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Humbled and Exalted by the Glory of God

Humbled and Exalted by the Glory of God

May 16, 2004 | Andrew Davis
Psalms 8:1-9
Exaltation of Christ, The Creation of Man

Pastor Andy Davis preaches a verse-by-verse expository sermon on Psalm 8. The main subject of the sermon is how God has exalted man in creation.

             

- SERMON TRANSCRIPT -

I. Introduction: The Study of God, the Study of Man

We are looking this morning at Psalm eight, one of the most majestic Psalms in all the Psalter. Key moments in American educational history came when Charles Eliot, then President of Harvard University, was deciding how he would dedicate the Emerson Building of Philosophy at Harvard. And he needed a suitable inscription to put on the facade over the main entrance. Professor William James suggested a quote from Protagoras, a Greek philosopher, 490-420 BC was his life. And the quote was, "Man is the measure of all things." Put that right over the entrance to the Harvard Building of Philosophy, "Man is the measure of all things." The full quote is, "Man is the measure of all things, of the things that are, how they are, and of the things that are not, how they are not." 

Well, what do you think of that quote? I agree. But Eliot shocked the crowd at the unveiling. I think they thought that William James's suggestion would carry the day. But at the unveiling he shocked everyone by going 500 years before Protagoras to the words of a Jewish shepherd boy named David, whom God exalted to be king. And it says, "What is man that thou art mindful of him?" Aren't you glad that that's what the Harvard students look at every time they go in the building of Human Philosophy there at Harvard? "What is man that thou art mindful of him?" Truly, this question has followed humanity throughout all of its history. How are we to study the topic of the doctrine of man? The 20th century exposed man at his best and at his worst; technological achievements that stagger the imagination and then were used for the destruction of millions of people, moral failures and atrocities that sear the conscience, and acts of great personal courage and valor that stimulate and inspire. That was the 20th century. And through it, the question, "What is man?" and the doctrine of man, how are we going to understand what we are? Science weighs in with the study of man called Anthropology, and given some help from Darwin's theories of evolution, says that man is nothing more than an animal. We're here to enjoy ourselves and procreate and die. Get out of the way for the next generation. That's what we're here for.

This has greatly affected our worldview on all issues, as you can well imagine. If we are just an animal, we're gonna behave like an animal, and we've seen that. But John Calvin in his opening lines to the Institutes of the Christian Religion, written in 1535, when he was just 27 years old and living in hiding in Basel, wrote one of the greatest statements in the history of theology. This is what he said, "Our wisdom in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid wisdom consists almost entirely of two parts, the knowledge of God and of ourselves." So if we're gonna know who we are, we have to know God. And we know ourselves in relation to how we know God. I believe faulty understanding of who we really are is at the root of all the great heresies that there are in church history. In effect, Calvin is saying we cannot know ourselves without knowing God. For this reason, some of the most intelligent scientists in the world, brilliant in their fields and able to articulate their views, really are biblically fools groping in the dark trying to figure out, what is man, trying to understand as they look at little bits of bone found in a desert somewhere in Africa and try to piece it all together and come up with a theory as to what we are. "And that there is no such thing," said Watson, Watson and Crick who developed the DNA, "There's no such thing as the human soul or imagination, it's all just neurological chemicals in the brain." Purely a materialistic explanation, answering the question, "What is man?"


"I believe faulty understanding of who we really are is at the root of all the great heresies that there are in church history. "

But scripture is the source of true wisdom on this topic, isn't it? If we wanna know ,what is man, we read the Bible. And almost 3,000 years ago, I can imagine a humble little shepherd boy taking care of his father's small flock, playing on a grassy hill, and looking up at the stars and thinking, "What am I? Why would you even listen to me? Why would you pay any attention to me as I follow around this straggly little flock?" As he looked at the moon and the stars, the beginning concepts of Psalm eight were forming in his mind. And as he saw God be faithful to raise him up to the throne, it was established all the more. And he wrote it in an astonishingly brief Hebrew poem, 71 words in the original, in which he brought up the question, "What is man?" in the context of the majesty of God. "O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!"

