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Who is God?
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What is His character?

 
Much has said about God! Some good, and some .....not so "good"!!
 
He's been called, Savior, Lord, healer, "awesome God". And others have called Him, "insensitive", "judgmental", "cruel task master", etc.
 
But who is God? And what is His Character?
 
Well, first and foremost of all! He is the Creator of all things:
 
  "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
 
                                (Genesis 1:1 NKJV)
 
And He created man and woman:
 
  "Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."
 
                              (Genesis 1:26-27 NKJV)
 
And loving the man and woman He created, He blessed them:
 
  "Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 
And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so."
 
                                      (Genesis 1:28-30 NKJV)
 
And He gave them a wonderful place to live:
 
  "The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates."

                                  (Genesis 2:8-14 NKJV)
 
And He put them in this beautiful place so that they would have a nice home. Where He would dwell and have fellowship with them!
 
Sounds pretty good does it not?
 
But yet we have a world in which God is constantly ridiculed and accused! Of things such as being "unloving", or "harsh". Or any myriad of negative accusations thrown against Him! ....Which are not at all in His character!
 
For God is love!!
 
 "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love."
 
                                   (1 John 4:8 NKJV)
 
But yet the world loves to constantly "come up" with reasons to hate and reject Him!
 
They think that because God punishes sin that He is "harsh" and unforgiving. But NOTHING could be further from the truth!
 
You see what many do not understand is that God is righteous:
 
  "For the LORD is righteous,
          He loves righteousness;
          His countenance beholds the upright."
 
                         (Psalm 11:7 NKJV)
 
  "He loves righteousness and justice;
          The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD."
 
                            (Psalm 33:5 NKJV)
 
And because He is righteous? He cannot go against His nature. He must punish sin:
 
  "For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law..."
 
                                (Romans 2:12 NKJV)
 
He is not like us! We humans are "fickle". And when push comes to shove? Our beliefs and morals go, "out the window". And we ALL know this! All we have to do is look around us!! Look at this world we live in. But not with God! Because He is righteous? He will not change His nature!
 
And although He loved Adam and Eve? He had to punish thier sin: 
 
   To the woman He said:
      “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
      In pain you shall bring forth children;
      Your desire shall be for your husband,
      And he shall rule over you.” 
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
      “ Cursed is the ground for your sake;
      In toil you shall eat of it
      All the days of your life.

   Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
      And you shall eat the herb of the field.

    In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
      Till you return to the ground,
      For out of it you were taken;
      For dust you are,
      And to dust you shall return.” 

                              (Genesis 3:16-19 NKJV)

But with this we must understand that God did WARN them to begin with!

  "Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

                                   (Genesis 2:15-17 NKJV)

And just as God warned the first people to walk this earth? He does the same for us! But we tend to be really hard of hearing

                                                                              ...Don't we?

You see because Adam and Eve sinned? They were cast out of the garden (God's presence):

  "therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life."

                                    (Genesis 3:23-24 NKJV)

And sin entered the world! So did death, sickness, disease, etc.

And the world has been this way ever since! Full of sin, sickness death, disease. And all manner of "heart breaks" that make up this life!

We, the human race? Have made the world what it is! A mess!! We cannot blame it on God!!! Yes, there is much suffering in this world. But we are the ones with the free will! Who choose to abuse it and sin!!

Can you imagine what the world would have been like? Had Adam and Eve obeyed God? Amazing thought?!

You see when God created man and woman? He gave them a free will. So they could make their own choices. So that they could freely choose to have fellowship (with), love and obey Him. Or do their "own thing". And that's just what they did! So here we have sin "entering" the world!!

Now, there is something we must understand in this. Although He punishes sin. He still loves us. He wants better for us. And He takes NO pleasure when a wicked person dies. In fact He desires ALL to turn from their sin:

  "Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?"

                                     (Ezekiel 18:23 NKJV)

Just as He does today! But even better today as we are all offered ETERNAL salvation:

 "who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

                                     (1 Timothy 2:4 NKJV)

 "And it shall come to pass
       That whoever calls on the name of the LORD
       Shall be saved."

                 (Acts 2:21 NKJV)

But we? We still seem to be.....hard of hearing

                                                                 ...don't we?

We have a world that constantly "cries out" for something better. Yet, many are not willing to take ANY responsibility for their part (their sin)!

