Thursday, January 31, 2013

Attributes of God

Over the past month, I have had opportunity to reflect on the previous year. I've come to realize that 2012 was a year in which God demonstrated grace, mercy, and love in my life. These are attributes of God that I really hadn't experienced quite like I did in 2012. When you spend a lot of time with someone, you really get to know them on a much deeper level. That holds true for God as well.

It was during this time of reflection that God impressed upon my heart that He wanted to show me another one of His attributes in 2013. I believe that attribute will be His awesome power. I have already seen glimpses of His power in 2012 as He interceded for me in ways I hadn't expected. But it's very exciting to anticipate and actively watch for God to reveal His power around me. 

I decided to do some research and compiled a list of Bible verses which clearly demonstrates these characteristics of God. As I finished typing all of these, I couldn't help but be a little overwhelmed by it all. To simply read this list is to get just a tiny glimpse into what God is really like. We can't handle knowing much more than that. Remember Moses' face when he left God's presence? (Exodus 34:29

So, I invite you to read these and let them soak into your soul. Beside each scripture reference, I've summarized the verse. 

Attributes of God's Grace, Mercy, and Love

Deut 7:7-9  Just because He loves you

Deut 10:15-18  He chose you

Deut 33:12  God surrounds him with His loving care

1Chr 16:34  He is good. His love and kindness go on forever

Neh 9:17  He is a God of forgiveness, always ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and full of love and mercy

Ps 63:3  His love and kindness is better to me than life itself

Ps 86:15  He is full of constant lovingkindness

Ps 100:5  He is always loving and kind, and His faithfulness goes on and on

Ps 103:8  He is merciful and tender to those who don’t deserve it

Ps 119:64  The earth is full of your lovingkindness

Ps 145:8  He is full of love

Isa 63:7-9  In His love and pity He redeemed them and lifted them up and carried them through all the years

Jer 31:3  I have loved you with an everlasting love; with lovingkindness I have drawn you unto me

Lam 3:22-26  The Lord is wonderfully good to those who wait for Him

Dan 9:9  The Lord our God is merciful

John 3:16  God loved the world so much that He gave His only son

Rom 5:8-11  God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us

Gal 2:20  The Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me

Eph 1:6  He has poured out His favor on us

Eph 2:4-10  He loved us so much…only by His undeserved favor have we ever been saved

Titus 3:3-7  He saved us, not because we were good enough to be saved, but because of His kindness

1John 4:9; 5:11-13  God showed how much He loved us…He has given us eternal life
Rev 21:4  He will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, no sorrow, nor crying, nor pain. All of that has gone forever

Attributes of God’s Power

Gen 17:1  I am the Almighty

Gen 18:14 Is there anything too hard for God?

Deut 32:39  I alone am God.

2Chr 20:6  He is the only God in all the heavens

Ps 33:6-11  He merely spoke and the heavens were formed

Ps 115:3  He does as He wishes

Ps 135:6  He does whatever pleases Him

Isa 14:24-27  The Lord, the God of battle, has spoken—who can change His plans?

Isa 40:28  God…never faints or grows weary

Isa 43:13  From eternity to eternity I am God; No one can oppose what I do

Jer 32:17,27  Nothing is too hard for Him

Matt 19:26  But with God, everything is possible

Luke 1:37  Every promise from God shall surely come true

Luke 18:27  God can do what men can’t

Rom 8:31  If God is on our side, who can ever be against us?

Rev 19:6  Then I heard again what sounded like the shouting of a huge crowd, or like the waves of a hundred oceans crashing on the shore, or like the mighty rolling of great thunder, “Praise the Lord. For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wordy Wednesday

My uncle went home to be with the Lord this week. As I reflected on his death, I imagined what the reunion in heaven would be like for him. How wonderful to see those who have gone before him--parents, siblings, friends. It also reminded me of the hope I have for a glorious future in heaven one day. It makes me a little bit "homesick." With this in mind, I am dedicating this week's Wordy Wednesday post to my uncle by sharing this hope from the Word.

The Hope of the Resurrection

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you
to know what will happen to the believers 
who have died so you will not grieve 
like people who have no hope.  
For since we believe that Jesus died 
and was raised to life again, 
we also believe that when Jesus returns, 
God will bring back with him 
the believers who have died.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (NLT)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Blessed Assurance

Listen to the song
This song was on my mind this morning. I grew up hearing it regularly in church. There's just something comforting and familiar about the song. It's a reminder of my rich heritage of believing family members. It's also a fond reminder of all the years sitting on a pew and hearing these great hymns of faith being sung by people I have called my church family. I know my parents thought I wasn't listening half the time, but I was. Kids hear more than adults think they hear.

Besides all of those memories, the words to this song are just so rich in meaning. In this world I have so very little assurance of anything or anyone. Nothing lasts. It's not easy to count on anyone or anything. But I do have a blessed assurance in Jesus Christ is as my Savior. I can praise Him even when things are not going quite right. I can be at rest in the midst of unrest. And one day I will see these wonderful visions of rapture unfolding before my eyes and angels descending from above. One day I will stand before my Savior and hope to hear, "Well done my faithful servant."

For now, I am watching and waiting, looking above. I am filled with His goodness and lost in His love. Yes, this is my story, this is my song!   

Sunday, January 20, 2013


I don't really like bridges. I'm not fearful of them, but I don't particularly like them. I still remember many nightmares that involved really high bridges that led to nowhere. I still recall a rickety drawbridge from my hometown and being afraid of that bridge until it was torn down in favor of new construction.

