Search This Blog

Friday, July 13, 2018

God: God Is Good

Psalm 119:68 says, "You are good, and what you do is good." Everything that God does is good, because goodness is a part of God's character.  Psalm 145:9 says, "The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made." God is always good and He is good to everyone. Jesus said, "He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45).

We all experience God's goodness every day in countless ways that we aren't even aware of.  Every blessing in your life is a sign of God's goodness. You've probably had one of those moments when everything came together in your life and it all seemed just about perfect. Did it make you say, "Thanks, Lord. You are good!"

God is good even when everything isn't perfect in our lives. In fact, God is good even when everything is falling apart.  God's goodness doesn't come and go.  It is a constant in our lives.  That's why Paul says that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him" (Romans 8:28). Even our worst days contain signs of God's goodness.

Because God is good we don't have to worry about being good enough to earn his favor.  God delights in doing good things for his children, just like any good parent, even more so.  It pleases Him to show us his goodness by forgiving us, by blessing us, by graciously giving good things that we have not earned or deserved.

What does this mean? We do not have to live our lives in fear. God is good and is eager to do good to us. We should rejoice in His goodness every day.  We need to keep our eyes opened and our minds attuned to God's goodness in our lives so that we can give Him thanks and praise.  Because God is good to us, we should be good to others, not repaying evil for evil but showing goodness to everyone we meet.  In this way we will shine the light of God's goodness in their lives.  Goodness is one of the fruits of the Spirit that should be evident in our lives because we know God and have experienced his goodness.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

God: God Is Holy

God is holy. Perfect. Righteous. In every way.  What more is there to say? "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he" (Deuteronomy 32:4).

Every aspect of our morality, our perception of right and wrong, is based entirely on the character of God.  God has no character flaws. And his character defines virtue.  Anything out of sync with God's character is evil.  Everything in accord with God's character is good. Without the holiness of God as its standard, there could be no morality, no universal standard of right and wrong by which to judge conduct.

If there is no God, then there is no basis for morality other than what each individual thinks at the moment. It is entirely subjective and changeable.  Therefore, apart from God there is no such thing as morality.

God's holiness is beautiful. "One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple" (Psalm 27:4). As King David said in First Chronicles 16:29, God's perfect character moves us to "worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness."

God wants us to strive to emulate his holiness in our lives. Jesus said: "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). Some people argue that it is impossible for us to be perfect so it's foolish to even try.  You will only be depressed and discouraged by your failure.  But that is not true.  Paul says, "Aim for perfection" (2 Corinthians 13:11). Paul can say that even though he knows we will never achieve it because he also knows that God's grace is perfect.  It covers all our sins and shortcomings so that we don't have to be discouraged by our failures.

What does this mean? If you want to know the difference between right and wrong, don't listen to the world. The world will constantly redefine morality to suit its own selfish whims.  Look to God and his Word. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32). When you want the strength to do the right thing, ask God and He will supply.  With David we should say,  "It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect" (Psalm 18:32). It is foolish for us to try and do the right thing on our own, or in our own strength. Walk by faith in Jesus, who was Holy for us, and who gives us his Holy Spirit so that we may live holy and God pleasing lives.

Friday, July 6, 2018

God: God Is Omniscient

Omniscient is a word used only to describe God, unless it is used as hyperbole to describe an extremely intelligent and knowledgeable person. The word literally means "all knowledge."  That is exactly what God has at his disposal.  In fact, God is the source of all true knowledge.  Where did the laws of nature come from?  They were established by God.  What about the incredible amounts of information stored in our DNA that makes life possible?  It was written by God. Mathematics and music were both invented by God. 

God has all knowledge not only of the physical world, but of all things past, present and future. There is nothing that is unknown to God.  Even your secret sins are known to God.  That is why we must not try to hide our sins but confess them to Him and seek God's mercy. 

God understands things that we could not possibly understand.  His wisdom and understanding far exceed anything that we are capable of knowing or learning.  That is why some things about God are a mystery to us.  I like to tell people that my brain isn't big enough to wrap all the way around God.  It would be frightening to me if I could understand God completely.  That would mean that the God who is in charge of everything is no smarter than I am.  And having someone no smarter than me in charge of everything would be an utter disaster!

