God Is Love

Today’s Lesson

Read Isaiah 63:9 and 1 John 4:8.

The biblical statement God is love does not mean God is a feeling or a value. God is a person: a transcendent person, but nonetheless a person. What God is love means is that love is a dominant (if not the deminant) attribute of God.

People often have a difficult time believing that the God of the Bible is characterized by love. They resent that He has allowed suffering in the world and that He has dealt harshly with particular people groups (for example, the inhabitants of Sodom and Canaan).

We should consider, however, that God does not supsend his righteousness, holiness, and justice to bestow his love; in Him, love exists in harmony with these attributes. God is love; God is perfect love.

Questions for Reflection

  1. What is love? How do you define love?  How do you demonstrate love?
  2. Can you be angry with someone and yet love that person? Is it ever right for you to stop loving someone?
  3. How do love and justice contradict each other? How do love and justice harmonize with each other?
  4. Why is it important for us to remember that God is love? Why would God want us to know that He is love?

Sample Prayer

I believe you are love, God. I believe that love, righteousness, holiness, and justice exist in harmony in your own being, and that you keep them in proper balance, for you are perfect. I accept who you are, and I praise you for who you are.

Thank-you, Lord God, for shedding your love over me when I turned to Jesus Christ, your Son, whom you gave to humanity for love, to save us all from our sins so we would know that you love us with a boundless love (John 3:16).

Amen.

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©2018, Marcelo E. Carcach. All rights reserved.

 

God Is Just

Today’s Message

Read Genesis 18:23-25, Deuteronomy 32:4, 41

God is just; God is a just judge. He punishes wickedness and puts an end to it. He renders unto humankind according to their works: the wicked He destroys, and the righteous He spares.

God judged the world with a flood (Genesis 6:17), He judged cities with fire and brimstone (Genesis 19:24), He drove out wicked nations before His people (Deuteronomy 18:12), He judged His own people (2 Kings 21:12), and He will judge every soul who ever lived (Daniel 12:2-3, Isaiah 45:23).

Questions for Reflection

Some people challenge the doctrine that God is just. What challenges do they present, and how would you respond to their challenges?

In the past, God judged the world, Sodom, the Canaanites, and Israel. Do you think God continues to judge peoples and nations?

There will come a time when God will judge every human soul who has ever lived and who will ever live. This includes you. How can you prepare for that time of judgement?

Sample Prayer

Lord God, I recognize that you are the judge of all the Earth, and I recognize that your judgement is just and severe. You seek to destroy all wickedness, and you will destroy all those who oppose you, the righteous God.

I tremble before you, and I tremble not only for myself but for my loved ones, my nation, and all humankind: for we are all sinners, we all fall short of your glorious righteousness.

Thank-you, Lord, for warning us all. Thank-you for giving us hope of salvation through Jesus Christ, whom I humbly receive in my heart. Amen.

Reminder

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©2018, Marcelo E. Carcach. All rights reserved. 

God Is Holy

Read

Read Leviticus 11:45 and Isaiah 6:3.

God is holy. He is separated from imperfections (Leviticus 22:19-25), uncleanness (Leviticus 7:21), and sin (Isaiah 6:5). When something imperfect, unclean, or sinful stands before Him, it is judged and destroyed (Leviticus 10:1-11), unless God graciously chooses to purify it (Isaiah 6:7).

Reflect

  1. How do God’s holiness and humanity’s sinfulness conflict with each other?
  2. If God is holy, why are human beings (which He created) not holy?
  3. Can God extend grace and forgive the imperfections and sins of humanity? How is this consistent with His holiness?

Pray

Woe of me, for I am a sinner, I am imperfect, and I unclean; whereas you, o God, are holy, holy, holy. Forever, you are perfectly and infinitely holy.

I praise you for your holiness, for who you are: how wonderful and pure, how awesome and beautiful, how fearsome and worthy of my complete devotion.

I praise you also because you, King, Lord of Hosts, are gracious; and in your great graciousness, which is equally eternal, perfect, and infinite as your holiness, you can purify me as you deem necessary so I be not consumed by your presence.

I recognize that you have chosen to purify me through Jesus Christ, your Son. I thank-you for Him. Amen.

Reminder

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©2018, Marcelo E. Carcach. All rights reserved. 

God Is Righteous

Read

Read Psalm 11:7.

God is righteous. He always does what is right (Daniel 9:14), and He never does wrong (Zephaniah 3:5). He loves righteousness; He judges iniquity; He seeks the friendship of those who are righteous. Thus, God is righteous in what He does, and God is righteous in what He loves. God is perfectly righteous.

When God created the heavens and all who dwell in them, and when He created the Earth and all who dwell in it, He created everything and all according to His own righteous character, and He gave them instructions to keep them in His righteous ways.

He created them according to His own righteous character: He did not make reference to any other standard over Him because there is no standard over Him. Righteousness stems from the character of God.

Reflect

God always does what is right; He is perfectly righteous. Are you, or anyone you know, righteous as God is righteous?

Society disagrees with many of God’s standards revealed in the Bible. If society disagrees with God, who is wrong, the perfectly righteous God or society?

