Christianity 201

November 11, 2020

Learning More About God’s Nature

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:32 pm
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TheMessage.Deut.28.9 God will form you as a people holy to him, just as he promised you, if you keep the commandments of God, your God, and live the way he has shown you.

10 All the peoples on Earth will see you living under the Name of God and hold you in respectful awe.

Today we’re introducing a new writer to you. Sam describes himself as ” a minister, teacher, husband, dad, artist, basketball fan, Ph.D., computer geek, and SG-1 fan;” and blogs at Word-Centered Living. He believes the concept can be understood in three ways: “First, there is the written word, the Bible. Second, there is the living word, Jesus Christ. Third, there is the spoken word, which is the Spirit-led uttering of believers.”

Click the header below to read this at his site.

What God is like?

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!” (Isaiah 30:18-26, NIV)

Isaiah revealed what God’s heart is like in today’s reading. Listen to his words, “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!” Two words translated “long” and “wait” in this verse are from the same Hebrew word “chakah.” Therefore, it can even be translated as “The LORD waits to be gracious to you… Blessed are all who longs for Him.” We can also use the same words to describe both phrases.

Many people think that God of the Old Testament is angry and stern. Nothing could be farthest from the truth. This verse is proof. Isaiah pictured God as someone “longing” or “waiting” to show us His grace and mercy. Have you ever experienced such an emotion?

I remember one time when my older son wanted an iPod for Christmas. It was quite expensive at the time and I told him that I could not do it that year. After our conversation, I felt pain in my heart because I knew how much he wanted it. So, I saved some money here and there and purchased the item and gift wrapped it and waited for Christmas morning. As you could imagine, I had a difficult time keeping it a secret. The night before I was supposed to give it to him, I could not sleep as I kept imagining the reaction on his face when he would open the gift. The wait was unbearable. Finally, when my wife and I gave him the gift and he opened it up, he was so surprised that he could not breathe and was hyperventilating. The look of joy on his face was all worth it!

This is small imagery but try to magnify it 100,000 times and apply it to God. It is because whatever God has in store for us is 100,000 times greater than an iPod! He is longing, yearning, aching, craving, anticipating, waiting patiently until the time is right to give us His gift of grace, mercy, and compassion. Is there another God in the world who longs to love us like our God? And if you are wondering what was the “blessing” that God was longing to give to Israel, go read Deuteronomy 28:1-14.

However, you might ask at this point, “So, if God is longing to bless us with His grace and mercy, why doesn’t He just do it? What’s holding Him up?” It is because God’s blessing is not automatic. It has two parts—God’s part and our part. God is ready, willing, and able to pour out His blessing on us, but we, the recipients, must be ready to receive it. Isaiah says that it is because God is a “God of justice.” Justice means that recipients must receive just payments whether they be rewards or punishments.

Because God is a God of justice, He cannot give rewards to the unrighteous and hand out punishments to the righteous. God longing to be gracious to us means that He is waiting for us to become worthy to receive His blessings. And He has made this all possible through Jesus Christ so that the unworthy could become worthy by believing that the worthy has taken the punishment for the unworthy.

Even now, God waits on high longing for the unworthy sinners to come to the cross and become worthy children of God so that He can give us His grace and show us His compassion. This is what God is like even today!

Second Helping: Here’s another article from Word-Centered Living: The Betrayed and the Betrayer.