Posts by :
“For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.”
God has life in Himself. His life is not derived from any other source. He is self-existent and self-sustained. He was in the beginning when there was none else. He is the Source of life and the Giver of life. God created animal life, aquatic life, and plant life. When the first man was formed, God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). Our physical life is a gift from God. Life is found in Him. To the grieving family of Lazarus, Jesus referred to Himself as the “resurrection, and the life” (John 11:25). He then raised Lazarus from the dead. When Hezekiah was sick unto death, God added fifteen years to his life. Only God, Who is life, could raise people from the dead or extend a life by an act of His will. About giving His own life, Jesus said, “â¦I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father” (John 10:17, 18).
Not only does God give physical life; He also is the source of spiritual life. Adam was told that if he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would die. Disobedience cannot bring life, but rather death. Adam chose to disobey God, and immediately he experienced spiritual death. He continued to live physically, but not spiritually. That death passed upon all men. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Only God can restore spiritual life. Religion alone cannot give life. When a person turns from his sin and trusts Christ as Savior, God instantly gives him spiritual life. This life is everlasting. There is no spiritual life outside of Jesus Christ. He is the Giver of life – physical, spiritual, eternal, and also meaningful. “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
The most fulfilling life is found in Jesus Christ. The life He gives is measured both in quantity and quality. This gift of life has no end – either in its duration or in its fulfillment. Our world is filled with people searching for meaning and purpose in the wrong places. Our message is clear and simple. Life is found in Jesus.
“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.”
God is truth. It is impossible for God to lie. His promises will never fail. God’s veracity knows no equal. Many have asked, “What is truth?” Jesus told us what truth is. He proclaimed in John 14:6, “I am . . . the truth.” Everything He says is true. “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). God is honest in every way. There is no deception, falsehood, or fiction in Him. God is real and not imaginary. His truth will never change, for “his truth endureth to all generations” (Psalm 100:5). God would have us to know that in every way and in every word, He can be trusted completely. His Word is the standard for truth. The Word of God is the supreme test for every doctrine and every opinion of man. When anyone or anything is in disagreement with the Scripture, we can be certain that the Bible is true. Romans 3:4 says, “let God be true, but every man a liar.” God wants us to know the truth and be people of the truth.
From the beginning, Satan has attempted to cause men to doubt the Word of God. Jesus said of the enemy that he is the father of lies, and there is no truth in him. The devil’s first words to Eve in Genesis 3:1 were “hath God said.” The wiles of our adversary have not changed. He is vigilant in his attempts to cause men to question the trustworthiness of God’s Word. Lies and deception bring men into bondage, but the truth is liberating. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Satan has brought many into bondage through falsehoods and empty promises. In order for us to endure the spiritual attacks of the enemy, we need to be saturated in the truth. The first part of the armor of God mentioned in the Scripture instructs us to have our loins girt about with truth. Multitudes have been led into error because they were not grounded in the truth.
Because God is truth, He hates lying. Lying takes many forms, such as hypocrisy, exaggerations, and deception. God desires “truth in the inward parts” (Psalm 51:6). One of the most important commitments we could ever make is a commitment to walk in the truth. We need to be truthful and honest with ourselves, with others, and with God. Because God is truth in its highest and holiest form, if we are to walk with Him, we must walk in sincerity and in the truth.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
What is on the mind of God? Perhaps a better question might be, “Who is on the mind of God?” What occupies His thoughts? The Bible helps us understand the contemplative nature of God. God is thoughtful. In our text, Jeremiah is communicating with a nation that would spend years in Babylonian captivity because of their disobedience and idolatry. Even as they were being chastised, they were on God’s mind. His thoughts of them were “not of evil” but “thoughts of peace.” What a powerful illustration of the thoughtfulness of God! God wanted to see them restored to Him and to their promised land.
There are times when our thoughts are not as mindful of God as they should be, and yet we can be confident that we are in His thoughts. David said in Psalm 139:17, 18 “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand.” God’s thoughts of us are good thoughts and more than we could possibly number. What a great encouragement to know that we are on God’s mind today! When many people imagine what God might be thinking of them, they do not believe that God’s thoughts are positive. He cares about us, and His thoughts are for our best interest and blessing.
