Saturday, April 18, 2020

Names and Attributes of God --- 'M'


by Hallie Gipson

The days we are living in are strange indeed! Nothing comes close to resembling what we once called ‘normal’. Everything has been adapted to deal with the pandemic the entire world is experiencing, and everyone is affected. Each of us could list numerous ways our lives have changed.

But One constant has and will remain --- GOD!

“For I, the Lord, do not change;” (Malachi 3:6)

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

Who we know Him to be now, is who He has always been and will always be.

MAKER

“Come let us worship and bow down, Let us keel before the Lord our Maker.”  Psalm 95:6

“Thus says the Lord, your redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the Lord, am the maker of all things.”  Isaiah 44:24

MERCIFUL

“But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious . . .”   Psalm 86:15

“The Lord is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.”  Psalm 145:8

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). Ephesians 2:4-5

MESSIAH

“He (Andrew) found first his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” which translated means Christ).  John 1:41

“The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”  John 4:25-26

MEDIATOR

“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”  1 Timothy 2:5

“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem . . . and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood. . . ”   Hebrews 12:22, 24


So let us remember the words of Moses as he gave his last council to the children of Israel:

“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6

Similar words are repeated in Hebrews:

“. . . for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”  Hebrews 13:5b-6


Sovereign Lord, I praise You that in the midst of uncertain times, You are as unchanging as ever!! Help us remember that “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear. . .”  Psalm 46:1, 2   Amen.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

THE SUFFERING SERVANT

By Hallie Gipson

“Advent” as defined by Webster’s Dictionary: “the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting.”

Has Advent made a difference for you this year, or has it been the same hectic pace of Advents past? You know, decorating the house ‘just so’; making sure each person on your gift list receives just the right gift; baking each child’s favorite cookie; attending all the important social events; sending Christmas cards to people you only hear from once a year; planning the perfect Christmas dinner. . . need I say more?!

I, too, am easily caught up with the trappings of Christmas without giving much thought to spiritual preparation. However, this year I wanted Advent to be special, a time to meditate on the Scriptures that foretell Christ’s arrival and also those that tell of His birth.

I’m not even sure now that Isaiah 53 was suggested reading for December 2, but nevertheless, I found myself reading about The Suffering Servant, The Tender Shoot, Jesus Christ. The message of that chapter spoke as it never had before, and I journaled my thoughts as I read.

Isaiah 53 (The Suffering Servant)

What a picture, Father, of the Tender Shoot – Jesus Christ! It’s difficult to believe that he was not stately in form and that we would not be attracted to His looks.

Would I despise and forsake Him if He were to walk among us today? He was a man of sorrows who bore the weight of sin’s grief so deeply that men could not bear to look on His face. No one honored such a man as this.

He bore our sins and carried the weight of our sorrows. All the while He suffered, those who crucified Him thought the punishment inflicted by God was for His own sin.
He was pierced and crushed for our transgressions and iniquities. He was disgraced for us, and because He took the lashes, we are healed!

But the Lord God had a greater plan by placing all the iniquity of sinful man on Him, just like a lamb led to slaughter or sheep before the shearers. He did not cry out. Oh, how could He keep so silent while enduring such unjust punishment?!

In all the world, in all of time, there has never been such an unjust judgment and punishment. He was cut down in the prime of life, and it was considered a tragedy that He had no heirs. And why? To pay the price for our sin and to take the punishment that should have been ours.

Those who punished Him wanted Him buried with the wicked. Instead, He was given a place with a rich man. That was only fitting because He had never committed violence or spoken an untrue word.

Oh, Sovereign Lord, what a plan and purpose You had when The Tender Shoot – The Lamb – offered Himself as an offering for sin. He was humbly obedient as You crushed Him and caused Him unspeakable grief.

But because of His obedience, He will have descendants and His days will go on forever. The Lord will cause Him to prosper. Because He has endured such anguish of soul, the Tender Shoot has satisfied and settled the issue of sin. With His one act, He has justified man because He bore their iniquities as His own. The Servant will be rewarded for His work because “He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet, He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.”

Oh, Father, how can we not bow in worship during this Advent Season? We celebrate the coming of the Messiah, the Savior of the world, who takes away the sin of the world!

“For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did; sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin. . . ”    Romans 8:3

If you have never received Christ, the Tender Shoot, the Suffering Servant, as your Savior, I urge you to do so today! God sent Him to take our place on the cross and to satisfy God’s wrath against our sin. His birth is just the beginning!! When He rose and ascended back to the Father, He secured eternal life for all who believe.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”   John 3:16


Monday, November 4, 2019

A Time to Give Thanks

By Shirley Wiggins

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out!”  Romans 11:33 (NIV).

