The Allness of God

May 26, 2023 | Devotions and Reflections, INSIGHTS, Soundcloud Prayers

We are used to thinking of God as the All-mighty King. I have been reflecting recently on that word ‘all,’ and the ‘allness’ – the completeness and totality – of God. John has such rich truths to share about the all-encompassing intimacy and perfect love that exists between the Father, Son and Spirit, and the completeness of their plan in bringing Creation to birth.

No wonder the word ‘all’ occurs so often in Scripture, including in over three hundred verses in the psalms. I thought it would be a blessing to record a selection of some of these to ponder on. Join Sally, Colin and Harmony and myself in the first part of this presentation here, which we have set to some lovely pieces of music we recorded last year at House of the Open Door. (We are sharing the second part further on, towards the end of this edition.)

Jesus declared that ‘The one who comes from above is above all; whereas the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks only about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what He has seen and heard . . . Whoever accepts this has certified that God is truthful. For the One whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has placed all things [everything!) in His hands.

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath, [for it remains upon them]. (John 3:31-36)

We will be familiar with similar declarations along the same lines: “The Father loves the Son and shows Him all that He is doing.” ‘Jesus knew that the Father had put everything into his hands.’ “All that the Father has is mine.” “Now they know that everything You have given Me comes from You.”

There is complete unity between the Father and the Son, the Son and the Father: “All I have is Yours, and all You have is Mine.” (John 5:20; 13:3; 16:15; 17:7, 17:10)

The great wonder is that All-mighty God so willingly draws our ‘dust and clay’ – that lives only by His breath – into a place of intimacy and ultimately, into a truly glorious inheritance. “I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father,” Jesus says. Even more remarkably, He tells us that He is sharing with us the glory that the Father had given Him! (See John 15:5; 17:22)

This concept of ‘allness’ is expressed in the ‘Shema Yisrael’ that lies at the heart of Jewish prayer and practice: “Hear o Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one. And as for you, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deut. 6:5)

To love Him with all our heart and soul and strength is not so much about the quantity of things we do for Him of our love, so much as the depth of our devotion – the love and obedience that we put into them. That’s why Jesus commended the widow who gave ‘all she had to live on’ because she gave out of her poverty, rather than merely out of her surplus. (Mk 12:43-44) There is an ‘allness’ about true love that overflows the boundaries of our own need and desires, and a willingness to hold nothing back, just as we see a complete ‘allness’ on God’s part in demonstrating the love with which He has loved us, so that we,

. . . being rooted and grounded in love, will have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Transcript

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of His covenant.

For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.

Blessed are all who take refuge in You, Lord. (Ps. 8:9; 25:10; 33:4; 31:24; 2:12)

This poor man called, and the Lord heard my cry; He saved me out of all my troubles. But when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. All night long I flooded my bed with weeping and drenched my couch with tears. The arrogant cannot stand in Your presence, and You hate all who do wrong. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. (Ps. 34:6; 6:6; 5:5; 6:6; 51:1-2)

The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. (Ps. 145:14; 34:19-20)

I sought You Lord, and You answered me; You delivered me from all my fears. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. (Ps. 34:4; 139:3)

The Lord will keep you from all harm: He will watch over your life. (Ps. 121:7)

I will extol You at all times; Your praise will always be on my lips! I will go about proclaiming aloud Your praise and telling of all Your wonderful deeds! Your goodness and love will surely follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in Your house forever. (Ps. 34:1; 23:6)

All my longings lie open before You, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from You. (Ps. 38:9)

May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. May the Lord grant all your requests. (Ps. 20:4-5)

The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made. (Ps. 145:9)

The eyes of all look to You, Lord God and You give them their food at the proper time. How abundant are the good things that You have stored up for those who fear You, that You bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in You. In the shelter of Your presence, You hide them from all human intrigues; You keep them safe in Your dwelling from accusing tongues. (Ps. 145:15; 31:20-21; 32:6)

Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. Let all the faithful pray to Him while He may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.

Lord my God, I have taken refuge in You; save and deliver me from all who pursue me. May all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. But may all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; may those who long for Your saving help say always: “The Lord is great!” Let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. (Ps. 7:1; 40;14,16; 31:24)

Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart! Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. He is righteous in all His ways and faithful in all He does. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord! (Ps. 32:11; 31:24; 145: 15,17; Eph. 5:19)

My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul. I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. All my fountains are in You. I love Your law! I meditate on it all day long. I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. Because I consider all Your precepts right, I hate every wrong path. I call with all my heart; answer me, Lord, and I will obey Your decrees. For You are near, and all Your commands are true. (Ps. 87:7, 104:33; 119:97, 10, 128, 145,151)

Music:
Torelli, Sinfonia in C, 3rd movement
Musicians:
Anthony Thompson on trumpet (all 4 of them!), Peter Richards on the organ, Francis Cummings and Shirley Richards on violin, Christiane Mueller on viola and Corinne Frost on cello.

Transcript:

I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” (Ps. 16:3)

All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold, and fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. She is altogether beautiful. There is no flaw in her. (Ps. 45:8,13; Song 4:7)

For You, Lord, take delight in Your people; You crown the humble with victory.

Let His faithful people rejoice in this honour and sing for joy on their beds. (Ps. 145:4-5)

In His temple, all cry, “Glory!” (Ps. 29:9)

Jesus, You are the Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
In You all things were created, things in Heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through You and for You.
You are before all things, and in You all things hold together.
And You are the head of the body, the church; You are the beginning and firstborn from among the dead, so that in all things You may have pre-eminence.
For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in You, and through You to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through the blood of Your cross. (Col. 1:15-20)

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your glory be over all the earth! (Ps. 108:5)

Music:
Mystery Improvisation
Musicians:
Christiane von Albrecht on piano and Shirley Richards on violin

Music:
Vivaldi, Cum Sancto Spiritu, from his Gloria in D
Musicians:
Nicola, Megan, Mike, Peter, Anthony, Francis, Philippa, Christiane M, Jo

 

Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash

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