neutron stars are pulsars. Not only are they dense, but pulsars spin very fast on their axis. Scientists discovered a pulsar spinning at over 700 times per second. Imagine an object the size of a star spinning on its axis at 700 times per second.

They declare God’s faithfulness

The heavens declare God’s faithfulness. God proves He is predictable and faithful. He is unchanging. We have a small glimpse of this attribute when we consider celestial and orbital mechanics, which is the study of the movement of the stars and planets. Planets and stars produce a diary of data proving their predictability. History records the movement of the stars and planets dating back to the beginning of human writing. We have a cuneiform from ancient Babylon observing Haley’s comet. The orbiting of the earth, moon, sun, and the stars will continue along their pathway because God leads them forth and calls them all by name. He keeps them in place to demonstrate His faithfulness.

The Sun is Created for God’s Glory

There is more to say about the universe, but the psalm also speaks on the sun. In the middle of verse four, the psalmist focuses our attention away from the distant stars and planets and brings it to the star which is very close, our sun. The sun declares God’s glory starting at one end of the horizon and continues to the other end. It is on a continual glory displaying course. The Psalm personifies the sun. He, the sun, vaults out of his chamber rejoicing like a strong man running his course. He does it again, and again, day after day. People may say they don’t know much about the stars, but they may not say they know nothing about the sun. God took one of His magnificent creations and put it in our face, so that no person on earth may escape its heat. The sun regulates life on earth. It brings plant growth, seasons, and its presence can make our weekend wonderful or miserable. The universe makes the sun look minuscule, but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking the sun is small. The sun makes up more than 99% of the mass of the solar system. Jupiter, Saturn, Earth, and all the other planets, moons, asteroids and space dust make up only 1% of our solar system. The sun makes up the rest. The sun is very powerful. It is continually exploding. Frequently the sun has massive explosions, called solar flares that are scary big. Imagine 30 planet earths put end to end. That is the length of a recent solar flare. The star Pistol may be brighter than our sun, but that doesn’t mean our sun is not bright. Our sun is dangerously bright. Perhaps you have heard the warnings against watching the solar eclipse without proper eye protection. It is painful to look at the sun for more than a few seconds. Prolonged viewing will permanently damage our eyes. Though the sun is distant to us, there is nothing hidden from its heat. Dan Haynes, missionary to Niger, has spent over 30 years ministering in the region of the Sahara Desert. He tells us that the sun is so hot, that if a person goes into the desert and exposes the back of their neck for an extended period, their blood will begin to boil. Headscarves are not worn in the desert as a fashion statement.

So much more to say …

There is so much more to say about the sun and the glorious universe God created. We could talk about how we are completely clueless with 95% of space. The universe consists of dark energy and dark matter. We know it’s there, but scientists find impossible to identify or measure. 95% of the universe is a complete mystery and will likely remain a mystery forever. We could spend all day talking about the design, balance, order, elegance, and beauty we see in the heavens. We use the celestial bodies as signs to navigate the oceans and the land. We can speak on how the moon pulls the ocean back and forth creating tides. Jupiter and Saturn protect the Earth from an onslaught of asteroids. We could talk all day about the amazing truths observable in the heavens, but in doing so, we will miss the point. Yes, there are stars 100x bigger than our Sun, it takes over 100,000 years for light to travel across the Milky Way, and a grain of sand of a neutron star is so dense we may not lift it. But, the point is, God created all this. These are the works of His hands! God reveals the universe so that we stop for a moment, think, and realize, God is awesome. Psalm 19 is in the Bible for us to know the Creator. We gaze at the beauty and wonder of the heavenly painting, and we realize the painter in incomprehensible. We see the incredible reaches of the heavens and realize God is infinite. We witness the energy and heat of the sun, and we comprehend God is all-powerful. We wonder at the mysteries of dark matter and recognize that God is all-knowing and all-wise. Everything a person needs to know about God is revealed in creation. God made Himself abundantly evident. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (Rom. 1:18-20)

