Tag Archives: attributes of god

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Are You Bearing Fruit

 

“By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples” (John 15:8, NAS).

Early in my Christian life, I had little faith as I prayed for one person, who by God’s grace received Christ. The more I understood the attributes of God and experienced His blessing on my witness for Him, the more I could trust Him.

As our Campus Crusade for Christ staff grew in number and we trained more and more students and laymen, we began to pray for millions to receive Christ. God honored our faith and prayers with millions of recorded decisions for our Savior in more than 150 countries of the world.

Now that we are helping to train millions of Christians on every major continent, associated with thousands of churches of all denominations and various other Christian organizations, I have the faith to pray for a billion souls to receive Christ. As I have come to know our Lord Jesus Christ better, I have learned to trust Him more. I now believe that He will do great and mighty things through me and through others as we live by faith the supernatural Christian life. Faith is like a muscle; it grows with exercise. The more we see God do in and through the lives of His children, the more we expect Him to do. Please note God does not change – He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We are the ones who change as we mature in faith.

How do you know that you are a true disciple? That you are glorifying God? By bearing much fruit. But what kind of fruit? The fruit of your holy life and the fruit of your Spirit-anointed lips must be in balance.

Some Christians concentrate on Bible study and prayer, seeking to honor God. Others concentrate on much Christian activity. Every time the church door opens, they are there. Yet neither type of person is experiencing God’s best.

Remember, we glorify God when we bear much fruit. Too many Christians are satisfied with modest efforts and modest results. Yet the better we know God and the more we are acquainted with His Word, the more we have fellowship with Him and grasp His vision and His burden for all people throughout the world.

Bible Reading: John 15:4, 5, 12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I determine through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, that I will glorify God by bearing much fruit through both the witness of my life and the witness of my lips.

John MacArthur –Relying on God’s Character

 

“Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments. . . . righteousness belongs to Thee. . . . To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness” (Dan. 9:4, 7, 9).

God’s attributes authenticate your prayers.

Prior to the Babylonian Captivity God had warned His people not to adopt the idolatrous ways of their captors. Their gods were idols that could neither hear nor deliver them from distress (Isa. 46:6-7).

In marked contrast, our God loves us and delivers us from evil. When we confess our sins and intercede for others, He hears and responds. In Isaiah 45:21-22 He says, “There is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none except Me. Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.”

In his prayer Daniel mentions several attributes of God that have a direct bearing on answered prayer. In verse 4 he calls Him “the great and awesome God.” That speaks of His power and majesty. You can pray with confidence because God is powerful enough to change your circumstances when it serves His purposes.

God’s faithfulness is reflected in the phrase “who keeps His covenant” (v. 4). He always keeps His promises. He made a covenant with Israel that if they repented He would forgive them (Deut. 30:1-3). He promised never to forsake them (Deut. 31:6; cf. Heb. 13:5).

God’s love is seen in His acts of mercy toward those who love Him (v. 4). His justice and holiness are inherent in the phrase “righteousness belongs to Thee” (v. 7). God’s actions are always loving and righteousness. He never makes a mistake (Gen. 18:25).

Verse 9 mentions two final attributes: compassion and forgiveness. Compassion is a synonym for mercy. Forgiveness means He pardons your wrongdoings by canceling the penalty sin has charged to your account. He reconciles you to Himself in sweet communion.

What a gracious God we serve! Rejoice in His love and lean on His promises. He will never fail you.

Suggestions for Prayer; Praise God for His attributes of power, majesty, faithfulness, love, holiness, compassion, and forgiveness.

For Further Study; Read Isaiah 44 which contains a stern warning for Israel to avoid the idolatry of Babylon during the Babylonian Captivity.

  • What promises did God make to Israel?
  • How did God characterize idolaters?

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – All Your Plans and Paths

 

“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men’s advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at things of God: But They delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on His laws and thinking about ways to follow Him more closely. They are like trees along a river bank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3).

Of all the great promises from God’s Word, I claim none more frequently than these. As I focus on the attributes of God, I truly “delight myself in the Lord” and experience the full, adventuresome life which our Lord promised.

The psalmist expands on what it means to delight ourselves in the Lord. Note these three things: First, we should delight in doing everything God wants us to do; second, day and night we should meditate on His laws; and third, we should always be thinking about ways to follow Him more closely.

Sam had been a loser all of his life, a failure in everything that he attempted. As a result he had developed a very poor self-image and a defeatist attitude.

