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Brother Mark
May 22nd 2008, 01:35 PM
I am not sure how long I can continue in this thread, but it is important to at least consider these issues. What does scripture say about the nature of God?

First, we know that God the Father was expressed in Christ the Son. They are identical in nature.

Heb 1:1-3

1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.
NASB

Jesus glorified God by revealing him. That is what it means to glorify God. It is nothing more than to reveal character. When God is glorified, his character is revealed. We see this with Moses.

Ex 33:19-22
19 And He said, "I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion." 20 But He said, "You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!" 21 Then the Lord said, "Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; 22 and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.
NASB

God's goodness is his glory. Jesus glorified the Father because he revealed the character of the Father.

What else do we know about God and his nature?

Matt 11:29

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
KJV

We know that God is meek and lowly. Or said another way, God is very humble. Here's how the NASB says it.

Matt 11:29-30
29 "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. 30 "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."
NASB

Jesus, being the express image of God, was humble. Through Him, we learn that God is humble.

Not only that, but Jesus was ultimately selfless. He laid down his life for the Father. He gave all. What about the Father? He too gave all.

John 3:16

16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
NASB

Yet, the greatest scripture that describes the very heart of God would have to be 1 Cor 13. For we know from 1 John, that God is love (agape). 1 Cor 13 describes God when it describes agape.

1 Cor 13:3-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails;
NASB

This is a great description of God. (Just to clarify... God is jealous of us. But he is not jealous of what others have. Keep that in mind. Being jealous over one you love is not the same as being jealous of another's successes.)

Do not fall into the trap of thinking God is a glory seeking, self seeking, self centered being. He is far from that! He is the most selfless being you will ever meet in your entire life. There is none like Him. How do we glorify God? By living a life of serving God and others. For Jesus himself said ...

Matt 20:26-28
26 "It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. "
NASB

We glorify God most when we are like Jesus. When we are selfless in our endeavors and seek to serve instead of being served. For that is the glory of God. For that is goodness.

Cloudwalker
May 22nd 2008, 11:01 PM
AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!! I have a sermon on John 3:16, 17 that I preach that goes into it almost a word at a time and during it I take that passage from 1 Cor. 13 and substitute God for Love. Have had several tell me that they haven't ever thought of it that way before.

Brother Mark
May 23rd 2008, 11:45 AM
Have had several tell me that they haven't ever thought of it that way before.

My image of God was very skewed before and after I first got saved. I saw him as so judgmental. For the first five years of my new life, God would only let me read the NT, Psalms and Proverbs. He radically changed my thinking.

Sometimes, I read these boards and I become grieved over who people think God really is. Thanks for the encouragement.

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2008, 01:59 PM
First of all, let me start by saying I have no problem whatsoever with God seeking His own glory. Nor do I have a problem with God being "self-seeking".

I just wanted to address this:



We know that God is meek and lowly.


I adamantly disagree with this. Jesus Christ, when He left the glory of His home in heaven, gave up His power and glory and humbled Himself by becoming a man so that we could be saved.

But let's not forget, He ascended to heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father, victorious and reclaiming His power and glory.


God is NOT meek and lowly. God is the omnipotent, majestic, glorious, exalted Lord of the universe!!!!!!!

stillforgiven
May 23rd 2008, 02:08 PM
AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!! I have a sermon on John 3:16, 17 that I preach that goes into it almost a word at a time and during it I take that passage from 1 Cor. 13 and substitute God for Love. Have had several tell me that they haven't ever thought of it that way before.


My image of God was very skewed before and after I first got saved. I saw him as so judgmental. For the first five years of my new life, God would only let me read the NT, Psalms and Proverbs. He radically changed my thinking.

Sometimes, I read these boards and I become grieved over who people think God really is. Thanks for the encouragement.

I don't have time to read all of your OP right now, but based on these two comments, I will be taking the time this weekend. I know that I have a messed up view of God, though I am getting better. Thanks in advance for posting.

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2008, 02:15 PM
I know that I have a messed up view of God, though I am getting better.

I agree in this day and age we have a messed up view of God. But in my opinion, we've messed up by trying to bring God down to our level, as if He were just "one of the guys". We have lost the holy fear and reverence that is due Him.

timmyb
May 23rd 2008, 03:02 PM
First of all, let me start by saying I have no problem whatsoever with God seeking His own glory. Nor do I have a problem with God being "self-seeking".

I just wanted to address this:



I adamantly disagree with this. Jesus Christ, when He left the glory of His home in heaven, gave up His power and glory and humbled Himself by becoming a man so that we could be saved.

But let's not forget, He ascended to heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father, victorious and reclaiming His power and glory.


God is NOT meek and lowly. God is the omnipotent, majestic, glorious, exalted Lord of the universe!!!!!!!

notice how being meek and lowly doesn't mean weakness... meekness is power under control... considering God is all powerful he must be the meekest ever... he delights in mercy when we deserve punishment...

I think to be a God as high as he is and to come down as low to us and encase himself in flesh and subject himself to the cruelest death his creation has concocted is humility and meekness at its finest...

meekness is by no means weakness

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2008, 03:20 PM
notice how being meek and lowly doesn't mean weakness... meekness is power under control... considering God is all powerful he must be the meekest ever... he delights in mercy when we deserve punishment...

I think to be a God as high as he is and to come down as low to us and encase himself in flesh and subject himself to the cruelest death his creation has concocted is humility and meekness at its finest...

meekness is by no means weakness

This is also a God who is one day going to pour out His hot holy wrath upon this wicked world and cast untold millions into hell for eternity. He is certainly going to give plenty of people their rightful due when they stand in judgment before Him one day.

Yes, God is a God of mercy and tender love. But He is also a God of wrath and vengeance.

timmyb
May 23rd 2008, 03:27 PM
This is also a God who is one day going to pour out His hot holy wrath upon this wicked world and cast untold millions into hell for eternity. He is certainly going to give plenty of people their rightful due when they stand in judgment before Him one day.

Yes, God is a God of mercy and tender love. But He is also a God of wrath and vengeance.

and it's out of his love and mercy towards his children that he will pour out his wrath upon the wicked... he is all things at all times... totally balanced... no attribute cancels out another... his love doesn't cancel out his wrath... his humility doesn't cancel out his greatness... to say otherwise would be to say God is not in control of his emotions and unstable

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2008, 03:40 PM
and it's out of his love and mercy towards his children that he will pour out his wrath upon the wicked... he is all things at all times... totally balanced... no attribute cancels out another... his love doesn't cancel out his wrath... his humility doesn't cancel out his greatness... to say otherwise would be to say God is not in control of his emotions and unstable

I never implied that God is unbalanced. In fact, I believe I was saying just the opposite.

The God I worship is not lowly, however. I find the assertion offensive, to be quite honest. He is the Lord of the universe, glorious, holy and mighty in power. He is exalted high above the heavens, the King of kings and the Lord of lords!

timmyb
May 23rd 2008, 03:48 PM
I never implied that God is unbalanced. In fact, I believe I was saying just the opposite.

The God I worship is not lowly, however. I find the assertion offensive, to be quite honest. He is the Lord of the universe, glorious, holy and mighty in power. He is exalted high above the heavens, the King of kings and the Lord of lords!

lowly isn't a bad thing... it's just a sign of humility... he humbles himself... that's not irreverent... but an example... and it doesn't take away from his omnipotence... he humbles himself to behold the things that are in heaven and earth (Psalm 113:6)

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2008, 03:58 PM
lowly isn't a bad thing... it's just a sign of humility... he humbles himself... that's not irreverent... but an example... and it doesn't take away from his omnipotence... he humbles himself to behold the things that are in heaven and earth (Psalm 113:6)

Of course, as the Supreme Being, doing anything but looking upon Himself is going to be cause for Him to condescend. He can't look up to anything or anyone higher than Himself, so He must look down.

Psalm 113:6 is not asserting that He is lowly, however. If you read the verses right before, it is saying anything but that.

4 The LORD is high above all nations,
His glory above the heavens.
5 Who is like the LORD our God,
Who dwells on high,

timmyb
May 23rd 2008, 04:12 PM
Of course, as the Supreme Being, doing anything but looking upon Himself is going to be cause for Him to condescend. He can't look up to anything or anyone higher than Himself, so He must look down.

Psalm 113:6 is not asserting that He is lowly, however. If you read the verses right before, it is saying anything but that.

4 The LORD is high above all nations,
His glory above the heavens.
5 Who is like the LORD our God,
Who dwells on high,

but he humbles himself... keep in mind that God came to the earth and took upon himself the form of the servant of all... he came as a lamb lowly of heart... he is the great king over all the earth and by saying that he is humble of heart is by no means taking away from his greatness and his omnipotence... knowing that he is humble of heart only empowers me to be humble of heart and prefer others above myself...

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2008, 04:27 PM
but he humbles himself... keep in mind that God came to the earth and took upon himself the form of the servant of all... he came as a lamb lowly of heart... he is the great king over all the earth and by saying that he is humble of heart is by no means taking away from his greatness and his omnipotence... knowing that he is humble of heart only empowers me to be humble of heart and prefer others above myself...

Perhaps I am seeing lowly differently than you are. Lowly to me implies "a lesser position". As Jesus Christ said, "The Father is greater than I". (John 14:28). Jesus Christ was lowly for a time, when He emptied Himself and became a man. But His divine position as Lord and King was restored when He conquered death and ascended into heaven. He is no longer "emptied" of His divine attributes but reigns in full glory and power.

