Archive for the ‘God’s Character’ Category

Funny how literary works and old sayings get stuck in the back of the mind and we accept wrong ideas without thinking!

James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)

Benjamin Franklin said, “God helps those who help themselves”, and over the years most think that is in the Bible. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism says, “Cleanliness is next to godliness”, and we think that’s somewhere in the Bible, too.

James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) wrote a poem in 1922 called, “The Creation”,

AND God stepped out on space,
And He looked around and said,
“I’m lonely—
I’ll make me a world.”

And it filters down that God was somehow lonely — creating us to keep him company.

While it is a great poem (I presented it in high school drama) it is not very accurate. God was NOT lonely, did not create us from a sense of need, and has never depended on us for anything.

Why is that important? Because there is a difference between Love and Loneliness.

Loneliness focuses on self whereas Love is selfless. Ever known someone who “loved” you because they were lonely? How about someone who really loved you (regardless of what it did for them)? Notice a difference, did you?

God created through selfless love even though he knew it would cost him what was most dear (Rev. 3:8). He gave his eternal Son because he Loved (John 3:16) though most would reject (John 1:11). And throughout eternity he shall demonstrate that selfless love by pouring grace and blessing on those who enter the “secret place”1 (Ephesians 2:7)

No, God is complete within himself needing nothing but decided to share that love with the universe so they could enjoy it, too.

— fritz

1 See “A Secret Place” — April 22, 2012

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There’s a noticeable difference in the Bible’s portrayal of God. In some passages God is seen full of anger while others show him full of tenderness.

As early as 144AD some, like Marcion of Sinope, taught the God of the Old Testament was not the same as one of the New. The Church dealt with that issue long ago but still this pops up from time to time.

Jesus, the Church, and even the Bible itself has always maintained there is only one and the same God — the difference is with with people.

For example: Vandals thinks I’m the grouchy old man who calls the police on them but non-criminals see a different side — I’m the same guy.

Another example: My young children think I’m the smart man who helps them solve their problems, hugs them all the time, and gives them stuff. My teens think I’m the stubborn guy who makes their life difficult and requires them to bring the car home by midnight. Some of my children think I’m the stupid guy who is just out of touch while others think I’m getting smarter as they get older.

I’m the same guy, the difference is the relationship my children have chosen to have with me.

The Bible says God is “Love” (1st John 4:8, 16) and a “consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:219) all at the same time. He offers a tender relationship if we will choose it.

“Jesus said If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” — John 14:23

— fritz

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No Sweat

Some find it too ludicrous to believe the God who keeps the universe running would be interested or even have the time to be concerned with the desires and feelings of an insignificant individual human being. That’s because we have too small a concept of God.

He is so big and good and amazing he can care for my feelings, wants to hear my ideas and hopes, and listens to my prayer and the same from every human that has ever or will ever live, AND keep the universe running — All without breaking a sweat!

“I am the high and holy God, who lives forever. I live in a high and holy place, but I also live with people who are humble and repentant, so that I can restore their confidence and hope.” – Isaiah 57:15 (Good News Translation)

Sound Bite: God is big enough to care for me.
— fritz

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Many find it inconceivable that God, who knows everything, who runs the universe, who is eternal and perfect would listen to prayer from such puny finite creatures as us.

But think of it this way…where did humility, itself, come from?

It is inconceivable to think that the creator of humility would not, himself, be the most humble of all — humble enough to put on humanity, die for our sins, listen to our prayers.

— fritz@langgang.com

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