CHRISTIAN MEDITATION – PART 2 – THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you

Last time I wrote about three of many attributes of God, and they were; Omniscience, Holiness, and Wisdom. Now before we continue with part two, I wanted to point out that one of the greatest attributes of God that many people go to first, is love. However, no matter how great we think love is, it would not be possible for God to have a impartial, justified, fair, and true love for His creation without His Holiness, His Righteousness, His Justice, Hi Mercy, His Grace. Dare I say that God’s greatest attribute summed up throughout all of the Bible is His Holiness, yet equally intertwined throughout all of His other attributes, being the foundation for all others if you will. And without that foundation, that perfect standard above and apart from all others, well, that would not be much of a God at all now, would it.

4. Meditate on the POWER of God – This power is visible in the creation, and yet, many want to deny this. You know, the whole “Big Bang Theory (and no, not the T.V. show)”! Ask a stranger or a person you hardly know sometime, in all seriousness, where a tree came from. Some may head right for the evolution argument, others never really thought much about it, and I bet many of us have never even pondered it. Or how about our best friend Fido, or other 4 legged furry friend(s)? You cannot tell me that without a creator, a designer, a master planner who not only put forth everything from nothing and hangs it on the earth (Job 26:7), is not Sovereignly controlling His creation for His glory. If not, there is no powerful God. Yet there is!

Nothing can stand before a creating power; he needs no pre-existent matter to work upon; he needs no instruments to work with; he can work without tools; he is the one before whom the angels veil their faces, and the kings of the earth cast their crowns. He is the one that “shakes the earth out of its place,” Job 9.6. An earthquake makes the earth tremble upon her pillars; but God can shake it out of its place. God can with a word unpin the wheels, and break the axletree1 of the creation. He can suspend natural agents, stop the lion’s mouth, cause the sun to stand still, make the fire not burn. Xerxes, the Persian monarch, threw fetters into the sea, as if he would have chained up the unruly waters; but when God commands, “the winds and sea obey him,” Mat. 8.27. If he speaks the word, an army of stars appears, Jdg. 5.20. If he stamps with his foot, a host of angels are quickly in battle array; if he lifts up an ensign and but whistles, his very enemies shall be up in arms to revenge his quarrel, Isa. 5.26. Who would provoke this God?! “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God,” Heb. 10.31. Like a lion “he tears in pieces the adversaries,” Psa. 50.22. O meditate on this power of God! t would be a great buttress to faith. A Christian’s faith may anchor safely upon the rock of God’s power. Maybe a more indepth look and commentary on this subject sometime, but I do believe many have a lack of faith or falter in what little they have, because they do not see God as God Almighty, all powerful, basically not only do not believe what little they know, but do not deeply know His attributes. Faith triumphs in the power of God: out of this strong comes forth sweetness. Abraham, meditating on God’s power, did not stagger through unbelief, Rom. 4.20. He knew God could perform his promise, even contrary to the usual course of nature.

5. Meditate on the MERCY of God. Mercy is an innate disposition in God to do good, just as the sun has an innate property to shine: “You Lord are good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy to all those who call upon you,” Psa. 86.5. God’s mercy is so sweet, that it makes all his other attributes sweet. Holiness without mercy, and justice without mercy, would be dreadful. Though the children of God are under some clouds of affliction, yet the sun of mercy is never completely out of sight. God’s justice reaches to the clouds; his mercy reaches above the clouds. How slow is God to anger! Justice goes by foot, Gen. 18.21, but mercy has wings, Psa. 57.1. The sword of justice often lies a long time in the scabbard and rusts, till sin draws it out and whets it against a nation. Often meditate upon the mercy of God.

The effect of meditating on the mercy of God, we understand it would be the powerful loadstone to draw sinners to God by repentance. God is the Father of mercies,” 2Cor. 1.3. Mercy as naturally issues from him, as the child issues from the parent. God “delights in mercy,” Micah 7.18. Mercy finds out the worst sinner; mercy comes not only with salvation in its hand, but with healing under its wings. Mercy melts a sinner into tears. A prisoner reading a pardon sent to him from the king, fell weeping, and burst out into these words: “A pardon has done that which death could not do; it has made my heart relent.”

