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Archive for the ‘Knowing God’ Category

In part 1 of this series, we looked at the amazing love of God as we see it in the New Testament.  In this post, we will consider how God speaks of His love for us in the Old Testament.

  • God’s love for us is individual and designed to help me – – I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Psalm 32:8  Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
  • God’s love for us is protective –  For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:5   The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2
  • God’s love for us is comforting – Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
  • God’s love for us is sympathetic and compassionate – You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? Psalm 56:8
  • God’s love for us is one of abundant provision – They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.  For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. Psalm 36:8-9
  • God’s love for us gives us hope – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
  • God’s love for us is everlasting (eternal) – The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.  Jeremiah 31:3

So much remains to be said about God’s love.  It is truly amazing.  It is His love for us that draws us to Him.  Read of Him in the pages of your Bible, the One who loved you, loves you and will love you!

In our next post, we will consider some of the word pictures and stories that the Bible provides of God’s love.

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When I think of God’s love for me (for us), I want to sing . . .  mostly because there are some great songs today about God’s love for us that capture some of the essence of it.

One song we sing at church and is on the radio has the refrain, “Amazing love, how can it be that my King would die for me?  Another has a repeating refrain, “He love us, oh how He loves us.”  The repetition of the phrase over and over starts to really speak of the limitlessness of God’s love.  Another song puts it this way, “Your love is amazing, steady and unchanging.  Your love is a mountain firm beneath my feet.”  I don’t think there is much better to sing about than the love of God for us and the manifestation of that love in the person and death of Jesus.

Of course, we learn of the great love of God for us (that causes us to sing) from the words of scripture:

  • For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  (John 3:16)
  • In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.  in this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10)
  • For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  (Rom. 5:6)
  • But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Rom. 5:8)
  • But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  not of works, lest anyone should boast.  (Eph. 2:4-9)

This love is like an avalanche that crashes over us.  It is no small thing, this love of Jesus, to be discarded as mere philosophy or self-sacrifice of one good teacher.  No, this act of love is so great that mere words cannot describe it, songs only hint at it, and pictures fall short of portraying it.  This love is an endless sea into which we pitch ourselves in desperation when we have nothing else, and there we find our Savior-God, our Kinsman Redeemer, has provided us a great yacht on which to travel in safety under His direction to see the greatest wonders of the universe, a life filled with adventure and purposeful challenges to make us like Him.  What other lover offers so much and has the resources and desire to deliver and never take back what He has given.

This is God . . . these are the mere edges of His ways.

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In the last post, I looked at the attribute of God as Elohim, the creator.  This time, I will explore God as the Light of the World and having the power to speak light into circumstances and lives.

Genesis 1:2-3 tells us “the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.  Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” The amazing truth of this verse is that God merely spoke and light entered where no light had been before.

I have experienced God’s power to speak light personally.  My life without God was without form, void, and darkness enveloped me.  God, however, was not far from me.  You might say He was hovering close to me.  One day, God said, “Let there be light” in my life, and there was light – the Light of the World.   That light now shines forth through my life (not unlike light  from a candle placed in a cracked pot), illuminating the darkness in my heart and the darkness of the world in which I live.

Jesus came to “give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”  Luke 1:79 Without a relationship with God, we are all sitting in darkness and the shadow of death (spiritual death).  When God speaks light into a life and converts a soul, He dispels the darkness and light floods that life, that heart, that soul.

Jesus said of Himself,  “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  John 8:12  Sadly, not everyone loves the light.  According to Jesus,  men are condemned because “light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil [and] everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”  John 3:19-20  It is no wonder that bars, nightclubs and similar places are all dimly lit.

Take heart, because for the overcomer, the one who lives and dies for Christ, John tells us the following about our future with God, “There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.”  Rev. 22:5

May the Light of the World shine forth His light in your life.  May He chase the darkness away permanently and use you to bring light to a dying world submerged in darkness.

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In the words of Julie Andrews, “let’s start at the very beginning . . . it’s a very good place to start.”

In Genesis 1:1, we read, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” That is where God begins His story.  It is not the beginning of God, since He is mentioned as already being present in the verse.  It is, however, the beginning for the heavens and the earth.

The attribute of God most evident in this verse for me is His power.  God simply created everything that we can see, feel, sense or hear.  Even more amazing is that He created it out of nothing (ex nihilo).  He is the all-powerful creator God.  “Elohim” is His name.  Elohim is the traditional Hebrew name for thecreator God and it mean, “The Strong One.”

Part of knowing God is knowing His power.  The most obvious evidence of His great power is the creation.  Many other scriptures refer to His role as creator and they lend some additional insights:

  • Completed in six daysExodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
  • Creation reveals God’s genuineness – Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens.
  • God created the heavens and earth to be inhabited – Isaiah 45:18 For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the LORD, and there is no other.
  • God knows all the details of creation – Job 38-41.

May you continue to meditate on the creator God.  May you worship Him, for He alone is worthy of praise.  There is none like Him, like our God.  He is the King of Glory!

Note: According to John MacArthur,  Bible teacher and commentator, the original Hebrew language here supports a recent creation (thousands, not millions of years ago).

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Thanks for all the comments you posted regarding the “One Thing”.   In thinking over the one thing I would want to convey to others to help them in their growth as a believer or simply to hang on in tough times, I have concluded that I would want them to understand who God is and how He works.  The knowledge that I have gained about God, both informational and experiential (through my experience with Him), has changed my life.  Knowing that God will never leave, has made me more able to stay when relationships get difficult.  Knowing He promises to deal with my enemies has allowed me to let go of worrying about them.  Knowing that God created everything and is sovereign over everything has helped me to trust Him with the really big issues in my life.

Within the idea of understanding God is knowing His nature and character, His past conduct, His promises for the believer and for others, His fulfilled promises,  His likes and dislike, what He has done, and what He thinks and feels about each of us, individually.

The upcoming posts will address the issue of knowing God.  I welcome your comments and input as we look at God, who He is and what He is all about.

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