Listen to this devotional:
Habakkuk 2:13 – Has not the Lord Almighty determined that the people's labour is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing? (NIV)
The Monday night study group at our church is looking at J. B. Phillips' wonderful book, "Your God is Too Small". It was written just more than half a century ago, but it is still relevant for Christians today. Phillips discusses the various conceptions that people have about God and how those conceptions are inadequate for modern people. Our group is enjoying the study because we all get to share our individual ideas about God and see how these relate to Phillips' book.
At one point in the book, Phillips suggests that sometimes people conceive God as a Supreme Distant Being, with no opportunity for us to establish a worshipful, prayerful, and personal relationship. Such deists end up feeling spiritually empty, and so they devote themselves intensely to good deeds to make the world a better place. In the end, their purpose is futile, and their mission does not last beyond their years on earth. In other words, they exhaust themselves for nothing, trying to please the world and a supreme being who is not remotely interested in anything they accomplish.
As Christians, we are thankful for the nearness of God and His intense interest in each of our lives. When Jesus was born, He came down to be with us, to experience human life fully, to know its pains and joys, and to recognize our weaknesses and strengths. We live for the Lord, and the good that we do is not to bolster ourselves or to better the world. We do it to glorify Christ and to continue His mission on earth, even until the end of time.
Our God in Christ is not too small or remote at all — and our lives are His forever!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank You for becoming one of us and connecting our lives to God's kingdom. We praise You for truly experiencing the human condition and for granting us the glorious opportunity of being restored to God forever. Thank You for being one of us and for being with us. In Your holy name, we gratefully pray. Amen.