Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div. - Visionary Strategist  Faithful Innovator  Inspirational Essayist
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We Serve A BIG GOD! - Deuteronomy 10:17-22

We Serve a BIG GOD!
Deuteronomy 10:17-22


BlogFam, As I reflect on our passage for today, I am reminded of how BIG our God is! I think that we too often forget and act as if God is so familiar that we really do ignore that we serve a BIG God!  I am grateful that our God is so intimately acquainted with Creation.  I celebrate that God knows the number of hairs on each of our heads.  I rejoice that I can cast my cares upon God because God really does care about them all.  However, as close as I want to be to God and as close as I want to feel like I am to God, I cannot dismiss the vastness of God’s identity - 

17 For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:

18 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.

20 Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.

21 He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.

BlogFam, we serve a BIG God!  I hope you feel me on today and get what I am trying to say!  We do not serve a genie in a bottle whom we can just rub the right way.  We do not serve a magician that uses tricks and optical illusions in order to pull rabbits out of a hat just to hear you Ooooo and Ahhhhh!.  We do not serve a fairy godparent that pops up on wings and flutters over our shoulder waving wands and granting wishes. NO!  We serve a BIG God!

The entire Bible is about God’s presence and God’s relationship with created beings.  There are so many Scriptures that I could have used in order to convey our overall thought on today of how BIG our God is; however, I am appreciative of this particular text because –a s others do – it does not only convey how BIG our God is but it also commands that we respond to God by remembering, serving, and praising God.  In other words, it is NOT enough to just KNOW that we serve a BIG God!  We must respond to what we KNOW in reverence and obedience.  We cannot simply stand in AWE of God without also being ACTIVELY engaged in the work of God in this world.

Friends, we serve a BIG God and in response to our acknowledgement of who God is, we must REMEMBER to LOVE, SERVE to CLEAVE, and PRAISE to SEE!

19 Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

To LOVE others is NOT a new concept.  We are commanded to LOVE God first and with our everything.  We are commanded to LOVE our neighbors as we love ourselves.  AND in this verse we are further instructed to LOVE STRANGERS, too.  So many times, we limit our idea of who is our neighbor to those who are familiar, those we see daily, those who live next door to us, those who go to church with us, those who celebrate the same traditions or worship in the same space.  We LIMIT our definition of neighbor and today, I challenge you to broaden your idea of who your neighbor is to include those who are strangers to US BUT who are NOT strangers to God.  

People may be strangers to us because we do not know their name, they live in another country, or speak with a different accent.  People might be strangers to us because we are content with building relationships with individuals who fit certain criterion that we have set in our own minds including but not limited to political affiliation, economic situation, or sexual orientation.  People might even become strangers to us because they made us mad one day a long time ago or they married someone you did not approve of or they just do not fit into your ideal of how your neighbors should look, act, sound, or think.  Too often, we choose to make people strangers in our own lives who could be our friends and who are actually already our neighbors.

Furthermore, we too often forget that we were once strangers to somebody and we probably still are.  Just as the children of Israel had to be called to remember that they were once strangers in Egypt, so must we remember that we may not have been strangers in our own country but at some point, God was a stranger to us.  We have never been strangers to God because God knew us in our mother’s wombs but God has definitely been stranger to each of us.

God has been a stranger because we have not always LOVED GOD with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength.  Yet, because we serve such a BIG GOD, before we even knew we existed, God already loved each of us.  We MUST remember to LOVE God and to LOVE our neighbors and to LOVE our neighbors who are strangers because we have all been strangers ourselves.

20 Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.

It is no shock that serving God is a part of being in relationship with God.  BlogFam, you already know this.  However, I would like to push us one step further because it is possible to serve God on the periphery.  In other words, we can choose to just do good deeds or acts of kindness without allowing our lives to be transformed by the service we render.  However, when we engage our hearts in our service as unto the Lord our God, we become more intimately acquainted with the one who empowers us to serve in the first place.  We begin to fear/reverence/hold in the highest regard the BIG GOD we serve and cleave to God who gives us opportunity and strength to serve in a variety of ways.   And before you get a little twisted around and think that I am speaking of some kind of righteousness that is based on our works, let me clearly express to you that the our service as God’s vessels in this world is a way that we become radically aware of God’s presence in our own lives and in the lives of others and it is this awareness that sparks a desire in us to cleave/latch onto/stay as close as we can to the ONE who has never left nor forsaken us and whose presence has always been available to each of us.

21 He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.

BlogFam, we serve a BIG GOD who deserves a BIG praise for all of the BIG things that He has done in our lives!  I believe that each of us can testify that God has done some GREAT things in our lives, beginning with simply waking us up in the morning!   The fact that YOU are alive is one of the greatest gifts we can celebrate every day.  All may not be perfect in our lives but we are still here and have another chance to SEE the miracles of God in us and around us and in spite of us.  In these last two verses, the writer wants to PRAISE GOD for what we have SEEN!  There are so many things that we want to SEE happen in our lives that we neglect to PRAISE GOD for what we have already SEEN.  And the writer does not make a laundry list of ALL that they have seen but he simply names ONE BIG thing that only our BIG GOD can do…

22 Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the Lord thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude.

Friends, we serve a BIG God! From a few to a multitude that can hardly be counted, if at all, is what our BIG GOD had done for them.  What is the ONE thing that has happened in your life that only our BIG GOD could have done?  What is the ONE thing in your life that helps to redirect your focus to the ONE who is deserving of all of our praise?  What is the ONE thing that you can think of that brings a praise to your lips just thinking about how BIG our GOD is to have brought it to pass in your life?

My Sisters and Brothers, we serve a BIG GOD!  And when we feel like  things are not going as well as we planned or as if nothing is coming together, I dare you to redirect your attention to the ONE who is worthy to be praised because our BIG GOD will help you to SEE!  And when we PRAISE GOD, we SEE the BIG things that God is able to do.  When we PRAISE GOD,  we SEE the BIG things that God has already done for us, our neighbors, and our strangers.  When we PRAISE GOD,  we SEE the BIG things that God is doing in the present moment.

We serve a BIG GOD! And it is my prayer that we would all REMEMBER TO LOVE our BIG GOD, SERVE TO CLEAVE to our BIG GOD, and PRAISE TO SEE our BIG GOD!!! 


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