Now, as we look at this today, we're going to look at it in three parts. First, we're going to look at David's prophetic meditation. We're just gonna go through the nine verses and understand them in their old covenant context. What was David thinking about and how was he meditating? Secondly, we're gonna see how Christ perfectly fulfills this prophecy and how He fulfills this meditation. And third, we're going to apply it to ourselves.

II. David’s Prophetic Meditation

Let's look at the first part, David's prophetic meditation. I think the Psalm breaks well into four parts. First, in verse one and two, the majesty of God displayed. Second, in verses three and four, the humility of man contemplated. In verses five through eight we see the honor of man established. And then again in verse nine, the majesty of God repeated. Look at the first part, the majesty of God displayed in verse one and two. "O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens." Now, David begins with God's covenant name, Yahweh, we could pronounce it in our language. And he's referring to the name by which God revealed himself in the flames of the burning bush, "I am that I am." This is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of the covenant, "O LORD." But then he says Adonai, “Our Lord”. That's a more personal title for God, the one who rules over my everyday life. You could have a human master over you, and you would call him Adonai, my master, or my Lord. And so he combines God's exalted covenant title with the everyday expression. And he says, "Our Lord," not just, my lord, but he has a sense of a collective experience, the Jewish people together. "O LORD, our Lord." This is the one he's speaking to.

And then he asks a question, "How majestic is your name in all the earth?" Now, we know in this kind of poetical speaking, this is not a question that's expecting an answer. It's really rather the question of a ravished lover that a lover would speak to his or her lover from the Song of Solomon, chapter 1:15-16. The lover says, "How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh how beautiful!" Now, I don't think that the lover is expecting the other to answer, "Well, I'll tell you how beautiful I am." But rather, it's an expression of emotion, "How beautifully you are! How beautiful! How handsome you are, my lover! Oh, how handsome!" It's an expression of worship, an expression of love, as David says it here in Psalm eight, "How majestic is your name in all the earth!" Just like the psalmist in Psalm 104:24, which we looked at two weeks ago, "How many are your works, O Lord; in wisdom you made them all!" He's not expecting an answer, just marveling over the wonders of the name of God. And he calls it majestic, "How majestic is your name!" The same word is spoken of jagged, lofty mountains in Psalm 76:4, of terrifying storms in Psalm 93, of lofty forests like cedars of Lebanon in Zechariah 11. “Majestic” means, in effect, the name of God takes David's breath away. "How majestic is your name!"

God's name is his reputation. It is his essential nature and being as it's played out in history, so that he's gained for himself a mighty name and a reputation. And he's saying, "How majestic is your name!" And it's in all the earth! This is accessible to everyone. There's not a people on the face of the earth that cannot see how majestic is your name. And why is that? Well, because God's glory is, as it were, hung out for all to see. "You have set your glory above the heavens," it says. Now, there are two ways to consider this; one, is just that God has woven his glory into the heavens. Like it says in Psalm 19, it says, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."

And so we can see God's glory just woven into the heavens, and so God's glory is in the heavens, somewhat like in the Middle Ages or later, even the colonial period, a craftsman would hang out a sign and you could see what he would make from the sign. Or you could, even better, you could stop at the window and look in and see perhaps some silver made by Paul Revere, a fine T service with all of its filigree work. You could see the quality of craftsmanship; it's set out for all to see. And if you have the money to hire such a craftsman, he'll make one for you as well. He set out the glory of his handy work, and God has done the same in his creation. But that's not actually what it says. In the Hebrew, it says, "You have set Your glory above the heavens." In effect, the heavens are just a dim reflection of the true glory of God. As immense as the heavens are, as glorious and majestic, God's personal glory is actually far greater than these, for God fills heaven and earth and then some. 

If you were filled with the Spirit and you could somehow by some power move through the universe, you would not feel any waxing and waning of the presence of God. He is everywhere all at once glorious, and then some. For if you could somehow go to the edge of the universe, God wouldn't run out there because nothing can contain God. His glory is above the heavens. Yeah, the heavens don't contain God, God contains the heavens. And so in Isaiah 40:12 it says, "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?" Now, we can't measure the cosmos. They think it's between 10 and 20 billion light years across. But I can tell you from a scientific point of view, that's based on so many assumptions that cannot be proven that we really have no idea how large the cosmos is. God says, "Well, I can tell you how large it is in my hand-breadth, if you'd like to know." He hasn't told us the number, but he has measured off the heavens in the hand breadth of God. This is the God of glory, and he has set his glory above the heavens. And then in verse two, it says that glory is declared by the weakest, most insignificant human beings, "From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger." 