I do not see God's condescension to a "lesser world" as being the same as Him being lesser Himself.

timmyb
May 23rd 2008, 04:38 PM
Perhaps I am seeing lowly differently than you are. Lowly to me implies "a lesser position". As Jesus Christ said, "The Father is greater than I". (John 14:28). Jesus Christ was lowly for a time, when He emptied Himself and became a man. But His divine position as Lord and King was restored when He conquered death and ascended into heaven. He is no longer "emptied" of His divine attributes but reigns in full glory and power.

I do not see God's condescension to a "lesser world" as being the same as Him being lesser Himself.

but keep in mind that God is still humble and lowly of heart, even now... it's still a sign of humility.. it's not irreverent at all... he didn't cast that off when Christ ascended... he's the lion and the lamb at the same time... you're absolutely right in your description of him but the example of Christ to us is humility... he's not lesser than himself by choosing meekness... in no way does he diminish his character by humility

stillforgiven
May 23rd 2008, 04:58 PM
I agree in this day and age we have a messed up view of God. But in my opinion, we've messed up by trying to bring God down to our level, as if He were just "one of the guys". We have lost the holy fear and reverence that is due Him.


I totally see your point and agree. My messed up view was/is that He's sitting there just waiting for me to mess up so He can send down some of that wrath. The whole "loving God" is something that I have to work to get into my head and heart. I'm not trying to bring Him down to my level, but simply trying to believe He really does love me the way people say He does.

threebigrocks
May 23rd 2008, 05:15 PM
I wholeheartedly agree with Brother Mark. The very notion that the One who came as man in flesh to save us from eternal damnation and lifts us up to eternal life as a child of His - is enough to make me weep and revere his humility, meekness and lowliness - His entire character of who He is - as bigger than all things. I could never go as low as Christ made Himself. But I can be raised up with Him in glory! Makes God more Holy, more perfect, more omniscent,...just more and bigger than saying it's utterly beyond me to fathom His nature of being.

Scruffy Kid
May 23rd 2008, 06:52 PM
IMO this is an immense topic and very important. There's a lot to say.

I think one place to start is by opening our minds to the possibility that the core concerns that Whispering Grace raises might be fully compatible with -- even supporting to -- the core concerns involved in Brother Mark's initial post (and vice versa).

Often in doing theology -- that is, in trying to speak rightly of God and of His acts and His nature -- we face antinomies, opposed principles both of which are important, and which, ultimately, must stand together, unless both get misunderstood. This is hardly surprising, because God is larger than our conceptual categories, or our understanding: hence what is true, simply true, in God is apt, when expressed in human language or thought, to be larger than the medium of our understanding can hold, and hence "contradictory".

This is one reason why we need one another for balance!!

There's a lovely, just lovely, passage in the Apocalypse (Revelations) at 2:17 which says "To the one that overcomes I will give of the hidden manna which that one may eat! And I will give that person a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no one knows except the one that receives it." Just as God gave Abraham a name, that in him all the families of the earth might be blessed, so God takes who we are and yet transforms that very identity -- making it blossom with His own greatness -- and thus we have an identity that is incommunicable, from which we also may share with one another the way that God has made His changeless word come alive anew in our lives, that each gives the others new insight and praise for God. So often theological insights are complementary.

And part of our love and our walking in humility is recognizing that others have valuable insights we may have missed. Paul writes to the Philippians (2:2-3) that they should give him joy and experience the fellowship of the Spirit by "being likeminded, ... of one accord, of one mind, letting nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind each esteeming the others better than themselves."

I was (and am) very taken by Brother Mark's original post and observation. Yet Whispering Grace adds some things of great importance. For one, apart from the particular observations, the insistence that we must keep to what the Bible teaches, and sound doctrine, and not get led along by the Spirit of the age! This is something I really appreciate in WG. But more specifically, our age, hyper-"democratic", tends to downplay any hierarchy and authority -- although hierarchy is obviously (and according to Scripture) a natural part of life, and good! And this leads to seeking to downplay the majesty, kingship, authority, and greatness of God, who is high above all things. We fall, and rightly should fall, in awe before God's greatness. This is at least part of what WG is saying, as I take it, and something we all very much need to hear. Hear and faithfully speak!!

And of course God rightly acts that His Glory might fill the earth, for the promise to Habakkuk that "the earth shall be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea!" is one of Scripture's great promises. Likewise, we understand how Isaiah (chapter 6) is overcome, as the angels whose whole life is to contemplate God are utterly overcome, by God's glory! Rightly we fall in awe before Him!!

timmyb
May 23rd 2008, 06:55 PM
agreed..............

threebigrocks
May 23rd 2008, 08:12 PM
IMO this is an immense topic and very important. There's a lot to say.

I think one place to start is by opening our minds to the possibility that the core concerns that Whispering Grace raises might be fully compatible with -- even supporting to -- the core concerns involved in Brother Mark's initial post (and vice versa).

Often in doing theology -- that is, in trying to speak rightly of God and of His acts and His nature -- we face antinomies, opposed principles both of which are important, and which, ultimately, must stand together, unless both get misunderstood. This is hardly surprising, because God is larger than our conceptual categories, or our understanding: hence what is true, simply true, in God is apt, when expressed in human language or thought, to be larger than the medium of our understanding can hold, and hence "contradictory".

This is one reason why we need one another for balance!!

There is truth in that scruff! Mark's point alone - very good one. WG's comments - true, yet the Father sent the Son to us so that we could know Him personally and be called children of God. We will know later fully, but now only in part. ;) That hugeness that is God is completely unfathomable to our puny human minds - yet it is truth. He is beyond the confine of htis world - yet our personal savior.

Yowzer, blows one's mind.

Scruffy Kid
May 23rd 2008, 09:33 PM
Yet I also and from the heart agree with Brother Mark also. And I believe this is an important point for non-Christians in coming to God, and for us in understanding Who He is.

True, while the Son in His Person (and in the eternal nature of his being as God) is true God, co-eternal and co-equal with the Father, as a human being he is humble or lowly in a way that the eternal deity cannot be: God, as God, cannot be ignorant, learn, suffer, die, as Jesus did. There's a profound mystery in the union of God and humanity in Christ Jesus! Yet it's also true that Christ's humanity is the very expression of the nature, and therefore the majesty, of God -- Jesus is very God!! -- and thus even his humility and mortality must represent something of His eternal nature. He is, after all, not only "the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world" but also "the lamb slain before the foundation of the world." Even in eternity, beyond all that is created, there is something central to the being of the Eternal Son, and therefore in the whole Godhead, that is expressed in Christ's humility.

Christ is the very image of the invisible God, and God who wants us to be Holy because He is Holy, aims for us to be transformed into this one thing: the image of Christ Jesus!! Jesus the crucified is the true Lord and God of heaven and earth: Jesus, and Him crucified; therefore Jesus the suffering servant and lowly one.


Thinking through Bro. Mark's point in the Christological Hymn

Paul (after the injunctions in 2:1-4 for us to love one another, be of one accord, and count others better than ourselves which I quoted earlier) gives the following remarkable passage 2:5-11, called the Christological Hymn, which may well be the earliest written piece of NT Scripture, for it was probably a hymn in the early church which Paul was quoting in this relatively early letter:

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature (morphe) of God, did not consider handing onto equality with God (or, thought it not robbery to be equal with God): But emptied himself, and taking the very nature (morphe) of a slave, and was made in the likeness of human beings, And being found as a human being, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Through this God also has highly exalted him, and given him the name which is above every name: That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth (or, in the realm of the dead) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
This is a theological hymn, and the highest of Christologies: it affirms that Jesus's true and eternal nature was as God, equal with the Father! This fully proclaims and exalts the greatness of Christ Jesus as God. Therefore, Jesus's name is the "name above every name" and God has "very highly exalted" him (huperupsosen: super-exalted). Yet at the very same moment, it perhaps more than any other passage proclaims the humility of Christ. The unchangable Divine Personhood of the Eternal Word and Son, is expressed, not suppressed, in his emptying himself, and taking the nature of a slave! Because he does not count equality with God something He should or must grasp, because His Divinity is unique and beyond change, there is no impediment whatever for him taking the lowest place! Moreover, the act of so emptying and humbling himself is the very thing through which God highly exalts him! His unfathomable love and lowliness is that through which the glory of God shines and is expressed!

Thus it is "in the name of Jesus" (en toi onomati) that we have the grace to be loving and lowly as He was and is loving and lowly!! And it is this very thing which glorifies God the Father.

But this raises another important point. Brother Mark, though, particularly emphasizes that "God the Father was expressed in Christ the Son. They are identical in nature." How is it that God, "the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named", how is it that the Creator God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) can be understood in the capacity of a lowly servant, a slave?


Is the creator God in some way in the form of a servant (or slave)?
Or by His very nature our servant or slave?

God of course is the highly exalted one. Jesus is too. When Jesus emphasized his servanthood, in the upper room discourse, He also made that clear. "You call me Lord and Master, and rightly so, for that is what I am!! Yet I am among you as one who serves (as a slave)!" Could we say this of God the Father? Of God as Creator?

I think so.

Who is it that is Lord in a family? The parents, of course! The kids have to obey and respect, and the parents gave them life, and it is right that the kids should be humble before their parents!

Yet who is it in a family that is really the servant, the slave? The parents, of course! A child is born and can do nothing to help its parents. It needs to be held, washed, fed, cleaned, and takes constant attention and care. The baby can do nothing to repay its parents. Does this cease to be the case as the child grows? Are teens really a lot easier to deal with than babies? And when the kid goes to college, the parent have to shell out many thousands of dollars per year for the kid's education, in many cases!! They do so gladly, because of their love. It is the parents who really serve, the child who is served, though all the child's growing up and beyond.

