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Posts Tagged ‘Attributes of God’

The LORD promises that with His love He will quiet us.  In Zephaniah 3:17, the prophet tells us, “The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

The picture is perhaps of the child who buries her face in the bosom of a parent; the small body shaking with sobs.  The parent speaks soft words, sings gentle songs of reassurance until the sobbing subsides.

This is a picture of our Heavenly Father.  He will hold you to His bosom as you pour out your sorrow, your fear, your loss, your frustration, or whatever is stealing your “quiet.”  In that moment, He whispers to you of His great love for you.  Knowing of His love, being reminded again of how much He loves you, all His promises to you, you become quiet.  He has quieted you with His love.

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It is wonderful to study and meditate on the love of God.  It is a subject that never grows old and is found on every page of the Bible and in every encounter with the living God.  As we walk with God, we find evidences of His love in our own lives, like those in the Bible.

But one might ask, “What is the take away?”

Here are some of the many things that we learn and “take away” from meditating on and living in the knowledge of God’s love:

  • We gain personal relationship with God.  When we understand the offer (John 3:16) and accept it (Romans 10:13), we become sons of God.
  • We gain eternal life.  God promises eternal life to those who believe. (Romans 6:23)
  • We gain factual knowledge to draw us toward God as we consider what He has done.
  • We gain experiential knowledge by our time spent with God, by watching how He changes us and moves in our lives.
  • We receive love, so we are able to be better givers of love.
  • We receive strength to accept difficult things from God’s hand when we know and understand and receive as truth the love of God for us.

Beloved, take time to consider, to meditate, to live in the knowledge of the love of God for you.  He loved, loves and will love you for eternity.  That should transform your life.

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In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series on knowing God through looking at the attribute of His great love for us, we discussed how the scriptures of the Old and New Testament describe the love of God.  In this post and those following, we will consider some of the pictures that God has used to illustrate His love.

Abraham and Isaac

One of the pictures of God’s love, actually a foreshadowing of the coming of Messiah, was the story of Abraham and Isaac.  You may recall the story recounted in Genesis 22 where God tests Abraham asking him to sacrifice his son Isaac on Mount Moriah.  Abraham takes his son, goes up with him to the mountain, binds his son to the altar that he built and proceeds to prepare to sacrifice his only son as God asked.  As he is lowering the knife to slay his son, God stops him.  God provides a substitute sacrifice (a ram caught in the thicket) instead of Isaac.  This picture of God’s love is the picture of the substitutionary sacrifice.  God had every right to require the first born child of his marriage to Sarah from Abraham.  Nevertheless, because of His great mercy and His promises to Abraham, God provided a sacrifice to satisfy the blood requirement.  This substitutionary sacrifice is seen again on Calvary, years later when Jesus died, once for all.  He who knew no sin, died for those who were under sin’s curse.

Deliverance of Isarael

Another great picture of the love of God and His heart for Israel (and us for whom the wall of separation was removed by the blood of Jesus) is the deliverance of Israel from Egypt.  You may recall this story from Exodus.  The people of God are in captivity in Egypt.  They have been reduced to slavery.  Their oppressors fear them and make their life difficult.  They are even forced to kill their children.  God hears their cries from their bondage, and from within the their own ranks, God raises up a deliverer, Moses.  By the hand of God on Moses, the people of God are delivered from their oppressors and allowed to follow their God and worship Him.  This picture of God the deliverer is emphasized again and again by God in the Old Testament.

By these pictures, we begin to see God’s love.  You may want to go back and read the stories in their entirety and ask God to speak to you of His great love.

In our next post, we will look at some more pictures that God provides to illustrate His gr eat and amazing 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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As we continue in our endeavor to know God more, consider Deuteronomy 31:8:  “[The LORD] is the one who goes before you.  He will be with you.  He will not leave or forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

I find the following attributes of God described in this verse:

  • God as Leader (“goes before you)
  • God as faithful companion (He will not leave or forsake you)

God goes before me to lead me.  He shows me the way not by pointing to it on some map or instruction manual.  He leads me Himself.  This speaks of His personal and intimate involvement in my life.

God asks the rhetorical question (the answer is obvious)  through the Prophet Jeremiah, “Am I a God near at hand, . . . And not a God afar off?”  Jer. 23:23

In addition to leading me and going before me, God is a faithful companion along the way.  He will not leave me or forsake (abandon, desert, or give up on) me.  Because He wants to make sure that I know He is near, He repeats the promise “I will never leave or forsake you”  many times in the Bible.  He knows that I am afraid of this.

  • Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
  • Deuteronomy 31:8 “And the LORD, He is the one who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
  • Joshua 1:5 “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.
  • 1Chronicles 28:20 And David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God-my God-will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
  • Heb 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.

No person can make this promise and ever hope to be able to keep it.  Having lost my father at age 3, I learned early that people leave and forsake us despite the best intentions.  Only God can make the promise to always be with me and really carry it out.  He alone is God.

To the only true God, my leader and ever faithful companion, be honor and glory forever!

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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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