Tag Archives: God

July 18; Who Is God?

Isaiah 43-46

Some days you just have to let God speak for Himself.

“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior.” (43:10-11)

I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” (43:25)

“I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.” (44:6b)

This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: “I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself…” (44:24)

For this is what the Lord says – he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited – he says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other.” (45:18)

“Even to your old age, and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (46:4)

“Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.” (46:8-9)

I bear witness: God is who He says He is. The Bible tells me that. And He has shown Himself to be true in my life. There is no other god. None.

These are only a few verses I read today that declare the identity of God. I hope you’ll read all that He has to say about Himself, and His relationship to you. Listen to His heart.

I love God, who tells me not to fear, that He is with me, that He saves me. And He never fails.

How can such a great, awesome, powerful God be so personal? Because HE IS!

July 12; Until I Get It

Isaiah 10:5-12:6, 28:1-29

Once again God, through Isaiah, is telling us we need to fear Him, that His judgments are just and His hand is heavy, consequences swift and devastating. As I was reading His warnings today, I found myself thinking, “Really? Again? You’ve already made Yourself pretty clear about this a dozen times already. How many times do we have to hear how fearsome You are?”

“Until you get it,” He seemed to answer.

I recently read a great article about the OMG world we live in. I wish I had saved it so I could share it with you. I looked for it this morning, but I can’t find it. The author points out many ways our view of God has become so casual, our respect of Him and His Name has become almost unrecognizable. Do we get it that God’s Name is so holy that the ancient Jews, and some Jews even today, won’t even say His Name? I wonder if we think God’s holiness has waned over time.

I’ve heard some Christians use that Name as a punctuation mark. I’ve even heard some people use the precious name of Jesus behind the vulgar F word. Oh, someone has decided to disguise the Name using the letters OMG, and some people will tell you it doesn’t really stand for “Oh My God.”

Smoke screen.

Who do we think God is?

So I will continue to read God’s warnings. I’ll continue to let Him reveal Himself as a Holy, Righteous, Awesome, God to be feared…

until I get it.

June 28; We Are The World

Hosea 4-5; 2 Kings 14:24-29, 15:8-12,13-16; Jonah

The book of Jonah is really two stories in one. The first is about our God who loves the world. It’s about a God who does not want anyone dying without Him, who wants all people everywhere to be saved, even those we might think are unworthy or beyond hope. It’s a story about our amazing God who goes to great lengths to draw all of us to Him, a story about God who forgives the sin of anyone who repents.

The second story is about our God who loves me. You. Jonah. Every one of His children. It’s about a God who doesn’t ignore our sins, who doesn’t throw a blanket of forgiveness over us once we come to Him. It’s about our loving God who patiently reveals our sins to us, so that we can repent and have fellowship with Him restored. We might try to run from God, to try to do something “Christian” even though we know He’s asking us to do something else. We might sleep while we should be praying. We might pout, or complain. But God is there, whispering truth in our ears, patiently waiting for each of us to swallow our pride, and run into His open arms.

The book of Jonah is about God who loves the world, and who loves individuals like you and me. Every time I think of John 3:16 I know I can substitute my name in there. Yes, it’s true that God so loved the world. But it is also true that God so loved Connie that He gave His Son Jesus to die in my place.

God so loved the world… and we are the world!

March 31; Choose Today

Joshua 22-24

Most of us would probably say we are Christians. People who are not Christians will very often agree there is a God, or at least a higher power out there somewhere. Even those who say there is no God have something in common with the rest of us:

We all worship.

It might be self, or a job, or a philosophy, education, reputation, relationships, or something else. We all worship, serve, give honor to, adore, bow to someone or something. Worship is in our DNA.

Joshua challenges us to define our worship here in these chapters today. Choose today who you will serve. I am reminded of Matthew’s statement that a man can’t serve two masters. (Matthew 6) He’ll end up loving one and hating the other, or at least obeying one over the other, I know he was talking about money. But can’t we exchange “mammon” for anything else that would have the potential of taking the place of God?

I am also reminded that God will often describe himself as a jealous God. He will not accept second place, ever. He will not share the honor that is due him.

So after giving this some thought, here is what I choose:

I choose the Holy, all-powerful, eternal God of the Bible. I choose His Son Jesus Christ. I reject the politically correct god of our modern day. I reject the tolerant, love-god that many have fashioned for themselves. I choose the One True God over myself, my family, over the approval of the world.

Joshua said, even if you reject God you need to define what it is you worship. You might be surprised.

As for me, I will serve the Lord.

