1 The Great I AM
"And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." Exodus 3:13 & 14
We just celebrated Mother's Day, and now we are beginning to think about Father's Day. I was blessed to have a Christian Dad who brought me up in church and taught me many things. He is now in heaven and miss being able to spend time with him. But, I am comforted knowing that one day I will see him again. In these few weeks til Father's Day let's look at what the Bible teaches us about our heavenly Father. When He appeared to Moses from the midst of the burning bush he told Moses to lead His people out of bondage in Egypt. In response to Moses' question about who He was, God said, "I AM THAT I AM". This tells us that God was, and is, and always will be. We can serve this same God who spoke to Moses from the burning bush. We know that He has been with us in the past, and we can trust in Him to be with us always.
2 God Is Holy
"And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God." Exodus 3:2-6
As we begin to look at the attributes of God, let's start with the holiness of God. When Moses realized he was on holy ground, and he heard the voice of God, he humbled himself and removed his shoes and hid his face. If we ever see how holy God is, we will bow down in reverence to His holy name. There are four beasts in the book of Revelation who "rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come." (Revelation 4:8) We need to be like them and praise the holiness of God. We are also told in I Peter 1:15-17, "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation: Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:" There are many wonderful attributes of God that we are not expected to have, such as His power, and knowledge, but here we are told "Be ye holy, for I am holy." We serve an awesome God!
3 God Is Love
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16
John 3:16 may be the most well-known verse in the Bible. Many learn this verse as children and remember it as adults. It teaches the important concept that God loved us so much He gave His only begotten Son to die for us. We also read in I John 4:8 that "God is love." "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God: and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." God loved us and gave us the greatest gift, the gift of salvation, and all we have to do to receive it is to believe on Him. God is love.
4 God Is Good
"And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." Mark 10:17 & 18
One of the first prayers taught to children is, "God is great, God is good, Let us thank Him, for our food. Amen." With this simple blessing we learn that God is good. But as people grow older and things happen in their lives, some doubt the goodness of God. While some people turn to God in times of trouble, others blame God for bad things that happen in their lives and turn away from God. They don't believe this simple truth, "God is good." If we believe that God is good, we can also believe Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." This does not mean that everything that happens in our lives is good, but the scripture says that everything works together for good to them that love God. "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 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?" (Romans 8:31 & 32) How are we to respond to the goodness of God? "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:1 & 2) God is good.
5 God Is Rich In Mercy And Grace
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:4-9
Even the richest man on earth cannot buy his way into heaven. God, who is rich in mercy and grace, gave His Son, Christ Jesus, to pay our sin debt. Salvation cost Jesus His life, but it is free to all who believe. And just as God commanded Moses to put a mercy seat in the tabernacle, we can fall on our knees and cry out for mercy to our Lord and Savior, who hears and answers prayers. "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:14-16) We can pray with David, "Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee." (Psalm 86:3-7)
6 God Is Great
"And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD'S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is... For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:" Deuteronomy 10:12-14 & 17
Many people have thought themselves to be great. Alexander the Great conquered most of the known world about 325 years BC. However, he could not conquer death, for he died mysteriously of a high fever before he reached the age of 33 years. There have been great minds which made many inventions, but God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing. There are many men and women who have great wealth and can afford to buy houses in different countries. But "the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD'S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is..." Some people live to be a "great old age", but we read in Job 36:26, "Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out." Finally, let me say with King David, "Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears." (II Samuel 7:23)
7 He Is A Just God
"Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he." Deuteronomy 32:3 & 4
Many of the adjectives we have used to describe our Heavenly Father are accepted by most people. They agree that God is love, and God is good, even great. Most agree that God is merciful and God is holy. Today I want to look at an attribute of God that is not popular in the world. God is just and righteous. He does what is right and is the Judge of the earth. Look at these verses in Isaiah 45:21-23. "Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together; who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear." We also read this in the New Testament, "For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Romans 14:11 & 12) "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." (John 3:16-19) God is just, and He is the righteous Judge. "Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity." (Psalm 98:7-9)
8 God The Creator
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day." Genesis 1:1-5
We can look at the very first verse in the Bible and see God, the Creator. With the teachings of Darwin and the theory of evolution many have come to doubt that God created the heaven and the earth as recorded in Genesis. God created a beautiful world as we are reminded in Ecclesiastes 3:11, "He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end." Many of the Psalms praise God, the Creator, and our maker. "Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture." (Psalm 100:3) We can only imagine how the earth was in the beginning of creation, and how wonderful life must have been in the Garden of Eden before Adam and Eve sinned. If we go from the first book of Genesis to the last book of Revelation we can read about the wonders of the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. Chapter 21 tells us of the walls of jasper and the gates of pearl. Are you one of His sheep? Do you know that you will one day walk on streets of gold? Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and have that assurance that you can spend eternity in heaven with God your creator.
