What is it about God, anyway?

Ever wonder why people believe in God? Or what it means to follow him?

Everybody seems to have a different opinion on this – so how do you answer the question? My suggestion is: listen to what God says about himself.

There’s a story in the book of Exodus about how God had a discussion with Moses. Or maybe it was Moses had an encounter with God. And Moses, who seemed to be able to put the point across when it suited him, is feeling narky because the Lord had called him to lead the people of Israel, and yet he had not shown Moses his glory. How Moses said this with a pillar of cloud guarding the camp, and having been led through the Red Sea on dry ground, I don’t know. I know it probably wouldn’t happen today, but maybe Moses just had a short memory when it came to God’s goodness.

Anyway, God decides to show Moses his glory. He does that by proclaiming his name. As with most ancient near east cultures, a name revealed one’s character.

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” (Exodus 33:19, NIV)

Lots of good things can be said about God, but what he says about himself tells us volumes. The core of God’s character is mercy and compassion. Deep seated care, grace and love for his people and for his world. That’s it, right there.

It’s no surprise, then, to see such mercy and compassion revealed in Jesus, who loved people who were his enemies and who befriended outcasts. He gave his life on the Cross to bring us back to this merciful and compassionate God.

And God’s plan is for his character, and the character of Jesus, to come to expression in his people. Christians, more than anyone, have the privilege to live mercifully, compassionately and humbly.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Colossians 3:12–14, NIV)

Think of the people God has placed around you: who needs your compassion? Who needs your mercy? Who needs to see who God really is and what he is really like? Go. Do.

Seeing as though you’re looking at the screen, you better watch this…

This is a timely reminder that social media might be media, but often it’s not very social.

Is it a case of ‘smart phones and dumb people’? Check it out:

I know it’s ironic that I am posting this on a blog, but I couldn’t resist the wisdom and heart of this short clip.

Enjoy!

Grace and peace

Dave

Preacher, do your preparation. But remember: God may have other plans…

A Sermon & A Study

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Sunday, 0800

We were ready to go. I had carefully and prayerfully prepared my next sermon in “The Relationship Challenge” series. The manuscript was on the iPad. The Powerpoint loaded into Dropbox. I headed out the door and drove to Gateway ready for our 0930 service. I was relaxed and ready to go – a good thing after the previous week had been filled with a few additional diversions. I had prepared well and was ready to deliver this sermon, but as events unfolded it was clear that God had other plans.

As always, we met together with the elders and musicians for prayer before the service. Before we joined in prayer, Elder Mark mentioned an email he had received that morning. A person from Switzerland, whose son is working with a mission in Iraq… The email told how ISIS has taken over their town. ISIS was moving from house…

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