Browsing Tag

God

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging Deep: Clarification for Listing God’s Description

Some have found the descriptions (names or titles) of God and responses to those characterizations in month 3 challenging (#6 in the study guide). Perhaps my instructions were not clear, so here area couple of  my lists. These are from chapters five and seven. Using the KJV, I found the names for God in the chapter and I found the responses to the holy characteristics given in the chapter. you can do this from the version you are using and our answers will be very similar. I hope this is helpful. Just look for names for God in each chapter and their accompanying (and immediate) adjectives; as in “righteous God” or “Lord. most high.”  Then look through the chapter for any specific things people did when responding to our great God. I apologize for not being clear when writing this question. I’m going to try to consistently apply this method when I do this question myself. Some chapters may have fewer names for God and/or fewer responses. 

Psalm 5

Give ear to my words, O Lord,

consider my meditation.

Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God:

for unto thee will I pray.

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord;

in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness:

neither shall evil dwell with thee.

The foolish shall not stand in thy sight:

thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing:

the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy:

and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.

Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies;

make thy way straight before my face.

For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;

their inward part is very wickedness;

their throat is an open sepulchre;

they flatter with their tongue.

Destroy thou them, O God;

let them fall by their own counsels;

cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions;

for they have rebelled against thee.

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice:

let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them:

let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous;

with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

Chapter 5

Descriptions

Lord

My King

My God

Responses

prayer

coming into God’s house

worshipping in fear

rejoicing

shouting for joy

being joyful

Chapter 7

O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust:

save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:

Lest he tear my soul like a lion,

rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.

O Lord my God, if I have done this;

if there be iniquity in my hands;

If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me;

(yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)

Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it;

yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.

Arise, O Lord, in thine anger,

lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.

So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about:

for their sakes therefore return thou on high.

The Lord shall judge the people:

judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.

Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just:

for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.

My defence is of God,

which saveth the upright in heart.

God judgeth the righteous,

and God is angry with the wicked every day.

If he turn not, he will whet his sword;

he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.

He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death;

he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.

Behold, he travaileth with iniquity,

and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.

He made a pit, and digged it,

and is fallen into the ditch which he made.

His mischief shall return upon his own head,

and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.

I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness:

and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.

Descriptions:

Lord, my God

Lord

Righteous God 

Lord, most high

Responses:

Trusting

Praising 

Singing Praise

Thanks for persevering. Keep digging!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

“There’s something I don’t understand about God…”

So said Ezra, age five. As we were tromping through the old cemetery beside our house, he was asking about the people buried there. “Were these people Christians?” 

This little tromp followed closely on the heels of our visit to one of our friends whose wife has just passed away. “Was she a Christian?” 

I had explained to Ezra that she was a Christian and so she got to go to heaven, but that her husband, who is aged and, thankfully, left behind for now, is not. That’s why your Papa has asked him to study the Bible…so he can learn how to go where she has gone and so he can be with her again someday. 

“Did he say he would study the Bible?” 

“Yes, he did. So let’s pray that he listens and wants to obey God, so that he can go to heaven.”

And so came the common line of thinking that you and I have heard countless times. (I’ve just never heard it expressed by a five-year-old.)… “So this is what I don’t understand about God. You know, Mammy, that not all of the people who are not Christians are bad guys. Most of them are just nice people; but they are not going to get to go to heaven. People who don’t get to go to heaven are going to have to burn. So how can God do that to nice people?”

And that just about sums up one of the most pervasive of all theological questions: How can a loving God damn people to eternal torment?  

So I talked about this for a brief few minutes there in the cemetery with Ezra. I told him how this earth we walk on is just really a testing place. “God is giving us a chance to choose whether we will obey him—all of what he commands us—or not. He is seeing if we trust Him enough to just obey Him. If we look around us and see this beautiful world—that grassy field over there, the mountain behind it, these huge oak trees and even our own bodies that can run and chase each other—if we see all of that, we should know that Someone made all of it. If we search for Him, we can find Him in His Word and then we can know what He wants us to do. But we have to care enough to study His Word and find His wishes for our lives. If we care enough to do anything to obey Him, He will help us to know how to do it and He will be our Father and take us to live with Him, forever.”

Ezra responded….”I kind of understand all of that, but I think there are some parts of it that I cannot understand because I’m just a kid. I think I will understand it better when I’m a grown-up.” 

I did not want to burst His bubble and tell him that there are some parts of it that he will never understand. But I did add that the most important thing to God is that we trust Him enough to just do what He says even if we don’t always understand. 

