Good morning. My name is Joe Stearns and I’m one of the ministers on staff here at the Broward Church and I’m so glad that you joined us for our live stream worship service. As Tony said earlier, I’ve been asked to lead our thoughts in the praise of our great God. And normally when I praise God, I would do it in prayer. But today I’m going to be doing it human to human friend to friend. And I hope that my words of praise will be your words of praise, that we can praise the greatness of our God together.
I think the thing that helps me the most and praising God is when I stand out in front of the ocean all my adult life, the ocean has been very helpful to me and getting a sense of the greatness and the vastness of God. There’s times that I’ve stood in front of the ocean and I’ve been filled with all those times that I’ve been filled with fear when I think of the depth of the ocean, the breadth of the ocean, the vastness of it.
I believe it gives me and I’m sure for many of you, it’s giving you a sense of the greatness of our God. And whether it’s the ocean or the mountains or other features of this earth, the greatness of our God is shown in the greatness of this earth that he’s created.
But as many of you know, that is not the end of his greatness when we take this vast planet and we compare it to the sun or we compare it to some of the larger planets. We realize that the earth itself is small and we are so much smaller than our great God. In this shot of the Milky Way, there’s hundreds of billions of stars.
And a scientist researching NASA’s data came up with this. I’m going to read this. It says There are about 10 billion galaxies in the observable universe. The number of stars in the galaxy varies, but assuming an average of a hundred billion stars per galaxy means that there are about a billion trillion stars in the observable universe. And an interesting phrase here is the observable universe, the truth is we don’t know the boundaries of the greatness of our God, we have not seen the edge of the vastness of what is made.
And not only do we not know the boundaries of the greatness of our God, but we do not yet know the boundaries of how small and intricate he can make things. We all know that matter is made of molecules, which is made of atoms, and I’m not a physicist or a scientist, but I know that they continue to discover smaller and smaller parts of the atom. I don’t know what a gluon is. I don’t know what a cork is.
But I do know this, that God has made things so vast and so intricate that we still yet have not seen the boundaries of his power, of his strength, of his creative ability.
Let us praise God together for the greatness of his creation. As we read in Isaiah says, from my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways, my ways as the Lord. For us, the heavens are higher than the Earth. So are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts? Is the wisdom of God as great as his creation is the knowledge of God as great as his creation? That is what this passage is saying.
The wisdom of God is complete. It’s complete nothing. No judgment that we can make, no insight that we can have, no plans that we can make, can even come close to comparing to the astonishing wisdom of God. What’s even more interesting is that the wisdom that we do have has been given to us by God himself. And knowledge, let us praise God together for his knowledge, not only is God’s knowledge also complete, but he invented the things that we know of, God knows everything about physics, because he invented physics. He invented chemistry. He invented biology.
What an amazing God. Let us praise him for his wisdom and his knowledge. And God, who’s the source of all life, plant life, animal life, all life that exists and its incredible variety and its incredible quantity is by the hand of God. And God not only creates things. He’s an artist, God is an artist, let us praise God for his artistry and that he is the source of all artists, he is the first and the maker of all other artists.
Not only is God a great artist, he’s a great author. Everything that you could learn about creative writing God has used in the scriptures and even in nature, God in the Scriptures has included poetry, foreshadowing metaphors, symbolism, irony, type an archetype and every other literary device to reveal himself, to teach us, to give us a saving message. Not only is God the greatest artist, not only is God the greatest author, God is the great physician, God is the great judge, he’s the best attorney is the greatest architect, engineer, contractor, teacher, coach, father, friend. There’s no one as great as our God, let us praise them together and let us praise God for our human experience, God, as you so much of his power and his creativity to bless the lives that we live, as the scriptures say, I praise you for. I’m fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works.