What can I do to repay God, to serve God. Without me, He can do exactly anything He will. He has no need of me. I can do nothing for Him. "The cattle on a thousand hills are mine: if I were hungry I would not ask you!" All we can do for God is humble open our hearts to the grace that He pours into us! To accept the costly forgiveness He alone has won for us in Christ!! I cannot draw a breath, keep a sane brain, keep my heart pumping, make plans, grow, or live or do anything without God's keeping me in being and giving me life. I'm a little child, a baby, who lives because God is continually serving me -- though I can, in a sense, do nothing to serve God.

In this sense God -- before whom we must fall in awe for He is God, and our Maker, and our Lord, and our Savior, unfathomably great -- is yet in an important sense our servant, for He does for us what we cannot do, where there is nothing we can do to serve him or repay Him, except if He graciously and kindly gives us power and opportunity, the (undeserved) privilege, of serving. In this sense, I think, the humility of Christ, the servant nature and work of Christ, exactly represents the essence of God our Maker!!


I am not sure how long I can continue in this thread, but it is important to at least consider these issues. What does scripture say about the nature of God?

First, we know that God the Father was expressed in Christ the Son. They are identical in nature.

Heb 1:1-3

1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.
NASB

Jesus glorified God by revealing him. That is what it means to glorify God. It is nothing more than to reveal character. When God is glorified, his character is revealed. We see this with Moses.

Ex 33:19-22
19 And He said, "I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion." 20 But He said, "You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!" 21 Then the Lord said, "Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; 22 and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.
NASB

God's goodness is his glory. Jesus glorified the Father because he revealed the character of the Father.

What else do we know about God and his nature?

Matt 11:29

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
KJV

We know that God is meek and lowly. Or said another way, God is very humble. Here's how the NASB says it.

Matt 11:29-30
29 "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. 30 "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."
NASB

Jesus, being the express image of God, was humble. Through Him, we learn that God is humble.

Not only that, but Jesus was ultimately selfless. He laid down his life for the Father. He gave all. What about the Father? He too gave all.

John 3:16

16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
NASB

Yet, the greatest scripture that describes the very heart of God would have to be 1 Cor 13. For we know from 1 John, that God is love (agape). 1 Cor 13 describes God when it describes agape.

1 Cor 13:3-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails;
NASB

This is a great description of God. (Just to clarify... God is jealous of us. But he is not jealous of what others have. Keep that in mind. Being jealous over one you love is not the same as being jealous of another's successes.)

Do not fall into the trap of thinking God is a glory seeking, self seeking, self centered being. He is far from that! He is the most selfless being you will ever meet in your entire life. There is none like Him. How do we glorify God? By living a life of serving God and others. For Jesus himself said ...

Matt 20:26-28
26 "It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. "
NASB

We glorify God most when we are like Jesus. When we are selfless in our endeavors and seek to serve instead of being served. For that is the glory of God. For that is goodness.

Brother Mark
May 24th 2008, 12:46 AM
I was (and am) very taken by Brother Mark's original post and observation. Yet Whispering Grace adds some things of great importance. For one, apart from the particular observations, the insistence that we must keep to what the Bible teaches, and sound doctrine, and not get led along by the Spirit of the age! This is something I really appreciate in WG. But more specifically, our age, hyper-"democratic", tends to downplay any hierarchy and authority -- although hierarchy is obviously (and according to Scripture) a natural part of life, and good! And this leads to seeking to downplay the majesty, kingship, authority, and greatness of God, who is high above all things. We fall, and rightly should fall, in awe before God's greatness. This is at least part of what WG is saying, as I take it, and something we all very much need to hear. Hear and faithfully speak!!

And of course God rightly acts that His Glory might fill the earth, for the promise to Habakkuk that "the earth shall be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea!" is one of Scripture's great promises. Likewise, we understand how Isaiah (chapter 6) is overcome, as the angels whose whole life is to contemplate God are utterly overcome, by God's glory! Rightly we fall in awe before Him!!


God is AWESOME and POWERFUL and GLORIOUS. Yet, in being so, he is still humble. He dwells in darkness and only reveals himself to his friends. Holy Spirit can be grieved, indicating the tenderness of our Father's heart. Being humble in no way diminishes the greatness of our God. Jesus was the express image of the Father. When we saw Jesus, in his character, we saw the Father in His character. When Jesus said, "I am meek and lowly" he was not referring to his human status. For a human cannot say "I will give you life". Only God can give life. So in his humility, he promised Life to those that would come unto Him. Jesus was man. But in his character, he was God.

God is gentle. He is not self seeking. He is kind and patient. When his glory fills the earth, all of his goodness will be on display! And it is these things we will see. However, none of that means that God isn't great! He is great, and HUGE and AWESOME and terrible and to be feared! The heart of God was to forgive those that crucified him. But 70 years later, destruction occurred. 70 years speaks to the patience of our heavenly Father. Being reviled and not reviling in return, speaks to his humility and love.

When I hated God. God loved me. At tremendous cost to himself, he sought me for my welfare and not his own. What does this mean for mankind? One day, we will be like Jesus. God's ultimate intention for us, is for us to empty ourselves unto Him. Just as Jesus lived for the Father, so we too are to live for the Father.

God the Father delighted in God the Son throughout eternity. God the Son has lived for and delighted in God the Father throughout all eternity. They are both selfless and both gave everything they had for others. Neither held back anything. That trait, that selflessness, is the glory of God. When one comes face to face with God's goodness, one will say "depart from me for I am a sinful man". Moses could not see God's goodness and live. His glory, is his goodness. They are one, yet, they are selfless towards themselves. "Not my will, but thine be done." God is the most humble being in the entire universe. When we fully see him, and his glory, we cannot help but praise him and shout that "he is worthy".

Thanks for your encouragement SK.

Brother Mark
May 24th 2008, 12:50 AM
But let's not forget, He ascended to heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father, victorious and reclaiming His power and glory.

AMEN! However, he never lost his goodness. God showed Moses his glory and called it his "goodness". God was glorified in Christ because Jesus revealed fully the goodness of God.


God is NOT meek and lowly. God is the omnipotent, majestic, glorious, exalted Lord of the universe!!!!!!!Meek and lowly do not nullify omnipotent, majestic, exalted and glorious! For God's glory is humility. God lifted up Christ because Christ will not lift himself up! Jesus lifts up the Father! The Spirit lifts up the Son! They are three but one. Each living unto and for the other.

The Holy Spirit is so humble, that he can be quenched. This does not mean he is week. For there will come a day, when the holiness of God will be revealed. And in his goodness, he will separate evil from all of his children. That will include removing evil from this earth and all those that hate God will be cast into eternal torment. But God, in his character, takes no pleasure in doing so.

Cloudwalker
May 24th 2008, 02:30 AM
This is hardly surprising, because God is larger than our conceptual categories, or our understanding: hence what is true, simply true, in God is apt, when expressed in human language or thought, to be larger than the medium of our understanding can hold, and hence "contradictory".



To put this another way "If God were small enough for our minds He wouldn't be big enough for our needs." Only a God unlimited power and love would come down to earth to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves and restore us to fellowship.

Brother Mark
May 24th 2008, 02:31 AM
To put this another way "If God were small enough for our minds He wouldn't be big enough for our needs." Only a God unlimited power and love would come down to earth to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves and restore us to fellowship.

As a friend of mine once said. "No matter how big you think God is, he's bigger".

threebigrocks
May 24th 2008, 02:37 AM
As a friend of mine once said. "No matter how big you think God is, he's bigger".

Oie! Unsurmountable truth in that!

timmyb
May 24th 2008, 04:26 PM
As a friend of mine once said. "No matter how big you think God is, he's bigger".

so true........

Kingsdaughter
May 25th 2008, 01:55 PM
. My messed up view was/is that He's sitting there just waiting for me to mess up so He can send down some of that wrath. The whole "loving God" is something that I have to work to get into my head and heart. I'm not trying to bring Him down to my level, but simply trying to believe He really does love me the way people say He does.

He loves you, not if and not but, He loves you...period. He will never lie to you or manipulate you, so when He says that He gave His only Son because He loves you, He meant it. His love is so intense, so powerful...who can understand it? He will love you with the same intensity, always. Whether you obey HIm or sin against Him, love Him or hate Him...HIS love for YOU will never change, remember that friend:)

My prayer is that God will open the eyes of your heart that you may be able to comprehend what is the width and length, depth and height, to know the love of Christ that passes knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.:hug:In Jesus Name. (Ephesians 3:18-19)

Brother Mark
May 25th 2008, 09:35 PM
He loves you, not if and not but, He loves you...period. He will never lie to you or manipulate you, so when He says that He gave His only Son because He loves you, He meant it. His love is so intense, so powerful...who can understand it? He will love you with the same intensity, always. Whether you obey HIm or sin against Him, love Him or hate Him...HIS love for YOU will never change, remember that friend:)

My prayer is that God will open the eyes of your heart that you may be able to comprehend what is the width and length, depth and height, to know the love of Christ that passes knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.:hug:In Jesus Name. (Ephesians 3:18-19)

Learning that God loved me was one of the most life changing truths I ever learned. Thanks be to God that he not only loved me, but that he told me he loved me and helped me to hear.

ProDeo
May 25th 2008, 11:05 PM
Yes, God is a God of mercy and tender love. But He is also a God of wrath and vengeance.

And why is that?

I have my own idea's of course but I would like to see someone put that well-worded.

Ed

ProDeo
May 25th 2008, 11:30 PM
We glorify God most when we are like Jesus. When we are selfless in our endeavors and seek to serve instead of being served. For that is the glory of God. For that is goodness.