A national day of Thanksgiving approaches in our country on the fourth Thursday of every November.  
A day to plan for and make preparations for;  a day to open our homes and share with others our very hearts for this great and wonderful God whom we are privileged to know and to serve.

A time to gather together, clasp hands in an unbroken circle as we give thanks to God above, the great God; our great and awesome God. 
 A special day set aside to acknowledge His daily presence, provision, and protection to all who call upon His name; a time to honor Him with our praise and thanksgiving.

A time to call upon this God of mercy, compassion, and love;  a time to pray in unity for His continued blessings upon our children and our families, and all the families of the earth.
Many of us can testify to the fact that life today is not easy.  So many people around the world are suffering physically, financially, emotionally, and spiritually.

Still, some  know and acknowledge and proclaim praise to the God of the universe, the Lord of creation.  When we speak, we may  be assured of His listening ear turned to us in our times of need.
A beautiful reminder is  given in the Old Testament Book of Malachi, whose very name means “messenger.”   Although Malachi gives a very solemn message to the world from the world’s Creator, we see in chapter 3:16-18,  a precious promise from this glorious God.

 “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 honored His name.  ‘They will be Mine,’  says the LORD Almighty, ‘ in the day when I make up My treasured possession.  I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him.  And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.’  Malachi 3:16-18 (NIV) .
Set aside time to read Malachi, to reflect, and to allow the Sender of the message to commune with you.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

NAMES/ATTRIBUTES OF GOD -- 'L'

by Hallie Gipson

What can we possibly say that is adequate to describe the essence of Almighty God?! Our finite minds cannot begin to grasp with full understanding who God is! But I am forever grateful for His Word that gives voice so beautifully to descriptive terms that we can understand.

LIGHT

The Psalmist declares the Lord to be his light.

Psalm 27:1
“The Lord is my light and my salvation.”

In the book of Luke we are given the account of Jesus being presented at the Temple when he was 8 days old.

Luke 2:21, 25, 27-28, 30-32
“And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.  And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. . . And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, “. . . For my eyes have seen Your salvation, Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, A Light of revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people, Israel.”

Jesus declares Himself to be the Light

John 8:12
“I am the Light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.”

1 John 1:5
“God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.”

LIFE

John 11:25
“Jesus said to her (Martha), “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.”

John 14:6
“Jesus said to him (Thomas), “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Colossians 3:4
“When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”

LOVE

1 John 4:16
“We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”

LAMB OF GOD

John 1:29
“The next day he (John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

Revelation 5:12
“ . . . Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”

Revelation 12:10-11
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony . . .”

LORD (personal name of God)

In the Old Testament, different Hebrew words are translated as Lord:

LORD (Yahweh)

Exodus 3:15
“God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.”

Psalm 23:1
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

LORD GOD (Adonai Yahweh)

2 Samuel 7:18
“Then David the king went in and sat before the Lord, and he said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that You have brought me this far?”

Habakkuk 3:19
“The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places.”

LORD GOD (Yah Yahweh)

Isaiah 12:2
“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the Lord God is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.”

In the New Testament, different Greek words are translated as Lord:

LORD (Kyrios, refers to either the Father or the Son)

John 11:2
“It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.”

1 Thessalonians 4:16
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”

LORD(Despotes, refers to the Father)

Acts 4:24
“And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, “O Lord, it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them,”

LORD GOD (Kyrios Theas, refers to either the Father or the Son)

Luke 1:32-33
“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

LORD JESUS (Kyrios Jesous)

Mark 16:19
“So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.”

Luke 24:3
“but when they (the women) entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.”

LORD JESUS CHRIST (Kyrios Jesous Christos)

Romans 5:1
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Ephesians 1:2-3
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”

These attributes/names of God are not all-inclusive! There are many more to be discovered in the pages of His Word! The more we dive into those depths, the more precious God and His living and active Word become to us. Happy diving!!

“And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”   1 John 5:20


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Reflections on 2018

by Hallie Gipson

The beginning of a New Year! 

As I reflect on the days, weeks, and months that have passed in 2018, I see a journey with blessings and good things. But I also see regrets, failures, and ways that my life has not been God-glorifying.

I see:
  •  Attitudes that should have been nipped in the bud, but were allowed to fester
  •  Anxieties that occupied thoughts, energy, and time when those anxieties should have been placed on God’s all-sufficient shoulders
  •  Old hurts and wounds replayed in the mind at the Enemy’s urging, rather than the forgiveness, love, and compassion that Christ offers
  • Physical issues so frustrating that complaining and moping were the theme rather than gratitude
  • Undisciplined time management that led to many wasted hours rather than time spent in Bible study, prayer, meditation on God’s Word, or encouraging others (to name a few)
  • Poor choices in diet, exercise, and rest rather than choices that strive to glorify God in everything.