We human beings were created for praise. Not that we would be praised, but rather that we would praise our Creator; that our hearts and our minds, our imaginations, would just be filled with the glory of God and that we would just overflow in praise and worship. And from the lips of infants, from the very beginning of life, God has ordained praise. We were created to know God's glory and then to put it into words and talk about it; that's our special job. The wind and the rain, and the oceans, and the sticks and rocks display God's glory in a mute way, but we observe it and we talk about it. We proclaim it. So also the animals, the fish, the porpoises, the flamingos, they display the glory of God, but they cannot know it. That's our job. From the lips of children and infants, God ordained praise. Children and infants especially set aside for this. Gurgling sounds of an infant, satisfied, nursing at his mother's breast? Well, this is great praise for God as that infant is getting ready for a far greater praise later on.


"We were created to know God's glory and then to put it into words and talk about it; that's our special job. The wind and the rain, and the oceans, and the sticks and rocks display God's glory in a mute way, but we observe it and we talk about it. We proclaim it."

Interestingly, the word here is literally that God has ordained strength. The Hebrew word is “oz”. God has ordained strength from weakness. This is a deep theological principle, isn't it? God gets his greatest glory when we are in our weakest and humblest, when we are lowly like an infant, we proclaim praise. Now, it's a tragedy of this present physical universe that God has enemies because of the foe and the avenger. In his physical world, there is such, the foe and the avenger. But God is going to bring down the foe and the avenger with the weak infant. Isn't that fantastic? Through the lips of children and infants, he has ordained the final day of the foe and the avenger, because when we are weak, then we are strong, and the grace of God is displayed in the strength of those that will make themselves like little children. We'll come back to that later. I'm gonna go over in a new covenant quickly, if I don't keep on track here. But God has ordained strength and praise from the lips of infants.

Well, having gone from that, then he contemplates the humility of man in verses three and four, "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?" I find that meditation brings humiliation, if you meditate the right way. If you feel you're getting too lofty in your own estimation, meditate on the proper things and you'll be brought down. You know why you should do this? Because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” And so meditation brings humiliation. In our natural selves we're very lofty. We wanna rise up like the Tower of Babel. We wanna go up to the heavens. But you know, we can't reach them. They humble us. And so, it is good for us to have this kind of humbling meditation, "When I consider your heavens." It's a meditation on the immensity of space. It makes you humble.

For David, this is a sweet form of death, the death of his pride, the death of his arrogance. He's made very small in his own eyes, and that's a good thing. He actively is seeking out this kind of meditation, "I wanna become small tonight, God. Make me small." And so he's meditating to that end. Meditates on the heavens. And notice he says, "When I consider your heavens. They're yours, for you made them." God owns them. They belong to him. God is the creator. He is the present ruler and he will ultimately be the destroyer of the present heavens, and the re-creator of the New Heavens and the New Earth. It's all God's. "When I consider Your heavens…" he says, the immensity. And then he says, "The moon and the stars, which you have set in place." 

There are two great realms of the physical creation. Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." And according to Genesis one, he set the great light in the sky to govern the day, and the lesser lights in the sky to govern the night. He has not put us over the heavens. Have you noticed that? It's the sun and the moon that rule up there. Now we can look at them and admire them and praise the God who made them, but we can't change them at all. If we were to get all of our ICBMs in one place and try to affect the sun, what effect do you think we would have on the sun? None whatsoever. We cannot give anything to the sun. We cannot take anything from the sun. It's far above us. It humbles us in its might and its power. God has set them above us. And he considers the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and they humble him, "Which You have set in their place. You've ordained them. You have appointed them." But notice that he says, they are the work of God's fingers. Now, this is interesting, isn't it? The work of his fingers. Now, in one sense, you could look at it and say the fingers points to God's immense power. 