9 The First Commandment
"And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God,..." Exodus 20:1-5
Here is the first of the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai. We are to serve the one true God and only God. We are not to bow down to, or serve any other images. Some may say that the law was given to the people of the Old Testament and now we are under grace. That is right, but Jesus also said this is the first commandment. "Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment." Matthew 22:35-38 When I sat at the computer this morning I saw the news about the great earthquake in Indonesia. The first picture that came up showed the mosque that had been totally flattened, with round top sitting on the rubble. I felt sadness for the people as more than 2,000 lost their lives and many were injured and left homeless. Their god can't help them. I am thankful that one day God spoke to my heart with conviction and showed me the way of salvation. My God is real. He lives. We all have trouble that comes into our lives. I am thankful that I can turn to God in these times. Do you know the one and only true God? Put your trust in Him and serve Him.
10 Memorial Day
"And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." Exodus 3:14 & 15
This day has been set aside as a Memorial Day to remember the men and women who have served our country. Many have died while fighting to give freedom to others. This Memorial Day, as you remember the past, look forward to the future and pray that God will hear the prayers of His people. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but He is also the God of men and women today. He told Moses that He is to be a "memorial unto all generations." He still lives and answers prayers. Pray that people will remember God and turn to Him. "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (II Chronicles 7:14)
11 God Is Our Refuge And Strength
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah." Psalm 46:1-3
The death toll has risen to over 5,000 for the earthquake that hit Indonesia according to the latest news. Pray for the survivors as they try to heal their wounds and rebuild their lives. Pray also that the much needed resources will also carry God's Word. As Christians, we can find refuge and strength in our God. "In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah." (Psalm 62:7 & 8) When troubles come I am glad that God is my refuge and strength. Do you ever feel like you would just like to hide from all your troubles? Do you feel like your strength is gone? Turn to God. David knew what it was like to have troubles on every side. He knew how it felt to be hiding out from his enemies. He also knew what it was like to trust in God. "And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved form mine enemies." (II Samuel 22:2-4)
12 Is Anything Too Hard For God?
"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27
This chapter in the book of Jeremiah tells how the Chaldeans beseiged the city of Jerusalem. God told Jeremiah that Hanameel, his cousin, would come to him to redeem and buy a field. He came just as God had said and Jeremiah bought the field. "Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed unto the LORD, saying, Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name, Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:... And hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt... And hast given them this land,... And they came in, and possessed it; but they obeyed not thy voice, neither walked in thy law; they have done nothing of all that thou commandedst them to do: Therefore thou hast caused all this evil to come upon them: Behold the mounts, they are come unto the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, that fight against it,... and what thou hast spoken is come to pass; and, behold, thou seest it. And thou hast said unto me, O Lord GOD, Buy thee the field for money, and take witnesses; for the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans." (Jeremiah 32:16-25) The people had committed great sin, and God allowed the Chaldeans to fight against Jerusalem, but He promised, "Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God." (Jeremiah 32:37 & 38) Jeremiah bought the field as a sign that God would restore Jerusalem to His people. He showed Jeremiah that nothing is too hard for God. Many times we fail to follow where God leads us and we end up in bondage to sin. But God is able to draw us back into His fellowship when we repent and call on His Holy Name. Don't let Satan tell you that God can never use you again because you have failed Him. Turn to God and repent. Nothing is too hard for God. He can lift you up out of the miry clay and set your feet on the solid Rock.