“Can you help me?” he pleaded. “I really don’t know what to do – I am about ready to give up.”

Together we read and discussed Psalm 1. He agreed to delight himself in the Lord and to follow the three-fold formula for spiritual success found in this psalm. Immediately his life began to change and within six months the results were dramatic.

“I begin every day delighting myself in the Lord,” he said. “I spend special time studying and memorizing God’s Word, telling Him that I want to do everything he wants me to, and I am always thinking about ways to follow Him more closely.

“I am no longer discouraged and defeated. My self-respect and confidence have been restored and I am truly experiencing the fulfillment of God’s promise: ‘All you do shall prosper.'”

The successful, fruitful, joyful Christian who lives a supernatural life is one whose thoughts are focused on our wonderful God and His attributes, who knows and obeys His Word and who delights himself in Him.

Bible Reading: Proverbs 3:1-6

Today’s Action Point: I determine with the help of the Holy Spirit to delight myself daily in the Lord and experience the reality of His promise, “All you do shall prosper.”

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – God Is a Loving God

 

“If a child asks his father for a loaf of bread, will he be given a stone instead? If he asks for fish, will he be given a poisonous snake? Of course not! And if you hardhearted, sinful men know how to give good gifts to your children, won’t your Father in heaven even more certainly give good gifts to those who ask Him for them?” (Matthew 7:9).

Roger interrupted our Bible study on this passage of Scripture to say, “I guess I have trouble believing God is a good God because my earthly father was a tyrant. He hated me, and I hated him. I do not recall a single experience in my life where he encouraged me. I want to believe that God is good, but I have difficulty. Please help me.”

Unfortunately, there are multitudes of men and women who are relatively new Christians and who have come from similar backgrounds where there was no love, no compassion, no concern, and their view of God is therefore distorted. They somehow equate the loving, forgiving God with their own tyrannical fathers. When such is the case, only the Holy Spirit can heal these deep wounds and remove these scars. So, I assigned Roger a special project. I asked him to make a list of all the attributes and qualities of God recorded from Genesis to Revelation. The project lasted several months, but in the process a transformation took place in Roger’s life.

The day came when he exclaimed with great joy, “The Holy Spirit has illumined my mind and taught me that God is truly a loving God, worthy of my trust. Now I can believe Him for anything. I know that even if my father on earth was the best father ever, God’s love, compassion and care for me transcends anything that he could do for me. Therefore, I can ask Him for good gifts, knowing that He will hear and answer me. I want to live only for His glory for the rest of my life.”

Are you having difficulty trusting God because of an unfortunate early relationship with your father or mother? If so, I encourage you to do what Roger did. Saturate your mind with the attributes of God – His love, sovereignty, wisdom, grace, compassion, power and holiness. As you do, the Holy Spirit will use the Word of God to cleanse your mind of all the memories that weigh you down, and you will be able to say with Roger, “I can trust God for anything, because I know He is a loving God who cares for me.”

Bible Reading: 1 John 3:1-3

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will continue to meditate upon the attributes of God, knowing that the more I trust Him, the more sure I can be of His faithfulness to enable me to live a supernatural life for His glory.

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Are You Bearing Fruit

dr_bright

“By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples” (John 15:8, NAS).

Early in my Christian life, I had little faith as I prayed for one person, who by God’s grace received Christ. The more I understood the attributes of God and experienced His blessing on my witness for Him, the more I could trust Him.

As our Campus Crusade for Christ staff grew in number and we trained more and more students and laymen, we began to pray for millions to receive Christ. God honored our faith and prayers with millions of recorded decisions for our Savior in more than 150 countries of the world.

Now that we are helping to train millions of Christians on every major continent, associated with thousands of churches of all denominations and various other Christian organizations, I have the faith to pray for a billion souls to receive Christ. As I have come to know our Lord Jesus Christ better, I have learned to trust Him more. I now believe that He will do great and mighty things through me and through others as we live by faith the supernatural Christian life. Faith is like a muscle; it grows with exercise. The more we see God do in and through the lives of His children, the more we expect Him to do. Please note God does not change – He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We are the ones who change as we mature in faith.

How do you know that you are a true disciple? That you are glorifying God? By bearing much fruit. But what kind of fruit? The fruit of your holy life and the fruit of your Spirit-anointed lips must be in balance.

Some Christians concentrate on Bible study and prayer, seeking to honor God. Others concentrate on much Christian activity. Every time the church door opens, they are there. Yet neither type of person is experiencing God’s best.

