Charles Stanley – Attributes of God

 

Psalm 90:1-2

As believers, we desire to know the One we worship. Human comprehension is limited, yet understanding all we can is very beneficial—it deepens our relationship with the Father and helps us to share our faith with others. With that in mind, let’s explore four attributes of almighty God.

He is a “person” (Deut. 7:7-8). We were created with the remarkable ability to feel, reason, and make decisions. Genesis 1:26 says we were made in God’s image, so it shouldn’t surprise us that He, too, has these capacities—Scripture frequently makes mention of His feelings, like anger and love.

The Lord is spirit (John 4:22-24). Because of this, He has no limitations; He isn’t confined to a body or place, so we can worship in His presence at church while others are experiencing Him elsewhere. What’s more, His Spirit indwells each believer, so we can enjoy His presence and guidance anytime, as long as we don’t allow sin to interfere (Psalm 66:18).

God is eternal (Isa. 40:28). He always was, now is, and forever will be. Nothing existed before Him or will outlast Him.

Our Father is unchangeable (Mal. 3:6). His nature and attributes always remain constant. Yes, God experiences variety in emotions, but not in the essence of His character.

What a blessing that our holy Lord would reveal His character to us through the Bible. And how amazing that He makes it possible for us to have a relationship with Him through His Son Jesus. Praise Him for His attributes, and continue seeking to know Him better through His Word.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 67-70

 

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Our Daily Bread — Belonging

Read: Isaiah 44:1–5 | Bible in a Year: Esther 9–10; Acts 7:1–21

The Lord who made you and helps you says: “Do not be afraid . . . my chosen one.” Isaiah 44:2 nlt

I’d been out late the night before, just as I was every Saturday night. Just twenty years old, I was running from God as fast as I could. But suddenly, strangely, I felt compelled to attend the church my dad pastored. I put on my faded jeans, well-worn T-shirt, and unlaced high-tops and drove across town.

I don’t recall the sermon Dad preached that day, but I can’t forget how delighted he was to see me. With his arm over my shoulder, he introduced me to everyone he saw. “This is my son!” he proudly declared. His joy became a picture of God’s love that has stuck with me all these decades.

The imagery of God as loving Father occurs throughout the Bible. In Isaiah 44, the prophet interrupts a series of warnings to proclaim God’s message of family love. “Dear Israel, my chosen one,” he said. “I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children” (vv. 2–3 nlt). Isaiah noted how the response of those descendants would demonstrate family pride. “Some will proudly claim, ‘I belong to the Lord,’” he wrote. “Some will write the Lord’s name on their hands” (v. 5 nlt).

Wayward Israel belonged to God, just as I belonged to my adoptive father. Nothing I could do would ever make him lose his love for me. He gave me a glimpse of our heavenly Father’s love for us.

Heavenly Father, we all come from families that are broken in one way or another. Thank You for loving us in that brokenness and for showing us what real love looks like.

God’s love for us offers us the sense of belonging and identity we all crave.

By Tim Gustafson

INSIGHT

In addition to the imagery found in Isaiah 44, we see other examples in Scripture of God as our Father. In the Old Testament, God is called the Father of Israel, not on a personal basis but as a nation. When God delivered the nation from slavery in Egypt, God declared that Israel is His “firstborn son” (Exodus 4:22). Moses reminded the Jews about to enter the Promised Land that Yahweh the Lord is their Father (Deuteronomy 32:6). God Himself said He is “Israel’s father” (Jeremiah 31:9). Because of their sins, Isaiah warned that the nation would go into exile (Isaiah 5:13). Then crying to Yahweh to restore them to the Promised Land, the Israelites said, “Surely you are still our Father!” (63:16 nlt).

In the New Testament, the Christian faith is a love relationship couched in the most basic of all human relationships—a father and child. Those who believe in Jesus are called children of God (John 1:12; 1 John 3:1). The parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11–31 is a picture of our loving and forgiving heavenly Father welcoming His wayward children into His arms.

Indeed He is “still our Father!” Have you come home to your Father?

  1. T. Sim

 

 

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Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Surprise, Surprise

Read: Matthew 25:31-46

Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you? (v. 44)

Surprise, surprise—everyone is surprised. The sheep are surprised. They did not know they were being compassionate. They had no inkling that the king might be present among “the least of these.” There was no thought of potential reward. They were just doing what, to them, seemed natural. Good fruit comes from good trees. “When did we see you hungry and feed you . . . ?” They are genuinely surprised.

The goats are surprised. They did not realize that they had been oblivious to human suffering. Their “when did we see you hungry . . . ?” implies that, had they only known of the king’s presence among “the least of these,” they would have acted appropriately. They are genuinely surprised.

What a troubling, disconcerting parable. Is Jesus saying that we have to earn our ticket to heaven by doing good deeds? No. The righteous do not earn the kingdom. They inherit it. Inheritance is determined by the giver, not the recipient. Salvation is a gift to be received, not a reward to be achieved. You are going to heaven, not because you are good, but because God is. We live a life of righteousness and compassion, not because we are trying to earn God’s love, but because we are grateful that we already have God’s love.

