Wednesday, April 8, 2015

About God - Part 3

The Self-Existence of God 

Where did God come from? This is a good question, well at least a good starting point. It reveals a lot about the way we think. We came from our parents. The litter of kittens from the mama cat. The flowers in the garden from small seeds. Light and warmth from the sun. The wind...well, I have no idea where the wind comes from but I wish it would go back there. I digress. 

We are created beings and came from something. We have a beginning. We are a part of the timeline. 

"God has no origin," said Novatian, and it is precisely this concept of no-origin which distinguishes That-which-is-God from whatever is not God." [Knowledge of the Holy, Tozer]

That is a lot to wrap our minds around. God is lot limited by time. He exists outside of time. That is why he told Moses to tell the Israelites that He is "I AM WHO I AM" 

God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” 
And He said, “Say this to the people of Israel, 
I am has sent me to you.’” 
Exodus 3:14

Psalm 90:2 tells us that God existed before our world:

Before the mountains were brought forth,
    or ever you had formed the earth and the world,

    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

God is self-existent, meaning He needs nothing to exist apart from Himself. He does not need oxygen, water or food. He does not need sleep or rest. He does not need a dwelling place. He does not need us. But He chose to create us and love us to display His love and majesty. Chose is the key word. 

Chosen sounds so personal. So loving. So kind. 

Remember playing kickball at recess. Two captains choosing one by one who would be on their team? We all would be silently praying, "Please pick me. Don't let me be the last one standing. Choose me."

God chooses you. Rest in that for a moment. 

The more we contemplate how magnanimous God actually is, the smaller we will feel and the greater our dependence on such a great God will grow. 

Could this great, majestic God actually care about our lives? I mean, even the small things in our lives? Do you ever feel like only praying about the big things since God probably doesn't care about the smaller, daily events of our lives? 

Steve Lawson in the DVD series, the Attributes of God, reminds us "compared to His greatness and self-sufficiency, ALL THINGS in our lives are small; yet, He invites us to come to Him anyway." He calls us as His children if we have repented of our sins and trust in Jesus as our only Savior. 

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, 
that we should be called children of God;  
1 John 3:3a

And because you are sons
God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, 
crying, “Abba! Father!” 
So you are no longer a slave, 
but a son, and if a son, 
then an heir through God
Galations 4:6-7

Do you cry out to God? Do you call on the great, self-sufficient One to help you reflect His Son to a lost world? To your children? And husband? 

What is stopping you? 

 In trifles as well as in nobler exercises the believer should be conscious of his own inability,—should never say of any act, “Now I am strong enough to perform this; I need not go to God in prayer about this; this is so little a thing; it is beneath the dignity of God, and I am quite sufficient for it by myself.” No, believer, you are sufficient for nothing at all; without Christ you can do nothing that is good, nothing that is right. “We do not have sufficiency in ourselves to think anything of ourselves, but our sufficiency is in God.” John Newton quoted on AIG {emphasis added}

For more information, I highly suggest A. W. Tozer's book, Knowledge of the Holy. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

About God - Part 2

Mountains photo SouthTyrolDolomitesItaly.jpg
Photo credit Photobucket
Thus says the Lord“Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” [Jeremiah 9:23-24]

What should we boast in according to God? That we understand and know Him. Wow! There is so much about God that totally blows my mind and I cannot even wrap my puny brain around things like His being infinite or any of the omni's. 

But it delights God that I spend time and energy trying to learn more. What could be better than pleasing God? 

So what is involved in knowing God? J. I. Packer in his book, Knowing God, describes four things that are required to know God: 

1. Listening to God's Word and receiving it as the Holy Spirit interprets it and applying it to your life. 

We must read and be in our Bibles. God gave us a book that tells about His beautiful story. If we are not grounded in His Word which is full of truth, then our minds will be tempted to invent our own truths {which fall short and are easily distorted by emotion and culture}. 
We need to study God and His Word, "so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes." {Ephesians 4:14}

2. Noting God's nature and character, as His Word and works reveal it.

What is required in order to know another person? Spending time with them. Investing in things they are interested in. Celebrating things they celebrate. 

No matter how much you try to imagine another person, you cannot know them until you actually talk with them and find out what they are truly like.

In addition, no matter how much you sacrifice {time, money, energy, interest}, it is up to the other person as to how much, if at all, they want to open themselves up to you. You can only know a person as much as they will allow you into their lives and thoughts. 

It is not this way with God. He has revealed Himself in the Bible. It tells about Him, what He likes, what He despises. It tells how to please Him and how to upset Him. His character and nature is clearly described in His holy Word. 

Just as an example, see what we can learn about God from the Jeremiah verses above. We see that He is loving, just and righteous and He delights in such things from His children.

3. Accepting His invitations and doing what He commands.

God has commandments that He clearly describes in the Bible. Jesus says in John 14:15, "If you love meyou will keep my commandments." I think that is pretty straight forward, don't you? 

If you spend time in God's Word and find out what He requires of you and you willfully choose to not obey, then you might want to ask yourself,

Do you really love God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength? 

4. Recognizing and rejoicing in the love that He has shown in approaching you and drawing you into this divine fellowship. 

God does not owe us anything. He has given us life but we daily choose to rebel against Him. Our sin separates us from Him. It is through His amazing grace {giving us what we do not deserve}, through the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ, which makes it possible for us to be friends with God. 

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. {Romans 5:8}
This should cause our hearts to rejoice and worship God Almighty! And as we rejoice, we are drawn closer to Him and His heart. 

Do you wish to know God better? Someone said one time {I don't remember who or else I would give props} that, "You can have as much of God as you want, in fact, you already do."

"One of the most wonderful things about knowing God is that 
there is always so much more to know. Just when we least expect it, 
He intrudes into our neat and tidy notions about who He is and how He works." 
 Joni Eareckson Tada

"Being infinite, God is inexhaustibly interesting. 
It is therefore impossible that God be boring." 
John Piper

Monday, January 26, 2015

About God - Part 1

Do you know anything about God? Do you even think there is a God? Some of us grew up in Sunday School always believing there is a God and others need a bit more convincing.

This article {or series of articles} is aimed at the person who says they know there is a God, but maybe does not know Him as well as they should. Wait. Does it matter if you don't know much about God? As long as you acknowledge Him, does it matter if you know His attributes or characteristics?

Knowing God changes everything.

J. I. Packer says in his book "Knowing God"

"As it would be cruel to an Amazonian tribesman to fly him to London, put him down without explanation in Trafalgar Square and leave him, as one who knew nothing of English or England, to fend for himself, so we are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it."

He goes on...

"The world becomes a strange, mad,  painful place and life in it a disappointing and unpleasant business, for those who do not know about God. Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you.

This way you can waste your life and lose your soul." [emphasis added]

Do you feel like life is a strange, mad, painful place? Disappointed and unpleasant? Do you feel as if you may be stumbling in the dark with no sense of direction?

Maybe it is time you seek after the One Who created the world and Who runs it.

I have started a study on the Attributes of God and it is wonderful! God has never been more perfectly magnificent in my life and so unfathomably ginormous...but also never more real, close, compassionate and loving as He is now.

As Christians, we say we want eternal life, and Jesus Himself defines it as this in John 17:3,

"Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You have sent."

What is eternal life? Knowing God. Do you know Him? If not, what is stopping you?

Follow along as I walk through the attributes I am learning each week and I pray that the true and living God will use the feeble words I type to encourage you and bless you.

It's all for His glory!