God is Great in Creation

Speaker: Pastor Darin Browne

Life sometimes seems overwhelming. Relationships, money, work, sickness, life, and we wonder where God is in all this. I hear people saying God can’t do this or that, God can’t save my loved one, God can’t provide a house or money or healing. I have even heard people say that the devil is winning, and God is losing control. So, this morning I want to give you a glimpse of the kind of God we are dealing with here and show you just how unbelievably huge and powerful your God is. He is and always has been totally in control.

Mankind thinks he’s pretty awesome, and I suppose in many ways we are. We’ve designed great things like cars, TVs, cell phones and the internet, we’ve travelled to the deepest depths of the ocean and right around our incredible world. We’ve even travelled to the moon and back, and sent probes into deepest space, learning, exploring and all the time glorying in ourselves and what we can do.  Mankind is pretty smart, pretty clever and ultimately that feeds into the notion that there is no God, creation is all just a coincidence, we humans are the masters of it all, so we should eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die (Isaiah 22:13).

Infinitely Awesome

Nothing could be further from the truth. Our God is infinitely big, infinitely powerful, all knowing, all seeing and present everywhere, all the time. This is why miracles are possible, not because of how much faith we think we have, but because of the infinitely awesome object of our faith. Jesus said,

Matthew 17:20 (ESV)
For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Today I want to focus on God, the object of our faith. If you believe God loves you as He has promised, and that He wants the best for you as He’s promised, then in this message I will prove how big, amazing, and awesome He is, so you cannot help but have faith in Him, because He is able!

Ephesians 3:20 (ESV)
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

THINGS ARE LOOKING UP!

Psalms 19:1-2 (ESV)
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.

Have you ever looked up at night and started to ponder how far it really is between you here and that tiny pinprick of light in the sky you can see?

This message will be fun, but there’s a deeper point. If I can show you how amazingly huge and powerful God is in creation, it will build your faith.  When we stop to realise that the God we serve and trust created everything, is He really able to do anything? Yes! And does He love us? Yes again! So, should we have faith in Him? Absolutely Yes!

Jeremiah 32:17
“Ah, Lord God! Behold You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You!”

We start our celestial journey, discovering how great is our God close to home…

BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON

Earth is a perfect environment for life. Nowhere else that we’ve discovered in the universe comes close. The atmosphere is perfect, the tides controlled by the moon, life, and energy by the sun, all in perfect balance for life to exist and flourish.

1 Corinthians 15:41
There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

Both the Sun and the Moon appear the same size in Earth’s sky because, although the Sun is four hundred times larger than the Moon, it is also four hundred times further away.

The Moon is the perfect size for life to exist on Earth. If the Moon were larger, the Earth would tilt so far on its axis that the side facing the Sun would experience unbearable heat while the opposite side would know perpetual subzero winter. As it is, the Moon is just the right size to cause Earth to tilt at a very acceptable 23.4 degrees, bringing both winter and summer to our planet.

THE SUN’S GONE FISSION

The Sun, on the other hand, is a star, burning brightly in a process called nuclear fission, which is what atomic bombs do. 99.9% of all matter in our solar system is contained within the Sun. The luminosity (intrinsic brightness) of the Sun is 40 billion billion megawatts. Putting this into perspective, the total human consumption of power on Earth is about 2 million megawatts. The Sun produces 20.5 times what we do across the earth, and its surface is 6000 degrees Celsius.

And the Sun is stable. If it had huge swings in output or was slightly closer to or farther away from Earth, we’d be vaporised or frozen instantly!

Colossians 1:16-17 (ESV)
For by him all things were created, and in him all things hold together.

A solar system is a star, in our case the sun, and planets revolving around it. A galaxy consists of such stars and billions of their solar systems. Our Sun is just one of an unfathomable number of stars in our galaxy, called the Milky Way. When you look up and see stars, you are only seeing those in our galaxy, the milky way. Although our sun seems a fair size, it certainly shrinks to insignificance next to some of the other stars in the Milky Way neighbourhood.