You remember King Rehoboam, that foolish young man who took control of the throne, and then the advisors came around and said, "Look, you know, your father worked us really too hard, would you kinda give us a break, and if you do, we will serve you well." Do you remember after conferring with his other young friends, he was like, "Oh yeah? Well, this is what I wanna tell you: my little finger is thicker than my father's waist. You think you had it bad under Solomon? Wait till I take control." Well, that wasn't a good answer. It was a bad answer, and so the kingdom was ripped from him. But listen to what he says, "My little finger is thicker than my father's waist.” What I can do with my fingers is small compared to what I can do with my full strength. And so, when I consider the heavens, the work of God's fingers, this was nothing for God to create, the moon and the stars. It's a measure of his power. If that's just a moving of his finger, how great must his power be? But then fingers also point to meticulous and careful work, don't they? Craftsmanship. You think of a woman perhaps using her nimble fingers to do needle work, and that fine craftsmanship, it's done with the fingers. Or consider a pianist playing beautifully.

I love the description by Dr. Brand, Phillip Brand, of watching Arthur Rubinstein's performance of Beethoven's, “Moonlight Sonata”. This is a quote, "A piano performance is a ballet of fingers, a glorious flourish of ligaments and joints, tendons, nerves and muscles. I must sit near the stage to watch their movements. From my own careful calculations, I know that some of the movements required, such as the powerful arpeggios in Moonlight's third movement are simply too fast for the body to accomplish consciously. Nerve impulses do not travel with enough speed for the brain to sort out that the third finger has just lifted in time in order for the fourth finger to strike the next key. I marvel too at the slow lilting passages. A good pianist controls his or her fingers independently, so that when striking a two-handed chord of eight notes, each of the fingers exerts a slightly different pressure for emphasis, with the melody note ringing the loudest. The effect of a few grams more or less of pressure in a crucial pianissimo passage is so minuscule only a sophisticated laboratory could measure it. But the human ear contains just such a laboratory, and musicians like Rubinstein gain acclaim because discriminating listeners can savor their subtle nuances of control."

Now that's the skillful fingers of a pianist, so also are the moon and the stars the skillful work of God's fingers. Now, of course, God does not have physical fingers. Our fingers are dim reflection of God's capabilities, which we call his fingers. We speak in this kind of man-centered language so we can understand God's spiritual being. Our fingers are nothing compared to God's. That's what it's saying. And when I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers. Oh, what's the conclusion to this meditation? Well, it's been inscribed in the building at Harvard. What is man? What are we? We're nothing compared to such a God who could make these things. “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” David is suitably humbled. He's suitably laid low in his own estimation. Now he's ready for God to lift him up.

And in verses five through eight, that's exactly what happens. The honor of man is established. "You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, the beast of the field, and the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swims in the paths of the seas." The fact is, David says, "What is man that you are mindful of him?" But God is actually intensely mindful of man. He thinks about him all the time. In Psalm 139, David meditates on this, "How many are your thoughts about me, O God! How vast the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand [in the sea]." As a matter of fact, God's intense watching of us seems sometimes oppressive that Job said, "Will you never turn away for a moment, O watcher of men?" It gets intense, to think that this powerful, invisible, holy spiritual being is watching everything you do, thinking about everything you do. With the Lord a single day is like a thousand years. He watches you so intensely. 

Now you may think, and I've heard this said, "What are my little problems to such a mighty God? God can't be spinning the planets up there and still caring for my life." And that sounds so humble, doesn't it? But do you realize how much you've limited God as though he couldn't do both? You know the Chinese juggling troupe where there's that guy that's spinning the plates and sticks them up on the post then gets out to 30 plates, and he's running around like a maniac trying to spin the plates and he can do it? It's an incredible thing, but I think 30 is about his limit. I mean, they started to fall toward the end as he fatigued, and in a way, the person is saying that's kind of what God's like. He has his limits. He cannot both be spinning the planets and caring for my little life. Oh, really? He's able to do far more than that. 

