Upcoming Event – July 29 – Kalamazoo!

Young Calvinists is holding an event in Kalamazoo! The Pryor’s will be hosting us on July 29 @ 3:00 PM. Their address is: 1014 Picadilly Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49006. Plan on joining us for fun and fellowship!

-Food and drinks provided!

-Activities Include – Swimming (bring a suit!), 9 Square, Bean Bag Toss, Kan-Jam, Tennis (bring a racket!) and more!

-Please bring a chair

This event is designed for Young People and Young Adults.

Stay tuned to youngcalvinists.org for the latest information or cancellation regarding this event.

How Great Is Our God

We often think of the Bible as a kind of “how to” to live our life. After all, Scripture is full of statements like “obey thy father and mother,” “pray without ceasing,” and so many other directions. Our devotions can become centered on this aspect of God’s word as well – often consisting of reading a passage and meditating on how we are called to live based on that passage. None of those things are wrong. We do find valuable instruction on how to live our lives in the Scripture, and we should read the Bible from that perspective and think about it often. However, something we can tend to miss with that focus is what Scripture reveals about the greatness of God.

Isaiah 40 lays out the greatness of God using many beautiful metaphors. Isaiah begins in this chapter comforting the people of Israel, telling of the deliverance God will give them from captivity. He then describes the greatness of the God who will deliver them. Reading this chapter puts awe in the heart of the child of God – our God is so great, so all-knowing, that He knows exactly how many specks of dust there are in the earth, and knows the exact measure of the heavens. Nothing man has calculated, no scientific or mathematical theorem can come close to determining those numbers. As far as our finite minds can see, the universe never ends – but God knows its exact bounds.

Verse 15 describes the magnitude of every powerful and great nation in the world to God – a drop in a bucket, or “less than nothing” in verse 17. The governments on this earth seem so sovereign and have so much authority in our eyes – laws are passed that have great effect on our daily lives, wars are declared, and taxes are required – but all their might is puny compared to the might of our God. Even the most powerful of men is as only as strong as a grasshopper in comparison to Him.

His glory is seen even more clearly when we look at creation in the proper perspective. When we realize that God is the one who “stretched out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell there in”, we can examine every aspect of creation and see His amazing design – from the inner workings of our own body, to the fish in the deepest parts of the sea, and the weather patterns that stretch across the entire globe. Wherever men stand in awe at nature, make sure you “lift up your eyes on high, and behold who has created these things.”

And now remember how Isaiah started this chapter – this is the God who will deliver His church Israel. This strong and powerful God who Isaiah has described is not some abstract higher being who really has nothing to do with us. He is our God. He is our strength when we are weary, or when we are struggling with sin. God chose His people out of all the insignificant nations of the earth, loved them with His powerful love, and used that power to deliver us from our sins through His Son. How great is our God!

Kenzie Kuiper

 

Becoming As Little Children

Imagine yourself standing at the foot of a giant redwood tree, looking up at a massive trunk that extends hundreds of feet into the sky.  Or in a boat in the middle of the ocean, with no land in sight and water stretching out endlessly in every direction.  Or lying on the ground, looking up at a night sky filled with countless stars.  Or standing on a ledge overlooking the vastness of the Grand Canyon.  How do these images make you feel?  Small?  Filled with amazement and awe? Like a child?

In Matthew 19:14, Jesus says, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”  He says that those who will enter into the kingdom of heaven must become as little children, and one of the most obvious attributes of children is that they are small.  The eyes of the three-foot-tall toddler open wide in wonder at the huge world around them, the same world that we see and pass by without a second glance.  This humility, this living in awe, is part of the “becoming as little children” that Jesus speaks of.  Just as children are so easily filled with joy and wonder, we too should stand in awe of God’s creation, awe that leads us to grateful worship and humble trust in our Creator.  When we humble ourselves before God’s greatness, we should be filled with the joy and gratitude of a child, eyes wide in wonder of our awesome God.

Tomorrow is the Lord’s Day.  After a whole week of seeing God’s goodness, we should be filled with this childlike joy as we enter His house.  Yet so often we find ourselves going through the motions of worship without joy in our hearts, without actually thinking about what He has done for us or being filled with gratitude.  Unlike the child who is humble, happy, and content even in the little things, we take God’s gifts for granted and come into His house out of habit or even grudgingly.

Why are children filled with joy so easily, while we find it so difficult to live a thankful, joyful life?  It’s true that children, being small, are more easily filled amazement.  But another reason children are so easily made content is that they aren’t filled with expectations.  We have a sense of expectation and often see God’s gifts as something that we deserve or are entitled to, but children do not have this sense of entitlement and receive everything as a surprise.

A few weeks ago in church, we sang Psalter #204, which contains the words, “O it is good that I may still to God draw nigh, as oft before.”  How often do we take it for granted that we are able to draw nigh unto God?  He is the almighty, all-powerful God, yet He has given us the right to come to Him both individually and together with His church.  What an amazing gift, yet one that we so often take for granted.

As you prepare to enter God’s house tomorrow, think upon all of God’s amazing works.  Look at His creation.  Meditate on the ways you have seen Him at work in your life.  Count the blessings He has placed in your life this week, the gifts that you may have taken for granted.  And tomorrow, come into His house with the joy and trust of a child, humbled by His love and goodness.

Amy Kaiser