Remember, we glorify God when we bear much fruit. Too many Christians are satisfied with modest efforts and modest results. Yet the better we know God and the more we are acquainted with His Word, the more we have fellowship with Him and grasp His vision and His burden for all people throughout the world.

Bible Reading: John 15:4, 5, 12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I determine through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, that I will glorify God by bearing much fruit through both the witness of my life and the witness of my lips.

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – This God

Ravi Z

I cannot begin to estimate how many times I have attempted to encourage someone with the assurance of God’s nearness to their situation: God is with you. God is near. God is among us. As a Christian, it is an astonishing attribute of the God I profess, a comforting attribute which voices long before my own confessed: “God is our refuge and strength,” writes the psalmist, “an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).  “The Lord is near,” the apostle tells the Philippians, “Do not be anxious” (4:5-6). That there is one who draws near is a vital part of the story of Christianity, one in which Christians understandably draw hope. But it is not automatically hopeful to everyone. I was reminded of this when my assurance of God’s presence in the life of a struggling friend was met with her honest rejoinder: “Is that supposed to encourage me?”

Nearness in and of itself is not assuring. I had forgotten this in my well-meaning, though knee-jerk truism. An essential ingredient in the assurance that comes from nearness is the person who is drawing near. The degree of comfort and assurance (or wisdom and conviction) we draw from those near us is wholly contingent on who it is that has drawn near. For some, that God is near resembles more a threat than a promise. My friend’s perception of God at that moment was closer to Julian Huxley’s than King David’s. For Huxley, God resembled “not a ruler, but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat.” For David, God’s nearness was clearly thought his good.(1)

Who is it that Christians believe is near? And what does this even mean?

In Christian theology, the attributes of God are qualities which attempt to describe the God who has come near enough to reveal who God is. These self-revealed attributes cannot be taken individually, removed from one another like garments in a great wardrobe, or chosen preferentially like items in a buffet. They are not traits that exist independently but simultaneously, at times in paradoxical mystery to us. God is both near us and “among us” as Isaiah writes; God is also far from us and beyond us—in knowledge, in grandeur, in immensity, in position. “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the LORD, “and not a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the LORD. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?”

Christians further believe that the one who dwells both among us and in the highest heavens is also good and wise and holy. The God of whose nearness Christians speak is infinite in being, glory, blessedness and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible, everywhere present, almighty, knowing all things, most wise, most holy, most just, most merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.(1) Like this God there is no other. The God who draws near us is wholly other.

Yet after the candid response from my friend, I realized how important it is to attempt to clarify what I mean—and whom I speak of—when I say that this God is near; and my attempts will remind me that this is never a simple, casual knowledge understood. My friend needed not only to hold the knowledge that God is near but the relational trust that God is merciful. She needed more than a rational reminder that God is holding her and her situation, but the embodied promise that God is good. She needed to hear the “who” behind the promise, beyond the attribute. And I needed the candid reminder that the attributes we can study, the biblical promises we cling to, the words I count on to comfort or restore, are pale in comparison and meaningful only because of the one they describe. The promise that God is among us is only promising because it is this God who is among us.

Christians hold this notion most specifically in the mystery of the Incarnation, the divine drawing near to the human plight in human form. Who is this who comes near, who rends the heavens to stand beside humanity, who stands at the door and knocks? Who is this vicariously human, mediating Son of God among us?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a man who attested to the nearness of God though confined to a jail cell, depicted the one beside whom he lived and before whom he prayed as a quiet companion, gentle and fierce, persuasive and patient on our behalf. He prayed:

“Lord Jesus, come yourself, and dwell with us, be human as we are, and overcome what overwhelms us. Come into the midst of my evil, come close to my unfaithfulness. Share my sin, which I hate and which I cannot leave. Be my brother, Thou Holy God. Be my brother in the kingdom of evil and suffering and death. Come with me in my death, come with me in my suffering, come with me as I struggle with evil. And make me holy and pure, despite my sin and death.”(2)

What if it is this God who hears our prayers, the humanity of one who walked and suffered in Jerusalem, the Christ who came among us only to die and rise again? What if it is this God who is near?

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) cf. Psalm 73:28.

(2) As excerpted from the Westminster Larger Catechism.

(3) Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Christmas Sermons, Ed. Edwin Robertson, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), 22-23.

John MacArthur – God’s Motive for Your Inheritance

John MacArthur

“According to His great mercy” (1 Pet. 1:3).

