What is God like? The same question appears in the bible.
Psa 89:6 For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD? Psa 89:7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. Psa 89:8 O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Psa 89:9 Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.
Isa 40:18 To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? Isa 40:19 The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains. Isa 40:20 He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved. Isa 40:21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? Isa 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
Isa 40:25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Isa 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. Isa 40:28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. Isa 40:29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Isa 40:30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isa 46:5 To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like? Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Isa 46:11 .. I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
Some of you may remember a saying when we were younger “what are you like”. Today, the youth use the phrase “it’s like..” a lot. They compare what they are talking about to something else rather than describe the actual thing. I wanted to talk about the love of God and what it is like. But that is not really my speciality.
I should compare spiritual things with spiritual; but for me to do so and for us to understand we also would have to be spiritual and since I doubt we have attained to that perfection yet, I shall use two comparisons I think we can all understand. Human comparisons of father and son.
A father may have many facets that a son may not see or never know because the circumstances for that element of him to be shown may never be required or be done in their absence. Israel may never have known God could part seas if they had not come to a sea that needed crossing. Even without the above scriptures I am sure we all know some aspects of God. He is strong, to be held in reverence, merciful and loving yet also to be feared and respected. There is no other being like Him whether human or spiritual. You definitely cannot make one like him by cutting down a tree, carving it into an idol and attributing godly status to it. He knows the beginning of all things to the end. Can foretell or change events and bring the outcome as He desires. Does not get weaker, nor tires, nor needs sleep or rest as some think Sabbath means. Infact he can make us stronger and not tire if He chooses.
Now some of us were raised with a father and others were not. So some had the example of a father and others did not. Neither is better than the other in itself if that father does not exhibit the personality they should. Personality of loving, caring and training the child for the child’s future good. That generally means a lot of sacrifices of one kind or other on behalf of the father, step father or replacement father. Train up a child as he should go as the scripture says.
Allow me to tell you a bit about me and my son as a comparison to our heavenly father and us His children. Now I wasn’t raised by my or a father, only my mother from the age of about 9 when I came to this country. I can’t recall any real influential upbringing practices; but I do remember from about the age of 12 receiving a letter from a half sister regarding .....
I remember telling her that I thought a male child had to prepare himself for the responsibility and duties he would have as a father and husband. That preparation started from the time he was in school, about age 12. Way before he even met the prospective mother. So the first comparison I see is that God envisages and planned for His children even before they were conceived. He wasn’t going to bring them into the world to suffer or be without a good prepared life. God did the same when He prepared the garden of Eden and the earth before lastly bringing Adam. Preparation, good intentions and provision came first. Even having a plan for the child’s life.
1. Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
2. When he was born, my life was geared to providing for and protecting him so he didn’t even have the concept to enquiry from where his food or clothing came.
Mat 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, ..
Mat 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? Mat 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Php 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
3. There were many things I had to do for my son as he grew up. Things more or equally important as playing with him. God does the same.
Psa_18:34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
Psa_144:1 A Psalm of David. Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
– self defence class event where he couldn’t understand why I was giving him more attention that students who paid. Well it is because like Israel was God’s son, even first born, that made a connection and bonding that money couldn’t buy. We see in the bible God treated Israel very different from the gentiles. Pro 3:12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
Psa 94:12 Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law; Pro 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. Pro 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
Isa 55:3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
Isa 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: (when get old may not have energy not patience to teach and train and help anymore).
Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Children always seem to think they know more than the parent. As Israel thought they knew best and wanted to go back to Egypt when God wanted to take them to a Promised Land. It may have meant hard lessons and battles to fight, even giants; but God and fathers know what they are doing and are there to help you achieve. ___________
1Jn_4:8 Says “God is love” and he that cannot show love does not know God. It adds 1Jn_4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
So What Does Our Love Look Like? MY SECOND COMPARISON IS TAKEN FROM THE BIBLE.
Mat 21:28 ... A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard. Mat 21:29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. Mat 21:30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Mat 21:31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
So HOW DO I TEACH YOU ABOUT LOVE AND GET YOU TO EXHIBIT IT?