Good stuff BM. It's often said the definition of Love is serving (pleasing) the other. The best marriage are those where partners serve each other. And Christ life was full of serving, all the way to the horrors of the Cross. He did not have to do it but He did it to serve (please) the Father. What a loving relationship!

Love in action is serving the other...

Ed

stillforgiven
May 26th 2008, 03:04 AM
He loves you, not if and not but, He loves you...period. He will never lie to you or manipulate you, so when He says that He gave His only Son because He loves you, He meant it. His love is so intense, so powerful...who can understand it? He will love you with the same intensity, always. Whether you obey HIm or sin against Him, love Him or hate Him...HIS love for YOU will never change, remember that friend:)

My prayer is that God will open the eyes of your heart that you may be able to comprehend what is the width and length, depth and height, to know the love of Christ that passes knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.:hug:In Jesus Name. (Ephesians 3:18-19)

I'm going to print this out to read often in the hopes that it will sink in. I realize there are too many churches preaching the "soft gospel", and it's not good. But I think mine might preach the hell-fire and brimstone all the time without much of the love of God. Or that's what I hear.

Please, keep praying that prayer.

Someone around here said that God kept him in the NT and Psalms for awhile, until he understood God's love. I haven't felt God try to keep me in those areas, but I do think I may spend too much time in the OT, and this could be keeping the idea of the wrath-only God going.

Cloudwalker
May 26th 2008, 05:37 AM
Brother Mark already mentioned this but it bears repeating. To get a good picture of the love of God combine 1 Corinthians 13 with 1 John 4:7.8. The John passage reads "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God. He that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God. For God Is Love (emphasis added)." (CWIV)

When you combine the 2 this is what you get.

"God is patient, God is kind, and is not jealous; God does not brag and is not arrogant, God does not act unbecomingly; God does not seek His own, is not provoked, God does not take into account a wrong suffered, God does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; God bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. God never fails; (emphasis added).

To over emphasize any one attribute of God is dangerous. If you forget His holyness, you may miss why you need salvation. If you over emphasize His love you can end up thinking God will save everyone regardless of whether or not they accepted Christ. If you overemphasize His wrath you get an angry God just waiting for you to screw up so He can pounce on you. But if you ignore it you get a God who won't judge anyone regardless of what they do.

You cannot fit God into a box that you can put up on a shelf and pull out when you need Him. God refuses to fit into nice, neat catagories.

9Marksfan
May 26th 2008, 01:28 PM
I'm reckoning Brother Mark started this thread as a result of things I said in another thread - I've only just discovered this, so time for me to chime in, I think.

Do we all agree that man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever?

Ok, assuming we do, then if God is NOT self-seeking or self-centred or whatever, then surely we would be glorying in somethng else? When we praise Him and tell Him and everyone around us how great He is, does He say "Aw, shucks, you're embarrassing me - stop it"?!?! Of course not! This is what we were created for - HE ALONE IS WORTHY!!!!!! If we don't glorify God, we'll be guilty of idolatry, as we'll glorify something or someone else (usually ourselves). Remember that, while Christ was the servant of all, His life was the most God-centred life there has ever been - that is our goal - we shouldm aim for the ideal "I always do what pleases Him" - and living for the priase of His glory is what pleases Him most - we should live in such a way that makes God look great (a good paraphrase of "glorifiying God"). Do people here really disagree that God delights in Himself and all that He is and wants us to do so too?

Kingsdaughter
May 26th 2008, 02:02 PM
I'm going to print this out to read often in the hopes that it will sink in. I realize there are too many churches preaching the "soft gospel", and it's not good. But I think mine might preach the hell-fire and brimstone all the time without much of the love of God. Or that's what I hear.

Please, keep praying that prayer.

Someone around here said that God kept him in the NT and Psalms for awhile, until he understood God's love. I haven't felt God try to keep me in those areas, but I do think I may spend too much time in the OT, and this could be keeping the idea of the wrath-only God going.

stillforgiven, are you saved? Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? You don't have to answer here. I will continue to pray for you friend.

Brother Mark
May 26th 2008, 02:07 PM
I'm reckoning Brother Mark started this thread as a result of things I said in another thread - I've only just discovered this, so time for me to chime in, I think.

Do we all agree that man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever?

Ok, assuming we do, then if God is NOT self-seeking or self-centred or whatever, then surely we would be glorying in somethng else? When we praise Him and tell Him and everyone around us how great He is, does He say "Aw, shucks, you're embarrassing me - stop it"?!?! Of course not! This is what we were created for - HE ALONE IS WORTHY!!!!!! If we don't glorify God, we'll be guilty of idolatry, as we'll glorify something or someone else (usually ourselves). Remember that, while Christ was the servant of all, His life was the most God-centred life there has ever been - that is our goal - we shouldm aim for the ideal "I always do what pleases Him" - and living for the priase of His glory is what pleases Him most - we should live in such a way that makes God look great (a good paraphrase of "glorifiying God"). Do people here really disagree that God delights in Himself and all that He is and wants us to do so too?

I'll get back to you on this one Nigel. I did start the thread in response to a post you made in another thread. I couldn't post it over there because it would have derailed the thread and because I was a little worked up at the time. Anyway, I'll post a response later so we can discuss it, if you wish.

Hope you are having a decent day today.

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 02:13 PM
I am not sure how long I can continue in this thread, but it is important to at least consider these issues. What does scripture say about the nature of God?

First, we know that God the Father was expressed in Christ the Son. They are identical in nature.

Heb 1:1-3

1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.
NASB

Jesus glorified God by revealing him. That is what it means to glorify God. It is nothing more than to reveal character. When God is glorified, his character is revealed. We see this with Moses.

Ex 33:19-22
19 And He said, "I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion." 20 But He said, "You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!" 21 Then the Lord said, "Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; 22 and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.
NASB

God's goodness is his glory. Jesus glorified the Father because he revealed the character of the Father.

What else do we know about God and his nature?

Matt 11:29

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
KJV

We know that God is meek and lowly. Or said another way, God is very humble. Here's how the NASB says it.

Matt 11:29-30
29 "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. 30 "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."
NASB

Jesus, being the express image of God, was humble. Through Him, we learn that God is humble.

Not only that, but Jesus was ultimately selfless. He laid down his life for the Father. He gave all. What about the Father? He too gave all.

John 3:16

16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
NASB

Yet, the greatest scripture that describes the very heart of God would have to be 1 Cor 13. For we know from 1 John, that God is love (agape). 1 Cor 13 describes God when it describes agape.

1 Cor 13:3-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails;
NASB

This is a great description of God. (Just to clarify... God is jealous of us. But he is not jealous of what others have. Keep that in mind. Being jealous over one you love is not the same as being jealous of another's successes.)

Do not fall into the trap of thinking God is a glory seeking, self seeking, self centered being. He is far from that! He is the most selfless being you will ever meet in your entire life. There is none like Him. How do we glorify God? By living a life of serving God and others. For Jesus himself said ...

Matt 20:26-28
26 "It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. "
NASB

We glorify God most when we are like Jesus. When we are selfless in our endeavors and seek to serve instead of being served. For that is the glory of God. For that is goodness.


God's greatest pleasure is Himself. and it darn-tootin should be. He is who He is. It's from out perspective that worlds like self-serving, glory seeking such come into being. Though we are freed from our sin, we are divorced from it. When we are without sin again, we will see the true nature of God. Can you imagine the four living creatues that surround the Throne and say "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God almight?" I used to think that might a boring gig, but then I started to understand Yahweh better. No i can see God just simply shifting and the chorus of "Holy, Holy, Holy!" rings out again.

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 02:16 PM
First of all, let me start by saying I have no problem whatsoever with God seeking His own glory. Nor do I have a problem with God being "self-seeking".

I just wanted to address this:



I adamantly disagree with this. Jesus Christ, when He left the glory of His home in heaven, gave up His power and glory and humbled Himself by becoming a man so that we could be saved.

But let's not forget, He ascended to heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father, victorious and reclaiming His power and glory.


God is NOT meek and lowly. God is the omnipotent, majestic, glorious, exalted Lord of the universe!!!!!!!

its not that He is not all the things you say, not is it that He is not meek. Its our "sin nature" understanding that is at fault here.

Brother Mark
May 26th 2008, 02:19 PM
God's greatest pleasure is Himself. and it darn-tootin should be. He is who He is. It's from out perspective that worlds like self-serving, glory seeking such come into being. Though we are freed from our sin, we are divorced from it. When we are without sin again, we will see the true nature of God. Can you imagine the four living creatues that surround the Throne and say "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God almight?" I used to think that might a boring gig, but then I started to understand Yahweh better. No i can see God just simply shifting and the chorus of "Holy, Holy, Holy!" rings out again.

When one sees the nature and glory of God, it is only natural to cry out "Holy, Holy, Holy".

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 02:30 PM
My image of God was very skewed before and after I first got saved. I saw him as so judgmental. For the first five years of my new life, God would only let me read the NT, Psalms and Proverbs. He radically changed my thinking.

Sometimes, I read these boards and I become grieved over who people think God really is. Thanks for the encouragement.


Make no mistake, God is sovereign! I cant imagine anyone who would meet Him and their knees not knock a little. With that said, God has been so deliberate in scripture to show us who He is.

Christ main purpose in becoming flesh, was not salvation. He came to bear witness to the Truth. A truth without, we could never find salvation. Dont miss read me...im not saying the salvation isnt key. Once again, and so faithfully, God showed us that once man saw and learned the truth, man could not do it on his own.

Is God judgement? You betcha! He has no tolerance for sin. Is God "daddy-like?" Indeed! He is a God of personal relationships. So much so, that God himself donned flesh, that we might see the Truth, his nature, and be reunited with Him.

