Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Discovering God's Attributes

Discovering God's Attributes
As far back as August, God has been revealing to me the need to seek and know Him. I might seem a little behind since I've been a Christian for 9 years (almost 10)! But this is a different journey than knowing about Him; it's about experiencing Him on a different level than I've ever experienced. It's not about reading in black and white that He is good; it's about tasting His goodness. And even on Monday, I told Him my heart's desire was to discover Him all over again.

So, I have asked Him to show me who He is, to remind me again of His character and His attributes. Part of this, I know He will reveal through Scripture, but part of this I desire to experience for myself. I want to know Him beyond mere knowledge. 

This week, He lead me to a passage in Acts that is rich with His attributes. These 8 verses (Acts 17:24-31) tell us who God is:
  1. God is creator
  2. God is Lord over everything
  3. God is boundless (He does not dwell in our man-made buildings)
  4. God is in need of nothing (He is sufficiency)
  5. God is author and determiner of our plan (He is sovereign)
  6. God is near us
  7. God is our life-support ("In Him, we live and move and have our being.")
  8. God is our Daddy (We are his offspring)
  9. God is not man-made nor is he contained in man-made artifacts (See #3)
  10. God is judge
 This list is, I'm sure, only the beginning, but I want to take these attributes and look at them individually, starting with God as Creator.

#1 - God is Creator
I think it's interesting that in this passage, this attribute appears first, for it is, in some ways, foundational to the Christian faith. We believe, by faith, that God created the world and everything in it, that it was not some random act but was by design. To believe that we are created beings separates us from atheists and agnostics.

Using Scripture, we might point to Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth." Or John 1:3, "All things were made through him, and without him, nothing was made that was made." I heard an apologist once say that the English word "made" that we use here is so weak compared to the full expression or meaning of "come into being" or "come into existence."


But for those who don't accept our Bible or believe it to be fully true, I say - look around! How can it be an accident that no two humans have the same DNA, the same internal make-up? We have 7 or 8 billion people on this planet; how could that be possible, except by intelligent design?


Long ago, scientists would say there was order and structure in science that accounts for the sense of perfection and symmetry we see in creation. Now, they want to say, it's chaos and random; it's unknowable and unpredictable. But what I hear them saying, what they describe are the attributes of God - perfect, ordered, yet unknowable and unpredictable. He expresses himself in nature.


So what does it mean that God is creator? It means He is creative, artistic, and attentive. He gives attention to every detail. It means He purposed us as beings and made us unique. As we've often heard, "We are fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139: 14). But ponder that. And lastly, it means He was not only careful in His creation, but He carefully attends to us with the same tenderness: "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" (Matthew 6:26)


Today, let's not only experience God our creator - through the magnificence of His creation and the uniqueness of our beings - let's also hold fast to the assurance we have in Him as creator, that He cares for us, He watches over us, He sees our every need.
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