And so God is very mindful of man. He's very mindful of you. He thinks about you all the time. And then it talks about God's positioning of man. A little lower than Elohim, is what it says in the original, the Septuagint, the Greek translation, brings it over into angels. You made him a little lower than the angels, it says there. The book of Hebrews follows that and says, “You've made him a little lower than the angels.” So we're somewhere, I think, between heaven and earth, as it were positionally. We're on earth and we're earthy, but we're looking up to the heavens and understanding them. We have a physical earthy side, but we have a spiritual side too, so we're not just animal, but we have a spiritual side too. We were a little lower than the angels. And we're cloaked, it says, with glory and honor, created to be like God with the image of God, able to reason and to dream and to hope, and to make plans and to rule, and to do these things over the earth that God has made.

In Genesis 1:26, God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." And so God has put us in a position of power and authority in this world, and then he has given us that ability, the intellectual and the moral ability to rule wisely and well under him. That's the position he's given us. Now, David cannot end with man though, can he? We've humbled ourselves by considering what is man, and then we reflected on the Genesis command from God that we are in authority over the earth, we're ruling over it, but he's not going to end with man, he's gonna go back one more time in verse nine, to how he opened, "O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!"

III. Christ’s Perfect Fulfillment

Well, that is the Psalm in its entirety, and we've understood it from its Old Covenant prophetic sense. What about Christ's fulfillment of that? First, Christ is the Son of Man. "What is man that you are mindful of him? The son of man that you care for him?" Jesus' favorite title for himself was the Son of Man. He was the Son of Man, and he was the perfect man, the fulfillment of what God intended when he created man. And we saw Christ become perfectly human, fully human, humbled to atone for our sins. Hebrews 2:9, it says, "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone." In taking on a human body, Jesus was able to atone for the sins of a wicked human race.

And so Jesus became a little lower than the angels in his incarnation. How did he become lower than the angels? Was he not lower than the angels when it was the mighty angels, an army for him, appearing the night of his birth and saying, "Glory to God in the highest," while he was a little gurgling infant in a manger? Who is the more powerful then? Or how about when Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, and was weak and battled the devil and temptation, and at the end of that time, God sent the angels to come and minister to him physically because he was weakened and drained? Who is the powerful one there and who's the weak one? And how about in Gethsemane, when Jesus wrestled over drinking the cup of God's wrath so intensely that the blood came from the capillaries under his skin out of his pores? And it says that God sent the angels to strengthen him. And who was in the position of power and who the position of weakness when Jesus was on the cross, under the wrath of God, bearing our sins to the point of death? And when he died, who is powerful and who the very picture of weakness? God made Jesus a little lower than the angels, and he did that because we needed a savior, we needed him to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. 

We also see it in Christ's triumphal entry, the week before he died. He entered into Jerusalem and all the children are running around and they're proclaiming, they're saying, "Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord," they're crying out. Hosanna means, "Oh, save, save now," they're hoping for Jesus to be the mighty warrior King, and all the children are running around singing this. “But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ [the children just crying out], they were indignant. ‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ They asked him. ‘Yes,’ replied Jesus. ‘[I hear it.]’” Why were the children singing? Maybe the parents were too afraid, they already knew they're gonna get thrown out of the synagogue if they said that Jesus was the Christ so they're quiet, some of them anyway. But the children, they're fearless. What do they care? They just wanna say what's in their heart, and they're just singing and praising. "’Do you hear what they're saying?’ ‘Yes [I hear] … Have you never read “from the lips of children and infants, you have ordained praise?"’” That's exactly the way I need to be to be saved. Forget about myself. Forget who I am and what my reputation is, and like a little child cry out to God, "Oh, save me! I'm a wretched sinner. Save me from who I am." Forget dignity. Be like a child. Jesus said in Matthew 18:3, "I tell you the truth, unless [you're converted] you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." That's strength for you. Know that you're weak and know that you need a Savior, and cry out to him, "Oh, save." 

