Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Beautiful, Part Fifteen

What if I don’t believe in God?

Everyone knows that God exists. He wrote the knowledge of Himself everywhere. We all know that a book does not write itself and neither does a house build itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Hebrews 3:4 If we claim to believe that this entire world and everything in it came from nothing on its own with no Creator, then we deceive ourselves. We will each answer to God for our ourselves, so blaming scientists or others for leading us astray will not excuse us. No one can force us to believe anything.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:18-21

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. Psalm 19:1-4a

Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, "Today," saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." Hebrews 4:6-7 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. 2 Corinthians 5:10

Isn’t God “love”?

How could God punish anyone, ever, if He “is” love? Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8 Yes, that is right, He is—but He is God and we are not. Love has been defined very clearly by Him for us. He has given us everything we have in life, including the One and only Way to salvation. How could anyone know about Jesus and claim not to be loved by God? What more could He do to show us? He rightly expects us to show our love in return by our appreciating His gifts and obeying Him. Context is everything. The very next verse after the “God is love” verse tells about Him giving His only begotten Son. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." Luke 3:21-22

Abraham understood the sovereignty of God and trusted Him. When he was instructed to sacrifice his son, that was a picture of what God Himself was going to do for us. Isaac even carried his own wood as Jesus carried His own cross. (Genesis 22:6) Isaac was never in any danger, but rather it was a (one-time only) test for Abraham, who passed. God said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." Genesis 22:2

...to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations"—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence things that do not exist. Romans 4:16b-17

This is Part Fifteen of a series.  You may download the entire devotional in a "pretty" format here or in a basic, small file size format with highlighting here.