They do not realize that it is our sin that separates us from God:

 "Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened,
      That it cannot save;
      Nor His ear heavy,
      That it cannot hear
         But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
      And your sins have hidden His face from you,
      So that He will not hear. 
         For your hands are defiled with blood,
      And your fingers with iniquity;
      Your lips have spoken lies,
      Your tongue has muttered perversity. 
         No one calls for justice,
      Nor does any plead for truth.
      They trust in empty words and speak lies;
      They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity. 
         They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web;
      He who eats of their eggs dies,
      And from that which is crushed a viper breaks out. 
        Their webs will not become garments,
      Nor will they cover themselves with their works;
      Their works are works of iniquity,
      And the act of violence is in their hands. 
        Their feet run to evil,
      And they make haste to shed innocent blood;
      Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;
      Wasting and destruction are in their paths. 
        The way of peace they have not known,
      And there is no justice in their ways;
      They have made themselves crooked paths;
      Whoever takes that way shall not know peace.

                                 (Isaiah 59:1-8 NKJV)

And they search endlessly for something better! Knowing they are wrong. Just as the people did in Isaiah's time:

 "Therefore justice is far from us,
      Nor does righteousness overtake us;
      We look for light, but there is darkness!
      For brightness, but we walk in blackness
        We grope for the wall like the blind,
      And we grope as if we had no eyes;
      We stumble at noonday as at twilight;
      We are as dead men in desolate places
        We all growl like bears,
      And moan sadly like doves;
      We look for justice, but there is none;
      For salvation, but it is far from us
        For our transgressions are multiplied before You,
      And our sins testify against us;
      For our transgressions are with us,
      And as for our iniquities, we know them
        In transgressing and lying against the LORD,
      And departing from our God,
      Speaking oppression and revolt,
      Conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood
        Justice is turned back,
      And righteousness stands afar off;
      For truth is fallen in the street,
      And equity cannot enter."

                           (Isaiah 59:9-14 NKJV)

And for those that try to do what's right?

          "So truth fails,
      And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey."

                    (Isaiah 59-1st part verse 15 NKJV)

They are mistreated and persecuted!

So we have a world in which the, "ruler of the air" (Satan) is at work (Ephesians 2:2). The majority are "caught up" in their own sin. And the Lord saw this ...and being loving? He decided to do something about this:

 "Then the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him
      That there was no justice
       He saw that there was no man,
      And wondered that there was no intercessor;
      Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him.

                    (Isaiah 59-and part verse 15-16 NKJV)

He offers Salvation!!!

And the Lord offers it to all who call on Him:

  "For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

                                 (Romans 10:13 NKJV)

Who put their trust in Jesus:

  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever *believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

                                        (John 3:16 NKJV)

*Pisteuo -pist-yoo'-o -commit to trust, "put in trust with".

Even to us that are not of Israel! Those of us who are gentiles:

 "The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says,

      “ Yet I will gather to him
      Others besides those who are gathered to him.”

                                (Isaiah 56:8 NKJV)

 “I was sought by those who did not ask for Me;
      I was found by those who did not seek Me.
      I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’
      To a nation that was not called by My name."

                                 (Isaiah 65:1 NKJV)

And not only does God want to save us, but He wants us to be "whole", "healthy". Both spiritually and emotionally!

  “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
      Because the LORD has anointed Me
      To preach good tidings to the poor;
      He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
      To proclaim liberty to the captives,
      And the opening of the prison to those who are bound
       To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
      And the day of vengeance of our God;
      To comfort all who mourn
       To console those who mourn in Zion,
      To give them beauty for ashes,
      The oil of joy for mourning,
      The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
      That they may be called trees of righteousness,
      The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

                         (Isaiah 61:1-3 NKJV)

You see what many do not understand? ...Even some believers? Is that God is so loving that He wants what is best for us. Yes, He wants us to worship Him, have fellowship with Him (JN 4:23-24). And obey Him (1 Samuel 15:22). But He is also very personable! He wants to have an intimate relationship with us!! He wants us to REALLY know Him (Hebrews 8:11)!!!

Now many when they think of intimacy? They think of the intimacy between a husband and wife. Or for many? They will think of sex. But what we are talking about is intimacy in it's purest form. The idea of knowing the "innermost" characterisitics, feelings of another. Having a warm close friendship. This is the type of intimacy God wants from us! And we will have it with Him!! ....But the question for us? Is this. Are we willing to follow Him?

You see people often times believe? That God is, "far removed" from us here on earth. But the reality is that we remove ourselves from Him!

Just as Adam and Eve did in the garden of eve:

  "And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden."

                                   (Genesis 3:8 NKJV)

And we do that today! Do we not? We know when we are wrong we "hide" ourselves from Him!