6. Meditate on the TRUTH of God.

Truth is one of the easiest, yet at the same time most difficult and complex words to understand these days. Why? Well, because there are two man camps (groups of people) who do not view truth in the same way. You have those who believe in absolute truth, and those who believe in relative (relativism) truth. An absolute truth is something that is true at all times and places, and is always true no matter the circumstances. For example, water is wet. Now it does not matter the kind of water, fresh water, spring water, river water, ocean water, etc. water is wet. That statement is an absolute truth. Now say you froze that water, is it still water? When you go to the drive through, do you say please put some frozen water in my drink? No, it is now ice, yet still water, just in a different state. Now the waters of truth just became kind of muddied (pun intended) didn’t they. A person who believes in relative truth does not always see truth in the same way, and when it comes to Christianity, is very dangerous in their thinking and philosophy much of the time.

Now let’s use some scripture for text proofs and these ways of thinking.

Numbers 23:19 – God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

Titus 1:2 – In hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began.

Hebrews 6:18 – So that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.

Now what is the one word that these three verses share? I will give you a hint; it starts with an l and ends with an e. God CANNOT lie! As Christians we either believe that to be 100% true or we don’t, and sadly many times in my life and walk with God I did not believe that way, and that is sin! It is not that I thought God to be a liar, but I had major trust issues because many times we think God to be like us, and if that were the case, we prepare ourselves the best we can to be let down, disappointed, rejected, shunned, etc.

Let us look at one more scripture before we close to get our thinking as a Christian who knows and believes absolute truth. Isaiah 57:7-9:

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Now I am not going to break this down, but rather have you, the reader, to use the points of these devotionals to learn how to meditate. But before we close, I also want to use these words from Thomas Watson’s book The Saints Spiritual Delight, as that is where these ideas of truth are coming from.

“Mercy makes the promise, and truth performs it: “I will not allow my faithfulness to fail,” Psa. 89.33. God might as well deny himself as to deny his word. He is “abundant in truth,” Exo. 34.6. What is that? If God has made a promise of mercy to his people, he will be so far from coming short of his word, that he will be better than his word. God often does more than he has said, never less; he often shoots beyond the mark of the promise he has set, never short of it. He is abundant in truth. God may sometimes delay a promise, but he will not deny it. The promise may lie a long time, like seed hidden underground; but all the while it is ripening. The promise of Israel’s deliverance lay four hundred and thirty years hidden underground; but when the time had come, the promise did not go a day beyond its reckoning, Exo. 12.41. “The strength of Israel will not lie,” 1Sam. 15.29. Meditate on the truth of God.

The effects of meditating on the truth of God:

1. It would be a pillar of support for faith. The world hangs upon God’s power, and faith hangs upon his truth.

2. It would make us ambitious to imitate Him. We should be true in our words, true in our dealings. Pythagoras was asked, “What makes men like God?” He answered, “When they speak truth.”

Reader, if you do not fully and completely trust God, repent. I know it’s hard, because we want control, and when we do that, we want to be our own god, and that is sin.

Proverbs 3:5-6 –
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

#ToGodBeTheGlory

CHRISTIAN MEDITATION – PART 1 – THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:7-9

One of the greatest disservices we as Christians do when studying God’s Word is actually take very little time of studying who God is in depth. Why is this such a great disservice? Well for one, it puts us in danger of a grievous sin in the making of a God of our own choosing, thereby making us no better than the children of Israel when they made the golden calf and worshiped it. Some reading this might be thinking in their pride “How dare he say such a thing!” Granted, we may have not melted down our jewelry and physically made an idol, but we have ignored God and His commandments and made Him not so big and mighty, that we might control him as our genie in a bottle to do our bidding whenever we so choose to call upon Him. But look at out opening quote / scripture this morning. His thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are our ways His ways, and right before that verse, God tells us to repent, although He does not use that very word here and is implied.