When God saved you and granted you an eternal inheritance, it wasn’t because you were special or more deserving of His love and grace than others. It was because He sovereignly chose to love you and extend His great mercy to you. That’s why Paul said, “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Eph. 2:4-5). He “saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy” (Titus 3:5).

Because of His great mercy, God addresses the pitiful condition of mankind. Unregenerate people are totally depraved, dead in trespasses, enslaved to sin, cursed to eternal damnation, unable to help themselves, and in desperate need of someone to show them mercy and compassion. That’s the good news of the gospel: God loves sinners and extends mercy to anyone willing to trust in Him.

Mercy tempers God’s justice. The Puritan writer Thomas Watson said, “Mercy sweetens all God’s other attributes . . . . When the water was bitter, and Israel could not drink, Moses cast a tree into the waters, and then they were made sweet. How bitter and dreadful were the other attributes of God, did not mercy sweeten them! Mercy sets God’s power [at] work to help us; it makes his justice become our friend; it shall avenge our quarrels” (A Body of Divinity [Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1978], p. 94).

The very fact that God permits us to live at all speaks of His mercy. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “It is because of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness” (KJV).

No matter what your situation is, God’s mercy is more than sufficient for you. It “is great above the heavens” (Ps. 108:4, KJV). So be encouraged and look to Him always.

Suggestions for Prayer:  Praise God for His great mercy, for by it you have received eternal life and an eternal inheritance.

For Further Study: Read Mark 10:46-52. How did Jesus’ healing ministry demonstrate God’s mercy?

Charles Stanley – Resting in God’s Faithfulness

Charles Stanley

1 Corinthians 1:4-9

When plans are frustrated or life just seems to fall apart in some way, it’s not uncommon for people to wonder, Has God deserted me? Why hasn’t He answered my prayers? Deuteronomy 7:9 offers encouragement with assurance of the Father’s faithfulness: “Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments.”

Five attributes of God make this possible. First, He knows everything, including our needs, thoughts, frailties, and desires—past, present, and future. Next, the Lord is all-powerful, so nothing is too hard for Him (Jer. 32:17). Then, He exists everywhere at once and is never beyond reach.

In addition, our heavenly Father cannot lie. Everything that He says is true and 100 percent reliable.

Lastly, God is unchanging. The world around us and our circumstances seem to be in a constant state of flux. And the Lord may even modify the way He chooses to interact with mankind in different generations. But His character is always the same. So when Scripture tells us that God is faithful, we can rest confidently upon that promise.

Circumstances often prove painful. But even when situations seem overwhelming, believers can trust that our sovereign Lord knows all, is in control, and lovingly works everything for His children’s good. We can rest confidently, knowing that the unchanging God of all creation is taking care of us.

John MacArthur – Relying on God’s Character

John MacArthur

“Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments . . . righteousness belongs to Thee. . . . To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness” (Dan. 9:4, 7, 9).

Prior to the Babylonian Captivity God had warned His people not to adopt the idolatrous ways of their captors. Their gods were idols that could neither hear nor deliver them from distress (Isa. 46:6-7).

In marked contrast, our God loves us and delivers us from evil. When we confess our sins and intercede for others, He hears and responds. In Isaiah 45:21-22 He says, “There is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none except Me. Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.”

In his prayer Daniel mentions several attributes of God that have a direct bearing on answered prayer. In verse 4 he calls Him “the great and awesome God.” That speaks of His power and majesty. You can pray with confidence because God is powerful enough to change your circumstances when it serves His purposes.

God’s faithfulness is reflected in the phrase “who keeps His covenant” (v. 4). He always keeps His promises. He made a covenant with Israel that if they repented He would forgive them (Deut. 30:1-3). He promised never to forsake them (Deut. 31:6; cf. Heb. 13:5).

God’s love is seen in His acts of mercy toward those who love Him (v. 4). His justice and holiness are inherent in the phrase “righteousness belongs to Thee” (v. 7). God’s actions are always loving and righteousness. He never makes a mistake (Gen. 18:25).

Verse 9 mentions two final attributes: compassion and forgiveness. Compassion is a synonym for mercy. Forgiveness means He pardons your wrongdoings by canceling the penalty sin has charged to your account. He reconciles you to Himself in sweet communion.

 

What a gracious God we serve! Rejoice in His love and lean on His promises. He will never fail you.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Praise God for His attributes of power, majesty, faithfulness, love, holiness, compassion, and forgiveness.