I guess my point is that God isn't unicorns and rainbows. puppy dogs and flowers. He is God. However, the depths of His mercy do not know an end. He wants us to be actively involved with Him.

Remember when the disciples are all freaking out on the boat cause of the really bad storm. And whats Jesus doing. Sleeping. LOL! So they are all panicing and they wake Jesus. Now, I always imagine Jesus here as being a little annoyed...right? I mean come on, guys! I've been feeding the masses, turnin over tables, hanging out with prostitutes and drawing water for that samaritain lady. Can't a brother get some rest? lol. thats my human perspective. What Jesus wants from us when we panic and we're like "If anyone could stop this its you God!" He wants us to go to the bottem of the boat and lay on the pillow next to Him. He knows the storm, more importantly, He know us...and wants us to know Him.

Brother Mark
May 26th 2008, 02:36 PM
Balance is key to right understanding. A healthy fear of God will lead one to wisdom. An unhealthy fear will lead one away from God.

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 02:43 PM
I agree in this day and age we have a messed up view of God. But in my opinion, we've messed up by trying to bring God down to our level, as if He were just "one of the guys". We have lost the holy fear and reverence that is due Him.


yes and no. Dont forget, we dont bring God down to our level. He intended for Himself to be lowered to our level. God doesnt need our exclimations of how great He is. He is sustatined in His own greatness simply on His own.

Gods love for us is His choice. nothing more, nothing less. We propose nothing in front of Him. Our distortion of God comes from our Sin Nature. Something we can not get rid of until the Lord returns. We are freed from our sin, but we are still locked to our nature, adam's seed, the sin we are born into.

I spent years beating myself up over this.

Our value to God does not come from us...it comes from the value HE places on us. We always think we are seeking God, "if I do this more," or "or if i try harder at this then i will be good with God." All that does is create ulcers. You are no more in or out of favor with God now than you were when you were born. The greatest sin we ever commith is being born. all other sin comes from that. When Christ died for us, He didnt just die for sins we knowingly commit...He died for the root of sin, the sin we were born into.

God is not brought down by us. Even in speak or our opinion. He allows us to understand Him in simple, deliberate ways.

Is God deserving of our praise? Absolutely! But He doesnt need them. He even told us that the rocks will do it if need be.

Brother Mark
May 26th 2008, 02:47 PM
yes and no. Dont forget, we dont bring God down to our level. He intended for Himself to be lowered to our level. God doesnt need our exclimations of how great He is. He is sustatined in His own greatness simply on His own.

Gods love for us is His choice. nothing more, nothing less. We propose nothing in front of Him. Our distortion of God comes from our Sin Nature. Something we can not get rid of until the Lord returns. We are freed from our sin, but we are still locked to our nature, adam's seed, the sin we are born into.

I spent years beating myself up over this.

Our value to God does not come from us...it comes from the value HE places on us. We always think we are seeking God, "if I do this more," or "or if i try harder at this then i will be good with God." All that does is create ulcers. You are no more in or out of favor with God now than you were when you were born. The greatest sin we ever commith is being born. all other sin comes from that. When Christ died for us, He didnt just die for sins we knowingly commit...He died for the root of sin, the sin we were born into.

God is not brought down by us. Even in speak or our opinion. He allows us to understand Him in simple, deliberate ways.

Is God deserving of our praise? Absolutely! But He doesnt need them. He even told us that the rocks will do it if need be.

I wanted to see where you were going with all your responses before saying too much. Now let me say, I LOVE THIS POST! Great points. That God loves me says much more about God than it does me. It took me a while to realize that but once I did, oh what joy.

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 02:47 PM
This is also a God who is one day going to pour out His hot holy wrath upon this wicked world and cast untold millions into hell for eternity. He is certainly going to give plenty of people their rightful due when they stand in judgment before Him one day.

Yes, God is a God of mercy and tender love. But He is also a God of wrath and vengeance.


And we should break in our spirits, and lament for those who will experience His wrath. Remember, its a fine line between us and them. I cant even figure the mathimatical odds that brought me to grace. So while the wicked get their rightful due, remember, we are the recovering wicked. the wicked under the grace of God.

and from the perspective of a wicked person, now justified, i would much take the wrath and vengence of our Lord, than the eternity without being able to ever call on His name. To me that is the real Hell.

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 02:53 PM
I never implied that God is unbalanced. In fact, I believe I was saying just the opposite.

The God I worship is not lowly, however. I find the assertion offensive, to be quite honest. He is the Lord of the universe, glorious, holy and mighty in power. He is exalted high above the heavens, the King of kings and the Lord of lords!


the God I worship is who He says He is. I have no notions of determining the mind of God.

Though, God works and reveals himself to each individual. The Roman centurian understood the chain of command. He understood CHrist's authority. That authority fueled the soldier's belief. I imagine the adulterous woman has quite a different take on Jesus. He didnt display his authority with her, He displayed His grace.

My point is, you may be more compelled to the powerful nature of God. and that may be what ministers to you. Where as some others may submerge themselves in His comfort. Both ways are valid ways to worship.

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 02:55 PM
but he humbles himself... keep in mind that God came to the earth and took upon himself the form of the servant of all... he came as a lamb lowly of heart... he is the great king over all the earth and by saying that he is humble of heart is by no means taking away from his greatness and his omnipotence... knowing that he is humble of heart only empowers me to be humble of heart and prefer others above myself...

and at it's root, it allows you to know the person of Jesus Christ.

Kingsdaughter
May 26th 2008, 02:56 PM
God's greatest pleasure is Himself. and it darn-tootin should be. He is who He is. It's from out perspective that worlds like self-serving, glory seeking such come into being. Though we are freed from our sin, we are divorced from it. When we are without sin again, we will see the true nature of God. Can you imagine the four living creatues that surround the Throne and say "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God almight?" I used to think that might a boring gig, but then I started to understand Yahweh better. No i can see God just simply shifting and the chorus of "Holy, Holy, Holy!" rings out again.

Oh wow, I was just thinking about that, the four living creatures who job it is 24/7 is to praise the Lord! The deeper my relationship is with Him, the more I begin to understand what an awesome privilege that is.

Speaking of Rev. I love this part in chapter 5...When the angel says," Who is worthy to open the scroll and loose it's seals?" and there was no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth who was able to open the scroll. John wept and one of the elders said(and this is the part that always gets me to praising Him!)" Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose it's seven seals."I read that and it just makes me want to shout... Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty!!!Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.

Brother Mark
May 26th 2008, 03:00 PM
Food for thought on God's greatest pleasure. In order to properly understand the point I am making, we need to keep in mind the Trinity. Jesus found his greatest satisfaction in God, not in himself. So while it is accurate to say God finds his greatest pleasure in himself, it is not accurate without understanding that God is completely selfless. Jesus found his greatest pleasure in the Father, not in his own being.

I will respond more once the thread settles some. But I figured this was worth throwing out now.

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 03:07 PM
I totally see your point and agree. My messed up view was/is that He's sitting there just waiting for me to mess up so He can send down some of that wrath. The whole "loving God" is something that I have to work to get into my head and heart. I'm not trying to bring Him down to my level, but simply trying to believe He really does love me the way people say He does.

i used to feel God was a cosmic kill-joy. God loves you for one reason and one reason alone. Because He chose to. Forget the cross for a second, for get church and all the "do-goodery" we try to accomplish. God chose to love us. I used to think he needed fellowship with free will moral agents and that why he loved us. But to imply that God needs, takes away from the completeness of God. I always wanted to be used by God. For some purpose. Then i started reading my bible more. Turns our being used by God is rough gig. Pharoh was used by God. Mary was chosen. Judas was used by God. Paul was chosen. I would much rather be chosen. It means its something He didnt have to do, but did it anyway. Our value stems not from us, but from God choosing us.

Through the cross, sin has become irrelevant. That doesnt mean it doesnt have consiquences. But never again do we have to approach the throne and and throw our lives down in a plea of mercy. Sin is defeated...it is finished. God knows already what we come to te table with, and still there is a place setting there for us.

Just like we would never have understood the cross, without first Christ bearing witness to the Truth, we can never understand God's power, wrath and judgement, without first understanding the depths of His mercy.

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 03:14 PM
AMEN! However, he never lost his goodness. God showed Moses his glory and called it his "goodness". God was glorified in Christ because Jesus revealed fully the goodness of God.

Meek and lowly do not nullify omnipotent, majestic, exalted and glorious! For God's glory is humility. God lifted up Christ because Christ will not lift himself up! Jesus lifts up the Father! The Spirit lifts up the Son! They are three but one. Each living unto and for the other.

The Holy Spirit is so humble, that he can be quenched. This does not mean he is week. For there will come a day, when the holiness of God will be revealed. And in his goodness, he will separate evil from all of his children. That will include removing evil from this earth and all those that hate God will be cast into eternal torment. But God, in his character, takes no pleasure in doing so.

i want to touch on your reference to Moses. God showed Moses His glory, but only the tail end of it. He his Moses in the cleft of the rock and let Him see only a glimpse.

in our present state we cant understand God's full "goodness." Let alone view it. It would be the biggest brain blow out ever if we tried. Yet God hides us in the cleft of the rock, that we might get a tiny tiny glimpse.

One might say God "lowered" himself, or one my say, for our sake, God dialed it down a bunch so we could know him. Wouldnt do anygood to redeem man by revealing Himself to us in all His glory if our brains were on the floor in the 2 seconds. lol.

anyway...thanks for bringing up the Moses thing!

Brother Mark
May 26th 2008, 03:17 PM
i want to touch on your reference to Moses. God showed Moses His glory, but only the tail end of it. He his Moses in the cleft of the rock and let Him see only a glimpse.

in our present state we cant understand God's full "goodness." Let alone view it. It would be the biggest brain blow out ever if we tried. Yet God hides us in the cleft of the rock, that we might get a tiny tiny glimpse.