In the image of this mornings devotional, it comes from the wonderful book (which I recommend to ALL Christians) called Visual Theology and does a good job (yet humbly admits even they could not do the task of breaking down God’s attributes and justice) of God’s attributes and how they interact with His creation. Before we get down this deep theological journey, I want you to understand two very important pieces of information about God and His attributes, what are referred to as His Communicable and Incommunicable attributes. In the basic sense and form, God’s communicable attributes mean that He shares these attributes with His creation, whereas the incommunicable attributes are for Him and Him alone. For example, we cannot be Omnipresent, only God can, that is an incommunicable attribute of God. In this devotional we are going to focus on six attributes about God and hopefully bring a deeper fear (reverential and holy respect) for God, His Word, and the importance of daily applying it to our lives as His redeemed Children.

  1. Meditate on God’s OMNISCIENCE

    His eye is continually upon us; he has a window open into the conscience; our thoughts are unveiled before him. He numbers our steps, meaning He knows the number of days appointed to each and every person ever born. He know our thoughts long before we ever think them. He know the number of hairs on our head, yes, even the grey ones we may try to cover up 😉

    So why is it important to meditate on this attribute? Well, I believe if we knew and took serious the God of the Bible, it would help us be less sinful and take sin more serious. For example, if you needed to steal something, you would look around to see if anyone is watching or could positively identify you at the scene of the crime, and if you knew you would not be caught, you would commit the crime, right? Yet God knew that you would commit the crime long before you even thought about it. Knowing He is the greatest judge and jury we will all one day stand before, that should either scare us or bring us comfort knowing His justice will one day rid evil for ever!

  2. Meditate on the HOLINESS of God – Back to our opening scripture, God tells the prophet Isaiah to write my ways are not your ways, and my thoughts are not your thoughts. God gives us all things to know who His is through His Word, and God is Holy. 1 Peter 1:13-19 (emphasis on verse 16) – since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

    What benefit does it do the Christian to meditate on the Holiness of God? It would be a means to transform us into the similitude and likeness of God. God ever loves us, till we are like him. By meditation we are looking at the beams of holiness which are gloriously transparent in God. As we do, we grow like him, and become holy as he is holy. Holiness is a beautiful thing, Psa. 110.3. It puts a kind of angelic brightness upon us; it is the only coin that will pass current in heaven, The second half of Hebrews 12:14 “and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” By frequent meditation on this attribute, we are changed into God’s image.

  3. Meditate on the WISDOM of God – He is called “the only wise God,” 1Tim. 1.17. His wisdom shines forth in the works of providence; he sits at the helm, guiding all things regularly and harmoniously; he brings light out of darkness; he can strike a straight stroke with a crooked stick; he can make use of the injustice of men to do what is just; he is infinitely wise; he breaks us by afflictions — and upon these broken pieces of the ship, he brings us safely to shore.

    The effects of meditating on the wisdom of God: a. It would sweetly calm our hearts: When we see things go awry in public, the wise God holds the reins of government in his hand; and whoever would rule, God over-rules; he knows how to turn all to good; his work will be beautiful in its season.

    b. When things go ill with us in our private concerns, the meditation of God’s wisdom would rock our hearts quiet. The wise God has set me in this condition, and whether health or sickness, wisdom will order it for the best. God will make a medicine of poison; all things shall be useful to me; either the Lord will expel some sin, or he will exercise some grace.

    Right now in life is some of the hardest times many of us have seen. Yet, if we take the focus off of ourselves for a moment and look at others lives we might see things differently. Think for a moment of those who may be much older than us, might still be alive from the days of the depression era in the 1920’s and ’30’s. Or what about children who are too young to understand, yet see us living in panic or fear. Yes, things are bad to some right now, but to those who know God and trust Him, there is peace. We must trust in His Wisdom, His providence, and His Sovereignty to have peace and comfort during these trying times. These are other reasons why we must meditate on God.

    Be sure to come back tomorrow for our conclusion of meditating on the attributes of God. As a bonus, here is another article you can read that has a lot of really good points as well!

15 Amazing Attributes of God: What They Mean and Why They Matter

The Saints Spiritual Delight by Thomas Watson

Until then….

#ToGodBeTheGlory