For Further Study:

Read Isaiah 44 which contains a stern warning for Israel to avoid the idolatry of Babylon during the Babylonian Captivity.

What promises did God make to Israel?

How did God characterize idolaters?

 

Presidential Prayer Team; H.L.M. – View of God

ppt_seal01

Karl Marx, born in 1818, was educated in German universities and became editor of a Cologne newspaper. Marx denied the existence of God, believing that the individual is the highest form of being. He believed people make themselves successful by their own efforts and that society, composed of the common man, should rule and overthrow the reigning government by force. He and Fredrich Engels collaborated on their philosophical ideals that eventually formed the basis for communism. As a result, millions of people have been slaughtered in many countries.

Learn by us not to go beyond what is written.

I Corinthians 4:6

Everything in your life – your attitudes, motives, desires, actions and words – is influenced by your view of God. Nothing has greater priority than knowing your Heavenly Father accurately and recognizing that all physical and spiritual riches are from Him. Having this view of God eliminates the sin of pride, which can lead to corruption and great human tragedy.

Spend time each day this year learning more about the attributes of God. As you read the Bible, ask Him to reveal something about His character to you. Remember also to pray that your government leaders would humbly recognize their own frailty and personally seek to know God and His Word.

Recommended Reading: Psalm 33:13-22

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – All Your Plans and Paths

dr_bright

“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men’s advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at things of God: But They delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on His laws and thinking about ways to follow Him more closely. They are like trees along a river bank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3).

Of all the great promises from God’s Word, I claim none more frequently than these. As I focus on the attributes of God, I truly “delight myself in the Lord” and experience the full, adventuresome life which our Lord promised.

The psalmist expands on what it means to delight ourselves in the Lord. Note these three things: First, we should delight in doing everything God wants us to do; second, day and night we should meditate on His laws; and third, we should always be thinking about ways to follow Him more closely.

Sam had been a loser all of his life, a failure in everything that he attempted. As a result he had developed a very poor self-image and a defeatist attitude.

“Can you help me?” he pleaded. “I really don’t know what to do – I am about ready to give up.”

Together we read and discussed Psalm 1. He agreed to delight himself in the Lord and to follow the three-fold formula for spiritual success found in this psalm. Immediately his life began to change and within six months the results were dramatic.

“I begin every day delighting myself in the Lord,” he said. “I spend special time studying and memorizing God’s Word, telling Him that I want to do everything he wants me to, and I am always thinking about ways to follow Him more closely.

“I am no longer discouraged and defeated. My self-respect and confidence have been restored and I am truly experiencing the fulfillment of God’s promise: ‘All you do shall prosper.'”

The successful, fruitful, joyful Christian who lives a supernatural life is one whose thoughts are focused on our wonderful God and His attributes, who knows and obeys His Word and who delights himself in Him.

Bible Reading: Proverbs 3:1-6

Today’s Action Point: I determine with the help of the Holy Spirit to delight myself daily in the Lord and experience the reality of His promise, “All you do shall prosper.”

 

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – God Is a Loving God

dr_bright

“If a child asks his father for a loaf of bread, will he be given a stone instead? If he asks for fish, will he be given a poisonous snake? Of course not! And if you hardhearted, sinful men know how to give good gifts to your children, won’t your Father in heaven even more certainly give good gifts to those who ask Him for them?” (Matthew 7:9).

Roger interrupted our Bible study on this passage of Scripture to say, “I guess I have trouble believing God is a good God because my earthly father was a tyrant. He hated me, and I hated him. I do not recall a single experience in my life where he encouraged me. I want to believe that God is good, but I have difficulty. Please help me.”

Unfortunately, there are multitudes of men and women who are relatively new Christians and who have come from similar backgrounds where there was no love, no compassion, no concern, and their view of God is therefore distorted. They somehow equate the loving, forgiving God with their own tyrannical fathers. When such is the case, only the Holy Spirit can heal these deep wounds and remove these scars. So, I assigned Roger a special project. I asked him to make a list of all the attributes and qualities of God recorded from Genesis to Revelation. The project lasted several months, but in the process a transformation took place in Roger’s life.

The day came when he exclaimed with great joy, “The Holy Spirit has illumined my mind and taught me that God is truly a loving God, worthy of my trust. Now I can believe Him for anything. I know that even if my father on earth was the best father ever, God’s love, compassion and care for me transcends anything that he could do for me. Therefore, I can ask Him for good gifts, knowing that He will hear and answer me. I want to live only for His glory for the rest of my life.”

