Childhood Theology

As a small child ns was taught to pray, “God is great. God is good. Allow us give thanks to him for this food. Through his hands us all room fed. Offer us lord our day-to-day bread. Amen.”

That prayer is deceptively an easy because that is so easy to say, and because we usually say that only before mealtimes. Us shouldn’t it is in so hasty, though. This straightforward child’s prayer in reality summarizes the Christian check out of the world.

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God Is Great

To say, “God is great” is no the exact same as saying, “God is awesome!” or “God rocks!” Rather, come speak of god’s greatness is come talk about God’s authority and power. His greatness is his ideal to rule and his power over every things. That reigns. The conquers. He commands. And also God does all of that because he is great.

As the prophet Daniel records, “His ascendancy is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures native generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are related to as nothing. That does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one have the right to hold back his hand or say come him: ‘What have you done?’” (Daniel 4:35)

Paul the apostle says the same, “Oh, the depth that the riches of the wisdom and also knowledge of God! just how unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mental of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? who has ever given come God, the God need to repay them? because that from him and also through him and also for him space all things. To him it is in the glory forever! Amen.” (Rom. 11:33-36)

God’s greatness is protest on two sides. The angry say that God is no great, the he is weak or can not to aid us. Some Christians protest the greatness of God as soon as they talk as if he to be a needy old man who can’t do anything there is no our help. This is completely backwards and also wrong. Both types of civilization have forgotten that God make the universe and also needs nothing indigenous us. “He is not offered by human hands, as despite he essential anything” Paul reminds us (Acts 17:25). He provides us life and breath and all things. God doesn’t depend on us. We depend upon him. We exist because he wanted united state to exist so the he might share himself with us. We need God. That doesn’t require us. (But he does desire us.) God is very, very great.

God Is Good

The greatness the God without the quality of God no Christianity. It is fatalism. Numerous religions have taught that some god or divine being is supremely powerful. The is not what makes Christianity unique. What makes our faith distinct is the blog post that the supremely powerful God acts on our behalf and also for our good. He loves us and cares around us. He even sent his boy to dice for united state so that we might live in him. The is what we median when us say, “God is good.”

Jesus additionally reminds united state that “No one is great but God alone” (Mark 10:18). This to be Jesus’ means of saying the none of us are good like God is. He no “good” because he conforms to part standard; he self is the standard. His character—his love, his grace, his mercy, his affections, his tenderness, his patience, his longsuffering, his forbearing, his kindness—all these things circulation from the love of God since they room who the is the really core the his being. No one has to tell God come “act nice” or “be good,” due to the fact that that’s who he is. God is good, and everything rather we speak to “good” is just truly an excellent inasmuch as it present up v who God is and also the method he wants points to be.

Why go God’s goodness matter? Because God no sin not simply since he dislikes the challenge to his greatness, but because God is great and that is for our good, too. God knows that sin provides a chaos of things, to put it an extremely lightly. Sin wrecks ours lives. It division the peace in between us and also God and between us and also each other. God is good and therefore against sin.

Let Us give thanks to Him

It’s no accident that the following line in the children’s prayer is a response of gratitude. In many ways, gratitude is one of the main fruits of faith, for all those that trust that God is great and God is great can’t aid but say thanks to him—yes, because that food—but for so lot else as well. That is why Paul writes, “Whatever girlfriend do, whether in indigenous or deed, carry out it every in the surname of the lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father v him” (Col. 3:17). “Devote yourselves come prayer,” Paul adds, “Being watchful in it v thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2).

You see, gift thankful isn’t just a duty to it is in done. That is actually a authorize that we understand who we space in the visibility of God. We space sinful beggars in the visibility of a holy king. Us don’t deserve anything, yet he provides us “every an excellent gift” (Jas. 1:17). This means that civilization who truly believe that God is great and God is an excellent can’t aid being thankful. In fact, it might be a authorize that we don’t really recognize the gospel if us aren’t thankful people. ~ all, the perspective of entitlement is opposing disposition the a love that has actually received the undeserved grace of God.

For our Food?

The simple children’s prayer connects oh my gosh greatness and also his goodness come food, of all things. Why food? because food is something the we need in order to survive. It is vital to life. God walk not have to make united state this way, yet he did. (He could have developed us to get energy directly from the sun, choose plants.) perhaps God make food required for life so that we would certainly remember how frail, fragile, and fleeting our presence is. We room feeble and weak. We require things like food in order to survive. Us cannot sustain our very own existence. All of this is a picture of just how we relate come God. We require him come survive, whether us realize the or not. That is why those that realize their require for God are said to have found “life” in the biblical feeling of the term, if those who don’t realize their need for God are said to be dead.

Food likewise reminds us of just how dependent and not-in-control we space of what wake up in the world. The food the you eat ~ above a daily basis to be rung up by a cash it is registered that you didn’t tend. It was purchased in a store with shelves that you didn’t stock. The was ceded by a truck the you no drive. It to be harvested by farmers in fields that friend didn’t cultivate. It was grown by rains the the farmer did no send. Can you view why the children’s prayer has the line, “By his hands we all room fed”? It’s completely true.

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So, God is great. God is good. Let us say thanks to him for this food, and let us additionally thank the for every one of life. Every an excellent gift is supposed us come remind united state of his greatness, his goodness, and also our desperate need for him. That is why the most joyful world are those who discover that God is great and God is good. Such world thank God, to trust God, and listen to what God says, because that they understand that his greatness and goodness checked out so plainly in the death and resurrection of Jesus will one day placed an finish to all the self-caused misery of sin. Every tear will be dried. Every broken thing will certainly be mended. Every heartache will certainly be swallowed up. God is great. God is good. Allow us say thanks to him.

Doug Ponder is among the founding pastors of Remnant Church in Richmond, VA, wherein he offer in numerous of the church’s to teach ministries. He has added to several released works and also is the writer of Rethink marital relationship & Family. His interests encompass the intersection the theology, ethics, and also the Christian life. Monitor him top top Twitter