What does this mean? When life doesn't seem to make any sense, and everything seems to be careening out of control, we can be confident that God understands what is going on, even if you and I don't. God has infinitely more information about any given situation than we do.  So even if we can't figure out why God is allowing something to happen, or doing something that doesn't make sense to us, we can trust that He really does know what He is doing. 

When we are looking for advice on how to deal with someone or something in life, we can be confident in seeking guidance in God's Word.  The Bible is God's source of wisdom for our lives.  Whatever God tells us in his Word we can trust.  He is not mistaken about anything. So when you're trying to figure out a difficult problem in life, get into God's Word and see what he will reveal to you.  His wisdom is there for your to access and apply to your life. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

God: God Is Omnipresent

God is the creator of everything that exists, including the space-time continuum in which we live. We function in three dimensions of space and one dimension of time. Scientists, however, based on what we know and understand about the universe and the laws of physics that govern the universe have calculated that there must be at least 11 dimensions, most of which we are unable to access.

God, however, being supernatural and existing apart from everything that He created occupies and functions in every dimension of the universe. And because God is eternal, there is no dimension of space or time where God is not present. He is everywhere at all times, past, present, and future. 

That is why the Psalmist wrote, "Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast" (Psalm 139:7-10).

This also means that there is no sin that we can hide from God. "You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence." This is why it is so important for us to confess our sins and seek God's grace and forgiveness in Jesus.

However, if anyone persistently rejects God and the grace that He offers us in Jesus Christ, that person will spend eternity apart from God and God's presence. Thus, we should pray with David, "Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me" (Psalm 51:11).

The most wonderful promise concerning heaven is that when we are there we will be in the presence of God in a more wonderful way than we have ever experienced before. "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand" (Psalm 16:11). 

What does this mean? God's omnipresence is a wonderful truth that should give us great peace and confidence in every circumstance.  No matter where we are, no matter what we are going through, God is there with us, and for us. He will guide us. He will hold us fast in his loving hands. Never fear, for you are always in God's presence for He is present everywhere. And when we have been kept safe by his presence through every trial of this life, He will bring us home to live in his presence for all eternity.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

God: God Is Omnipotent

Omnipotent is one of those big words we don't use very often and we have to think for a second about what it means.  It's from the Latin. Omni means "all" and Potent means "powerful."  God is all powerful.  

That should be obvious to us to us when we look at creation.  We scan the sky with the help of a powerful space-based telescope like Hubble and we see an estimated 100 billion galaxies! We're talking galaxies, not just single stars. A hundred billion galaxies! Who can fathom the power that it took to create such a universe from nothing?  It is incomprehensible!

The Bible tells us that nothing is impossible with God.  God can do anything, anything that is, except something that violates his character.  God cannot be evil, because evil is not a part of his character.  Also, God can choose to limit what He does in a given situation.  The limitation is self-imposed and does not in any way alter the fact that God can do anything. Look at the Son of God hanging on the cross. He chose not to assert his divine power to rescue Himself from death at the hands of evil men, because He knew that his death would atone for our sins.  That was a self-limitation.  Could He have stepped down from the cross at any time? Of course He could have.

Miracles are common in Scripture. Even though miracles violate the laws of nature, God can do miracles because He established the laws of nature.  It is not too difficult for Him to do something that appears "impossible" according to the laws of nature.  Because He established them, He can also circumvent the laws of nature whenever He sees fit.

Because God is omnipotent, He will never get tired, grow weary or wear out.  He has all power at his disposal all of the time.  All power. Unlimited power. Absolute power.

What does this mean? You'll never find yourself is a situation that is too difficult for God to handle.  You need never doubt that He can intervene for you at any time, in any way imaginable.  However, that doesn't mean that He will.  Remember, I said that God can choose to limit his power, or simply choose not use it in a given circumstance. 