SIZE DOES MATTER

So, to help you get your head around just how big and awesome your God is, let’s talk for a moment about size, because as they said in Godzilla, “Size Does Matter!” Now remember, God spoke, and these worlds sprang into being!

Psalm 33:6
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
and by the breath of his mouth all their host.

The comparison scale works like this: If Earth were a golf ball, the sun would be equivalent to an entire West National bus filled with gold balls.

Earth Size ComparisonBut looking a little deeper into space we find a more massive star called Betelgeuse, which is 427 light-years away, and the 10th brightest star in the sky. Betelgeuse is so big, in fact, that its diameter is twice the size of Earth’s orbit around the Sun, and 262 trillion earths would fit into Betelgeuse.

So, if Earth were a golf ball, that’s enough Earths to fill an football stadium with golf balls – three thousand times over!

I mean, God is really, really huge!  But let’s not stop there, just because we are having trouble getting our feeble human heads around things.

Mu Cephei  is a red supergiant and one of the largest and most luminous stars in our galaxy. Mu Cephei would hold 2.7 quadrillion Earths!

But hey, why stop there? Let me consider one more star, which we call VY Canis Majoris.  It’s 4,900 light-years from Earth, it boasts a diameter of about 1.7 billion miles. If Earth were a golf ball, VY Canis Majoris would cover the state of NSW end to end filled with golf balls up to your knees.

And that’s just four of the hundreds of billions of hundreds of billions of stars that YOUR God manages every second of every day.

SO HOW DENSE DO YOU FEEL?

If you’re having trouble fathoming all that and feeling not so bright and more than a little dense, let me mention brightness and density to you.

Heard of supernovas? They’re massive stars in the throes of death – blazing millions of times brighter than our sun.  In fact, during their final stages, these dying stars can shine brighter than an entire galaxy. We also find neutron stars – so compacted and dense that scientists predict one teaspoon worth would weigh a billion tons. They spin at speeds of up to six hundred revolutions per second, these stars are far beyond our imagining.

SupernovaAdd to theses dark stars or black holes, which are so dense at their core and exert a gravitational pull so extreme that not even light can escape from them! Our own galaxy the milky way has a super massive black hole at its centre.

And beauty, wow, this is beauty on a cosmic scale that makes mere earthly beauty look like a pinprick!

Stars are beautiful, aren’t they? And we find myriads of them – clusters and galaxies with hundreds, thousands, and even billions of stars in beautiful formations. We discover other objects too, such as nebulae – stunning clouds of gas and dust, far larger than we could ever fathom.

Annie Dillard was right when she said, “The creator loves pizazz.”

Isaiah 45:12
I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host.

Ponder the immense beauty and power of these stars…and your God is in control of all of them, all day every day!

SUPER GOD, SUPERNOVAS

Supernovas and nebulae are the really sexy, colourful parts of God’s creation. And why on earth, or in heaven, would God bother doing such spectacular things so far away? Because He can, that’s why! Because God is extravagant.

Ephesians 3:20
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

I mean, if you have a room in your house that no one sees, you basically never clean it, right? But God, God is different. He does it simply because He can. He’s creating, He’s having fun, He is your God and He loves you!

Job said it well…Job 26:14
Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?”

Crab Nebula

A Glorious Thing

Red giant stars have a crazy way of dying…they throw off their outer layers of dust and gas in a round shape that resembles a planet when glimpsed in earthbound telescopes. However, when seen through Hubble’s superior lenses, these dust and gas clouds, called planetary nebulae, and other similar supernova remnants appear in random, whimsical shapes and are composed of vibrant and varied colours.

Who knew that death could be such a glorious thing, producing some of the most mesmerising spectacles in the heavens? And we’re not talking small-scale, Earth-sized glory here; some of these nebula clouds are so massive they defy comprehension.