How do we hide? By not listening to others who talk about God. By "absorbing" ourselves into the T.V., hobbies, lifestyles, relationships. Or by "self-medicating". Whether it be by drugs, alcohol (shopping, sex, etc.). Anything that will keep us from looking into the "mirror". And help us to keep justifying ourselves. But what we do not realize? That this is VERY dangerous!

 "There is a way that seems right to a man,
       But its end is the way of death."

                (Proverbs 14:12 NKJV)

And we will try to "blame" our sin on others! Just as Adam and Eve did:

  "Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

                              (Genesis 3:12-13 NKJV)

And is not that just like us? We try and blame our sin on others! God asks, "did you do that?" And Adam says, "the woman whom you gave me, she picked from the tree and gave it to me" (so it's not my fault). Then Eve says, "the serpent tricked me" (so it's not my fault). So she made me do it! He made me do it (etc. etc. etc.)!! We like to create, "domino effects"!!! Don't we? Our problems become someone else's problem. And before too long, we don't know who ends up getting it passed onto!

And we may think we can "fool" God. But God is never mocked:

 "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap."

                                  (Galatians 6:7 NKJV)

There is no place that we can go to hide from Him:

 "Where can I go from Your Spirit?
         Or where can I flee from Your presence?
    If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
         If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there."

                              (Psalm 139:7-8 NKJV)

And we think that God may be some horrible person in the sky with a "hammer" in His hand. Just waiting to "hammer us out" (pound us out). All the "little people" who don't stand a chance! So we ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit of our sin, and need for Him:

  "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged."

                                  (John 16:8-11 nKJV)

No knowing that it is God's GOODNESS that leads us to repentence!

  "Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?"

                                    (Romans 2:4 NKJV)

You see God is love (1 John 4:16)! He is righteous (Psalm 71:16)!! Gracious (Psalm 116:5)!!! All knowing (Proverbs 2:6)!!!!

And NO ONE can undo anything that He does!

  "Indeed before the day was, I am He;
      And there is no one who can deliver out of My hand;
      I work, and who will reverse it?”

                       (Isaiah 43:13 NKJV)

So who is God?

 "And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

                               (Exodus 3:14 NKJV)

  "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

                                (Revelation 22:13 NKJV)

You see, "God is God"! He does not have to explain Himself. Yet He does. Even in creation:

 "because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,"

                                          (Romans 1:19-20 NKJV)

We are the ones who are "short sighted"! But yet we try and pass off our own issues on God! The state of the world. The problems in our and other's lives. But it all comes down to this. God is God!

When we mess up, or are dismayed with life? We realistically cannot blame it on Him! He loves us very much. So much that He gave us Jesus! The question for us is this. Do we humble ourselves? And start trying to see the world as He sees it? Or do we "stubbornly" keep doing our own thing?

So if you do know who God is? And perhaps you have strayed from Him?

Then it's time to go back to Him!

 "So rend your heart, and not your garments;
      Return to the LORD your God,
      For He is gracious and merciful,
      Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
      And He relents from doing harm."

                       (Joel 2:13 NKJV)

And if you do not know who the Lord is? Then perhaps it's time for you to consider this? That there is an almighty loving God. Who wants more, than anything for you? To be a part of your life! And not only part? But for all eternity (for more info click here: Will God accept me?)

You see many people call God many things! But for those who are the ones who truly have been blessed?

They get to call Him God and Father:

 "Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen."

                      (Philippians 4:20 NKJV)

And Savior:

 "And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior."

                         (Luke 1:47 NKJV)

You see we can either acknolwedge Him now. And accept His love, grace, forgiveness and salvation for us!

                   ....Or we can acknolwedge Him later!!

  "I have sworn by Myself;
      The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness,
      And shall not return,
      That to Me every knee shall bow,
      Every tongue shall take an oath
          He shall say,

      ‘ Surely in the LORD I have righteousness and strength.
      To Him men shall come,
      And all shall be ashamed
      Who are incensed against Him."

                       (Isaiah 45:23-24 NKJV)

  "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

                                   (Philippians 2:10-11 NKJV)

But that choice is up to us individually!

   “ Look to Me, and be saved,
      All you ends of the earth!
      For I am God, and there is no other."

                 (Isaiah 45:22 NKJV)

 

So what do you think? What do you think His character is? Is God loving and gracious...??

Rev. John Heintzman
Evangelist Non-Denominational
POHOM
 
Any questions, comments, prayer requests?
 

POHOM Columbus, Ohio
 
 
 
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