Sometimes, it's hard for us to understand why He chooses not to intervene with his divine power, but we need to remember that God is love.  He works all things, good and bad alike, for our good because He loves us.  We might wish that He would intervene in some miraculous way when we're facing a tough situation, but that is his sovereign choice.  

Nevertheless, when you're overwhelmed by whatever it is that you're up against, remember that God's power is never too small to see you through.  He is all powerful.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

God: God Is Love

One of the most wonderful things that the Bible tells us about God is that God is love. This should not surprise us in any way.  God loved us so much that He sacrificed his own Son in order to reconcile us to Himself.  But why should a Being who has existed eternally, wholly sufficient in and of Himself, have any conception of love? 

I believe that the reason God is love is because God is Triune.  The word Trinity or Triune is never used in the Bible.  It is a term Christians have coined to describe how God has revealed Himself to us in his Word.  The Bible clearly states that God is One and there is only One True God.  At the same time, God has revealed Himself to us in three distinct persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

You can find all three persons of the Trinity in the very first chapter of the Bible. God the Father is the Creator at work to form the universe.  God the Holy Spirit is also present and active, "hovering over the waters." From the Gospel of John we know that Jesus Christ, the Son of God is the Word of God made flesh, and that "through him all things were made." Thus, we see the Son of God active in creation in the repeated formula, "and God said..."

There are numerous clear references to the Trinity all through the Old and New Testaments. Thus, we understand that although God existed alone before creation began, God existed in relationship with Himself from eternity and before He created anything or anyone else.  Because this is true, clearly God is by nature relational.  And relationships involve love. Of course, human relationships also involve conflict. Why was there never any conflict between the three persons of the Trinity throughout eternity? Although there are three persons, there is only one God. All three persons are of one substance and therefore there can be no conflict within the Trinity.

Don't try to figure out how there can be only one God yet three persons.  You and I are not smart enough to understand the Trinity.  We can't wrap our brains around God!  We can only accept what God has clearly revealed to us.

So what does this mean?  A God who has existed in relationship from eternity is a God who understands love.  God is love because God is relational. You can always count on God's love.  It knows no limits.  God was willing to take our place and bear our punishment in order to atone for our sins so that we could be restored to a relationship with Him.  Truly, that kind of a God is love!

Monday, June 25, 2018

God: God Is

God Is. That is a very simple but profound statement. The implication of that statement that I want to explore is this: God is eternal. The famous atheist Richard Dawkins likes to ask, "Who made God?"  It is a foolish question. Everything that has a beginning must have a cause. But behind every cause there must necessarily be one uncaused eternal cause of everything else.

A few decades ago scientists liked to argue that the universe was eternal, until the universe itself provided irrefutable evidence that it had a beginning.  Scientists called it "the big bang."  What caused the big bang? According to science it just happened when an infinitesimally small point of matter and energy exploded and the universe was born.  But I would ask, "Where did that point of matter/energy come from?" If it existed eternally, what caused it to explode? Since it had remained an infinitesimally small point of matter and energy from eternity, then there was nothing within it to cause it to explode.  Something external must have done that. Otherwise it would still be infinitesimally small. 

God is. He has existed from eternity and always will exist. He is the cause of everything else that exists, including time and space, matter and energy. If there is no God, then nothing at all would exist.

Because God is eternal, God is also immutable, that is, unchangeable.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  His character never changes. His power never changes.  His wisdom never changes. His love never changes.

Because God existed before time and He created time, therefore He is not affected by time. God is. You cannot say that God was, because He always IS. You cannot say that God will be, because He is in the future right now! He knows the end from the beginning because He is apart from time. Just as He is not bound by the dimensions of space that we experience, so He is not bound by the dimension of time that we live in.  Time is what allows us to experience change. Without time there would be no change.  As a result, God, who is eternal and exists apart from time, does not change. 

What does this mean?  You can count on God! He is always there for you. He will never cease to be there.  He is always the same.  Therefore His love for you will never change.  His power to help you will never change. We live in a world of constant change, and this can leave us feeling very unsettled. Let God be your constant in a world of change.  God is.