With all of that, and more, in my rear-view mirror, how can I possibly move forward in to the New Year?

The answer to that question comes straight from God’s precious Word! His Word declares to us the all that we have through Christ. And that ALL enables us to live a life pleasing to Him --- a God-focused, Spirit-led, Christ-honoring life.


Romans 5:1-6 (NLT)

“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, as we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for sinners.


Colossians 3:1-4 (NLT)

“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.”

Philippians 4:4-7 (NLT)

“Always be full of joy in the Lord, I say it again – rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all that you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”


Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT)

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”


2 Peter 1:2-4 (NLT)

“May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.”


HAPPY NEW YEAR! May many blessings be yours in Christ Jesus!


Jude 24-25

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

God's Names and Attributes -- L

by Hallie Gipson

We have reached the last month of 2018 and it seems to be slipping away quickly! According to the retail industry, Christmas was in full swing before Halloween –- or at least they wanted us to feel that way so we would rush about and make purchases that would certainly make us ‘merry and bright’! 

But as believers, our joy runs deeper than any shiny bauble we can purchase, or the warm glow we get when surrounded by family and friends.

God has showered His blessings of love, Life, and Light on those of us who deserve His wrath. He has accomplished all of that through His precious Son, Jesus Christ --- the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah. God began weaving His tapestry of Salvation before time began.

LOVE

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Romans 5:8
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

1 John 3:1
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God, and such we are.”

1 John 4:16
“We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love, abides in God, and God abides in Him.”

In the Old Testament, the prophet Micah extols God as the source of salvation to His people.

Micah 7:18
“Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love.”


LIFE

John 14:6
“Jesus said to him (Thomas), ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’”

John 11:25-26
“Jesus said to her (Martha), ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?’”


LIGHT

Psalm 27:1
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  . . .”

John 8:12
“Then Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life.’”

LORD

Genesis 2:7
“Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10a
“For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us . . .”


LAMB OF GOD

John 1:29
“The next day he (John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming to him and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’”

Revelation 5:11-13
“Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,
          “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches
          and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying,
          “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and
          honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”

Revelation 12:10-11a
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb . . .”


LION of JUDAH

Revelation 5:5
“And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered . . .”


Where does your joy come from this Holy Season? May we never forget that our joy is rooted in the risen Lord who, in obedience to the Father, came to earth as a baby; lived a sinless life; died an excruciating death on the cross; and rose to give us eternal life.

 May our hearts echo the song recorded in Exodus 15:1-2
“Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and said,
          “I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted; . . .
          The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation;
          This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him.”

Merry Christmas and may the God of all grace and glory fill you with His presence this season!
         

Monday, August 27, 2018

God's Names and Attributes -- 'K'


All of my efforts to speak of God’s names and attributes seem feeble at best. I can never reach the bottom of His endless, perfect Being! Whatever He possesses is possessed to the uttermost and whatever He does is done from His holiness and perfection and sovereignty!

He IS the King, King of Kings, Keeper, and Kind above all our deserving!

KING

“The Lord is King forever and ever.”  Psalm 10:16

“Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle.”  Psalm 24:8

Isaiah recording The Lord’s words:
“I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.”  Isaiah 43:15

KING OF KINGS

“The Lord sat as King at the flood; Yes, the Lord sits as King forever.”  Psalm 29:10

“--- He (Jesus Christ) who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”     1 Timothy 6:15b-16

“And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS’.”  Revelation 19:16

KEEPER

“The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand.”  Psalm 121:5

KIND (adj.) – of a forbearing nature; arising from or characterized by sympathy or forbearance.

Of all God’s attributes, ‘kind’ is among those I cherish the most. Why? Because if God’s intentions toward those of us who deserve His wrath had not been kind, then we would have indeed perished! But instead, through the grace of Jesus Christ, we are given mercy, predestined, adopted, loved, and saved for all eternity!

“The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds.”  Psalm 145:17

“He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”  Ephesians 1:5-6

“He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him.”  Ephesians 1:9

“But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit . . . ”  Titus 3:4-5

“. . . like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.”  1 Peter 2:2-3

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”  Romans 11:33-36

Names and Attributes of God --- 'M'

by Hallie Gipson The days we are living in are strange indeed! Nothing comes close to resembling what we once called ‘normal’. Everyth...