Friday, December 7, 2012

Who is God and How Do You Relate to Him?

Who is God? and Who are You?
Barbara Henderson

Who is God?

Almost everyone believes in a higher power.  Problems arise when people have different ideas of who or what god/God is.  The God of the Bible has characteristics and abilities that set Him apart from all other gods. 

God is existing without beginning or end.

God is present. He is with us now.  He has been with us since the beginning.

He was present at creation.  Through creation we can see that God is powerful.  In creation God created the material of which things are made as well as the things of creation.  If anyone today wishes to create something whether great or small, they collect the raw materials and then make whatever it is they want to make.  God alone can create out of nothing. 

God exists in three persons sometimes referred to as the Trinity.  God is also referred to as the ‘Tri-unity’ – one God with three equal parts.

God is present in the conscience of every individual.  Here are 3 verses from the first chapter of Romans, but you really need to read the entire chapter. 

Romans 1:20-22 says:
20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
God is perpetual – without beginning or end – no one escapes the presence of God – not even for a second
God is personal. He is not willing that any should perish – but that all should come to repentance.  (2 Peter 3:9) 
God is determined and tenacious. He takes the initiative to make Himself known to the individual.  Jesus personally went to see the woman at the well.  Read about her in John chapter 4. 

God makes Himself known to individuals.  Remember 2 Peter 3:9.  Also consider Luke 19:10 which says, ‘For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’  In addition to conscience, God makes Himself known to individuals through His followers today.

People become like the God/god they worship.  This absolutely does not mean anyone becomes a ‘god’.  It means they conform to the image of their god/God.  It is a process that continues throughout life.  Those who worship a god of rituals become ritualistic.  Those who worship a god of materialism become materialists.  Those who worship a god who murders become murderers.  Christians ought to take seriously Romans 12:2 which instructs us, ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’
God is beyond what a person can imagine.  He cannot be contained in an image – the work of man’s hands.

God, although He is mighty above our capacity to understand, is our helper! 
Psalm 46:1 tells us, ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.’

Psalm 72:12 says, ‘For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that.hath no helper.’  

Hebrews 13:6 says, ‘So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.’

God is worthy.
 2 Samuel 22:4 instructs us, ‘I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’

False gods demand worship, but they are not worthy of it.  They have no power to help.

God is a jealous God.  He requires first allegiance – which means He wants His followers to take His commandments seriously and obey them. 

Matthew 6:24 tells us, ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’

Exodus 20:1-3

1.  And God spake all these words, saying,

2. I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

What does God require from you?  Deuteronomy 10:12 tells us, ‘And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,’. 

Who are You? 

What makes you you?

God made you unique, complex, and for a purpose.  Your purpose is both general and specific.

You are unique.  God only made one of you.  You are the only one who can get specific tasks done in a specific way.

You are complex.  You are multifaceted!  You are intricate!  You are so complicated that you may not even know yourself!

God made you personally with a purpose. Your general purpose is to love God and to obey Him.  Every believer is required to live within the boundaries for living set down in the Bible.  Within the boundaries for Godly living, the individual will find specific and unique things he or she will be called on to do.  God equips the individual to do specific tasks by giving gifts!

You are a spiritual being.  You have spiritual gifts!

This is not an in depth study of spiritual gifts.  It is just a reminder that you have them.  Gifts may include preaching, teaching, organization, giving, encouragement, and a tender heart.  Some say there are 7 gifts, others say there are 9 gifts.  Christ displayed all the gifts.  The more like Him you become, the more your life will show all the gifts.  Ultimately, you have them all, but some are more obvious in some people than in others.  A mature Christian will show all the gifts.  Look for your personal inclinations to see your strong areas.  It isn’t important which gift or gifts you seem to have right now.  It is important that you figure out what they are and use them. Also take into consideration that the goal is to become strong in all the gifts.  For instance, someone who has strong organizational skills may not be as tender hearted as someone else.  That person would need to work on the tender heartedness aspect of his/her life.  Look at your inclinations.  Do you want to teach?  Do you love to give?  These are part of your spiritual being. Look for opportunities to use you gifts.  Make them part of how you spend each day.

Another thing to consider is that sometimes a need will arise that requires a gift you don’t seem to have.  If a task is set in front of you that you must do, then God will enable you to do it. 

You are a physical being.

Each individual has abilities and limitations related to their physical body.  This is very obvious in sports.  The 120 pound short guy is not going to be the star on a basketball team. 

You are an emotional being.  You like and dislike certain things.  Actually, you are probably passionate about some things. Be sure to keep you passions confined within the boundaries of Godly living set down for us in the Bible.  Within those boundaries, you are free to follow your heart! Do the things you love to do.  Are you inclined mechanically?  Are you inclined artistically?  Are you a born organizer?  Are you a healer? 

Within your areas of things you like, you will probably have more ability than in other areas.  It is highly doubtful that someone who really wants to care for the sick and injured is going to have much ability when it comes to rebuilding the transmission on an automobile.  Both require training in order to gain the necessary skills.  However, to a born healer medical training is a joy.  If they accidentally enrolled in an automotive repair school how far do you think they would go?

You have a unique personality!  You are extroverted or introverted.  You like being around people or you prefer solitude.  You may be somewhere in the middle.  You may be lighthearted, or serious minded.  You may be a combination of both.  You may be the take charge person in any situation.  You may be the one who is happy following a leader.  You may be the one who does your own thing.  You don’t even notice if you are following someone or if someone is following you. You may take charge in some situations and happily follow along in other situations.  It doesn’t really matter as long as you are doing the things required by God and necessary for your family and work.  It is all part of what makes you you.

You have experience!

Some of it is good and some of it is probably bad.  Your experiences all add to who you are.  Without a doubt, your experiences will make you a better or worse person.  I have observed that the same type of experience can have an opposite effect on people.  For instance, the loss of a child can make a person more tender hearted or bitter.  Financial prosperity or lack of prosperity can make a person humble and generous or haughty and stingy.  The outcome of experience is determined by reliance on the Lord while you are going through that experience.   

You are a sinner!  That’s right.  ‘You ain’t perfect!’  Or we could put it like this, ‘

Romans 3:23 - For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Thankfully we also have 1 John 1:9 which promises, ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’

We must never forget that we have a sin nature.  It is like the song says, ‘Prone to wander Lord I feel it’. (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing  ) 

Even identical twins have experiences that make them unique individuals. Whoever you are, like anything that is ‘one of a kind’ you are valuable!  When God made you, He had a place in heaven in mind for just you.   

Acts 2:21

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.