One might say God "lowered" himself, or one my say, for our sake, God dialed it down a bunch so we could know him. Wouldnt do anygood to redeem man by revealing Himself to us in all His glory if our brains were on the floor in the 2 seconds. lol.

anyway...thanks for bringing up the Moses thing!

One time in my life God manifested some of his selflessness to me. I wanted to crawl in a hole and hide myself. He covers himself in darkness lest we all be destroyed at seeing his glory. If he totally revealed himself, the universe would be destroyed instantly. He must be covered, else we would all die!

Without being in the "Rock" we could not even see the back end. It is only in the Rock that we can see God dimly even now.

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 03:27 PM
I'm going to print this out to read often in the hopes that it will sink in. I realize there are too many churches preaching the "soft gospel", and it's not good. But I think mine might preach the hell-fire and brimstone all the time without much of the love of God. Or that's what I hear.

Please, keep praying that prayer.

Someone around here said that God kept him in the NT and Psalms for awhile, until he understood God's love. I haven't felt God try to keep me in those areas, but I do think I may spend too much time in the OT, and this could be keeping the idea of the wrath-only God going.

i dont know if this will help or connect with you, but i prayed a prayer once after many sleepless night. I was lying in bed, tears rolling and i asked God to teach me to trust Him. I said you are gonna have to do it all. I cant trust. Understand I had been a christain for like 20 years at this point. lol.

For the next couple of months, almost annoyingly...lol...God was in my face! I didnt know what to do. lol! Si started being quiet and I started listening. Afterall, i fiugred i might as well, God was in full court press mode.

Bottom line is...He will do it. Its not an issue of faith, its not an issue of you letting him. I get frustrated when people say another person doesnt hae enough faith so thats why God isnt working in their lives. Who are we to day where God is or not working? And Has not God taken into account how hopelessly human we are? He will do it inspite of you. why? becuase He is who He says He is!

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 03:32 PM
I'm reckoning Brother Mark started this thread as a result of things I said in another thread - I've only just discovered this, so time for me to chime in, I think.

Do we all agree that man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever?

Ok, assuming we do, then if God is NOT self-seeking or self-centred or whatever, then surely we would be glorying in somethng else? When we praise Him and tell Him and everyone around us how great He is, does He say "Aw, shucks, you're embarrassing me - stop it"?!?! Of course not! This is what we were created for - HE ALONE IS WORTHY!!!!!! If we don't glorify God, we'll be guilty of idolatry, as we'll glorify something or someone else (usually ourselves). Remember that, while Christ was the servant of all, His life was the most God-centred life there has ever been - that is our goal - we shouldm aim for the ideal "I always do what pleases Him" - and living for the priase of His glory is what pleases Him most - we should live in such a way that makes God look great (a good paraphrase of "glorifiying God"). Do people here really disagree that God delights in Himself and all that He is and wants us to do so too?


God's greatest pleasure is Himself. He doesnt need us to do so. The rocks would if we didnt. We were created because it was God's good pleasure in doing so. Anything to do with is God is about His choice and His glory...inspite of us. God does want us to give Him glory. Its not self-centered or self serving in the context of how our sinful nature percieves it. Sin is the X factor here. Without sin, this discussion would be moot

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 03:34 PM
Balance is key to right understanding. A healthy fear of God will lead one to wisdom. An unhealthy fear will lead one away from God.


this is well said!

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 03:39 PM
I wanted to see where you were going with all your responses before saying too much. Now let me say, I LOVE THIS POST! Great points. That God loves me says much more about God than it does me. It took me a while to realize that but once I did, oh what joy.

I like how you said that. saying more about God than me. This is fantastic! and in turn it shows with strength, how much He loves us. If the "self-centered" God, (lol...sorry) is so into us knowing Him, there must be something darn important to it! It brings glory back to Him. it a circle of life thing. lol! *everybody sings* lol!

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 03:41 PM
Oh wow, I was just thinking about that, the four living creatures who job it is 24/7 is to praise the Lord! The deeper my relationship is with Him, the more I begin to understand what an awesome privilege that is.

Speaking of Rev. I love this part in chapter 5...When the angel says," Who is worthy to open the scroll and loose it's seals?" and there was no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth who was able to open the scroll. John wept and one of the elders said(and this is the part that always gets me to praising Him!)" Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose it's seven seals."I read that and it just makes me want to shout... Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty!!!Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.


youre right. absolute tears atm!

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 03:45 PM
Food for thought on God's greatest pleasure. In order to properly understand the point I am making, we need to keep in mind the Trinity. Jesus found his greatest satisfaction in God, not in himself. So while it is accurate to say God finds his greatest pleasure in himself, it is not accurate without understanding that God is completely selfless. Jesus found his greatest pleasure in the Father, not in his own being.

I will respond more once the thread settles some. But I figured this was worth throwing out now.

hmmm...im not gonna lie...my head starts spinning worse than some political punidits i see when it comes to trying to lock down in my head the nature of the trinity. Then when my head hurts from that, i like to try to think about living forever. lol! Looking foward to your thoughts! in my very humble way here, Christ did find His greatest pleasure in the Father, however, Christ is God and so therefore the father, so He would still be finding His greatest pleasure in Himself. Okay, i think i hurt myself

timmyb
May 26th 2008, 03:47 PM
There was this chorus Justin Rizzo did at IHOP (International House of Prayer) the other day...

You say behold a lion but I look and see a lamb
You say behold a ruler but I look and see a slave
You say behold a king but I look and see a servant
Christ, the wisdom of God...

wow... the WISDOM OF GOD IS HUMILITY!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!:pp:pp:pp:pp:pp:pp:pp:bounce::bounce: :bounce::bounce::bounce: That's so awesome!!!

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 03:47 PM
One time in my life God manifested some of his selflessness to me. I wanted to crawl in a hole and hide myself. He covers himself in darkness lest we all be destroyed at seeing his glory. If he totally revealed himself, the universe would be destroyed instantly. He must be covered, else we would all die!

Without being in the "Rock" we could not even see the back end. It is only in the Rock that we can see God dimly even now.

yeah, you totally said that better than i did!

timmyb
May 26th 2008, 03:53 PM
One time in my life God manifested some of his selflessness to me. I wanted to crawl in a hole and hide myself. He covers himself in darkness lest we all be destroyed at seeing his glory. If he totally revealed himself, the universe would be destroyed instantly. He must be covered, else we would all die!

Without being in the "Rock" we could not even see the back end. It is only in the Rock that we can see God dimly even now.

right now we only see as in a mirror dimly... but one day we shall see him face to face... the one who wraps himself in unapproachable light!... I can't wait for that day

Kingsdaughter
May 26th 2008, 04:12 PM
right now we only see as in a mirror dimly... but one day we shall see him face to face... the one who wraps himself in unapproachable light!... I can't wait for that day

Oh man, sometimes when I pray, I get so overwelmed by His presence, that I don't say a word because I don't want to miss anything He has to say to me, most of the time, I just cry(happy tears) that is just a teeny, tiny glimpse of the Lord, like a single grain of sand at the beach and then one day, we will see Him face to face?!?!How incredibly awesome is that going to be? Oh I can't wait!:pp:pp:pp Come Lord Jesus!

stillforgiven
May 26th 2008, 04:32 PM
stillforgiven, are you saved? Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? You don't have to answer here. I will continue to pray for you friend.

I am saved, and I do have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (thank you for asking just to make sure). This relationship, however, has always had the cloud of not really trusting fully in love. At least that's the best way to put it. I think it's safe to say that my views of salvation don't fully trust that it really is fully by grace - that perhaps I can still not be good enough, even though I believe in Jesus as my Savior. I guess I've hidden it from myself for awhile, but I think I still can't believe that a Holy God could love me like that. I think this is what's been holding me back in a very important area too.

I'm reading a book for adults who still need to be healed from childhood abuse, written by a Christian for Christians and Bible based. I am hoping that by the end of the book, my heart will be able to grasp this. I do cherish your prayers.

stillforgiven
May 26th 2008, 05:01 PM
i don't know if this will help or connect with you, but i prayed a prayer once after many sleepless night. I was lying in bed, tears rolling and i asked God to teach me to trust Him. I said you are gonna have to do it all. I can't trust. Understand I had been a Christian for like 20 years at this point. lol.

For the next couple of months, almost annoyingly...lol...God was in my face! I didn't know what to do. lol! So I started being quiet and I started listening. After all, i figured i might as well, God was in full court press mode.

Bottom line is...He will do it. Its not an issue of faith, its not an issue of you letting him. I get frustrated when people say another person doesn't have enough faith so thats why God isn't working in their lives. Who are we to day where God is or not working? And Has not God taken into account how hopelessly human we are? He will do it inspite of you. why? because He is who He says He is!

What was that like?

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 05:59 PM
I am saved, and I do have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (thank you for asking just to make sure). This relationship, however, has always had the cloud of not really trusting fully in love. At least that's the best way to put it. I think it's safe to say that my views of salvation don't fully trust that it really is fully by grace - that perhaps I can still not be good enough, even though I believe in Jesus as my Savior. I guess I've hidden it from myself for awhile, but I think I still can't believe that a Holy God could love me like that. I think this is what's been holding me back in a very important area too.

I'm reading a book for adults who still need to be healed from childhood abuse, written by a Christian for Christians and Bible based. I am hoping that by the end of the book, my heart will be able to grasp this. I do cherish your prayers.