My soul knows full well what a miracle God has made in our human body. When I think of how God has put together the body that God has a a central nervous system of musculoskeletal system, a gastrointestinal system, all the other systems that God has made that he put together in our body. Anyone who studies the human body is looking at a miracle of God, whether they’re willing to see it or not. But for you and I, as believers in God, let us praise him for the amazing job that he’s done with our body.
And let us praise them for something that’s sobering about our bodies. Our bodies are corruptible. By the miraculous design of God, he’s given us a body that is programmed all by itself to begin life, to move to adulthood and to move eventually towards our death. And what that does for us is that miracle points us to another of God’s great characteristics, he alone is immortal.
There was no one who lives forever except God and those who God grants the gift of eternal life, eternal life is not a right. It’s a gift of the only one who is truly, innately immortal. We could only live with him forever because of his graciousness. Think of the amazing things that God has given us in our human experience. Have you ever thought that God created cuteness? That got invented as an artist. Things that are cute, that God has made, things that are majestic or frightening. I don’t know if I would have the courage to be this scuba diver in the ocean with this whale. God has made things that are ugly. God has made things that are terrifying. God has made things that are unusual, frightening, unique, and God has made things that are awesomely beautiful. Let us praise God for our human experience and let us praise God for music. God created music. I love this picture here of Bob Marley and Mick Jagger together, whether you prefer the Wailers or the Rolling Stones or whatever your taste in music, God has given us this rich variety of music that can move us to dance.
They can move us to passion. They can move us to tears, to deep reflection, to our deepest emotions. God has given us music. God has invented colors. God has invented texture, taste, touch. What would our life be like without the richness of taste? God gave us salty and he gives sweet, he gave a sour and he gave us bitter and the whole experience and the aroma of food and of drink and of sharing that together and all the other aromas and smells and sights and sounds that God has blessed us with in this life.
Let us praise God together for how he is exerted in his love and then his power, our beautiful human experience.
In the famous Throne Room scene and revelation chapter four the Throne Room of God, there are living creatures that night and day forever say holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.
Let us praise God for His Holiness. Holiness is a rich idea, and I wanted to point out two things about God’s holiness, his purity and his power, God and his purity is without sin. God does not sin. He’s not tempted by sin. He does not tempt or cause us to say he is all together good. And God is powerful God and his holiness is so powerful, as he said to Moses. Take off your shoes if you’re standing on holy ground, we cannot even come into the presence of God because he is so good and because he is so holy.
Except by the blood of his son, Jesus Christ, so let us finish our short and incomplete time of praise of God talking about his love, let us praise God together for his love, as he says in the scriptures, for God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that everyone who believes in him shall not perish, but may have eternal life. Let us praise God that his love is generous, that his love is merciful, that it’s forgiving, that so often in God’s love, he’s he’s kind to us, he’s patient with us.
Let us praise God for the fact that he is attentive, that he’s fully engaged in our lives. As the scriptures say, even the hairs of our head are all numbered by the great, powerful and incredible love of our God. God, even in his love disciplines us, corrects us at times, even punishes us, he tells us. But let us praise God that in his love, he’s given us his commands, his wisdom, his guidance, his advice, his comfort.
His friendship. His lordship. I want to close this time of prayer together, asking you to read out loud with me a scripture together after we read this scripture together, some members of our church are going to come and lead us in prayers of praise to God. And so I want to ask you at home. To be willing to pray out loud with me this section of Psalms one forty six, it’s two slides, I’ll read it slowly together.
Let us praise God out loud together. I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever every day, I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever great is the Lord and greatly to be praised. And his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another and should declare your mighty acts on the glorious splendor of Your Majesty and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness.
Father in heaven, we are here today to glorify your name, great, are you, Lord, you are most worthy of all of our praise.
Your greatness is such that no one can fathom. Your name, O Lord, is a strong tower, the righteous runs into it and is safe. In times of weariness and in times of great distress, you are our strong fortress. Father. Great is your steadfast love toward us, your faithfulness endures forever. As the heavens are higher than the earth, father, we know that your ways are higher than our ways and your thoughts are higher than our thoughts.