Later in the week we watched that classic old Disney movie together: Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier. He listened intently to a line taken from the ten commandments and another phrase repeated throughout the movie: “I make sure I’m right, and if I am right, then I go ahead.” 

Then Ezra said “Mammy, is Davy Crockett dead now?”

“Yes, he is, Ezra.”

“Well, was he a Christian?…because he acts like a Christian.” 

So now, reflecting on the week I just spent with that precious little five-year-old, I’m pretty sure he’s absorbing the truth that the most important thing about living, is dying; and the shape your soul is in when you do. 

As I was driving him back to meet his mama today, we had one final theological discussion. It started when he said something to purposely scare me and I quipped “Ezra, you are going to give Mammy a heart attack!” 

“Mammy, what’s a heart attack?”

After a little discussion about valves and blood flow, Ezra said. “Do you think I will ever have a heart attack? I’m kind of afraid of a heart attack.” 

I tried to reassure him that he is healthy and that, although he will one day die, it will likely be when he’s an old man and that he will probably never have a heart attack, even then.

“But, Ezra, you know every single person has to die one day.”

“Oh, I know that,” he said. 

And then I added, “…unless we are still living here when Jesus comes back in the clouds. If he comes soon and if we are still living, then we will never die.”

As I looked in the rearview mirror, I saw a look of excitement like I rarely see on that little face.  He said. “Do you really mean it?! You mean if we are still alive when He comes back, we will never die?!” 

“That’s right.  We will just fly up and meet him in the clouds and go on to heaven with him.”

“Oh!…Well then, that’s what I hope happens! I want to still be living when He comes back!” 

Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20).

Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom (Matthew 18:3).

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: I AM BECAUSE I AM

nature-scenery-at-the-flambeau-riverIn Exodus 3:14, God gave Moses the name by which He wished to be identified to His people, Israel, when he presented to them the prospect of deliverance from slavery to Pharaoh, their hard-hearted taskmaster. 

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

I AM THAT I AM.  Frankly, as a child, when I heard the story of Moses and the burning bush, the name sounded awkward and left me wondering exactly what God was trying to convey by the nomenclature. But as I read the name today in the American Standard Version, I’m amazed at its significance. The ASV renders it I AM BECAUSE I AM.

Just think of that! Every one of us can wear the first part of this name: I AM. You are. I am. We exist. But we do not exist because of ourselves. We exist because of a mother and father who existed because of another set of parents, who existed ultimately, through the line of generations back through time because of an original cause: Jehovah. God. The Creator. We are because He is. I am because of His eternal being and power. I cannot wear the second half of God’s Exodus three name. I am not existent because of my own existence. In other words, I am, but not because I am. I am because He was, is and continues to be. My name is I AM BECAUSE HE IS.

Jehovah, then, is the only one who can claim the name I AM BECAUSE I AM.  Everyone else has an original cause. He is the Original Cause. So that makes Him God. He had no beginning, no designer, planner, maker or authority. That makes him the ultimate of all of those things. The fact that He is the Original Cause renders Him the superlative in every relationship: the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. The Original Cause does not have to explain Himself. Just as the Exodus three name implies, He not only is because He is, He does because He does. In our modern vernacular, we might say He gets to decide. Everything. The buck stops with God. 

This is why Moses had to take off his shoes in front of that bush that day. Moses, the one who was caused, who was saved from destruction, who was nurtured in the palace and commissioned to deliver was standing, at that moment, before the Great Cause, the Savior, the Nurturer, the Deliverer.  

That’s why every one of us has to deal with God. He is the One with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13). There’s a sense in which we all have our burning bushes….The ultimate One is the only One who can truly present the ultimatum of this lifetime. Because He has this kind of superlative power over us, it makes it all the more amazing that he gave us His Son. Jesus, the One who was every bit God, who shared the quintessential power that’s inherent in the Exodus three name, gave up, for a time, the ultimate authority and learned obedience (Hebrews 5:8). Obedience. I AM THAT I AM obeyed. And He did this for me. The One who could wear the name I AM BECAUSE I AM humbled himself to dwell among those who are the caused rather than the Cause and even to die for the caused. 

When I think about this, I know that I’m not worthy to contemplate this humbling of Jesus. I am not capable of fully grasping the great gap between Cause and caused that was bridged at Calvary. But I want to take off my shoes before the  great I AM. Whatever I’m called upon to do as I go forth from my burning bush, I want to do it. I want to bow before the great I AM THAT I AM. 

May all who suffered sword or flame

For truth or Jesus’ lovely name

Shout victory now and hail the Lamb

And bow before the great I AM.