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God Is Better

Greg E. Gifford, PhD, CBC

ggifford@masters.edu

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We are people who always seek what is best and I offer to you, more accurately, God offers it to you. God offers you himself. He says, “Come to me, for I am the best” (Isa. 55:1-7). My life is about helping people see the supreme value of God, through Jesus Christ. He is better, so much better than anything with which you could compare him. He is better than scholarships or a GPA or a bachelor’s degree. He is better than independence or athleticism. He is better than everything—He is better. [Watch Entire Sermon Here.]Screen Shot 2018-11-16 at 10.22.00 AMJohn Howe, another English Puritan, wrote a book entitled: A Treatise of Delighting in God. You can actually read it, it’s in the legacy room in our library if you can find someone to let you into the holy of holies there in the library. Small, old, green book. In the book he says this, “God may be looked upon in an absolute consideration, as he is in himself the best and most excellent Being, wherein we behold the concurrence of all perfections, the most amiable and beauteous excellences, to an intellectual eye, that it can have any apprehension of” (4).

I love that: “He is in himself the best and most excellent being.” John Howe would argue, like I would argue that God is better. Jonathan Edwards would agree. He said this, “God is the highest good of the reasonable creature; and the enjoyment of him is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams, but God is the ocean. Therefore, it becomes us to spend this life only as a journey towards heaven, as it becomes us to make the seeking of our highest end and proper good, the whole work of our lives; to which we should subordinate all other concerns in life” (Works, vol. 2, 244).

Did you catch that? “To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here.” That when you enjoy the friendship of another person—you are seeing just a shadow of the betterness of God. When you see the beauty of having your own children, you are enjoying a stream of the ocean of God’s betterness.

What the Bible wants to do is to work within the marrow of your bones an understanding of the betterness of God. And then to let this betterness captivate you and propulse you into a life of teasing that out.

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"God may be looked upon in an absolute consideration, as he is in himself the best and most excellent being, wherein we behold the concurrence of all perfections, the most amiable and beauteous excellences, to an intellectual eye, that it can have an apprehension of." --John Howe, On Delighting in God
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