What Is God Like? 

Hebrews 1:1-10 New International Version (NIV)

God’s Final Word: His Son

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

The Son Superior to Angels

For to which of the angels did God ever say,

“You are my Son;
    today I have become your Father”[a]?

Or again,

“I will be his Father,
    and he will be my Son”[b]?

And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,Image result for What is God like

“Let all God’s angels worship him.”[c]

In speaking of the angels he says,

“He makes his angels spirits,
    and his servants flames of fire.”[d]

But about the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
    a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
    therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
    by anointing you with the oil of joy.”[e]

10 He also says,

“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.

Precious Jewels

Malachi 3 New International Version 

Israel Speaks Arrogantly Against God

13 “You have spoken arrogantly against me,” says the Lord.

“Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’

14 “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evil doers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”

The Faithful RemnantImage result for malachi 3 v17

16 Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honoured his name.

17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

A favourite children’s hymn to a tune some of you may not recognise played by David Daws on Euphonium and accompanied by Regent Hall Band of The Salvation Army.

  1. When He cometh, when He cometh,
    To make up His jewels,
    All His jewels, precious jewels,
    His loved and His own.

    • Refrain:
      Like the stars of the morning,
      His bright crown adorning,
      They shall shine in their beauty,
      Bright gems for His crown.
  2. He will gather, He will gather
    The gems for His kingdom,
    All the pure ones, all the bright ones,
    His loved and His own.
  3. Little children, little children,
    Who love their Redeemer,
    Are the jewels, precious jewels,
    His loved and His own.

Abundance

Matthew 25:26-30 New International Version 

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

You were the Word at the beginning
One With God the Lord Most High
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ
What a beautiful Name it is
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a beautiful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
You didn’t want heaven without us
So Jesus, You brought heaven down
My sin was great, Your love was greater
What could separate us now
Image result for Christian Abundance
What a wonderful Name it is
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a wonderful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
How sweet is your name, Lord, how good You are
Love to sing in the name of the Lord, love to sing for you all?
Death could not hold You, the veil tore before You
You silenced the boast, of sin and grave
The heavens are roaring, the praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again
You have no rival, You have no equal
Now and forever, Our God reigns
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name, above all names
What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
You have no rival, You have no equal
Now and forever, Our God reigns
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name, above all names
What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Hope and Trust

Psalm 71 New International Version – UK

Psalm 71

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
    turn your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,
    to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
    for you are my rock and my fortress.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
    from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.

For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
    my confidence since my youth.

From my birth I have relied on you;
    you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
    I will ever praise you.
I have become a sign to many;
    you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
    declaring your splendour all day long.

Keeping us safe

Psalm 31 King James Version 

15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.

16 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake.

17 Let me not be ashamed, O Lord; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.

18 Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!

20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

21 Blessed be the Lord: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.

22 For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.

23 O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

Fear of disaster

Proverbs 3:25-26 New International Version

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25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
    or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the Lord will be at your side
    and will keep your foot from being snared.

When I read this proverb and think of all the natural disasters that happen in the world, earthquakes, landslides, plane crashes, Tornado’s etc.

Wickedness seems to over take in cases like these, for example a plane that crashes through terrorism is just wicked. As is stealing from homes that have been damaged as a result of a disaster.

Verse 26 tells us we need not fear because ‘The Lord’ is at our side to keep us from being caught by the evil one.

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God is Great

Psalm 92 New International Version

Psalm 92[a]

A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day.

It is good to praise the Lord
    and make music to your name, O Most High,
proclaiming your love in the morning
    and your faithfulness at night,
to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
    and the melody of the harp.

For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
    I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
How great are your works, Lord,
    how profound your thoughts!

Senseless people do not know,
    fools do not understand,
that though the wicked spring up like grass
    and all evildoers flourish,
    they will be destroyed forever.

The Story Behind How Great Thou Art

Stuart K. Hine was a Bristish Methodist missionary on a mission trip in Ukraine in 2931 when he heard the Russian translation of a German song inspired by Carl Boberg’s poem “O Store Gud” (O Great God). Hine began to translation the song to English and added several verses. The third verse was inspired by the conversion of villagers in Russia who cried out to God loudly as the repented and realized God’s love and mercy – “And when I think that God, His Son not sparing, sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in.” 

