IS YOUR GOD BIG ENOUGH?
Do you have a big God or a little God? A little girl listened attentively as her father read the family devotions. She seemed awed by her parents’ talk of God’s limitless power and mercy. “Daddy,” she asked, placing her little hands on his knees, “how big is God?” Her father thought for a moment and answered, “Honey, He is always just a little bigger than you need.”
How would YOU answer the question about how big God is? Is He bigger than YOUR needs? Do you really believe that? Most people don’t. How are we to show them that we have a God bigger than any of their problems?
GOD AS A PERSON When one accepts the reality that a God exists, the next step is for them to understand that God is a person. To many God is just a force, an energy source, a ‘Mother Nature’ which is an unfeeling power. Thus, there is no possibility of a personal relationship or intimacy. How can we explain that not only is there a God, but that He is a person?
First of all, we must understand what personality is. Personality means there is a mind that can think and reason, a free will than can make moral choices, and emotions which can feel. If man has these, where did they come from?
As a Person, God has a mind which to think and reason. That is the creative source behind everything working so perfectly and fitting together so well in the universe, everything from the tiniest atom to a complex human being to the largest galaxy. Such a perfect, intricate system has ‘design’ and ‘intelligence’ written all over it.
As a Person, God has a free will to make choices. Before the creation of the world, He chose to make man with a free will, too, despite knowing man would sin and be separated from God eternally. God then chose to come to earth, Himself, in the form of a man, to pay man’s eternal penalty for sin by suffering what we would suffer for all eternity on the cross.
As a Person, God has emotions. God has this built into nature. Music is more than just notes and sounds. They were created to touch a deep spot in man. The beauty of a sunset, the majesty of a waterfall, the awesomeness of the ocean — all these were created by an emotional Being to evoke emotion in man. Did love and hate just evolve? If so, why so completely in man, but not in animals or trees? Only man can plan ahead in a rational way (not just be natural instinct for survival). Only man knows inside that there must be justice somewhere, sometime. Only man can feel guilt. Only man has sought to find and contact God. All peoples everywhere have had a natural, built-in desire to find and know God. If God is not personal, where does this across-the-board desire for personal contact with Him come from? (July 18, 2022 Doylestown, PA)
THE NON-MORAL ATTRIBUTES OF GOD These are the attributes of God which do not involve moral qualities. They are:
Omnipresence God is all (“omni”) present (“presence”). He is everywhere (Psalm 138:7-12). There is no place He is not. He is in (but not limited to) nature, space, everywhere. There is no place anywhere in the universe, however large or small, where He is not.
Omniscience God has all knowledge. He knows everything (Proverbs 15:3; Jeremiah 23:23-25). There is nothing He doesn’t know. We don’t have to inform or remind Him of anything. He knows the future as thoroughly as the past, our every fleeting thought.
Omnipotence God has all power. He is able to do whatever He wants (Job 42:2). There is nothing He cannot do. He is able to do anything. He is always able to do whatever we need, but He isn’t always willing. Sometimes He knows it would be better for us in the long run as well as for His own glory to not do a thing. He is always able to do anything and everything.
Sovereignty God is the supreme ruler of all (Ephesians 1). He is in sovereign control of that which He created. Since He formed and made everything, both by right and supremacy He can do anything He wants with His creation. He has no limits. He has no one He needs to get permission from before He can act. He is sovereign.
Immutability God is unchangeable (James 1:17). This is a real anchor because it means that God’s love and mercy that is available for us today will always be available. The rules will never change because God Himself will never change. Sometimes His plan changes, but He Himself will never change for He cannot change. Perfection can’t be improved on.
Eternal There is no beginning or end to God (Genesis 21:23). He is free from all succession of time. He created time to serve Him in one small part of His plan, but He is far above time and unaffected by it. To try and squeeze Him into time and look for a beginning or end to Him is ridiculous. Time will be gone, so there can be no end to anything!
THE MORAL ATTRIBUTES OF GOD These do involve moral qualities.
Holiness God is separate from moral evil and sin (Leviticus 11:44-45). He is sinless and unable to sin (in thought or deed). He is absolute perfection.
Righteousness & justice This is how God treats His creation (II Chron. 2:6). God imposes just laws and sanctions. His rewards and punishments are fair and right. We can never cause Him of being unfair or unjust. We may not understand everything from our perspective, but we know that all God does is right.
Truth God’s knowledge, declarations and representations conform to reality (John 17:3). God Himself and all He does is truth, without any error or mistake. He is never wrong.
Goodness God is good. The non-moral attributes can seem hard and cold, but when guided by God’s goodness we know that the very best is being done for us! These include:
Love The part of God’s nature that motivates Him to communicate Himself to man, to get involved with man, to pay for sin for man so man can be pardoned. This is a rational and voluntary affection, not a mere emotional impulse (I John 4:8). It is the motive for all God does for and with His people.
Benevolence This is the affection which He feels and shows to His creatures. It is manifested to us in His care for our welfare (Psalm 154:9). God cannot hate what He made, only what was later added to that creation, which is sin (John 14:5).
Grace God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Grace is goodness manifested to the ill-deserving (which is everyone). Grace is an essential quality of God, but His use of it is optional (Eph. 2:4; James 5:11). All we have is because of His grace (Eph. 2:8-9). God shows grace to everyone in withholding judgment on sin (Ex 34:6) and provision of salvation (I John 2:). For His people His grace is seen in their election and foreordination (Acts 18:27), redemption (Eph. 1:7-8), salvation (Acts 18:27), sanctification (Rom 5:21; Titus 2:11-12), preservation (II Cor 12:9), service (Heb 12:28) and final presentation (I Pt 1:13).
Mercy This is goodness manifested to those who are in misery or distress (also called compassion, pity, loving-kindness). Grace is getting what we don’t deserve from God (goodness), mercy is not getting what we do deserve from God (justice, punishment).
Thus, God is a personal God with all the traits we would naturally expect of God: power, control and goodness. With such a God in control there is no reason for fear or worry!
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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