What about our thoughts or our thinking patterns? Controlling our thoughts or directing our thinking is one of the most important disciplines of the Christian life. Our thoughts will influence our attitudes and emotions, and our attitudes will affect our actions. Many people are defeated because they do not think they can win. We must learn to control our thoughts and make certain that we are thinking properly and Biblically. The Psalmist said, “We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple” (Psalm 48:9). It is good for us to dwell upon the goodness of God in our lives. Satan wants us to focus on the negative and how things have not gone our way. Negative, critical, and evil thoughts have a devastating effect on our spiritual progress. God is committed to thinking positively about our potential and His plans for us. Likewise, we must learn to think in harmony with His Word.
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
Of all the attributes that make up the glorious nature of God, none is more obvious and undeniable than this: God is generous. He is the greatest Giver. Think of the leaves on the trees, the fish in the seas, the birds in the air, the sands along the ocean floor, and the stars in the sky. Count them if you can. God is not miserly. He feeds the creatures of all the earth. “The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing” (Psalm 145:15, 16).
Our text reminds us of the greatest demonstration of God’s generosity. He “spared not his own Son.” God is so giving that He did not withhold His own Son. The Lord did not give something that was meaningless, but He gave His greatest treasure that we might have forgiveness of sins and eternal life. God did not give His Son to die for us because it was easy or painless. He gave Jesus to be sacrificed for your sins and mine because it is His nature to give. It is His nature to sacrifice. That is the way God is. Paul used this reality to encourage the Roman Christians. If God is so loving and generous that He gave His Son for our redemption, “how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” We will never have a need more profound than our need of forgiveness and reconciliation. If God gave so much to bring us to Himself, we have every reason to believe that God will continue to provide what we need. He will give us peace, joy, wisdom, purpose, etc.
We are confronted and challenged with our individual responsibility in light of the nature of God. If God is so generous, should we not likewise be known for our generosity? It is inconceivable that the children of the great and giving God would be stingy in their personal lives. Some of the people in the Bible that are especially remembered and commended are individuals with outstanding generosity. The poor widow who gave her two mites was recognized for her great giving. The woman who poured the alabaster box of ointment on Jesus’ head will forever be remembered for her giving. The Macedonian churches served as examples of the kind of generosity that should be found in the Lord’s churches. Like our Father, it is in our nature to give.
“Let all things be done decently and in order.”
I Corinthians 14:40
The work of God is done with order and arrangement, and He wants things done in an orderly way. His orderliness is seen in the days of creation. He designed His world with boundaries and order. He limited the area of the waters in relation to the dry ground. He separated the night from the day and arranged for a schedule that includes days and years. He planned into His creation seasons and included a day of rest. He clearly instructed Adam concerning his responsibilities and made certain the first man knew there was a tree from which he was not to eat. He then informed Adam of the consequences if he disobeyed.
This is the God that we love and serve. He has the power to do anything He wishes – at any time He wishes – and can operate completely with spontaneity or impulse. However, we see that He acts with deliberation and planning. For instance, the Bible tells us that in the plan of God, Jesus is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). Before there was a sinner, the Savior was prepared; before there was a need, God had a supply. Then the Bible says that, “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son” (Galatians 4:4). Jesus came to this earth exactly when He was scheduled to come.
Knowing that God is orderly should motivate us to insist on some order and schedule in our lives. This does not imply that there should be no room in our calendar for modification or spontaneous responding to unforeseen opportunities or needs. We ought always to be open to the Spirit’s leadership and be flexible enough to recognize the need to restructure our schedule. However, when there is a lack of organization in our daily lives, the result will often be poor stewardship of our time. The word orderly implies organization. There should be order in the form of budgeting our personal finances. By prioritizing our responsibilities, we can make sure we have the time for things that are most important. Organization will help bring consistency into our personal lives. One reason we are sometimes inconsistent with our Christian service or devotional lives is because our lives are not characterized by order. Where there is no order, there will, in all likelihood, be confusion or chaos. The busier we are, the more incumbent it is for us to bring order to our lives.
“Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great.”