Eagle Pillar CloudFor example, the Eagle Pillar Cloud is a cloud-like tower of gas stretching 9.5 light-years (about 57 trillion miles) above the Eagle Nebula. One of NASA’s most famous photos of the Eagle Pillar Cloud is called “The Pillars of Creation.” This “pillar cloud” alone is just a tiny fraction of the entire nebula, though it’s many times the size of our entire solar system.

Horsehead NebulaThe horse head nebula is only 3-4 light years high and made up of hydrogen and dust. It is part of the Orion constellation, which is an enormous birthplace for stars spanning hundreds of light years across.

Supernova 1987aHow about this one, Supernova, 1987A, one of the brightest supernovae seen in over four hundred years of astronomy and research. This star exploded into a supernova which burned over one hundred million times brighter than our own Sun.

HOW FAR WILL GOD GO?

Distance and time are more areas where God’s awesomeness is on display.

Psalm 90:4
For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.

Light, as you know, is ridiculously fast, screaming along at nearly 300,000 kilometres per second). It’s so fast that a beam of light can circle Earth’s equator 7.5 times in one second. Now traveling nonstop at that phenomenal speed for 365 days, light covers a distance of over 9.3 trillion km. We call this a light year, and Star Trek or Star Wars fans will be familiar with the term, but don’t lose sight of just how far it is…9.3 trillion km!

So, just to put the universe, and indeed the God of said universe, in perspective here, the distance from the Sun to the next closest star, Proxima Centauri, is 4.3 light-years, or 270,000 times the distance between Earth and the Sun.

The Milky Way Galaxy

Our immediate star neighbourhood, the Milky Way Galaxy, is somewhere in the range of 100,000–120,000 light-years from side to side and 1,000 light-years thick.

But listen, the Milky Way is not the whole of space. In fact, to a cosmologist, a galaxy like the Milky Way, which contains hundreds of billions of stars, is the smallest thing in the universe worth bothering with. So here on earth, we’re on a rock orbiting just one of hundreds of billions of stars in the relatively insignificant Milky Way Galaxy, which is only one of hundreds of billions of other galaxies in a universe that’s too big to fully map.

HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD!

At present, with our very best instruments, the furthest we have been able to detect objects in space is around 13 billion light-years from Earth. So far away, without sophisticated instruments we can’t even detect them, but God in His extravagance does spectacular things that nobody even sees! God says…

Isaiah 44:24 (ESV)
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb:
“I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,

Isaiah 45:12 (ESV)
I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host.

In our limited human wisdom and understanding we try and prise apart the trinity, saying God the Father created the universe, Jesus came to earth, and the Holy Spirit indwells us. But you cannot dissociate the trinity like that.

Colossians 1:16-17 (ESV)
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Jesus was not just present at creation. The Father, the Son and the Spirit were all active participants, because God is all of them. Don’t try and understand the intricacies of a trinitarian God, just stand in awe at His unfathomable majesty!

WE’RE A LITTLE BIT LITTLE

Scientists have no idea how big the universe really is, but we know this…Earth, and us human beings are really, really small within it. In fact, in terms of scale, Earth itself is a blip amid the expanse of space around us. The same could be said for our entire solar system, and the Milky Way Galaxy, both of which, when it comes to size, really don’t matter at all in the grand scheme of things.

Every light on this slide from the Hubble telescope is a galaxy as big or bigger than our Milky Way Galaxy!

Psalms 8:4 (ESV)
what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet in the midst of this insanely huge universe, God looked through all the planets and galaxies, across seven million humans on earth and chose you. God loves you and God, in the middle of all this, takes time for you and has a plan for your life.

So, let’s admit that our entire solar system is tiny in the midst of the vast Milky Way, which itself is only one of billions of other galaxies in the known universe. Scientists say the size of our solar system relative to the Milky Way would be roughly the size of a 20c coin in an area 3.2 times the size of Australia. Mankind declares he’s important, but are we really in the scope of things?