13 God Is The Potter And We Are The Clay
"But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand." Isaiah 64:8
As I thought about God lifting me up out of the miry clay, I remembered another object lesson God showed Jeremiah. "The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel." (Jeremiah 18:1-6) We looked at how nothing is too hard for God. He can restore us, and make us into a vessel He can use. We need to be just like the clay and let God mold us in His hands. The potter picks up the lump of clay and works with it and soon that which looked like a useless lump begins to transform into a beautiful, useful vessel. Can you imagine what would happen if the clay started fighting with the potter? What if the clay started yelling out, "I don't want to be a cup, I want to be a plate"? That sounds ridiculous, but that is how we sometimes act when God is trying to create His work in us. We may say, "I don't want to teach Sunday School, I want to sing in the choir." Can you imagine the clay telling the potter, "Don't use me, just leave me down here in this mud hole." But some get saved and they don't want God to use them. They want to be saved but they don't want to follow God or be used by God. Just as God spoke to the children of Israel I believe He still speaks today, "...as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand..." Be a vessel of honor for Him.
14 God Always Knew Us
"Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD." Jeremiah 1:4-8
My daughter-in-law is expecting her first baby and people ask me if it's a boy or a girl. She has said from the beginning of her pregnancy that she doesn't want to find out before the baby is born. Only recently have mothers been able to find out beforehand. When my third son was 4 years old he told me he was praying for a baby sister, and he wanted me to buy little dresses for her. I told him that we did not know if he would get a baby sister, and he replied, "God knows!" He was right. God knew I would have a baby girl after having four boys. God told Jeremiah that He knew him before he was formed in the belly. He ordained him to be a prophet before he was born, and called to him when he was a child. Don't feel like you are too young to serve God. God knows all about you. If He calls you to serve Him in a certain way, He knows that you can do it. I have often heard that the best ability is availability. We just need to be willing to do whatever God calls us to do. That does not mean that things will always be easy. We read in Jeremiah 38:6, "Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammeleck, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire." Many people think that Christians should not have any problems. But sometimes God may lead us through trials to be a stronger witness for Him. We don't know why many things happen in this life, but we need to keep trusting that the same God who knew us before we were born, knows what is best for us now. Just as God was with Jeremiah and delivered him out of the dungeon, He will be with us, and He always knows best.
15 God Cares For Us
"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." Matthew 10:29-31
As I was driving home from work I saw a bird hobble across several lanes of traffic. He tried to fly but kept falling back to the ground. I thought of these verses as I watched him struggle. Many times as I go down the highway of life something will knock me off my feet. Trials come along and get me down. I feel like that little bird, as people keep right on going all around me, and I can't seem to make it across the street. But even in the valley and low places God cares for me. He watches me with compassion, just as I watched the little bird. I thought, "If the bird would come to me, I could try to help him, and put him in a cage for a while, and feed him to give him strength." And I remembered that our Heavenly Father wants the same for us. He wants us to go to Him in our times of trouble. He wants to feed us and take care of us. We may feel caged up in times of sickness, but God can give us strength and set us back on our feet. Jesus said, "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." I am also reminded of these verses in Luke, "And he said unto his disciples, Therefore, I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?" (Luke 12:22-28) We need to always remember that God loves us and wants what is best for us.
16 The Way To The Father
"Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:5 & 6
We have looked at many of the wonderful things about God the Father. We know that God is love, and God is good. We know that He created the heaven and the earth. He knows all about us, and cares for us. The Bible also tells us that God is holy. How can we come before a holy God? "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) There is only one way. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Romans 10:9, 10 & 13 tells us how to be saved. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Have you called out to the Lord to save you from a life of sin? Jesus took your place on the cross and paid the sin debt so that you can be saved. He can wash away all the sin in your life and clothe you with His righteousness. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (II Corinthians 5:21) Let the Lord Jesus Christ lead you in the way to the Heavenly Father.
17 God Is Still On His Throne
"In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." Isaiah 6:1-5
II Chronicles 26:4 tells us that King Uzziah "did that which was right in the sight of the LORD". Isaiah must have wondered if the next king would lead the people in the way of the Lord. He may have been mourning the death of the king. But God let him see The King, The LORD of hosts. And when he saw the holiness of God, he saw how low he was. When we see God, high and lifted up, we will see how small and lowly we are. That is not popular in today's world. People go to great expense to lift themselves up above their friends and neighbors. Humility is old-fashioned. But we will all bow to God, The King of Kings. "For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Romans 14:11 & 12) "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him: for he careth for you." (I Peter 5:7)
18 Give God The Glory
"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11
Let's continue our thoughts about God on His Throne as we look at the glory of God. The angels proclaimed at the birth of our Lord, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:14) The message continues through the New Testament and Revelation 7:10-12 tells us that the angels and elders and beasts in heaven gather around the throne and worship God, "Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen" Just as these give God the glory, we also are told to give God glory. "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." (I Corinthians 10:31) This verse tells me that we should live our lives totally and completely for God's glory. Everything we do should be to the glory of God. Paul also tells the Corinthian believers why they should glorify God. "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glority God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (I Corinthians 6:20) Jesus paid the highest price when He died to save us, and we belong to Him. That should be enough to make us want to glorify Him and praise God forever.
