August:  Inspiring awe and reverence, imposing, magnificent, revered, lordly, grand

The month of August was named in honor of Augustus (“the exalted”) by the Roman Senate.  They gave him power over the civil, religious and military affairs making him emperor.  Rome achieved great glory under Octavian/Augustus.  He restored peace after 100 years of civil war; maintained an honest government and a sound currency system; extended the highway system connecting Rome with its far-flung empire; developed an efficient postal service; fostered free trade among the provinces; and built many bridges, aqueducts and buildings adorned with beautiful works of art created in the classical style.  Literature flourished with writers including Virgil, Horace, Ovid and Livy all living under the emperor’s patronage.  The empires expanded under Augustus with his generals subduing Spain, Gaul (now France), Panonia and Dalmatia (now parts of Hungary and Croatia).  He annexed Egypt and most of southwestern Europe up to the Danube River.  After his death, the people of the Roman Empire worshipped Augustus as a god and was referred to as The Divine Augustus.  (Lucidcaf'e:  Library)


Augustus was certainly a notable historical figure and worthy of having a month of the calendar named for him; but he was not worthy of being elevated to the status of god.  We will remember him and give him due respect for his place in history; but he nor anyone else who has ever lived, or ever shall, can attain the office of god.  His kingdom was under the Lordship and Kingship of our God!  God allowed his place in history to be what it was.

“By me kings reign…” (Proverbs 8:15) 

It is our God who is “august” and rules over all the earth; He rules the rulers!  Jesus instructed his disciples to “give Caesar his due” but he was not god as he supposed.

“…Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).


So we conclude that it is God who deserves the title of “August.”  He is awesome and magnificent beyond description!  We revere Him as no other; He cannot be compared with anyone but Himself.  Can we renew our view of our Sovereign, All-Mighty God and give Him the place in our lives that He deserves—and desires—to have?  Can we allow Him to “paint” us with His glorious colors so that others who see us will know Him? 


Can you remember the old black and white TV?  At that time, we probably never expected the picture to be in “living color” some day.  After viewing programs in vivid colors, it is not as interesting to see even an old beloved classic film in black and white.  Many of them have been colorized, but it is never as ‘true-color’ as those that are filmed in color originally or the live programs that are sent to us in color.  Would you want to go back to black and white TV?  Probably not.  Once we have had a taste of the beautiful colors on our TV screen, it would be a little boring to sit through all black and white again.


As I thought about this, I began to wonder how we Christians are presenting our God to others who may not know Him as well as we do or maybe not at all.  Paul said we were letters (from God) read by others.  Is our enthusiasm about Him portrayed as the amazing, wonderful, august God that He is?  Or have we allowed our relationship to wane until it is seen only in ‘black and white’ instead of the Rainbow burst of Love and Light that God has freely given us and wants us to share with a world in darkness so they can see Him too?

What a dull world this would be if there were no colors!  The Psalmist said that the heavens declared the glory of God.  Think of all the colors in the world (and the universe), the sunrise of a new day, a multicolored sunset, twinkling stars and a smiling moon, spring flowers being visited by birds, butterflies and insects in the spring and multi-hued plant life in the fall.  The list is endless.  There are millions of colors!  And God created them all.  Is this not evidence that God is not dull or colorless? 


The blueprint Moses received to build the tabernacle in the wilderness was laced with bright beautiful colors.  He was shown the original in the heavens and used it as the pattern for the one that would accompany the children of Israel as they traveled toward the Promise Land.  The drab desert must have sung when the priests erected the structure each time they stopped for camp and waited for marching orders from God.


After the world was destroyed by the first flood, God gave Noah a symbol of confidence that it would never happen again – a rainbow.  Isn’t that just like Him to fill the sky with all the colors of a rainbow to represent Himself, promising that the world would not be destroyed again by a flood! 


No, our God is not to be displayed in black and white; He is all the colors He created blended into the beauty of His glory: 

“And he [Moses] said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.  And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.  And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, the LORD, The LORD God merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abundace in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty…” (Exodus 33:18, 34:5-7).

What a pallet of blended colors!  Merciful, gracious, longsuffering, abundant in goodness and truth, merciful, forgiving, just.  It caused such an impact on Moses that his face shone from exposure to God’s pallet.  Before he could deliver the message to Israel waiting at the foot of the mountain, he had to cover his face with a veil.  They couldn’t stand to look at his face while it glowed with the brightness and glory of God.


Can the world see that ‘august rainbow’ of God’s glory in our lives or are they seeing us in black and white, dull and lacking the luster of the glory of God?  No matter how they try to fill their lives with things and activities, it will never have the ‘rainbow pallet’ of God until they embrace what He has prepared specifically for them.  And He is waiting for folks like us to display Him in the full Technicolor of His glory so they will be receptive to His wooing.  He wants His followers to be seen in true color, not black and white “colorized” and lacking the full truth that will set them free from Dullville.  We are to be original and faithful to the truth in our daily lives, not just going through the motions without real motivation, colorless.  When God’s glory is reflected in us, we will glow with the colorful essence of God Himself.  There is nothing artificial or superficial about our God.  He said of Himself, He does not change; He is constant, consistent and always true.  To display God’s loveliness, we must “put on Christ,” and we can’t put on Christ until we “put in Christ.”  The glow has to come from the inside to be real and inspiring.

“For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the LORD will lighten my darkness” (2 Samuel 22:29).


There is an enemy to color; his name is Satan.  He wants to paint everything gray, no black or white, no color.  He wants the color lines to be so blurred that we think all colors are the same—gray.  Nothing is intrinsically good or evil, just situational ethics.  Anything goes if the occasion calls for it.  We need the presence of the Holy Spirit to keep our eyes clear and on a sharp outlook for anything that tends to gray our vision.  Our “color chart” is God’s Word that we can hide in our hearts like King David. 

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).

David knew about God’s rainbow, and we too can live in its hues, keeping our heart safe and our vision clear by the Word hidden deep within our hearts like David did.  God called him a “man after His own heart.”  In a sermon, Paul reminded his own people, Israel, of their colorful heritage and God’s commitment to David, a great king who loved God and kept the color in his life. 

“…I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will” (Acts 13:22).

May we shed our black and white existence, avoid the gray areas and move into the million-plus colors realm of our Creator.  Once we have lived in the brightness of His "august rainbow," we can never be content to move back into darkness; the colors of His grace will always have a gravitational pull toward His glorious presence.  Thank God for mercy that keeps grace alive and keeps us attached to the Kingdom of millions of colors.  One day we will see all God’s glory with our glorified vision that can look upon His face – and live—forever!













Music:  How Great Thou Art

Picture from

@ There's Good News August 2009


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