Stuart Hine and his family left Ukraine as famine and World War Two began, and settled in Somerset, Britain where he continued to serve as a missionary to Polish refugees. The forth verse of “How Great Thou Art” was inspired by displaced Russians who experienced great loss and looked forward to seeing their loved ones again in heaven – “When Christ shall come with shoult of acclamation to take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.”

The final English version of “How Great Thou Art” was published in 1949 and quickly spread among Britian, Africa, India and America. 

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, 
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made; 
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, 
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Chorus:
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, 
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, 
How great Thou art, How great Thou art! 

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander, 
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing; 
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in; 
That on a Cross, my burdens gladly bearing, 
He bled and died to take away my sin.

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation, 
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration, 
And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”

Love our Enemies

Luke 6 New International Version – UK

Love for enemies

27 ‘But to you who are listening I say: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who ill-treat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 ‘If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Judging others

3‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’

There are two reasons for us to love our enemies. One is simply because God said to, but the other is because God loved us first. It was when we were still God’s enemies (Colossians 1:21 and Romans 5:10) that He demonstrated His love for us. Through Jesus (Romans 5:8) God’s love brought salvation to us.

We all have people we don’t like and of course it’s worse when we fall out with our friends Christian or otherwise.

Jesus taught us to ‘Love our Enemies’. He gave us a few rules such as ‘ Turn the other cheek’, ( to me that meant do not retaliate).

He also spoke about giving our clothes to other people and lending without expecting repayment.

It isn’t an easy thing to do is to Love our Enemies because no matter how hard we try to Love them they might not be prepared to do the same. If we pray about it, perhaps things may change for the better.

Jesus also taught us not to Judge others.

We do not know what a certain person is going through, whether it be health matters, financial or otherwise, only God knows

The right direction

Proverbs 4 New International Version

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10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
    and the years of your life will be many.
11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom
    and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
    when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
    guard it well, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
    or walk in the way of evildoers.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
    turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot rest until they do evil;
    they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.

18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
    shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
    they do not know what makes them stumble.

I suppose you could call this a follow up on yesterdays blog ‘Seeking Wisdom’. You see if we follow God he will keep us on the straight and narrow as the saying goes.

We are also advised to avoid ‘The wicked’ and everything they do or take part in.

I always read through my bible readings when preparing the blog ad when I read this one I was reminded of the song/hymn ‘The Pathway of Duty ‘

Pathway of Duty

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There’s a path that’s sometimes thorny,

There’s a narrow way, and straight;

It is called the path of duty,

And it leads to Heaven’s gate.

While we tread this path of duty,

We will find our needs supplied

From the river of God’s mercy

That is flowing close beside.

By the pathway of duty

Flows the river of God’s grace.

By the pathway of duty

Flows the river of God’s grace.

2.

‘Tis a blessed way and holy,

‘Tis a path of peace and joy;

Though sometimes the way be stony

And the cares of life annoy.

But this path that we call duty

Is the way the Master trod,

And the smile of love and beauty

Lights the way that leads to God.

3.

Let us walk this path of duty

With our faces to the sun,

Carry all our burdens gladly,

Finish well what we’ve begun.

From the river of God’s mercy

That is flowing by the way,

We may drink and find refreshing

For the burdens of the day.

Turn from Sin

Ezekiel 18 New International Version

The following is the final part of this chapter entitled “The one who sins will die”.

19 ‘Yet you ask, “Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?” Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. 20 The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.

21 ‘But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. 22 None of the offences they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. 23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?

24 ‘But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die.

25 ‘Yet you say, “The way of the Lord is not just.” Hear, you Israelites: is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust? 26 If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin, they will die for it; because of the sin they have committed they will die. 27 But if a wicked person turns away from the wickedness they have committed and does what is just and right, they will save their life. 28 Because they consider all the offences they have committed and turn away from them, that person will surely live; they will not die. 29 Yet the Israelites say, “The way of the Lord is not just.” Are my ways unjust, people of Israel? Is it not your ways that are unjust?

30 ‘Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offences; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offences you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!