I hope this doesnt sound like a "pat" answer, because i really do think i understand where you are coming from. your lack of trust does not hinder God! He knows you and He knows your reasons and limitations. the fact that you are searching it, is proof alone that God is working in you. He knows you and He knows you by name! You will not be forgotten.

I am rememinded of the scripture in revelation when Christ appears to break up armmageddon. On his thigh was written a name. do you remember what that name was? "Faithful and True!"

I hope i dont sound preachy. I know its a process and its a process that belongs only to you and Him.

I will keep you in my prayers however, if that's okay with you.

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 06:14 PM
What was that like?


well...i dont mind sharing at all, but i feel that it may be stuff that only apllies to me. As that seems to be how God works. I guess what I mean is that there were things I felt He showed me that only I could understand due to life circumstance and such at the time.

One thing that was repetative and I will say it a lot on here, was a voice in my head constantly telling me, "I am who I say I am." At times is was provisions, at times it was perspective. I know how crazy this sounds, but I am a huge Boston Redsox fan. Back in 2004 when they won theior first world series since creation or something, that was one of the hardest points in my life. Now, im not saying God is a Red Sox fan, and in the big picture, that series would have nothing to do with anything. Yet, and I believe, in keeping with Gods persistance desire for us to know who he is, he allowed me to see the Sox win a series, to let me know, that even in a turbulant, crazy, unpredictable life, He is in such control, that even the Red Sox could win a world series. Under a lunar eclipe no less! lol! Now that may not minister to you...afterall, you may not be a Red Sox fan. But thats how God used something personal to me, to make himself known. To let me know, that what seems impossible can be accomplished through Him. In 2007 when the Sox won again, I felt like God said in my head, "Just checking in! Im still here and in control and just wanted to remind you."

most of all, its been coming to the conclusing that im not doing a darn thing. God is doing it all and thats how he wants it. the Lord is not interested in your piety. He is interested in you, just as you are, all the dirt and junk that comes with you. He wants it all!

I hope some of that makes sence, and of course you are welcome to contact me personally. I dont know crap...but i know God does!

Kingsdaughter
May 26th 2008, 06:24 PM
I am saved, and I do have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (thank you for asking just to make sure). This relationship, however, has always had the cloud of not really trusting fully in love. At least that's the best way to put it. I think it's safe to say that my views of salvation don't fully trust that it really is fully by grace - that perhaps I can still not be good enough, even though I believe in Jesus as my Savior. I guess I've hidden it from myself for awhile, but I think I still can't believe that a Holy God could love me like that. I think this is what's been holding me back in a very important area too.

I'm reading a book for adults who still need to be healed from childhood abuse, written by a Christian for Christians and Bible based. I am hoping that by the end of the book, my heart will be able to grasp this. I do cherish your prayers.

I understand what you are going through. When I got saved, it was so awesome, God opened my eyes for the first time and I saw that He was REAL. Wow, I have this new relationship with Jesus and its great but then a few months later, I began to doubt His love for me:rolleyes: that's not the only thing, I thought I had to work to be good now(oh the pressure.lol) and every time I sinned, I just got more and more discouraged and finally(years later) I said, Lord, I can't do it, I want to believe you and obey you, but I just can't. Oh how God is so awesome, He sees how helpless we are. He said to me," I know you can't, but I will do it through you, surrender!"The bible says that it is God who works in us to do His own will. Jesus says that without Him we can do nothing. We can't even BELIEVE without Him. I love the testimony that puddleglum and mark gave and that, God showed them, Himself. I am believing that He will do that for you too.:hug:Praying for you.

ProDeo
May 26th 2008, 06:33 PM
Since we are discussing the character of God there is this fascinating statement by God Himself about Himself:

Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I, the LORD thy God, am a jealous God,

What does this imply?

Ed

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 06:35 PM
Since we are discussing the character of God there is this fascinating statement by God Himself about Himself:

Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I, the LORD thy God, am a jealous God,

What does this imply?

Ed

i am compelled to believe that it means exactly what it says it means.

God is a just and righteous God and to quote "Lord of the Rings," He does not share power.

ProDeo
May 26th 2008, 06:58 PM
right now we only see as in a mirror dimly... but one day we shall see him face to face... the one who wraps himself in unapproachable light!... I can't wait for that day

And we all will fall flat on the ground as a reflex, like Paul on his way to Damascus, like John in Revelations, not because we want to, not because we are ordered to, but because His Holiness, Goodness, Love, Justice will be too overwhelming to keep us standing straight up even if we wanted that. Totally knocked down immersed in feelings of Love, Joy, Peace, Pureness and (automatic) Praise as God will be all around us and nothing will be hidden. I can't wait either....

Ed

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 07:09 PM
And we all will fall flat on the ground as a reflex, like Paul on his way to Damascus, like John in Revelations, not because we want to, not because we are ordered to, but because His Holiness, Goodness, Love, Justice will be too overwhelming to keep us standing straight up even if we wanted that. Totally knocked down immersed in feelings of Love, Joy, Peace, Pureness and (automatic) Praise as God will be all around us and nothing will be hidden. I can't wait either....

Ed

Brother you said it!

good insight!

stillforgiven
May 26th 2008, 07:13 PM
I hope this doesn't sound like a "pat" answer, because i really do think i understand where you are coming from. your lack of trust does not hinder God! He knows you and He knows your reasons and limitations. the fact that you are searching it, is proof alone that God is working in you. He knows you and He knows you by name! You will not be forgotten.

I am reminded of the scripture in revelation when Christ appears to break up armmageddon. On his thigh was written a name. do you remember what that name was? "Faithful and True!"

I hope i don't sound preachy. I know its a process and its a process that belongs only to you and Him.

I will keep you in my prayers however, if that's okay with you.

I would like that very much.


well...i don't mind sharing at all, but i feel that it may be stuff that only applies to me. As that seems to be how God works. I guess what I mean is that there were things I felt He showed me that only I could understand due to life circumstance and such at the time.

One thing that was repetitive and I will say it a lot on here, was a voice in my head constantly telling me, "I am who I say I am." At times is was provisions, at times it was perspective. I know how crazy this sounds, but I am a huge Boston Redsox fan. Back in 2004 when they won their first world series since creation or something, that was one of the hardest points in my life. Now, i'm not saying God is a Red Sox fan, and in the big picture, that series would have nothing to do with anything. Yet, and I believe, in keeping with Gods persistence desire for us to know who he is, he allowed me to see the Sox win a series, to let me know, that even in a turbulent, crazy, unpredictable life, He is in such control, that even the Red Sox could win a world series. Under a lunar eclipse no less! lol! Now that may not minister to you...afterall, you may not be a Red Sox fan. But thats how God used something personal to me, to make himself known. To let me know, that what seems impossible can be accomplished through Him. In 2007 when the Sox won again, I felt like God said in my head, "Just checking in! Im still here and in control and just wanted to remind you."

most of all, its been coming to the conclusion that I'm not doing a darn thing. God is doing it all and thats how he wants it. the Lord is not interested in your piety. He is interested in you, just as you are, all the dirt and junk that comes with you. He wants it all!

I hope some of that makes sense, and of course you are welcome to contact me personally. I don't know crap...but i know God does!

All of that does make sense. Congrats, btw on the Red Sox. I'm not a fan, but I thought it was really cool that they finally won. As for God and me, I can already see a pattern in things that He's maybe done something like this in my life from time to time, but I didn't realize it was Him trying to show me something. I'm going to start paying closer attention. Thanks for sharing.


I understand what you are going through. When I got saved, it was so awesome, God opened my eyes for the first time and I saw that He was REAL. Wow, I have this new relationship with Jesus and its great but then a few months later, I began to doubt His love for me:rolleyes: that's not the only thing, I thought I had to work to be good now(oh the pressure.lol) and every time I sinned, I just got more and more discouraged and finally(years later) I said, Lord, I can't do it, I want to believe you and obey you, but I just can't. Oh how God is so awesome, He sees how helpless we are. He said to me," I know you can't, but I will do it through you, surrender!"The bible says that it is God who works in us to do His own will. Jesus says that without Him we can do nothing. We can't even BELIEVE without Him. I love the testimony that puddleglum and mark gave and that, God showed them, Himself. I am believing that He will do that for you too.:hug:Praying for you.

I think you do see where I am, and it's a relief to know this is something others deal with, though I hate that others have to feel this pain and frustration. Seriously, just a couple of years ago or less, it was easier to believe than it is now. I could approach Him and spend time with Him without much trouble, except for one thing. The intensity of the intimacy was too much to handle, perhaps due to issues I've mentioned before. I pushed away from it, still desiring it on one level and terrified of it on the other. And now dealing with all the other things that come from growing up spiritually that you and others have mentioned. I'm not going to let it end here, though. I can't. I think it would eventually kill me one way or the other.

Thanks for your continued prayers.

Puddleglum
May 26th 2008, 07:30 PM
I would like that very much.



All of that does make sense. Congrats, btw on the Red Sox. I'm not a fan, but I thought it was really cool that they finally won. As for God and me, I can already see a pattern in things that He's maybe done something like this in my life from time to time, but I didn't realize it was Him trying to show me something. I'm going to start paying closer attention. Thanks for sharing.



I think you do see where I am, and it's a relief to know this is something others deal with, though I hate that others have to feel this pain and frustration. Seriously, just a couple of years ago or less, it was easier to believe than it is now. I could approach Him and spend time with Him without much trouble, except for one thing. The intensity of the intimacy was too much to handle, perhaps due to issues I've mentioned before. I pushed away from it, still desiring it on one level and terrified of it on the other. And now dealing with all the other things that come from growing up spiritually that you and others have mentioned. I'm not going to let it end here, though. I can't. I think it would eventually kill me one way or the other.