II Samuel 22:36
These were the words of David near the end of his life. God certainly had blessed David’s life in so many ways. He had been taken from caring for his father’s sheep to ruling the nation of Israel. He had seen great military victories with the help of God, including the slaying of Goliath. The Lord had given a host of mighty men to serve with and under David. God used David to write many of the Psalms. With the help of God, David became one of the greatest men to ever live. David said to God, “thy gentleness hath made me great.”
When we think of God and all of His powerful attributes, we might not consider His gentleness. The Bible records for us numerous examples of God’s might and power. We see such demonstrations as the lightning and thunder on Mt. Sinai, the earth opening and swallowing the rebellious Korah, the dividing of the Red Sea, the feeding of Israel with manna, or the floodwaters covering the wicked in Noah’s day. However, just as surely as God is powerful, He is also gentle. If He so desired, God could always act in overpowering might, but it is not His nature to do so. God is great, and He made David great in His gentleness. He can as easily speak in a still small voice as in the thunder. God is not overbearing or brutish. He is not cruel, unkind, or unreasonable. He does not act impulsively or inconsiderately. God is approachable and kind. God could accomplish His will by being forceful and demanding, but that is not the way He usually is. The hymn writer gave us these words, which aptly describe this attribute of God: “Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, Calling for you and for me.”
Sometimes we wonder why God seems to be so longsuffering with rebels, and we wish that He were not so. However, we must be reminded, and also grateful for the fact that He has been extremely gentle with us. That is His nature, and it is a wonderful characteristic to consider. It is remarkable that a God Who made everything out of nothing and knows everything about everyone, would choose to be so meek and considerate. Because our Father is gentle, He would have us to be gentle as well. Gentleness is a characteristic of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. As the Spirit fills our lives, the gentleness of Christ will be expressed through us.
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
This is one of the most wonderful and frequently misunderstood attributes of our eternal God. He is personal. He wants us to know Him. As a matter of fact, this is the primary purpose of man: to know God. He knows us individually and completely. He wants us to fellowship with Him. We see this characteristic in action in the Garden of Eden. God is seen walking with the first man, Adam, and talking with Adam. This is the nature of God. When Adam sinned, that fellowship with God was broken, but our personal God came into the garden calling for Adam. Because sin separated man from his Creator, God made provision for man’s sin in the sacrifice of His Son. God’s love for the human race is so strong that no price would be too high to pay to redeem sinners to Himself. God wants all mankind to be saved, and God saves us that we might fellowship with Him. Our Scripture says, “”that they might know thee the only true God.”
How is it that we can know God? How might we have a personal relationship with the Lord? God has designed that we know Him by faith. We have not seen God, and we have not heard His audible voice. However, because He loves us so much, He has given us the record and revelation of Himself in the Bible. We can know about God through the pages of the Scriptures. We know how God is because of what the Bible, God’s Word, teaches us. However, it is not enough to know about God. He wants to know us personally. The only way we can be brought into a personal relationship with God is through Jesus Christ. It is through faith in Jesus Christ that our sins are forgiven, and the enmity between our Holy God and us is removed. When we repent of our sins and receive Christ as Savior, we are born into God’s family. Immediately we have the capacity to know Him personally. We can talk to God and know that He hears us. God can communicate with us through His Spirit and His Word. We can walk with God by faith.
It is our great privilege to know God. Abraham was called the friend of God. Just prior to His death on the cross, Jesus told His disciples that He would no longer call them servants; instead, He would call them His friends. What a joy it is to know that God is personal and can be our Friend!
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
God is all-wise, is the Source of true wisdom, and has made His wisdom available to those who seek Him. Wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge and understanding, to judge correctly, and to choose the correct course of action. The Bible makes a clear distinction between the world’s wisdom and the wisdom of God. The wisdom of this world is sometimes referred to as foolishness in the Word of God. As a rule, the world rejects the wisdom of God.
