Gen 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
What is the very first thing God wanted us to know about Him?
In the beginning. I love that in the beginning, God already was. It doesn’t say that He was created or otherwise formed but that He already was. In the very first scripture, He tells us He is Elohim. It is a plural name defined singularly expressing that the Father, Son and Spirit are One.
Elohim (Strong’s # H430) This name tells us that He is supreme, mighty and strong.
In John1:1, Theos (Strongs #G2316) also means supreme God.
Right from the start He lets us know that he is above all things. He is more then capable of not just forming the universe but of sustaining it and so much more. It tells us that there is nothing He, the One Who made us, can not do. Knowing this gives me a reverential awe, respect and sense of wonder. It also gives me confidence that His ways are best and that He is safe to trust. I mean, if He made all things, He knows how it all works too. It tells me that He is able to protect me and when things seem to be going wrong He is able to make it work for my good. His words to me are good and true. Knowing His strength gives me the confidence in His character to trust Him. Since trust is foundational in a relationship, it is no wonder why He chose to first be known this way.
If we have been born again by accepting Christ as our Savior and in our heart, consider ourselves sinners, how can we be salt and light to this world?
When we received Christ we received the forgiveness of our sins. ALL of them. We are no longer sinners but saints. Yes, we sometimes still commit sins, but we have been forgiven.
The problem is that we do not accept what Christ has done for and given to us. We promote a type of Christianity that says we are still of and in the world and we just slap a “Christian” label on it.
Why would anyone want to be a part of that when we offer nothing different except a building to attend on Sunday morning?
Salt is a funny thing. It is used to cure things like meat and to purify. Light dispels darkness. As a sinner I am not purified, and not able to “cure” nor am I able to bring the fullness of His light in order to pierce the darkness. If I keep acting like a sinner, I have not received, have not understood, and/or, have rejected the atonement that Christ has given freely to me.
The new man created when I accepted Christ no longer lives to sin. My flesh still battles but self is no longer the primary motive of my heart. Loving the God who has given me freedom is. In the process of loving Him, sin is something that dishonors all He has done and I just don’t want it in my life. He died, rose again, and is seated on the right hand of the Father so that I am free. Completely free. He has made me a saint and a citizen of Heaven.
But if I don’t understand that, then I think I am still a sinner. I would still be fighting to make God happy and failing at it. When I live believing I am a sinner what it really shows is that in my heart I have not accepted the sacrifice made for me. For if I had, my grateful heart filled with the understanding of the depth of His love, would not reject the fullness of what He gave.
If we are to be a sign for this generation we will need to fully realize Who God is and who He says we are. We won’t need to have programs in order to bring Heaven to Earth because Heaven will come with us wherever we go. In order to bring Christ to this generation we must first awaken to Truth and Grace. Outreach – true world changing outreach – will not succeed without letting Him reach into the deepest places of our hearts and transform us.
I do not want to call others into a life of half-truths. A half truth is still a lie. Until we begin walking in the knowledge of our sainthood we will only call people onto a path of bondage instead of the true path of freedom.
I pray that if you are struggling you would find the truth of who our Savior has made you to be. His love is stronger then any sin and His love WILL set you free.
How important can a name be? It is just something we use to label things, right?
In our culture, we have become very comfortable with names and rarely do we look past the word to it’s meaning. I believe that sadly, the church has done this in regards to God as well. His Name is vibrant and full of meaning. As we read through scriptures we get an idea of Who God is but when we dig deeper a richer picture begins to form in our minds.
Through studying the Word we come to find that a name is so much more than a label. It is a peak into the heart, purpose and character of the named. According to the Bible, a name calls on the reputation, authority, character and power of the named. So it is with God. His Name should bring to mind all that He is and all that He does.
When you think of God what comes to mind? Do you think of a loving God Who rescues, of a God Who comforts you? Do you think of an all powerful God that is too big to care for you? Maybe you don’t really think too much about His name at all.
By studying the names used to address and recall Him in scriptures we will get a clearer picture of His character. Aspects you may never have thought of belonging to God will be revealed to you as well as false ideas being cast away. You will find Him to be a loving and just God Who cares for even the smallest details of your life. You are His child after all, and even more than a good parent His takes joy in seeing your receive all that He has for you.
“When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. “I have manifested (G5319 – to render apparent) Your Name (G3686 – authority, character, majesty, power) to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.”
John 17:1 – 6 ESV
Biblical Definitions (condensed)
The name, reputation, memory and renown.
Title, dignity, authority, character, rank, majesty, power.
Why do we look at God through “storm colored glasses”? If that is how we see Him, the enemy is winning. The trials of life should not taint the way we look at Him. Our knowledge of Him should change the way we look at everything else. Worship and praise take us through to the eye of the storm. As we enter that resting place we look up with the now clear vision of Who God really is, we enter into prayer and we are lifted above the storm. The storm may still be raging, but it can not touch you. We won’t even notice the storm anymore because we are so taken with His beauty.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1Thess5.16 -18. ESV
Are you satisfied? I found myself asking this question of my situation. I was not. What is it about ourselves that makes us discontent with where we are at? Is it because we know that God has more for us? Is it because we don’t know that God has more for us? I beleive it all comes down to trust.
God has really laid on my heart the importance of knowing His character. If we continue to fall back on our human experiences and classify God’s character by the character of those who have hurt us then we will find it nearly impossible to move forward and trust. We also can not trust someone to the point of contentment as long as we do not know him. Would you put your child in the care of a person you had never met? Of course not. By reading Scriptures daily we gain insight on His character and His heart for us.
Some of the Biblical meanings for contentment are: accept an invitation, rejoice, yield to, obey, be joyful, to produce, to bear, to shoot forth, to defend or ward off, sufficient in ability. Another way I looked at this was to look at it’s opposition, contention. It means to dispute, brawl, quarrel, to provoke, to desire to push oneself forward, contest (race/struggle/battle). I beleive these definitions show us the path to contentment. We accept God’s invitation to yield to Him and we defend our hearts and minds against the attacks of the enemy. We rejoice because we know that God is good, He is sufficent in ability to provide and this causes the fruit He has for us to shoot forth. We enter warefare against the things that bring out quarreling and self promotion and disputes. And as we do we will most likely find an area that we lack trusting God.
Trusting God is critical in contentment. And the only remedy for lack of trust is to learn His character. I highly recommend studying the names of God and their meanings. Claim Who He is as Lord over your situations. Once we see that we can trust Him, we can trust that all He says, does, and allows is for His glory and for our good. No matter the circumstance, we can have faith to know that as we walk in obedience to Him, we are also walking in His best for us.