19 Enoch Walked With God
"And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." Genesis 5:21-24
Enoch walked with God. We read in Hebrews 11:5, "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." Enoch pleased God. Noah also walked with God as we read in Genesis 6:8 & 9, "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God." These men pleased God and walked with Him. But look at the contrast in Genesis 3:8-10, "And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself." When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden they broke off the fellowship they had with God. When we sin, we also break the communion we have with God. We need to pray with David, "Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee."
20 God Is Light
"That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth; But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I John 1:3-9
We read how Enoch and Noah walked with God. We can also have fellowship with God when we walk in the light. Verse 5 tells us that "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." In the first chapter of our Bible we read, "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness." (Genesis 1:3 & 4) God sent His only begotten Son to give us light and lift us out of the darkness. Jesus said, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12) We can walk in the light and have fellowship with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Then, we can let our life be a reflection of His light. "Ye are the light of the world, A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16) From the first chapter in the Bible to the last we see the Light. "And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 22:5)
21 God Remembered Noah
"And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the eath, and the waters aswaged; The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated." Genesis 8:1-3
We had a storm today. The skies turned dark as the clouds rolled in. The thunder roared and the lightning flashed through the sky. The rain blew in sheets and hail stones fell. After an hour or so, the sun came back out and there were only small puddles left when I started home from work. I thanked God that it passed quickly and I didn't have to drive home during the storm. I can't imagine being on the ark as the rain fell for forty days and forty nights. Noah and his family may have heard the people and animals cry out as the flood waters rose higher and higher. They may have heard the thunder roll and rain sweep against the sides of the ark. The animals inside the ark may have cried out as the waters lifted the ark and carried them back and forth. Then suddenly, after forty days, there was silence. The rain stopped. I am sure that Noah and his family praised God and thanked Him that He remembered them. Time passed... and after eleven months Noah removed the covering off the ark (Genesis 8:13) and after a year they went out of the ark. And Noah built an altar and gave thanks to God. We have storms in our lives and we may wonder if God has forgotten us. But we should have more faith. God didn't forget Noah and his family, and even all the animals. He prepared a way for them to be saved through the storm. He has also made the way of salvation for us. David said, "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: when I awake, I am still with thee." (Psalms 139:17 & 18) God remembered Noah, and God remembers us.
22 God Spoke To Moses From The Burning Bush
"Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God." Exodus 3:1-6
When I am riding down the road and I see smoke I always look to see where the smoke seems to be coming from. When I pass by a house that has burned down I try to remember what it looked like before it was destroyed by the fire. Fire gets our attention. God used the burning bush to get Moses' attention. He drew Moses to Him and told Moses that he was on holy ground. God also told Moses that He was the God of his father and the God of his heritage. After God had his attention and showed him who He was, He could speak with Moses. We have the Bible, the Word of God, but I am afraid that we are often too busy to hear God speak to us. Sometimes God has to get our attention so that we will listen to Him. When something out of the ordinary happens in our lives we turn to God for help and understanding. We should keep our heart and mind in tune to God always. Don't wait for the unexpected to listen to God.
23 A Still Small Voice
"And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?" I Kings 19:9-13
After the great victory against the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, Jezebel threatened to kill Elijah so he ran and hid in the wilderness. As he was hiding in a cave God spoke to him. Maybe Elijah was looking for God to speak in some great, miraculous way. But God was not in the great wind, the earthquake, or the fire. God spoke to Elijah in a still small voice. Many in our churches today are looking for God to speak to us through a great movement. We are looking for God to do great and mighty things, and He can, if He chooses to do so. But it may be that God is speaking to us in a still small voice, and we are too busy to listen. Psalm 46:10 tells us, "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." Sometimes we need to "Be still" and listen as God speaks to us in "a still small voice" and He will be exalted.