Father, we long to know you better, we long to know you more and more that we may trust and rely on you, God, because you are trustworthy.
There is none like you, father. All of your work’s praise you, Lord, they tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your wonderful mind so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom, father, is an everlasting kingdom and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
Lord, you are trustworthy and all you promise and faithful in all you do. We love you, Lord, and we praise your precious in holy name. Amen.
Dear God, our heavenly father, we’re so grateful for you, who are we to be able to come before you in prayer? God, we come before you humbly. God we need you. We love you, rely upon you.
God, we are so grateful that you are our great provider. We’re so grateful that you see us. You understand us. You know our every need. You know what is best and good and right for us. God, we rely upon you. Without you we are nothing. God, I shudder to think who we would be if we did not have a relationship with you, who we would be if we did not know you, if you are not ever present in our lives.
Thank you so much, God, for being the great provider. It is not, man. It is not any establishment. It is you who provides. You are the one God who gives us what we need. From the beginning of time, as you created the Earth, you thought of us God and everything was created with us and mine. God, I thank you for that. God, you provide the strength that we need to work our talents and our gifts.
They’re all from you. Help us to use them to glorify you. The food, the clothing, everything that we have. God comes from you. We recognize that though we might go out and do it is not of our own, but as it is of you. And I thank you for that. Thank you, God, for for providing us with relationships. Thank you for the ways that you love us, God.
And I thank you, God, that in all of this God, you are the great provider of second chances, that you give us the opportunity to repent, to change and to grow. And God, that you more than anything else provide us, provided us with salvation. You gave us a way to enter into a relationship with you, despite who we are, despite our frailties or weakness in our sins, you have provided us a way to come into relationship with you and see you in heaven.
God, I thank you. I’m so grateful. I’m undeserving, but I thank you even more because you see fit to think of us as deserving. God, we love you, we praise you, and we pray all of these things for your son’s holy and precious name. Amen. Father, we worship who you are from ancient of days, from beginning before time, you are the most high. You were the one true king, creator and ruler of the universe.
You set up governments, you bring down governments. You set the time and places for all people. You are the one true God. You love your creation, you love your children. It is you who first reached out to save the world from the muck and the mire. Without you, we are lost. Is your wisdom we need it is your grace that brings us into our fullness, may you be given the honor that you deserve. We know that your kingdom is bigger than any country.
We know that your kingdom is greater than anything man can assemble. Made that kingdom forever grow, forever, be forever shine. May it be a beacon for the hurt, the oppressed, the one seeking justice, the poor of this world.
You bring order to chaos. Our world is so often unjust. May you order your kingdom to bring love, mercy and hope to those that have none. Father, we lift you up. We asked you to show the world the way of justice, goodness and love. And show us how to be more like your son. Father, we love you, we ask all this in Christ name and. Only God, as we. And our corporate prayer to you, father, we know that we enter.
The courts of the creator of the universe, their father, we know, holy God, that we enter it with fear and dread and in all, Father, because we know that the power belongs to you or God.
Scriptures say that the thunder. Of your power, who can understand? You are wise and heart and mighty in strength. You, the Lord God, are an everlasting rock. You are a mighty one who will save who will rejoice over us with gladness. You will quiet us by your love. Father. It is you who made the earth by your power. You established the world by your wisdom. And by your understanding, stretched out that heaven’s. You ruled by your mighty by your might forever, your eyes keep watch on the nations, it is said that you made man small.
And the universe big to say something about yourself. So, Father, we thank you that you allowed your son to be the sacrifice that allowed the curtain to be torn in two from top to bottom. So that we could have what the ancients could not. A face to face relationship with the creator of the universe. So we take this moment to celebrate Jesus by drinking from the fruit of the vine that represents his blood and eating the bread that represents his body, which allowed that communion with you.
We thank your father for your love and praise you for your power in Jesus name.