Love and a Consuming Fire

 

Deut 4 24

John 4:24 does say that God is a spirit. But let’s not assume that he is only a spirit. 1 John 4:8 says God is love and we all love that aspect of God. Deuteronomy 4:24 also says that God is a consuming fire. That’s because he is an awesome God. So awesome that when he was on Mount Sinai the Israelites were sure they were going to die from the sound of his voice but when Elijah was at the same mountain God spoke to him in a still small voice. But still the same God.

Therefore its no wonder that he is both LOVE and a CONSUMING FIRE even at the same time and all in righteousness. This is why he is a spirit. We must use other verses to help us understand the physical nature of God. Spirit is not a description of physical resistance in any form. The GOD of the Bible is awesome and he does have a voice.

-Larry Rankin

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Awesome God!

Isaiah 54-57

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Wednesday, February 22

Today’s chapters make it pretty clear that our God is an Awesome God! He is all powerful and reigns over the whole universe, yet he loves you and me, and every person individually. That is just amazing to me. These chapters also highlight some of God’s promises again, and how merciful he is. Since I mentioned his promises a couple days ago, I want to talk a little bit about what is asked of us in these chapters. (His promises are still going to be mentioned, because they are pretty amazing.)

Chapter 54 talks specifically about the promises that God has made, and because he is perfect in all of his ways, and is true to those promises, we should know that he will keep them. At the very end of chapter 54 in verse 17 God says, “…This is the heritage of the servants of Yahweh, and their righteousness which is of Me..” All God is asking is that we be his servants, and that we listen to him and follow him and dedicate our lives to him. If we do this, then God will have “mercy on us with everlasting loving kindness” (verse 8 paraphrased). He also says in verse 10 “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed; but my loving kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall my covenant of peace be removed.” God is saying that if we will be his servant, he will FOREVER be merciful to us with everlasting loving kindness. After everything that God has given us, it’s pretty small thing to ask of us.

Chapter 55 goes a little bit deeper into God’s mercy. God reminds us in verse 8 That, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways, My ways, says Yahweh. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts. “ God knows that we mess up sometimes, he acknowledges that we can’t think exactly like him and we don’t do things like he would, but we need to trust that his ways are better, because they are. His is merciful and great and loves each of us so much, that he takes care in instructing us to recognize that we are not him and that his ways are different and better than our own.

Chapter 56 – This chapter again talks about how accepting God is. God is telling us that even “Faithful Gentiles” will be accepted. We are Gentiles, because we are not Jews. God says in this chapter that his house of prayer is for ALL peoples. Our faith, and trust in God is not just for us, it is for everyone. God’s love and mercy is not just for us, it is for everyone! (We should share it, because this is an awesome gift!)

Chapter 57 is all about idols again. We should not let idols distract us from our walk with God- and idols are not just little figurines of some mythological creature. Idols are anything that can be a major distraction. This might a “friend” group that you have that maybe isn’t the greatest for you to have influence you. This might be technology-maybe it is distracting you from being in the moment and letting God speak to you. ( I am not saying that all technology is bad, sometimes it can actually be really helpful in connecting with other believers, finding resources, Christian music and the Bible) These are just some examples. I encourage you to examine your own lives and see if there are any idols hiding in the corner that are a distraction. This chapter finishes out with a hope of how to overcome these idols. It says in verse 14 “He will say, Cast up, cast up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling block out of the way of my people.” God doesn’t want you to stumble and he does want to help you! It might be difficult, but asking God for help might be a life changing step. If this is you in any way and you want to to talk to someone about it, I encourage you to reach out to a parent, or a friend, or a pastor because they will want to help you as well.

Some songs for today:

Always by: Kristian Stanfill https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7ltcijkLKs

Dancing Generation by: Matt Redman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P2A1VUZYss

Unchanging by: Chris Tomlin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS2Z4Aa8mNM

Devotion by Jana Swanson
(Photo credit: http://w3ace.com/stardust/scripture/book/Isaiah/37)

Our Doubts & Fears in the Light of an Awesome God (Judges 6-8)

Sunday, October 2 – Start of Week 11

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Shelby Upton

In Judges 6-8 we see the Israelites in a place where they had turned from God and had been handed over to the Midianites. Gideon, being the judge and spiritual leader, is working to bring Israel back into God’s favor. Throughout these chapters we see a theme of doubt and fear. Not too different from the feelings and struggles we all face today. But the amazing thing we see from Gideon is the way he lays it all down to God. And God shows up! Over and over again proving his awesome power and doing it in the face of even more amazing odds. Whether it was defeating the Midianites with a fraction of the Israelite army or the miracles performed with Gideon’s fleece. In the face of our doubts and fears we serve an awesome, loving God who comes through for us time and time again when we lay it all at His feet.

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