I don't fear bridges quite as much as I've grown older. Out of necessity, I've learned to tolerate bridges. Yet, even now when I'm sitting on a bridge full of traffic and a heavy truck goes across, I can feel the bridge shake and I wonder: Will the bridge fall down?

Bridges are actually very helpful. When I was a child, my father built a bridge in our back yard to span a creek that ran through the yard. It was a pretty little bridge that I dubbed "the lady bridge." Bridges allow me to easily cross over a river to visit my home state when I'm traveling. My path to work involves crossing over interstates on bridges. Bridges take me to my destination.

Bridges can be beautiful. Or scary.

Bridges can overlook some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Or bridges can overlook a neglected neighborhood.

You just never know what you're going to get when you cross a bridge. The path along that bridge that can sometimes make us wonder when we'll ever get to the other side of the bridge--our destination. We need to have faith that the bridge will get us to our final destination.

Sometimes our spiritual journey is just like that. We are hoping and praying for a change in our circumstances. God begins to work in our lives and puts us on a new journey. Sometimes that journey takes us over a bridge. The journey may reveal some breathtaking moments. Or that journey may bring out our fears. Either way, God is with us on that journey. We must trust that God has us in the center of where we're supposed to be--even in the midst of fear. If we've asked for this journey of change, we need to trust God and lean on Him.

We can count on God to take us through these faith journeys. If we avoid the bridges, our journey may take a whole lot longer.

This reminds me of the account of Jesus and the disciples as they crossed the stormy lake in a boat. We may encounter some rough waters but Jesus will be there with us. Jesus asked them (us and me)...

“Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”  (Mark 4:40b)

My faith verse for 2013 is...

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; 
it gives us assurance about things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1).

Thursday, January 17, 2013



[dih-strak-shuh n]
mental distress or derangement; that which distracts, 
divides the attention, or prevents concentration; 
that which amuses, entertains, or diverts

I’ve had my fair share of distractions recently. Some of the distractions were unavoidable and/or the usual day-to-day stuff. Other distractions were like magnets drawing me in. Rather than fight off that magnetic pull, it’s just been easier to give in.  Who wouldn't rather snuggle with a book on a cold, rainy day than reorganize a closet?

Distractions are inevitable. It’s a fork in the road which requires me to choose. Some choices are clear yet not always easy to make. For example, the kitchen clearly needs to be cleaned, but a favorite television show is about to air. On the other hand, some choices are not so clear. An example here might be choosing between helping a sick friend and spending the holiday with family. Who do you disappoint? In each example something or someone distracts from the original plan.

When the plan involves a commitment to another person (or to God), it’s even more difficult to contend with distractions. I’ve had that happen several times in recent months. I made a few commitments in spiritual matters but it wasn’t long before I was met with distractions. To be honest, the distractions were so subtle that I didn’t realize what was happening until I noticed a pattern. Dare I say these particular distractions were tests?  Hmmm. Very possible.

For that man ought not to expect that he will receive 
anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, 
unstable in all his ways (James 1:7-8).

Double-minded? That term sounds curiously like the definition of distraction: divides the attention. I heard this verse in church recently and after I saw it I realized that’s exactly what was happening to me. I’ve been giving these distractions a foot-hold in my life. Becoming aware of this issue has helped some. By no means have I conquered it. I'm still working on that one.

But, these distractions present an opportunity for me to make a choice. My attention can be divided for only so long before something suffers. If these distractions are tests, it gives me an opportunity to choose God's path. When I recognize these moments I can choose to ask God, What would you have me do here?  It only takes a few seconds to ask that question. The easier thing to do is just move right ahead with what we want to do or with whatever is pulling at us harder. It’s a learning process. However, each time I make a choice to follow God's path, it strengthens my relationship with Him and strengthens my own faith. 

If we go back and look at the context of this passage in James, we see that the chapter is about testing our faith. James says in verses 5 and 6, 

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, 
who gives to all generously and without reproach, 
and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith 
without any doubting, for the one who doubts 
is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

God is ready to give me wisdom to make the right choices. And look! He is generous about giving wisdom. I just have to ask, with faith. (I just need to remember to do it! Hey, maybe I can actually get back to writing on this blog again.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Wordy Wednesday

Now faith is the assurance of 
things hoped for, the conviction
of things not seen. -Hebrews 11:1

“You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” -John 20:29

Faith is my anchor word for 2013. It's one word I'm using as a focus for the coming year. I started really learning "on the front lines" about what this word means in 2012 and look forward to putting more of it into practice this year. 

What one word might you choose for your anchor word this year?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wordy Wednesday

Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house;
    I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.
Lead me in the right path, O Lord,
    or my enemies will conquer me.
Make your way plain for me to follow.
- Psalm 5:7-8

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Wordy Wednesday

As we look back to the previous year and look ahead to the coming year, no matter what has happened we should praise the Lord for His Goodness.

Circumstances may not always be good but God is good--always.

The Lord Praised for His Goodness.

Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart,
In the company of the upright and in the assembly.
Great are the works of the Lord;
They are studied by all who delight in them.
3 Splendid and majestic is His work,
And His righteousness endures forever.
He has made His wonders to be remembered;
The Lord is gracious and compassionate.
He has given food to those who fear Him;
He will remember His covenant forever.
He has made known to His people the power of His works,
In giving them the heritage of the nations.
The works of His hands are truth and justice;
All His precepts are sure.
They are upheld forever and ever;
They are performed in truth and uprightness.
He has sent redemption to His people;
He has ordained His covenant forever;
Holy and awesome is His name.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;
His praise endures forever.
Psalm 111 (NASB)