Monday, November 21, 2011

"Who He Is; What He Does"

God's doings and ways flow from His being and character.

"For Thou art great, and doest wondrous things" (Psalm 86:10).

We praise the Lord for who and what He is; we thank Him for what He does. Both realities bless and awe us as we open our eyes to the fact of His pervasive involvement in our lives. If we have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ, God resides both with and within us. We are spiritually united with His being - "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" (I Corinthians 6:17). Our Lord also continually acts on our behalf - "God... worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:11). Thus, the Holy Spirit graces believers with ongoing opportunities for praise and thanksgiving as we freely experience both the heart and hand of our Heavenly Father.

It may be in God that His person and actions are virtually synonymous, being so perfectly united as to be inseparable. I nevertheless find it helpful in my understanding (and Scripturally sanctioned) to think of our Lord's being and doing as distinct realities. Accordingly, praise and thanksgiving also become distinct responses to the presence and involvement of God. One directs focus to His character, nature and essential being, while the other spotlights His wondrous doings. Maintaining the distinction provides a dual appreciation and admiration warranted by the wonder that is God. It also provides a dual impact on our own being and way: "Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Corinthians 3:18).

A long and sublimely blessed eternity awaits the sons and daughters of God in Christ. Our Lord will forever amaze us with who He is and what He does. In fact, such blessedness has already begun as we live our lives in expectation of beholding the glory of God. Much opportunity for praise and thanksgiving will fill this day as we anticipate the spear-pierced heart and nail-scarred hands of the Lord Jesus to be present on our behalf. Who God is - what a wonder! What He does - no less a wonder! Offerings of adoration and gratitude comprise the proper response to both realities, and powerful effect upon our own being and way.

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise."
(Psalm 100:4)

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