God’s children should be warned about believing the wisdom of the world and not seeking the wisdom of God. “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8). Many are being led astray by accepting the world’s wisdom and rejecting God’s wisdom. This is being done through the wrong associations, ungodly counsel, government schools, the media, etc. We have witnessed this as recent generations have turned from the wisdom of God and have accepted the wisdom of the world. One place this is seen is in the acceptance of the colossal lie of evolution. There is nothing scientific about this humanistic theory, and it could only exist because of the rejection of God’s wisdom. It is another evidence of the Biblical principle that teaches us that when truth is rejected, people will believe a lie.
The view of some people is that wisdom is only theoretical, while not being practical. This conclusion is far from being true. God’s wisdom is quite practical. The Bible contains wisdom about relationships, finances, family, child training, work ethics, moral purity, marriage, character training, emotional and physical health, citizenship, relating to authority, and much more.
We should make the pursuit of God’s wisdom a priority. Proverbs 4:7 says, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom.” We are encouraged in the Scripture to ask God for wisdom, Who gives to all men liberally. God desires for us to have wisdom. As we search the Scriptures and pray for wisdom, we can trust Him to provide it. Our attitude about God will affect our access to His wisdom. In fact, fearing Him is the beginning of wisdom. God is all-wise and wants to impart His perfect wisdom to those who seek it.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”
II Corinthians 13:14
In considering the attributes of God, one has to think of the Trinity, or the unity of the Godhead. This is one of the great truths concerning our eternal God. He is indeed the one and only one God, yet He is manifested in three persons. Some people struggle with this Bible position because they cannot fully comprehend how God can at the same time be one God and also be a trinity. Whereas none of us may fully understand certain Bible doctrines; by faith, we believe and know them to be true because they are taught in the Scriptures.
This is a primary doctrine for a number of reasons. For one, this doctrine often separates true Christianity from false religions. Many cults deny the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. They do not recognize the biblical fact that Jesus is the eternal God. False religions sometimes deny the personality of the Holy Spirit, claiming that He is only an influence, but not as much God as God the Father and God the Son. If we do not understand Who God is and how He makes Himself known to us, how then are we to really know God?
God is one God, eternally co-existent in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This doctrine is taught in many places in the Scripture. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (I John 5:7). All three persons of the Trinity are eternal, having no beginning or end. According to the Bible, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were all present and active in the creation of the world. Jesus Christ is just as much God as the Father is God, and the Holy Spirit is just as much God as the Father and the Son are God.
When Jesus was born of a virgin, His name was also called Emmanuel, meaning “God with us.” Jesus said in John 14:9, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father,” and in John 10:30 He said, “I and my Father are one.” The Holy Spirit that dwells within every child of God is the literal presence of Almighty God in the life of the Christian. Jesus promised that through the Spirit, He would indwell our lives – never leaving us nor forsaking us. We honor and give praise to the one true Lord God Almighty, manifested in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To God be the glory.
“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”
The goodness of God is seen both in His acts of benevolence and in His perfection of character. Psalm 119:68 tells us, “Thou art good, and doest good.” All that God is, is good; all that He does is good. Concerning His creation, the Bible records, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). God is always good. He is good when He acts in ways that are agreeable to us, and He is good when His decisions conflict with our wishes. It is imperative that we understand the goodness of God. Although we may not understand God’s movements or judgments, we must know that He can only do good. Our Scripture tells us, “the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”
Because He is good, we can trust in Him without reservation. Our faith in God is directly related to His goodness. Those who question and criticize God’s actions or refusal to act, are not convinced that God is always good. We can whole-heartedly rely on God because we know that He is always good, and He will always do good. Our confidence in the goodness of God shapes our perspective of the Lord and helps us relate to all the things that life brings our way. God is good in what He does and in what He allows. We can be assured that, “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
The greatest demonstration of His goodness is the sending of God’s Son to this world that through faith in His death and resurrection we might be saved. None of us could have ever deserved such goodness. The Gospel is the good news.
God is so good and has been so good to us. We should thank Him and praise Him for His goodness. “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:8) Rather than murmuring and complaining, we should thank God for His goodness.
Because God is good, He would have us to be good. The fruit of the Holy Spirit of God manifesting Himself through our lives is “goodness” (Galatians 5:22). He wants to reproduce His nature in us – in being good and doing good. As Jesus went about doing good, the Spirit-controlled person will be a channel of God’s goodness.