 

January 23; You Know It

Genesis 27:1-28:9; 36:1-43; I Chronicles 1:35-54

This is a familiar story. Jacob dresses up like Esau and steals his brother’s blessing. I’ve heard it, read it, even taught it many times. But something hit me today as I read, in light of the unrest in our nation.

Isaac wanted to believe the man before him was Esau. Every sense he had told him it was not, but he wanted it to be. He was blind, but his ears heard Jacob’s voice. He heard Jacob’s voice, but his will told him it was Esau’s. His touch felt animal skin, but he wanted it to be Esau’s arm. He tasted goat, but wanted it to be wild game. And when he smelled his son’s clothes, he made himself believe it had to be Esau. Everything in him knew this was not Esau, but he wanted it to be, so it was.

I know there are some people who want a god of their making, or who don’t want there to be any god at all. I know there are some who want to redefine sin, or eliminate the idea of sin completely. I know there are people who want to believe a baby isn’t a baby until it breathes oxygen outside the womb, or that the sex of a person is a choice and has nothing to do with DNA. I know there are those who want to believe they are good, and strong, and powerful in and of themselves. And there are some who want to believe everyone goes to a better place when they die.

But, my friend, wanting it doesn’t make it true. And I honestly believe even the strongest proponents of these lies know down deep, they are wrong. The problem is, they don’t want to look that deep into their souls.

Isaac didn’t. If he had acknowledged what was right in front of him instead of going with what he wanted to be right in front of him, Jacob would not have stolen the blessing.

The insanity in our world isn’t based on truth. It’s based on want, and determination. It’s based on lies.

And I think you know it.

January 16; No, Sir

Job finally gets what he’s been asking. God speaks! But it wasn’t at all what Job expected. Instead of answers, Job got questions thrown at him.

I was not raised in the south. So when I moved down here, I had to get used to being called, “Ma’am.” Most southern children are taught to address all adults with a respectful, Ma’am, or Sir. I like it.

Today, as I read God’s words to Job, I pictured a stern, yet loving parent addressing his son caught in the act of showing off, or maybe of throwing a temper tantrum. What was there to say when Job’s heavenly parent asked those questions? I could think of only one response:

No, Sir.

No, Sir.

No Sir.

The Bible doesn’t tell us God’s tone of voice. Was He angry? Was He frustrated, or offended? Today when I read His Words I heard a tenderness, a daddy telling his know-it-all son that he doesn’t really know everything he thinks he knows. God let the Truth convict Job.

Do you think you have God figured out, or that you are self-sufficient and don’t need Him? Let Him ask you the same questions He asked Job. I’m pretty sure your truthful response will only be:

No, Sir.

January 15; The Man Upstairs

Job 35-37

People who know about God may think like Elihu. In fact, most false religions in the world have gods like the one Elihu describes.

Do you know people who refer to God as, “the man upstairs?” There are some who picture God on a cushy throne, wine glass in hand, feet up and eyes closed, with no thought of his creation, no involvement in the lives of his people. In a sense, it’s convenient to believe in a god like that. What does he care how I live my life?

Some people might think of God as a big old bully, sitting up there in heaven with lightning bolts in his fists, hurling them at helpless people like a villain in a video game. “Take that, human!”

Nature does declare God’s power. But Jesus reveals a different side of God; the softer side, the side that loves and cares for people, the side of God that rubbed shoulders with the least of us, and called us His friends. Jesus told us God not only sees every sparrow out there, not only counts every hair on our heads, He wants to gather us up like a chicken gathers her chicks to protect us.

The truth, contrary to what Elihu would have you believe, is that you DO matter to God. He DOES answer when you call out to Him, and He DOES listen to your pleas. Not only that, but if we are clothed in Jesus’ righteousness, we can have an intimate relationship with this great God of ours. That means everything to Him.

Do you know this personal, great God of ours? He’s not at all like “the man upstairs.” He is here, right now, and He wants you to know Him.

January 7; Spider Webs vs Mountains

Job 8-10

As I consider worship in the book of Job, I see a marked contrast between those whose worship is directed toward God, and those who worship anything else.

Bildad, in pointing to their history, says of the one who forgets God, “What he trusts in is fragile, what he relies on is a spider’s web. He leans on his web, but it gives way; he clings to it, but it does not hold.” (8:14-15)

Have you ever had trouble breaking through a spider’s web? Just a little pressure, and the strands give way. Have you tried to stand on a spider’s web? Or lifted yourself up on one? How did that work for you? With a swing of your hand, you can brush away the web, so that it appears it never even existed.