And we see also Christ's humility. He made himself nothing even to the point of death. And the Psalm, Psalm eight, we see the standard pattern, "Humble yourself and God will raise you up." And so those of you who have been studying in Philippians, you know how perfectly Jesus fulfills that pattern. He who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God, something to be grasped, but made himself. What? Nothing. Taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness. Have you ever noticed that before? The very nature of a servant equals made in human likeness. We're made to serve, we're servants. That's what it is. He took on what it meant to be a servant, and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself further, even to the point of death, even death on a cross. Because Jesus did this, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, all of us will someday bow before him and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Do you see the same rhythm in Jesus's life? You see, he who humbles himself low will be exalted. Jesus did that perfectly. Therefore, he was exalted to the highest place. 

And by faith, we can see his present glory. We're told in Scripture again and again, Jesus is seated at the right hand of God. He's up there. He's in the position of power. He's exalted way up into the heavenly realms at the right hand of God the Father. But we don't see that, and actually we see a great deal of contrary evidence. Most of our neighbors, co-workers, many of our relatives, the nations seem in upheaval, many of them do not acknowledge Jesus and his rule. We see a world in upheaval and turmoil. We see a Iraq, we see all kinds of problems going on in this world and we see it seems no evidence that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God.

We have to believe it by faith. But we have a promise that someday he will actively, openly rule over a perfected heaven and earth. He will be there, we will see him and he will be ruling over it all, and then Psalm eight will be perfectly fulfilled. He will be ruling over the new creation and the heavens too, and the two will become one.

It says in Hebrews 1:10-12, he also says, "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment [they will perish] they will be changed. But you remain the same and your years will never end." And then in Ephesians 1:19-23, it says this, "That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age [listen] but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Someday, brothers and sisters in Christ, you will see Jesus fully exalted, not just over the earth as Son of Man but over heaven and earth as Son of God as well.

IV. Application

Now, what application can we take from Psalm eight? First, just worship. I've been looking for it all week to preaching this sermon. It's just worship to stand here and talk about this, and you know you can do this yourself, not preaching up here on Sunday morning, you'd probably have to talk to me first. I'd have to hear from the Lord. But you can meditate and work over the Psalm and think about it, and exalt God's glory and humble yourself under it, that he may lift you up in due time. Worship the Lord.

Secondly, salvation, I'm talking to you as though you are brothers and sisters in Christ, but many of you here today may not be believers in Christ, have never trusted in him as your Lord and Savior. In order for you to be saved, you have to become like the little child that said, "Save now," as Jesus rode by. You have to be willing to see that your sins condemn you and that you can't stand in front of such a mighty God whose fingers made the stars and who knows everything you've ever said and done. You can't stand in front of him on Judgment Day without Jesus’ atoning sacrifice. You can't stand alone. And so let today be for you the day of salvation. Trust in Him. Don't walk out of this place without having trusted in Christ, trust in Him now. Say, "Oh, save," to Jesus.

Thirdly, sanctification, how are you gonna grow in holiness once you've come to faith in Christ? Can I just say that you would just learn to say, "What is man that you're mindful of him?" Humble yourself. Make little of yourself. Realize that were it not for God making much of you, there's nothing much to make of. Be sanctified by humility, understand that apart from God's saving work in us, we are worms and we're heading back into the dust. But with his saving work in us, someday we'll be as glorious as God himself with the glory that's not our own, but that is his. And so delight in weaknesses. 2 Corinthians 12:10 says, "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 

Fourth, stewardship. It says, “You have made him ruler.” We must own up to our responsibilities. We are put in a position over this world, we are to care about the physical creation. That's not just for political, liberal, left-wing types and all that. It's for us. We are Christians. This is our world; this is our Father's world. We are to be stewards of it. We know that someday God will roll it up like a garment and change it, but we are still stewards.

Missions. Submit to God's worldwide plan, the majesty of his name in all the earth through Christ. God intends that the glory of his name be proclaimed by people like you and me. Nobody's gonna get saved by looking at the stars and the moon. Nobody. They may feel small, but they're not gonna get saved that way, they get saved when they hear the gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed verbally to them, combined with the inner working of the Holy Spirit. Finally, six, feed your hope by meditating daily in the glory that is yet to come. I love to think about this, I love to say it. If you're a Christian, most of your best stuff is yet to come, most of it. Isn't that wonderful? Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ appears.

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