24 How God Speaks To Us
"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the work of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;" Hebrews 1:1-3
God spoke to Moses from the burning bush. He spoke to Elijah in a still small voice. He spoke to various people in the Bible through the prophets. These verses in Hebrews tell us that God speaks to us through His Son. We have the Word of our Lord. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:1 & 14) God has blessed us in giving us the Word. God speaks to us through His Son, and we can also speak to Him through His Son. "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:14-16) Praise the Lord for His amazing Grace!
25 God Is No Respecter Of Persons
"Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him." Acts 10:34 & 35
God used a vision of a great sheet with all kinds of animals on it to show Peter that he should go to the house of Cornelius, a Gentile. "And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean." (Acts 10:28) We should praise the Lord today that He has freely given salvation to all who believe. Paul told the Galatian believers, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28) Many people are prejudiced against other nationalities. People judge one another by the amount of wealth, or education someone has. But it doesn't matter if you have great riches, or if you have nothing, Christ died for you. You don't have to have a college education to be saved. All you have to do is confess that you are a sinner, and believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died and rose again to save you from your sins. If we had to come before God in our own righteousness, we would all be lost. But Jesus, who knew no sin, paid the sin debt for me and for you so that we might become children of God. Don't judge others by the color of their skin, or by their wealth, or social status. Remember that God loves them just as much as He loves you. And we are commanded to love one another.
26 God Is With You
"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:8 & 9
How do you think Joshua felt when God chose him to be the next leader of His people? The children of Israel followed Moses for 80 years in the wilderness. When he died the people mourned for him thirty days. They must have wondered who would lead them into the Promised Land. Maybe Joshua wondered, "How do I follow in the shoes of such a great man? How can I lead the people as Moses did?" When God chose Joshua, He told him how to have success. God charged Joshua to read the book of the law and meditate in the Word day and night. Look at these promises God made to Joshua, "There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest proper whithersoever thou goest." (Joshua 1:5-7) Three times in these verses God told Joshua to be strong and of good courage. We can find strength and courage if we put our trust in Him and believe that He is always with us. We can prosper and find success in fully following God.
27 God Leads His People
"And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people." Exodus 13:21 & 22
God lead the children of Israel through the wilderness with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When the cloud stayed, they stayed, and when the cloud moved, they followed the cloud. There have been times in my life when I was seeking God's direction for my life that I thought it would be great if God would put a cloud in front of me and I could just follow the cloud. When I was looking for a job it would have been easy to know where to go if God had put the cloud in front of my car and I could have followed it down main street. God does not lead us that way. Paul said, "For we walk by faith, not by sight." (II Corinthians 5:7) So how does God lead us? How can we find God's direction for our lives? "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5 & 6) We just need to trust God and pray and have faith in Him that He will guide us in the direction we need to go. Sometimes I have doubts about the path I am to take, so I try to wait on the Lord. Other times I can feel God leading me in a certain direction. I have found that the more I trust Him and depend on Him, the more I see His leading in my life. When you don't know where to turn, turn to God. Don't look for writing in the clouds, but look to God's Word and trust in Him. God wants to lead us in the right path. He wants us to follow Him.
28 Praying To The Father
"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." Matthew 6:5-7
Jesus told the disciples that we should not pray to be seen of men, but that we should pray to God, our heavenly Father. God knows what we need even before we pray, but the Lord taught us to pray...
"After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." (Matthew 6:8-13) How often do you call out to God in prayer? We have looked at many verses about our Heavenly Father. We have seen that God is good, and God is love. And through His goodness and mercy He gave His only Son to die for us so that we might live with Him eternally. He has also given us the privilege of prayer. We can talk to Him anytime, anywhere, and He always hears us.
29 God Never Changes
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." James 1:17
As the earth rotates around the sun, shadows lengthen and shorten as the minutes and hours pass. James tells us that God is the Father of lights. His light never changes, and never dims. And there is no "shadow of turning". If you walk through the dark with a flashlight, the shadows move as you shine the light from one place to another. If you turn a light on in the center of the ceiling the shadows stay the same as long as the light and objects stay the same. God is always the same. He never changes. His Word never changes. Warnings, such as found in Galatians 6:7 should be heeded still today. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Words of promise can encourage us along the way, "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Galatians 6:9) God still extends His gift of salvation, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in hm should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world: but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:16 & 17) The prophet Isaiah said, "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever." (Isaiah 40:8) In a world that is ever changing it is good to know that God the Father will never change.