Thursday, January 29, 2015

About God - Part 2

Mountains photo SouthTyrolDolomitesItaly.jpg
Photo credit Photobucket
Thus says the Lord“Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” [Jeremiah 9:23-24]

What should we boast in according to God? That we understand and know Him. Wow! There is so much about God that totally blows my mind and I cannot even wrap my puny brain around things like His being infinite or any of the omni's. 

But it delights God that I spend time and energy trying to learn more. What could be better than pleasing God? 

So what is involved in knowing God? J. I. Packer in his book, Knowing God, describes four things that are required to know God: 

1. Listening to God's Word and receiving it as the Holy Spirit interprets it and applying it to your life. 

We must read and be in our Bibles. God gave us a book that tells about His beautiful story. If we are not grounded in His Word which is full of truth, then our minds will be tempted to invent our own truths {which fall short and are easily distorted by emotion and culture}. 
We need to study God and His Word, "so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes." {Ephesians 4:14}

2. Noting God's nature and character, as His Word and works reveal it.

What is required in order to know another person? Spending time with them. Investing in things they are interested in. Celebrating things they celebrate. 

No matter how much you try to imagine another person, you cannot know them until you actually talk with them and find out what they are truly like.

In addition, no matter how much you sacrifice {time, money, energy, interest}, it is up to the other person as to how much, if at all, they want to open themselves up to you. You can only know a person as much as they will allow you into their lives and thoughts. 

It is not this way with God. He has revealed Himself in the Bible. It tells about Him, what He likes, what He despises. It tells how to please Him and how to upset Him. His character and nature is clearly described in His holy Word. 

Just as an example, see what we can learn about God from the Jeremiah verses above. We see that He is loving, just and righteous and He delights in such things from His children.

3. Accepting His invitations and doing what He commands.

God has commandments that He clearly describes in the Bible. Jesus says in John 14:15, "If you love meyou will keep my commandments." I think that is pretty straight forward, don't you? 

If you spend time in God's Word and find out what He requires of you and you willfully choose to not obey, then you might want to ask yourself,

Do you really love God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength? 

4. Recognizing and rejoicing in the love that He has shown in approaching you and drawing you into this divine fellowship. 

God does not owe us anything. He has given us life but we daily choose to rebel against Him. Our sin separates us from Him. It is through His amazing grace {giving us what we do not deserve}, through the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ, which makes it possible for us to be friends with God. 

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. {Romans 5:8}
This should cause our hearts to rejoice and worship God Almighty! And as we rejoice, we are drawn closer to Him and His heart. 

Do you wish to know God better? Someone said one time {I don't remember who or else I would give props} that, "You can have as much of God as you want, in fact, you already do."

"One of the most wonderful things about knowing God is that 
there is always so much more to know. Just when we least expect it, 
He intrudes into our neat and tidy notions about who He is and how He works." 
 Joni Eareckson Tada

"Being infinite, God is inexhaustibly interesting. 
It is therefore impossible that God be boring." 
John Piper

Monday, January 26, 2015

About God - Part 1

Do you know anything about God? Do you even think there is a God? Some of us grew up in Sunday School always believing there is a God and others need a bit more convincing.

This article {or series of articles} is aimed at the person who says they know there is a God, but maybe does not know Him as well as they should. Wait. Does it matter if you don't know much about God? As long as you acknowledge Him, does it matter if you know His attributes or characteristics?

Knowing God changes everything.

J. I. Packer says in his book "Knowing God"

"As it would be cruel to an Amazonian tribesman to fly him to London, put him down without explanation in Trafalgar Square and leave him, as one who knew nothing of English or England, to fend for himself, so we are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it."

He goes on...

"The world becomes a strange, mad,  painful place and life in it a disappointing and unpleasant business, for those who do not know about God. Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you.

This way you can waste your life and lose your soul." [emphasis added]

Do you feel like life is a strange, mad, painful place? Disappointed and unpleasant? Do you feel as if you may be stumbling in the dark with no sense of direction?

Maybe it is time you seek after the One Who created the world and Who runs it.

I have started a study on the Attributes of God and it is wonderful! God has never been more perfectly magnificent in my life and so unfathomably ginormous...but also never more real, close, compassionate and loving as He is now.

As Christians, we say we want eternal life, and Jesus Himself defines it as this in John 17:3,

"Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You have sent."

What is eternal life? Knowing God. Do you know Him? If not, what is stopping you?

Follow along as I walk through the attributes I am learning each week and I pray that the true and living God will use the feeble words I type to encourage you and bless you.

It's all for His glory!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Top 10 Books

I was challenged recently by my Auntie M to think of 10 books that have influenced my life. She probably thought I forgot about this challenge because it has been some weeks (months), but it keeps popping into my thoughts and I think, think, think {kind of like Pooh Bear}...

In no particular order, except for number one, here are 10 books that have influenced who I am as a Christian, Wife, Homemaker, Mom, Teacher....

1. Holy Bible  - Lord, please may be this always be Numero Uno. The Bible is the source for wisdom. It is how we know God. It is how we understand our place and purpose in the world. It is how we understand life. It is where I find out how great God is, how small I am, how great my sin is and how precious His Salvation Plan is for me {and the universe}.

2. Holiness - J. C. Ryle

3. The Excellent Wife - Martha Peace

4. Shepherding a Child's Heart - Tedd Tripp

5. Pathway to Freedom: How God's Law Guides Our Lives - Allistair Begg

6. The Unhealthy Truth: One Mother's Shocking Investigation into the Dangers of America's Food Supply-- and What Every Family Can Do to Protect Itself - Robyn O'Brien

7. Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate - Jerry Bridges

8. Peacemaking Women: Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflic - Tara Klena Barthel & Judy Dabler

9, The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Third Edition) - Susan Wise Bauer

10. Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs - Emerson Eggerichs

Looking over this list tells a LOT about who I am, doesn't it? I love to read so it was hard to narrow it down to a short list of 10.

What does your list look like? I would love to know your top influencing books! Reading is such a fabulous blessing!!

{Contains affiliate links}