Read Daniel 9:7. If God is righteous and we human beings are sinners, is it right for God to judge our sins? What are we supposed to do before God’s judgment?

Pray

Forever Lord, you are righteous. You are perfectly righteous; you are infinitely righteous. All your ways are righteousness. But I am a sinner and a transgressor of your righteous Law. Transform my heart, change my mind, cause me to love righteousness so I can follow your ways; and teach me, Lord, your ways.

Thank-you for your Son, Jesus Christ, who has made atonement for all my sins, and all the sins of humankind; and who has revealed to us that you, oh righteous Lord, forgive. Amen.

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©2018, Marcelo E. Carcach. All rights reserved.

God Is Sovereign

Read

Read Isaiah 46:9-10 and Psalm 115:3.

When God decided to create the universe and the world, He did not have to seek anyone’s permission; when He decided to create life and humankind, there was no principle over Him to direct Him. Guided by His own eternal wisdom and infinite righteousness, He does as He pleases. There is no one or nothing over Him: God is the ultimate authority.

God’s rule over everything and all is so absolute, a bird does not fall to the ground without God willing it (Matthew 10:29). Even human volition is subject to God’s sovereignty (Exodus 10:1, Proverbs 21:1).

Reflect

  • If God is sovereign, why is His creation able to rebel against Him?
  • If God is sovereign, why do people have such a hard time accepting God as Lord of their hearts?
  • What is the fate of all those who rebel against the sovereign God?
  • How can we live in harmony with God’s sovereignty? What are the benefits of this?

Pray

O God, you alone are God! There is no one like you. You are the ultimate authority, Lord and King over everything that exists.

Those who rebel against you do so to their own demise: they dwell in a land of drought, famine, and darkness; they kick against a goad.

I humbly submit to your rule, my King and my God. I recognize you as Lord of my life and of my heart. Teach me to live in harmony with your rule over me, teach me to submit to your authority throughout everywhere I find it (there is no place where you don’t rule).

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©2018, Marcelo E. Carcach. All rights reserved.

God Is A Spirit

Read

John 4:24

God is by nature a spirit, not an organism made of matter. In both Classical Hebrew and Koiné, the word spirit refers to wind or breath. This, however, does not mean that God is air, but that He is transcendent: His being consists of something that is beyond what is physical, beyond what we can see or touch (Job 23:9; John 3:6,12).

This transcendence of God is logical. If God created the heavens, the earth, and the waters (Genesis 1:1-2); that is, if He created the universe, with all its matter, energy, time, and space; then God’s nature must be transcendent because He exists and lives without needing any of these (for He existed and lived prior to these).

Moreover, we ought to keep in mind that although the Bible tells us other spirit beings exist (Colossians 1:16), God also transcends them: God created them, and they do not share all His attributes (inherently eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, etc.). Thus, God is unique, and He alone is God.

Ponder

How does science define life, and does this scientific definition apply to God or not?

Read Genesis 1:26-27. How are we human beings both like God and different from God?

The Bible tells us that other spirit beings exist. What do you know about them? How are they both like God and unlike Him?

Why is God alone worthy of our worship, and why are these other spirit beings not worthy of our worship?

Pray

God, my God, you are transcendent, you are a spirit, you are wonderful! In all the universe, and in Heaven itself, there is none like you–you alone are God!

You are my God, and you alone I worship. You are my God, and in you alone I trust. You are my Creator, my Maker, my King, and my Redeemer.

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©2018, Marcelo E. Carcach. All rights reserved.

God Is All Powerful

Read

Luke 1:37

Reflect

In a single year (2016), the U.S. used a total of 3,902,000,000,000 kilowatt hours, that is 3,902 billion kilowatt hours. That is a lot of power! Nevertheless, it does not compare to the amount of power produced by the Sun in one second: 38,460 septillion watts! That is, 38,460, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 watts.

Now, the Sun is only one star of many. Just how many? Some scientists estimate a total of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the universe.
Going by these numbers, how much power do all these stars produce in a year? And how much power have they produced in the time they have been? These numbers truly defy imagination!

And yet, the Bible tells us that God created all these stars (Genesis 1:16) and that He maintains all of them in existence by his power (Hebrews 1:13). How powerful God must be! He truly is all powerful!

Ponder

Close your eyes and picture a star. Do you see the star in your mind? Picture now a second star? Keep adding stars in your mind without losing a clear picture of them all.

Can you picture septillion stars?

What other works or miracles has God done, and how do these make His power seem even greater than the existence of the stars does?

What other verses of the Bible would you have used to prove that God is all powerful?

Some people challenge God’s omnipotence by stating God cannot lie or create another god greater than Himself. Are these challenges legitimate? Do they really limit God’s power?

How can we appropriately respond and relate to God’s overwhelming power?

Pray

God, Father, how much your power surpasses understanding! When I think about such power, I can only picture myself like a drop of water falling into the sun—I am consumed before ever reaching the surface. Who will not fear you? Who will not tremble before you? Who will not worship you? Anyone who does not bow before you will be like that drop of water.

Nevertheless, you invite me, through the grace of your Son Jesus Christ, to behold your glory, to come close to you, and to praise you for all eternity! How great and wonderful you are!

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©2018, Marcelo E. Carcach. All rights reserved.