Are you having difficulty trusting God because of an unfortunate early relationship with your father or mother? If so, I encourage you to do what Roger did. Saturate your mind with the attributes of God – His love, sovereignty, wisdom, grace, compassion, power and holiness. As you do, the Holy Spirit will use the Word of God to cleanse your mind of all the memories that weigh you down, and you will be able to say with Roger, “I can trust God for anything, because I know He is a loving God who cares for me.”

Bible Reading: 1 John 3:1-3

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will continue to meditate upon the attributes of God, knowing that the more I trust Him, the more sure I can be of His faithfulness to enable me to live a supernatural life for His glory.

 

 

Alistair Begg – Eternal One

Alistair Begg

His were the everlasting ways.

Habakkuk 3:6

What God has done on one occasion, He will do again. Man’s ways are variable, but God’s ways are everlasting. There are many reasons for this most comforting truth.

Among them are the following: The Lord’s ways are the result of wise deliberation; He orders everything according to the counsel of His own will. Human action is frequently the hasty result of passion or fear and is followed by regret and change; but nothing can take the Almighty by surprise or happen contrary to what He has foreseen.

His ways are the outgrowth of an unchanging character, and in them the fixed and settled attributes of God are clearly seen. Unless the Eternal One Himself can undergo change, His ways, which are Himself in action, must remain forever the same. Is He eternally just, gracious, faithful, wise, tender? Then His ways must always be distinguished by the same excellences. Beings act according to their nature: When those natures change, their conduct also varies. But since God cannot know the shadow of turning, His ways will remain everlastingly the same.

Furthermore there is no external reason that could reverse the divine ways, since they are the embodiment of irresistible might. The prophet tells us that the earth is split with rivers, mountains tremble, the sea lifts up its hands, and the sun and moon stand still when Jehovah marches out for the salvation of His people.

Who can prevent Him or say to Him, “What are You doing?” But it is not only might that gives stability; God’s ways are the manifestation of the eternal principles of right and therefore can never pass away. Wrong breeds decay and involves ruin, but the true and the good are marked by a vitality that time cannot diminish.

This morning let us go to our heavenly Father with confidence, remembering that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in Him the Lord is always gracious to His people.

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Cannot Disown Us

dr_bright

“Even when we are too weak to have any faith left, He remains faithful to us and will help us, for He cannot disown us who are part of Himself, and He will always carry out His promises to us” (2 Timothy 2:13).

Have you ever run out of faith? I have – in times of great testing and trial, especially in earlier years as a young Christian. But as I have learned more and more about the many attributes of God, I have come to understand why the apostle Paul was so convinced of the faithfulness of God – that He still remains faithful to us and will help us, even when we are our weakest.

The meaning seems clear, though perhaps controversial to some. If we have truly been born again by the Spirit of God, and thus have become “part of Himself,” Paul asserts that He cannot disown us. We need not argue or discuss the point of eternal security, for God’s Holy Spirit, that great Teacher of spiritual truths, will reveal true meanings to each one of us individually.

We can be more certain of unanimous agreement on the latter part of the verse: “He will always carry out His promises to us.” At least we all believe that theoretically, if not experientially.

Have you, for example, laid hold of one of God’s promises, and not yet having seen the answer, begun to wonder and even doubt if He is indeed carrying out His promise? It might help each one of us to remind ourselves constantly that God has His own time-table. He need not be bound by ours.

Someone has well said, “God’s timing is always perfect.” Let us not try to improve on that perfection.

Bible Reading: Romans 3:3,4; Numbers 23:19

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: “Dear Lord, because You are always faithful despite my faithlessness at times, I will depend on You to fulfill your promises.”

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Are You Bearing Fruit

dr_bright

“By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples” (John 15:8, NAS).

Early in my Christian life, I had little faith as I prayed for one person, who by God’s grace received Christ. The more I understood the attributes of God and experienced His blessing on my witness for Him, the more I could trust Him.

As our Campus Crusade for Christ staff grew in number and we trained more and more students and laymen, we began to pray for millions to receive Christ. God honored our faith and prayers with millions of recorded decisions for our Savior in more than 150 countries of the world.

Now that we are helping to train millions of Christians on every major continent, associated with thousands of churches of all denominations and various other Christian organizations, I have the faith to pray for a billion souls to receive Christ. As I have come to know our Lord Jesus Christ better, I have learned to trust Him more. I now believe that He will do great and mighty things through me and through others as we live by faith the supernatural Christian life. Faith is like a muscle; it grows with exercise. The more we see God do in and through the lives of His children, the more we expect Him to do. Please note God does not change – He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We are the ones who change as we mature in faith.