We are Created for God’s Glory

Rightly Reflect God’s Glory

The universe is in place to make us think and contemplate our existence. It is created to make us ask questions. Questions like:
  • How may we look up to the heavens and say there is no God?
  • What is wrong with our nature that we look at the stars one minute and disobey the God who created them the next? Do we think God is blind or deaf? Do we think Him to be weak?
  • As we see order and beauty in the heavens, do we believe God permits chaos and rebellion on earth?
  • Why is it that when we contemplate the grand enormity and awesome powers of the universe that we don’t fall on our face and cry out for mercy for sinning against an all-powerful Creator?
The response God expects from the display of His glory is, “woe is me.” Each time we see the moon, planets, or stars, we are to know our life is short. We are as blades of grass that wither. We are helpless, weak, creatures. Compared to all there is to know in the Universe, we know next to nothing. There is little we may do. Each of us falls helplessly short of the glory of God. The purpose of the heavens is to generate humility in people as the majesty, power, and grandeur of God is displayed in the work of His hands. The greatest question we need to ask is this: If the heavens are created for the glory of God, why are we created? Or, put another way, if the heavens declare the glory of God, who might I also declare the glory of God? God gives us Psalm 19 to answer these questions The main idea of the psalm is for to: MAIN IDEA: Fulfill our created purpose and live for the glory of God. As we think about the universe and we see the material realm, objects with no spirit or soul, and how they exist for the glory of God, we come to realize, “how much more we are to live for the glory of God!” We are made in the image of God. Unlike the stars and planets, we have eyes to see God’s handiwork. We also know of God’s goodness and character. Even more, we are adopted children of God, saved by the blood sacrifice of God’s Son, and together alive, risen, and seated at the right hand of God in Christ. If the stars, planets, our sun and the dark matter in space are created for God’s glory, how much more are we created for God’s glory! God gives us His word so we may do what is right and stop our rebellion. The Bible tells us how we may please God and live for His glory. In this psalm, we have information to inform our thinking. The heavens are worthy of imitating. We may look at how they glorify God, and we may learn from their example. Let’s walk through the Psalm and observe the ways the heavens demonstrate the glory of God. 1 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. They are a painting reveals the greatness of the Painter. The immensity of the universe reveals God’s omnipresence. The size helps us see His eternal nature. The heavens are beautiful and wondrous showing God’s majesty. They are wonderfully made and reveal to us the wisdom of God in physics and design. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. The heavens never cease, but they declare God every second without rest. They reveal God’s faithfulness day to day, and night to night. They take no vacations or time away from telling of the glory of God. There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world. Stars and celestial bodies have no mouth or voice, but yet, their line of proclamation and their utterances go forth anyway. They proclaim God’s glory in the ways they are made. We can be sure, if they had a mouth, they would speak, or if they had hands, they would gesture about God’s glory. They use every aspect of their material for the glory of God, and they reach as far as they are able. They touch one end of the earth and go until the other end. All across the world, people may see the heavens and experience the majesty of God’s glory. No matter where we travel in the universe we may have the utmost confidence that every molecule we encounter will fulfill the purpose of glorifying God. In them He has placed a tent for the sun, God places the sun in a specific place. The location is ordained and limited. The sun knows his place, and he glorifies the Creator where God places him. Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; It rejoices as a strong man to run his course.Its rising is from one end of the heavens, And its circuit to the other end of them; The image of the bridegroom is that of a newly married man who is fulfilled and satisfied in his life. He has a bride and he is ready to face the day. He rejoices like a strong man who enters an athletic competition because he knows he is equipped and prepared. He is up there, at the crack of dawn, shining as bright as ever, saying with great confidence, “I got this. God made me strong.” The sun loves doing what he does. He is filled with joy racing across the sky showing his mighty strength given to him by God. To him, doing the same thing in the same over and over is not monotony, but a joy. And there is nothing hidden from its heat. The sun makes sure that he leaves his mark all across the world. God may ask the sun, “did everyone feel the heat of My glory?” The sun replies, “Yes, Creator. None were hidden from my heat. I touched everyone with the heat of Your glory.”

Be like the heavens

We are to be like the heavens. We are not made of immense size nor do we radiate inescapable heat. We are not to display the same aspects of God’s glory which the celestial bodies declare. We are made for the purpose of glorifying God, but not in the same way. Instead, we are to radiate the attributes of God’s glory which the Lord declared before Moses. "Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” God declared the Gospel to Moses. We are created to reflect the gospel. We are to reflect God’s glory by being compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and truth. We are to be forgiving, and we are to seek justice. Every book of the Scripture calls us to reflect these attributes. In doing this, we convey we believe God and His ways to be good. Imitation is flattery. When we imitate our Lord, we bring Him glory. Like the heavens, we are to be obvious in our display of God’s glory. We find the facts about the universe to be shocking. Imagine if Christians are shocking in their display of grace and compassion. Imagine being we are so forgiving and loving that it causes people to drop their jaw in amazement. Don’t hide grace and mercy under a rock. Be obvious in forgiving. Be peacemakers. Let the truth of Christ dwell richly and permeate our life. God made us as objects which are recipients of His love. Stars and planets are unable to show forth the glory of God’s grace, because they don’t know grace. But we can! Stars are not forgiven. But, we are. We can declare the glory of God the way God intends. We are creatures who experience mercy so we may demonstrate God’s mercy. Our calling is more glorious than 10,000 stars. Like the heavens, we need to be continual displays of the objects of God’s love, day to day and night to night. We take no vacation from being full of mercy to others. We take no time off from being loving and kind. We don’t stop declaring God’s glory once we leave the church on Sunday. It’s not okay for us to live one way at work and another way at home. We are to have integrity, and by having integrity, we are the same person every day and every night. We are a child of God, bringing Him glory, every moment. We need to accept and be content in showing God’s glory in the place God ordains. Just as God places the sun in his tent, we are to be joyously happy with our placement. We are where the Lord wants us. Be content in what God ordains. Did God place us in a traffic jam? Show grace in driving habits. Do you find yourself in a new place? We are to be holy in those moments we are alone or in a strange city where nobody knows us. We are to be loving in the times we are tired and hungry. There is never a moment of time the heavens stop declaring the glory of God, and we are to be the same way. Stars don’t have eyes to see our minds to discern truth, but God gave us His truth, the Bible so that we may declare His truth. As the sun is equipped to be hot, we are equipped to be loving and forgiving. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Do we need to show grace? In Christ, we got this. Do we need to be forgiving? In Christ, we got this. We need to have the confidence of being fully equipped by God because the work of Christ on the cross is sufficient and complete. We need no more equipping, just doing. Psalm 19 shows us how the heavens declare the glory of God and they fulfill their purpose. Today, tonight, and the rest of this week, look at the sun and the stars and remember, we are created for a purpose. MAIN IDEA: Fulfill your created purpose and live for the glory of God.