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God is the Substance

Below is a well known quote by the great theologian, Jonathan Edwards, but it bears repeating. We are in daily need of being reminded of the greatness of who God is. We know that every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of lights (James 1:17), but we must also recognize that every gift we have here should lead us to worship of God. Psalm 43:4 reminds us, “Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy.” Commentators note that phrase “my exceeding joy” is literally “the joy of my joys.” God is the root joy in any joy we have or experience in this life. We must turn every moment of this life back to the Provider of every good thing. Certainly we are given good gifts here, but we must remember that the realities of this life are but shadows compared to the inheritance we will receive one day when we meet God face to face in glory.

God is the highest good of the reasonable creature. The enjoyment of him is our proper; and 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. Better than fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of any, or all earthly friends. These 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 fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean.

Jeremy Kimble (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Cedarville University. He is an editor for Credo Magazine as well as the author of That His Spirit May Be Saved: Church Discipline as a Means to Repentance and Perseverance and numerous book reviews. He is married to Rachel and has two children, Hannah and Jonathan.

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