How do you know that you are a true disciple? That you are glorifying God? By bearing much fruit. But what kind of fruit? The fruit of your holy life and the fruit of your Spirit-anointed lips must be in balance.

Some Christians concentrate on Bible study and prayer, seeking to honor God. Others concentrate on much Christian activity. Every time the church door opens, they are there. Yet neither type of person is experiencing God’s best.

Remember, we glorify God when we bear much fruit. Too many Christians are satisfied with modest efforts and modest results. Yet the better we know God and the more we are acquainted with His Word, the more we have fellowship with Him and grasp His vision and His burden for all people throughout the world.

Bible Reading: John 15:4, 5, 12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I determine through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, that I will glorify God by bearing much fruit through both the witness of my life and the witness of my lips.

 

John MacArthur – God’s Motive for Your Inheritance

John MacArthur

“According to His great mercy” (1 Pet. 1:3).

When God saved you and granted you an eternal inheritance, it wasn’t because you were special or more deserving of His love and grace than others. It was because He sovereignly chose to love you and extend His great mercy to you. That’s why Paul said, “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Eph. 2:4-5). He “saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy” (Titus 3:5).

Because of His great mercy, God addresses the pitiful condition of mankind. Unregenerate people are totally depraved, dead in trespasses, enslaved to sin, cursed to eternal damnation, unable to help themselves, and in desperate need of someone to show them mercy and compassion. That’s the good news of the gospel: God loves sinners and extends mercy to anyone willing to trust in Him.

Mercy tempers God’s justice. The Puritan writer Thomas Watson said, “Mercy sweetens all God’s other attributes . . . . When the water was bitter, and Israel could not drink, Moses cast a tree into the waters, and then they were made sweet. How bitter and dreadful were the other attributes of God, did not mercy sweeten them! Mercy sets God’s power [at] work to help us; it makes his justice become our friend; it shall avenge our quarrels” (A Body of Divinity [Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1978], p. 94).

The very fact that God permits us to live at all speaks of His mercy. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “It is because of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness” (KJV).

No matter what your situation is, God’s mercy is more than sufficient for you. It “is great above the heavens” (Ps. 108:4, KJV). So be encouraged and look to Him always.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Praise God for His great mercy, for by it you have received eternal life and an eternal inheritance.

For Further Study:

Read Mark 10:46-52. How did Jesus’ healing ministry demonstrate God’s mercy?

Presidential Prayer Team; P.G. – Trustworthy?

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How would you describe someone who is faithful? In a marriage, he would keep his vows; in the military, he would execute his duties; in business, he would be ethical in all transactions; and in U.S. politics, he would keep the trust of the American people. Look around. The ones who qualify are few.

But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. II Thessalonians 3:3

Faithfulness is but one of the magnificent attributes of God. He keeps His covenants, does what He says He will do, is true to His principles, and is, in every circumstance, trustworthy. That’s why you can know with unwavering certainty that He will make you secure as well as protect your life against Satan’s attempts to destroy you.

Today, as you extend your gratitude to the Lord for His watchfulness over you, pray for the marriages in trouble due to broken vows, and the men and women struggling to do what is right in the Armed Forces. Intercede for people in business, whether Wall Street large or Main Street small. And lastly, in these days of percolating scandals crossing politics in America, ask that God will teach the nation’s leaders to be fully trustworthy, and that they would be receptive to His guiding.

Recommended Reading: Psalm 91:1-11

 

John MacArthur – Relying on God’s Character

 

“Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments . . . righteousness belongs to Thee. . . . To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness” (Dan. 9:4, 7, 9).

Prior to the Babylonian Captivity God had warned His people not to adopt the idolatrous ways of their captors. Their gods were idols that could neither hear nor deliver them from distress (Isa. 46:6-7).

In marked contrast, our God loves us and delivers us from evil. When we confess our sins and intercede for others, He hears and responds. In Isaiah 45:21-22 He says, “There is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none except Me. Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.”

In his prayer Daniel mentions several attributes of God that have a direct bearing on answered prayer. In verse 4 he calls Him “the great and awesome God.” That speaks of His power and majesty. You can pray with confidence because God is powerful enough to change your circumstances when it serves His purposes.