1 John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.
How often have we said, or heard someone else say, “I love God”? Have any of us ever stopped to think about what that love should look like? It is easy to say, “I love God.” However, what are words if our lives do not reflect and demonstrate what we say about our love for God? In Mark 12:29-30 Jesus said that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Do we? Because if we do not, then we cannot honestly say that we love God. Yahshua also said that we are to love our neighbour as ourselves (Mark 12:31). Here in this chapter we are reminded that if we hate our brother, we are liars when we say we love God, for we cannot say that we love someone we cannot see, and hate someone that we can see (who was also created in His image). So how can we truly love God? Well, it begins with the fact that God loved us first, and set the example for us in respect to what love looks like. God did not just say He loved us, He proved it by sending His Son to die for us when we did not deserve it (John 3:16; Rom 5:8). He then tells us to love each other and our enemies, just as He has loved us (John 13:34; Matt 5:44). Too often we put the cart before the horse when it comes to loving God. We say that we love Him, but we do not do what is necessary to be prepared to love Him. If we are going to be truly successful in living in such a way that our love for God is obvious to others, it will take more than just saying it.
Now some people would say it begins by first acknowledging that in and of ourselves we cannot love God. It is the Holy Spirit working in us, after we have called upon and accepted Yahshua as master saviour that we will begin the process of loving God. I am not so sure. There are many people in the world who love and show love to others and yet are not Christians. They have empathy for their fellow human or just for someone less fortunate as them or even impoverish. Infact many religions teach love to others and some show it better than Christians.
We must then believe and be confident in the fact that when we sin we must first consider how this will affect God and our relationship with Him. Joseph was a wonderful example of that when tempted by Potiphar’s wife. He ultimately ran from her. Though he told her “neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee” the sentence adds his real motivation was “how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Gen 39:9). Sadly, the last Person we think of when we sin is God. We forget that just as we are emotional beings, we were created after God’s own image who is also an emotional God, and when we sin we grieve Him; the Holy Spirit (Gen 1:27; Eph 4:25-32). We also show our love for God when we subject our will to His will, just as Yahshua demonstrated for us in going to the Cross (Luke 9:23; 22:42; Phil 2:5-8). We must be willing to take up our cross and follow Him, denying self and obeying His commands (John 14:15). This process begins in our minds, and this is why it is so important that we renew our minds as new creatures in Christ, and as instructed by the Word of God (2 Cor 5:16-17; Rom 12:1-2). As we renew our thinking to line up with the mind of Christ, the Holy Spirit will provide us with the strength to live obediently, in accordance to His Word. If we fall short in any of these areas, our demonstration of our love for God will fall short. The end result will be that we will say that we love God, but our actions toward God, and others, will make us appear as hypocrites to those watching us or the one to whom we are speaking or hearing us. Let us do all that we can do to make sure that our lives match up with what we say in respect to our love for our God and our Saviour. Let us truly love Him in our words, deeds, and overall lifestyle by making Him the primary consideration when tempted. Submitting our will to His, consistently and prayerfully studying His Word, and relying on the Holy Spirit for strength and guidance in living out the Word. The end result will be a life that is holy and honouring to God, and one that will truly demonstrate that we truly love our God in response to His love for us.
John 15:13 tells us “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” That is what God, through Yahshua did for us. Call upon Yahshua, live your life as if He is the person in your heart and receive eternal life by repenting of and confessing your sins, accepting His free gift of salvation, by faith (Rom 6:23; 10:9; 13).
Returning to the opening Mat 21:28 verse on the two brothers. How did we know which one truly loved his father? The same way God knows if we love Him.
Joh_14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Joh_14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Joh_15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 1Jn_5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn_5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
2Jn_1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
Now why do we need to know about the character of God? Because we are to aim to be like Him. Be holy because He is holy. To be holy means we are not to be unholy or spiritually dirty. There are many ways we can get spiritually dirty. Through the words of our tongue, actions of our hands, attitude to each other and thoughts of our heads.
As I said, there are something’s I know others are better at explaining than I and may get better results in accomplishing the desire I have for you. So I am going to use the tool of this speaker to hopefully bring about a change in your heart and actions that I may not be able to achieve in you. My purpose is for us all to get to heaven. Revelations says we need the commandments of God and the faith of Yahshua. That faith may also be exhibiting the love of Yahshua. I can, have done and will continue to teach and encourage you to keep the commandments of God; but others are better at telling you about the change in your lifestyle that love for your fellow man should bring. John 17:1-26 is Yahshua speaking to His Father saying He had accomplished His father’s purpose, to teach the disciples the truth, to live right and to teach others to also live right. That is also my aim for us.
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