Then, in chapter 9, Job points us to God whose wisdom is profound, whose power is vast. God, who can move mountains, turn off the light of the sun and stars, who performs wonders that cannot be fathomed. God sees all, knows all, created all, and there is nothing in me or you that can match Him. You aren’t going to brush Him away with a swing of your hand.

Job also points us to Jesus (9:32-35). This awesome, powerful, fearful God has become a man! He is the arbitrator between the Father and us that Job longed for. And, unlike Job, I can speak to Him without fear because of Jesus.

If we worship science, self, or even a loving, soft marshmallow god we are basing our worship on something as fragile as a spider’s web. But we whose foundation is built on God, we who worship the God of the Bible, have placed our trust in the sturdy, solid, Truth of God Himself.

He deserves our worship. And when I am faced with the Truth of who He Is, I cannot not worship Him.

 

Isaiah 40-43; Hold On To Your Hats

Do you not know? Have you not heard?

Reading these chapters today has me praising God, not only for what He does for His children (which is nothing short of amazing), but in the reality of who He is. I hope you’ll read these chapters today for yourself. Be ready to have your socks knocked off!

It starts off with God wanting to comfort us, to assure us His Word will stand forever. It was true back then, it’s true today, and it will be true a thousand years from now. There is something very reassuring about that fact. I don’t have to wonder, or stress, or hope what I believe is right. If it’s in there… it’s true!

Isaiah tells us God is exactly who He says He is. He’s the God above all gods, the Creator, and the Savior. There is no one like Him. Lift up your eyes and look to the Creator who gives strength to us who hope in the Lord. He gives us everything we need to face our day, and in every situation. He upholds his children (me and you) in His right hand. Doesn’t that give you confidence and peace?

I love 41:17-20. We are thirsty, but God doesn’t just give us a drink. He turns our desert into pools of water, flowing rivers, and bubbling springs. And He doesn’t even stop there. He grows shade trees, fragrant trees, and food-producing trees to sustain us.

I think that’s what Paul meant when he honored God as the one “who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20) We ask for a sip of water, God opens the flood gates!

Isaiah points us to Jesus who opens blind eyes, and sets captives free. He is God! He loves us, redeems us, forgives our sins and promises to never remember them ever again, and He takes us by the hand to guide us.

Isaiah 43:2 is a treasure you can take to the bank.

Oh dear one, take time to read these words God inspired Isaiah to write. But hold on to your hat. You’re going to be blown away. Then join me in praising God, the One who deserves our praise.

Psalm 19-24; The God the World Doesn’t Know

Christianity gets a bad rap these days. Christians are painted as bigots, judgmental, homophobic haters. God is cursed for being unfair, cruel, jealous. If they only knew.

Most of us who spent any time in Sunday School as children probably memorized the 23rd Psalm. When I read it today I realized it describes the God unbelievers don’t know. It describes what God longs to be for all of us and them:

Our Shepherd.

The One who protects us from our enemy Satan, the One who provides everything we need because He provides Himself, His presence and strength. We don’t need Oprah or pop-psychology or self medication. We don’t need to fear, or to worry, or to feel anxious about anything because He leads us to calm waters even in storms.

He leads us toward righteousness, which is anything but politically correct. But He never leaves us or forsakes us no matter what kind of resistance we face. We go through difficult times, losses, illnesses, pain. But we need not fear because the Holy Spirit – the Comforter – has come and lives right in us.

He blesses us in ways the world can’t understand, because God wants the world to see that He is a God who blesses. He is always working in the hearts of men to draw them to Himself, the Shepherd who wants to be these things for them, too, who does not will that any of them die without Him.

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11) The God unbelievers don’t know is the God who went to the cross for love of them; the God who paid what none of us can pay, and who saves all who call on the name of Jesus. He’s not cruel. He is loving and self-sacrificing, and gracious.

Then, the psalmist ends with reminding us that this life is temporary. Eternity awaits. And those of us who know Jesus will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Why don’t unbelievers know the truth about God? Could it be because believers aren’t telling them?

Dear Shepherd, sometimes your children seem to think that everyone knows the truth about you and chooses to reject you. But I wonder if that’s true. I wonder if some of these people who are so critical of Christianity really have no idea who you are. Their knowledge of you comes from movies and FB. I pray that you will lay on the hearts of your people, the fervent desire to speak the truth to those who have no clue. Because the God they don’t know is a compassionate Shepherd who wants to spend eternity with each of them, and who died so that can happen.