Thanks for your continued prayers.

hey, i just wanted to say....you seem so receptive. To me, and this is just my opinion, but that receptiveness indicates to me an openess to hear and receive. Honestly, thats an uncommom quality. I view that as proof the the Lord is working, cultivating you.

Cultivating...theres an intersting word. turning over earth. working the fallow ground. Our hearts are often stoney. The bible tells us that our hearts will lie to us. yet the holy spirit is the fertilizer...the loam. like any growing process it takes time. I suspect there is a vast difference between the way you see you and the way you Father sees you. He is the constant gardner...and he watches and waters and talks to you. He knows the sun light to give you and the food you should be nurshided on. He is proud of you and ever thinking of you.

I know often we think in our human condition that we should "feel" something. But often we are unaware of work the Lord is doing. But He is the constant. He is Faithful and True

9Marksfan
May 26th 2008, 07:33 PM
Food for thought on God's greatest pleasure. In order to properly understand the point I am making, we need to keep in mind the Trinity. Jesus found his greatest satisfaction in God, not in himself.

But WE are to find our greatest satisfaction in Christ - no?


So while it is accurate to say God finds his greatest pleasure in himself, it is not accurate without understanding that God is completely selfless.

But does Scripture teach this? What is God's focus if not Himself and His own glory? That's not selfless - but - equally, it's not selfish in the way we understand selfishness.


Jesus found his greatest pleasure in the Father, not in his own being.

See above.


I will respond more once the thread settles some. But I figured this was worth throwing out now.

I look forward to it, as I am a bit confused about where you are coming from.

Brother Mark
May 26th 2008, 08:20 PM
But WE are to find our greatest satisfaction in Christ - no?



But does Scripture teach this? What is God's focus if not Himself and His own glory? That's not selfless - but - equally, it's not selfish in the way we understand selfishness.



See above.



I look forward to it, as I am a bit confused about where you are coming from.

Before going further, did you read my first post?

Here's a verse that often gets overlooked that will eventually find it's way into this discussion.

1 Cor 11:7
7 For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.
NASB

Kingsdaughter
May 26th 2008, 08:56 PM
I would like that very much.



All of that does make sense. Congrats, btw on the Red Sox. I'm not a fan, but I thought it was really cool that they finally won. As for God and me, I can already see a pattern in things that He's maybe done something like this in my life from time to time, but I didn't realize it was Him trying to show me something. I'm going to start paying closer attention. Thanks for sharing.



I think you do see where I am, and it's a relief to know this is something others deal with, though I hate that others have to feel this pain and frustration. Seriously, just a couple of years ago or less, it was easier to believe than it is now. I could approach Him and spend time with Him without much trouble, except for one thing. The intensity of the intimacy was too much to handle, perhaps due to issues I've mentioned before. I pushed away from it, still desiring it on one level and terrified of it on the other. And now dealing with all the other things that come from growing up spiritually that you and others have mentioned. I'm not going to let it end here, though. I can't. I think it would eventually kill me one way or the other.

Thanks for your continued prayers.

Oh I can see the Lord working and you are just making me cry right now!
Jesus is a Healer and by His stripes we are healed, not only physically, but in my opinion, emotionally and mentally. I too have suffered abuse and when I got saved, God began to do His work in me. I was really messed up, in my mind and emotions. It was time to deal with all of that junk and I didn't want Him to go there, you know?It was a long process for me,but He is so gentle and patient. He has healed me from the hurt and pain of my past, that now when I think about it, it doesn't hurt anymore and it doesn't affect my intimacy with Him. Please feel free to send me a pm if you want to talk.

Kingsdaughter
May 26th 2008, 09:02 PM
And we all will fall flat on the ground as a reflex, like Paul on his way to Damascus, like John in Revelations, not because we want to, not because we are ordered to, but because His Holiness, Goodness, Love, Justice will be too overwhelming to keep us standing straight up even if we wanted that. Totally knocked down immersed in feelings of Love, Joy, Peace, Pureness and (automatic) Praise as God will be all around us and nothing will be hidden. I can't wait either....

Ed

I have no words...so true.amen.

Brother Mark
May 26th 2008, 09:05 PM
Since we are discussing the character of God there is this fascinating statement by God Himself about Himself:

Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I, the LORD thy God, am a jealous God,

What does this imply?

Ed

He is jealous of our affections. I made the point earlier that being jealous of a persons affections is different than being jealous of their wealth, blessings, giftings, etc. If I truly love my wife, I am for her and am not jealous of anything good that may come her way. Yet, at the same time, I may be jealous if she gives her affections to another man. In other words, I make a difference between being jealous of position and blessing and being jealous of affections. I think the God is very jealous of our affections as he well should be.

stillforgiven
May 26th 2008, 10:32 PM
Oh I can see the Lord working and you are just making me cry right now!
Jesus is a Healer and by His stripes we are healed, not only physically, but in my opinion, emotionally and mentally. I too have suffered abuse and when I got saved, God began to do His work in me. I was really messed up, in my mind and emotions. It was time to deal with all of that junk and I didn't want Him to go there, you know?It was a long process for me,but He is so gentle and patient. He has healed me from the hurt and pain of my past, that now when I think about it, it doesn't hurt anymore and it doesn't affect my intimacy with Him. Please feel free to send me a pm if you want to talk.

I will remember your offer when I need to ask more private-type questions. Thanks. You may understand when I say I've reached a limit of the emotional side of this at the moment. Not that I'm not still searching and stuff. I've been in the scriptures a lot this afternoon, reaching to understand better. I think I've tired myself. Know what I mean?

Kingsdaughter
May 26th 2008, 11:21 PM
I will remember your offer when I need to ask more private-type questions. Thanks. You may understand when I say I've reached a limit of the emotional side of this at the moment. Not that I'm not still searching and stuff. I've been in the scriptures a lot this afternoon, reaching to understand better. I think I've tired myself. Know what I mean?

Yes, I know what you mean:)

more excellent way
May 26th 2008, 11:59 PM
Mankind has always replaced the 3 gracious gifts of God...

1) creation (Father)
2) salvation (Son)
3) Godliness teaching (Spirit)

...with the teachings of man (6th day creation)...666.


We have FAITH that God is the creator...and HOPE in Jesus for eternal life, but "the GREATEST" part of our devotion should be LOVE (the spirit, 1 Corinthians 13:13).

We should know Him as "Abba Father", not 'master'/taskmaster (Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6) and be a "friend of God", not slave/servant (James 2:23).

God's true nature is not one that we should fear (1 John 4:18), but we have been taught to think of Him in human terms (and have the STRONG delusion).

http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=abolishing&t=RSV&sf=5

All verses are from the RSV.

Puddleglum
May 27th 2008, 12:35 AM
Mankind has always replaced the 3 gracious gifts of God...

1) creation (Father)
2) salvation (Son)
3) Godliness teaching (Spirit)

...with the teachings of man (6th day creation)...666.


We have FAITH that God is the creator...and HOPE in Jesus for eternal life, but "the GREATEST" part of our devotion should be LOVE (the spirit, 1 Corinthians 13:13).

We should know Him as "Abba Father", not 'master'/taskmaster (Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6) and be a "friend of God", not slave/servant (James 2:23).

God's true nature is not one that we should fear (1 John 4:18), but we have been taught to think of Him in human terms (and have the STRONG delusion).

http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=abolishing&t=RSV&sf=5

All verses are from the RSV.

"Abba Father!" can get over that! how awesome!


Not to be confused with ABBA the band. "dancing queen"

sorry...coulnt resist

ProDeo
May 27th 2008, 09:59 AM
He is jealous of our affections. I made the point earlier that being jealous of a persons affections is different than being jealous of their wealth, blessings, giftings, etc. If I truly love my wife, I am for her and am not jealous of anything good that may come her way. Yet, at the same time, I may be jealous if she gives her affections to another man. In other words, I make a difference between being jealous of position and blessing and being jealous of affections. I think the God is very jealous of our affections as he well should be.

Exactly. When my wife would give her affections to another man I would be jealous. I become jealous because I love her, she is mine.

Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I, the LORD thy God, am a jealous God,

I see this statement from God about Himself as a declaration of total love. Image for a moment, the Creator of the Universe is saying here He becomes jealous when one of his creatures turns away from Him. God Himself in all His Greatness is not afraid showing His deepest feelings for us. Amazing....

And reversed:

Luke 15:10 Likewise I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."

A party in Heaven because of one sinner!

God longs for us with a love we never can fully understand, IMO John came close when he wrote in boldness:

16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath for us. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19 We love Him, because He first loved us.

Another of my favorite Bible text is the story of the prodigal son. Notice how day in day out the father watches the horizon for the return of his son. This father was in need, he missed his son. The man suffered and his suffering would only end when his son would return home.

Speaking in all holiness, and let me put it careful, is it rightful to question if God (in a way) needs our love in response to His love for us? As the father needed the love of his rebellious son? Like I need the love of my wife, like I need the love of my children?

For sure God can do without, God doesn't need anything but by creating mankind He in his omnisciently knew on beforehand all about the jealousy (Exodus 20:5 again) and pain involved, that it would cost Him dearly, that He even had to sacrifice his Son to reach his goals. Yet He decided it was worthwhile all the suffering. This begs the serious question about the why.

One reason I see is that God wanted to share his love (a desire and need) and He chose us for that purpose. That already is beyond any imagination and should remind me more often on my high call being here on earth. But then the idea alone too often is too much for my brain to fully grasp.

In this light I also can understand God's wrath and revenge for those creatures He loves so dearly and yet have trampled and mocked His love. There is nothing more worse after having your love declared to someone you have fallen in love and receive mocking in return.

Ed