A REALLY SLOW DOWNLOAD

Valentine’s Day February 14, 1990. The Voyager 1 spacecraft screamed through the darkness of space, traveling over 64,000 km/h away from our Sun. Launched thirteen years earlier, Voyager was now beyond Pluto, having photographed each of our distant neighbour planets. Amazingly, though the spacecraft was flying past the edges of our solar system, scientists had Voyager take one last Earth-facing image before continuing on its way into oblivion.

It shot 60 images consisted of 640,000 pixels (a pixel is one of the tiny dots that make up a photograph). It was an estimated 3.7 billion miles from home, and each pixel or dot took 5 ½ hours to make the journey back to Earth. Not 5½ hours for each of the 60 photos, but 5½ hours for each of the 640,000 tiny dots in each photo. Talk about a slow download! (You think the NBN is slow!)

A CONCEPT OF HOW SMALL WE ARE

But finally, an image appeared. Dubbed “The Pale Blue Dot,” the composite photograph captured within one of the coloured shafts a tiny dot, scarcely visible to the naked eye. Yep, you guessed it. That little speck is Earth, photographed from almost 4 billion miles away.

Psalms 8:1, 3-5
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon, and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honour.

A. W. Tozer wrote, “God is above all things, beneath all things, outside of all things, and inside of all things. God is above, but He’s not pushed up. He’s beneath, but He’s not pressed down. He’s outside, but He’s not excluded. He’s inside, but He’s not confined. God is above all things presiding, beneath all things sustaining, outside of all things embracing, and inside of all things filling.”

Are you getting this?  The God who spoke and all this sprang into being, sees you, and loves you, and cares for you. Can you have faith in a God like that? This Creator God who, with all this creating of galaxies, universes, supernovas and so on, knew He would have to die in your place, and did so to redeem or buy your soul back from death. Now let me blow your mind with this…even in creation the cross was always central to what God was doing.

THE WHIRLPOOL AND THE CROSS

Let me introduce you to the Whirlpool Galaxy, alias M51. This galaxy is quite close to us, and beautiful. Scientists have discovered that in the centre of this galaxy is a black hole, so powerful that not even light can escape it.

When Hubble photographed this black hole at the centre, believe it or not they proved that, even in creation, God had the cross in mind…

1 Corinthians 1:18 (ESV)
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

There’s a cross shaped black hole right in the middle. Even in creation, the cross was never Plan B, it was always God’s plan for us.

BRINGING IT DOWN TO EARTH

It’s overwhelming to realise that God is so unbelievably huge and powerful, and that seven billion of us live on an obscure rock spinning in the Milky Way Galaxy. We think we are pretty special, but this morning we perhaps have a better concept of how great is our God!

There are more stars than that in just one arm of the Milky Way Galaxy than people on earth, billions more, and God placed every one there.

Isaiah 40:26
Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.

It’s crazy to think that God can name each of the stars. But what’s more stunning is that He can call you by your name as well.

God Knows You

In this massive ocean of cosmic activity, contemplate the truth that you are not alone, or unnoticed. He knows the exact number of hairs on your head, and the number of fears in your heart. God knows everything about you, and He loves you anyway. You are His creation, His idea, His passion, and His love.

  • He sees your fears – so why not bring them to Him?
  • He sees your wrongs – so why not confess them and receive His grace and forgiveness?
  • He sees your struggles – so why not stop pretending and lean on Jesus for strength?
  • He sees your questions and doubts – so be honest with Him.
  • He sees your dreams and aspirations – so put them in His hands.
  • He sees your motives and intentions – so let Him work beneath the surface.
  • He sees your deepest needs – He alone can meet them.

Whatever you are believing for today, there’s only four possibilities…either

  • He does it
  • Or He can’t do it (clearly untrue)
  • Or He doesn’t love you enough to do it (Scripturally untrue)
  • Or He has a better plan.

Can you truly trust in this awesome amazing God today, whatever happens. Don’t tell God how big your mountain is, tell your mountain how big you God is!

If you are believing for something today, I am going to ask you to the front as an act of faith, to trust this mind blowingly awesome God.

But first you must know Him.

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