From Him, Through Him, To HIm
vs. 36 “From From him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory”
A few years ago, my wife and I spent a good part of a day in the Art Institute of Chicago. We came upon a strikingly huge painting by a fellow name George Seurat entitled a “Sunday on La Grande Jatte.” . George Seurat was known for a type of painting known as pointillism. He used not strokes of a brush, but dots. So what I did was I walked up very close to the picture, as close as I could, and of course, all I could see dot’s of color which made no sense. When I backed up from it, I could suddenly see how all the dots came together to make the huge painting…as I kept moving back to finally strike a reasonable distance the dots of color congealed together to make a very cool painting.
Whether he knew it or not, his pointillism offers a pretty decent illustration of reality and our perception of it. Most of the time, as we live our lives, we are pretty close to the dots. We each have our small patch of the canvas which we call our own and spend our lives starring at it trying to figure it out. But since we only have dots, we can’t see much.
Is there a way to back away from your life and see it in it’s complete context? Some would say that you can do it by traveling, Others would say education helps. Certainly these things do offer some help in this. But on the whole, I think the larger part of understanding your life and the meaning of it is a spiritual question and by that I mean a question of your soul and it’s relationship with God.
My text is for this message is Romans 11:36 “ From him, and through him, and to him are all things.” Now this is a a remarkable text. Scientist have bee searching searching searching for a way to unite all sciences and get a complete picture of realty, but is right here! In the Epistle to the Romans written in 55 AD, available in most of the languages of man….more available to more people than any other writing. “From him and through him, and to him are all things.” Let’s break this down.
From him. All of this, Everything is from him. People in our age are fond of saying, that you can be Christian and still believe in the big bang and the theory of evolution, but to say that the world and all it contains is self-created is to call God a liar. To my mind, it doesn’t sound like a very good place to start… to call the one you are depending upon for life and salvation, a liar. When we sing “Praise God from whom all blessing flow,” we are speaking truth.
He is the Source of everything. And, he’s also the owner of everything . “ The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it , and the people who dwell therein" Says Psalm 24. Think about what that means! He not only made us, and the earth…. but he made and owns all the stuff of the earth. So the dots on the canvass are coming together. … We’re starting to get the picture… From him are all things.
Through him. That’s the next one. Through him are all things. He is not only the source of all that is but also the means by which they are given. He formed Adam out of the dust of the earth we are that “He knits” us together in our mother’s womb. God is involved in the intricate details of how we are made. Knows the number of hairs on our head as well as the number of our days. He’s give us our brains, our hands, our skills. He’s given us other people too…. other pole who can do stuff that we cannot do. And through him the world has been set up to work.
You’ve noticed how people are very different from one another and how nobody is exactly the same. People who do things that we can’t do, people who think of things we never thought of. People that seem to made to serve in a certain way. This is God blessing human society and supporting it through people. We talk of people having a vocation or calling for this and that. Where does the call come from…. if not from the one who made them. Other people are provided by God for us to make lives better. Again the dot’s on canvass are coming together to make a more definite picture. Everything that there is is from God and Through God. This reality. It’s not a result of randomness. Didn’t happen by chance. Human society is fostered and created by God.
How could we ever think differently? Well, our mind is a battle ground. Ever since sin entered the world, the world has been seeking to make us think that things are from us and through us. That’ comes from he father of lies who told us we could be our own source and means… that we could be our own God. that’s why Paul in this text goes not to say, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God.” Transformed. That’s what I’m talking about. Our mind transformed….so that we can see. This is the spiritual solution that allows us to see reality as it truly is.
In reference to Jesus, the Gospel of John says “Through Him all things were made, without him nothing was made that has been made.” So Jesus is none other that creator, entering creation, offering to renew our heart and our minds so that we can start seeing again…. so we can back away from the myopic view of self He does that by addressing our sins. He does that by taking them to the cross with him. To be with Jesus is to be created anew. Jesus disabuses us the self-centered; self-oriented ideas of the world. Scripture says “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has passed, new has come… all this is from God who through Christ reconciled the world to himself.”
From him, Through him….. now the last one to him. In the Roman’s passage paul writes “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your worship.” When we live in recognition that all things are from God and through God… that everything we are and have is with him, we quite naturally understand that our purpose is to serve him, to serve him with all that we are. To serve him by using what gifts we have to his glory. To serve him by seeking to live according to his commandments. To bloom where he has planted us; to love as we have been loved. Life’s picture becomes clear if we can step away from ourselves and look to God who made us and all things. to come to that place when we say it’s not about me, its about him. That’s worship. It’s the natural response to the truth. He creates us, he provides for us, he, loves us and give us life eternal. From him, through him, to him are all things…. to him be the glory AMEn