It was the worst cake that I have ever tasted, but it was also the most memorable. I usually really like carrot cake, but this was unlike any carrot cake that I had ever tasted, and it was so bad that it probably ruined my taste for carrot cake from that point forward. But it was worth it!
My wife Katie and I were in Uganda at the time, on our first overseas mission trip, and we were celebrating our first wedding anniversary. The rest of our team wanted to help us celebrate, so they found the only cake that they could find, a “carrot cake” that tasted like it was three weeks old! As the saying goes, though, it was the thought that counts, and we really appreciated the thought.
What made that cake so memorable that I still remember it 15 years later was not its bland, tasteless icing or the stale, dry cake material. It was where we were and who was with us. The Uganda mission trip was one of the most memorable two weeks of our lives together. 15 years later, my wife still has the framed picture of us in our Ugandan garb sitting in her office. We’ve taken a lot of pictures together over the last 20 years, but few are more appreciated than that one.
Every time I think about that trip, I remember a lot of great things that happened, but, more than anything, I remember one thing in particular. Our entire team kept saying while we were there, “Our God is so big.” For many of us, it was our first time that far away from home, so seeing God work in a place that was so foreign and so far away was an experience that left an indelible impact on all of us.
It sounds obvious to say that God is big, right? We say it all the time; we read about it over and over in Scripture; we see it when we look out at creation; we sing about it on Sunday mornings. We know that our God is big. However, it can be easy to forget how “big” he really is. Tragically, it seems to often be the first thing we forget about God, if we ever really understood it in the first place.
I’m convinced that the reason it seems like the Bible is always talking about how big God is, is because God knows that we forget this about him; maybe more than anything. The first two Ten Commandments given to Moses are about the bigness of God and our tendency to forget how big He really is. All people have a tragic tendency to make God small, and this happens for a myriad of reasons: we want control, we want independence, we want to sin, we want the glory, just to name a few. Acknowledging the bigness of God is a threat to all those things.
In the Old Testament, idolatry was a constant threat in the spiritual lives of God’s people, Israel. Idolatry was so attractive because those little gods were controllable, they could be managed and manipulated. In contrast, the true God, the God of Israel was sovereign. He was the giver of life and in control of everything in creation. It all belonged to Him and glorified Him.
For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.
The same is true of the New Testament people, Jesus’s church. He is sovereign and everything in creation belongs to Him and finds its glory in Him.
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.
Anytime I remember that trip to Uganda, I think of one thing in particular: “Our God is so big.” As we continue in our season of celebrating our Global Partners all over the world at GPBC, I am constantly struck with that same refrain, “Our God is so big.”
I am thankful every time I am reminded about the bigness of God because I know that it is my tendency to think about Jesus in terms of “my Lord, my life, my issues, my church, my family, my money, my, my, my.” Of course, Jesus cares about my life and He is certainly my Lord. But He is much more than that. He is the King of all creation, the Lord who loves all nations to the ends of the earth.
He is a big God who calls us to a big mission.
During our Global Partnership emphasis, we are asking you to consider how you can follow the call of our big God by supporting our global partners who are taking the love of Jesus to the ends of the earth. We are asking for prayer support as well as financial support for our partners and our goal is 100% participation from our GPBC community over the next year in both ways, prayer and financial support. This is not necessarily about how much you give, but it is about being together on mission with a big God who provides everything for us and in that way, everyone can give something.
We are currently collecting commitment cards through May 6 and those commitment cards designate how you are willing to give over the next fiscal year, which starts July 1. You can grab a commitment card on Sunday morning with more instructions or if you prefer, you can also make your commitment online here.
Giving to the Lord’s work in this world is one of the most profound ways that we can say, “Our God is so big.” I’m looking forward to being able to say as a church community that we are believing together how big He really is!
We look forward to seeing you this Sunday at 10:30am as we celebrate our second Global Partnership Sunday.