All artists have a masterpiece. It is their greatest work that stands far above every other work they have ever done. For some artists, the first thing they create is their masterpiece. Nothing else ever compares. For other artists, they never even get a chance to realize what their masterpiece actually was. Maybe people don’t begin to appreciate their work until after they die. But famous artists are known by their masterpiece—their single greatest work.
What is the Lord’s single greatest work? We read in Psalm 111:2, “Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.” Amen! All of the Lord’s works are great! They are “full of splendor and majesty” (v. 3). They are “wondrous” (v. 4) and truly “awesome” (v. 9). But if you had to say, what is the Lord’s greatest work? Creating the universe? Destroying the world in a flood and sparing Noah? Giving children to women who can’t have children? Parting the Red Sea? Driving out all of Israel’s enemies when he brought them into the Promised Land? What is the greatest work of the Lord?
From beginning to end, the greatest work of the Lord is his salvation of sinners in the person and work of Jesus Christ. The big picture of salvation from Genesis to Revelation is that every single work of God serves as a part of his greatest work in reconciling sinners to himself. “He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name!” (Ps. 111:9). This news is so great that the psalmist has to pause to praise the Lord! God has sent redemption to his people! Praise the Lord!
The word awesome is only found 32 times in the Bible. It’s not a word just thrown around. Even though we call many things awesome, the word should be reserved for things that are greater than anything else—things that take our breath away. What do you think of when you hear the word awesome? I think of Kentucky winning a national championship. I think of the perfect ending to a perfect book. I think of a vibrant sunset painted across the evening sky. I think of seeing Erica walk down the aisle on our wedding day and the birth of my son. But ultimately, I think of how God himself took the blow of justice my sin deserves. He has redeemed me. He paid my debt. He took my place. The Lord has sent redemption to his people! How holy and awesome is his name!
The greatest work of the Lord motivates the greatest degree of worship from his people. Do you see the Lord’s redemption as awesome? Does your heart leap for joy at the sound of the gospel? Nothing fuels glad-hearted worship and obedience like meditating on the great works of the Lord, especially his greatest work of redeeming sinners by the blood of Christ. If you feel your worship or obedience lacking, set your mind to what God has done for you in Jesus.
Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is the author of Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God (Westbow Press, 2016). He is a M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. Mathew and Erica live in Tupelo with their son, Jude. You can follow him on Twitter @mat_gilbert.