God’s faithfulness is reflected in the phrase “who keeps His covenant” (v. 4). He always keeps His promises. He made a covenant with Israel that if they repented He would forgive them (Deut. 30:1-3). He promised never to forsake them (Deut. 31:6; cf. Heb. 13:5).

God’s love is seen in His acts of mercy toward those who love Him (v. 4). His justice and holiness are inherent in the phrase “righteousness belongs to Thee” (v. 7). God’s actions are always loving and righteousness. He never makes a mistake (Gen. 18:25).

Verse 9 mentions two final attributes: compassion and forgiveness. Compassion is a synonym for mercy. Forgiveness means He pardons your wrongdoings by canceling the penalty sin has charged to your account. He reconciles you to Himself in sweet communion.

What a gracious God we serve! Rejoice in His love and lean on His promises. He will never fail you.

Suggestions for Prayer: Praise God for His attributes of power, majesty, faithfulness, love, holiness, compassion, and forgiveness.

For Further Study: Read Isaiah 44 which contains a stern warning for Israel to avoid the idolatry of Babylon during the Babylonian Captivity.

What promises did God make to Israel?

How did God characterize idolaters?

 

Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

 

Morning  “His ways are everlasting.” / Habakkuk 3:6

What he hath done at one time, he will do yet again. Man’s ways are variable,

but God’s ways are everlasting. There are many reasons for this most

comforting truth: among them are the following–the Lord’s ways are the result

of wise deliberation; he ordereth all things according to the counsel of his

own will. Human action is frequently the hasty result of passion, or fear, and

is followed by regret and alteration; but nothing can take the Almighty by

surprise, or happen otherwise than he has foreseen. His ways are the outgrowth

of an immutable character, and in them the fixed and settled attributes of God

are clearly to be seen. Unless the Eternal One himself can undergo change, his

ways, which are himself in action, must remain forever the same. Is he

eternally just, gracious, faithful, wise, tender?–then his ways must ever be

distinguished for the same excellences. Beings act according to their nature:

when those natures change, their conduct varies also; but since God cannot

know the shadow of a turning, his ways will abide everlastingly the same.

Moreover there is no reason from without which could reverse the divine ways,

since they are the embodiment of irresistible might. The earth is said, by the

prophet, to be cleft with rivers, mountains tremble, the deep lifts up its

hands, and sun and moon stand still, when Jehovah marches forth for the

salvation of his people. Who can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest

thou? But it is not might alone which gives stability; God’s ways are the

manifestation of the eternal principles of right, and therefore can never pass

away. Wrong breeds decay and involves ruin, but the true and the good have

about them a vitality which ages cannot diminish.

This morning let us go to our heavenly Father with confidence, remembering

that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him the

Lord is ever gracious to his people.

 

Evening  “They have dealt treacherously against the Lord.” / Hosea 5:7

Believer, here is a sorrowful truth! Thou art the beloved of the Lord,

redeemed by blood, called by grace, preserved in Christ Jesus, accepted in the

Beloved, on thy way to heaven, and yet, “thou hast dealt treacherously” with

God, thy best friend; treacherously with Jesus, whose thou art; treacherously

with the Holy Spirit, by whom thou hast been quickened unto life eternal! How

treacherous you have been in the matter of vows and promises. Do you remember

the love of your espousals, that happy time–the springtime of your spiritual

life? Oh, how closely did you cling to your Master then! saying, “He shall

never charge me with indifference; my feet shall never grow slow in the way of

his service; I will not suffer my heart to wander after other loves; in him is

every store of sweetness ineffable. I give all up for my Lord Jesus’ sake.”

Has it been so? Alas! if conscience speak, it will say, “He who promised so

well has performed most ill. Prayer has oftentimes been slurred–it has been

short, but not sweet; brief, but not fervent. Communion with Christ has been

forgotten. Instead of a heavenly mind, there have been carnal cares, worldly

vanities and thoughts of evil. Instead of service, there has been

disobedience; instead of fervency, lukewarmness; instead of patience,

petulance; instead of faith, confidence in an arm of flesh; and as a soldier

of the cross there has been cowardice, disobedience, and desertion, to a very

shameful degree.” “Thou hast dealt treacherously.” Treachery to Jesus! what

words shall be used in denouncing it? Words little avail: let our penitent

thoughts execrate the sin which is so surely in us. Treacherous to thy wounds,

O Jesus! Forgive us, and let us not sin again! How shameful to be treacherous

to him who never forgets us, but who this day stands with our names engraven

on his breastplate before the eternal throne.