“When did we see you . . . ?” The parable reminds us that the Son of Man is not merely coming. He is already here. —Lou Lotz

Prayer: Lord, give me the eyes to recognize you in “the least of these.”

 

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Joyce Meyer – Forethought

 

“For which one of you, when he wants to build a watchtower [for his guards], does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to finish it?” — Luke 14:28

Adapted from the resource Wake Up To The Word Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Forethought means “a thinking beforehand; anticipation; prescience; premeditation.” Before you make any commitment—even a small one—ask yourself if you truly believe you can and will actually follow through with it.

Some people set unrealistic goals and they always fail. A little bit of forethought could have saved them lots of trouble and frustration. Be realistic about how long it takes to do things, and allow yourself enough time to do them without being stressed-out about them.

If you need to say no to a request, don’t hesitate to do so. We are responsible to follow God’s expectations of us, not everyone else’s. If you’ll take time to think ahead before committing yourself to things, you’ll be surprised at how much time, energy, and peace of mind you will save in the long run.

Prayer Starter: Father, I thank You for Your wisdom that helps us to manage our time, our work and our lives. Help me to plan wisely so I can live with joy and do everything You have called me to do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Protected From Satan

 

“But the Lord is faithful: He will make you strong and guard you from satanic attacks of every kind” (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

As a lad I grew up in a rural community on a ranch five miles from the nearest town. I received the first seven years of my formal education in a one-room, country school. I was often the only student in my class and there were never more than three of us. It was not unusual for some big bully to pick on a student smaller than himself and fights would ensue.

I had been taught never to run from a fight because that was not the manly thing to do and so I sometimes found myself in such a situation. I was encouraged by a brother, several years older, who would stand by to insure that the fighting was fair and that I would not be taken advantage of. The Lord Jesus Christ is our elder brother. He stands by to help us, to make us strong and guard us from the attacks of Satan who is like the big bully.

Two thousand years ago Satan was defeated at the cross. He has no control over us except that which God allows and which we by our disobedience and unbelief enable Him to have. Why then, you ask, does the average Christian have such a tough time living the Christian life? It is because he does not understand that the battle has already been won! Victory is ours and nothing can touch us or harm us whether we are criticized, persecuted or even martyred for the sake of the kingdom, for we are not of this world. We are citizens of the heavenly kingdom. While here on this earth, Christ will envelop us and surround us with His supernatural peace and power, turning tragedy to triumph, heartache and sorrow to joy. This is our heritage if only we keep on trusting and obeying Him.

Bible Reading:II Thessalonians 3:1-5

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will remember that Jesus Christ is not only my Savior and Lord, but my older brother and that He will protect me against satanic attacks of every kind. The battle has already been won! Through His enabling supernatural resources, I will live a supernatural life for His glory today.

 

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Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Father Figures: Job

 

So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify [his children], and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly.
Job 1:5

Recommended Reading: Job 42:7-17

There is no end of worrying by parents on behalf of their children—especially after they have left home and are living their own adult lives. Parenting never ends. In spite of the many ways to communicate electronically, parents no longer see their children daily. Parents want to know how their children are doing, especially how they are doing spiritually.

The best way for parents to safeguard their children’s lives no matter where they are is by intercessory prayer. The father and patriarch, Job, maintained a steady practice of intercession on behalf of his seven sons and three daughters. He offered sacrifices and prayers for them in case they had stumbled and sinned against God (Job 1:1-5). Just as Jesus Christ intercedes for us (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25), fathers and mothers can intercede for their children.

If you have children and grandchildren, let intercessory prayer be your lifeline to heaven on their behalf.

We are never more like Christ than in prayers of intercession. 
Austin Phelps

Read-Thru-the-Bible: Psalms 104 – 111

 

http://www.davidjeremiah.org/

Streams in the Desert for Kids – For Our Own Good

 

Hebrews 12:10

Have you ever seen a ski jumper fly off the ramp and thought, “I could do that”? Of course not. You know it takes hours and hours of practice to pull off a stunt like that. When you start something new, like ski jumping, a coach doesn’t just push you down a ramp and say, “Jump!” You first learn the basics. You practice fundamentals. You repeat what you learn over and over. And as you practice, you become a better jumper, eventually able to do things you thought you never could.

No matter what you pursue, practice takes time, energy, focus, and perseverance. As you pursue Jesus—talk to him, read what he said, consider what he did—you will eventually be able to do things you never thought you could. You might forgive a friend more easily than before. You might become more patient with a little sister who used to drive you nuts. You might be best able to comfort a new kid in school. Your practice and discipline will start to reflect your new heart and character borne through hours and hours of practice.

People will notice the changes in you—certainly your family will, everyone you show kindness to will, friends who are watching will. It may not be an Olympic sport, but your practice is enough to earn a medal.

Dear Lord, Help me pursue you with discipline. I want my character to reflect you. Amen.