I BELIEVE IN GOD

Nature helps us contemplate the majesty of God.What Jesus said of the Samaritan woman in the first century could be said of many people in the twenty-first century: "You worship what you do not know" (John 4:22). Jesus thought it was important to know what you worship. But we still hear people say, "Away with tedious complexities of dogma—give us the simple spirit of worship. That's all we need. Just worship, no matter what!"

No wonder people get bored. It's hard to get excited about worshiping nothing in particular. As for me, I believe in God....

THE FATHER
John said, "See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are." (1 John 3:1). Paul said, "For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, 'Abba! Father!' it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God" (Romans 8:15–16; see also Galatians 4:6). "Abba" is the ancient Hebrew word for "Daddy." It is the first sound made by a child learning to speak. Can you imagine knowing God so intimately that you think of him as "Daddy?"

If God is your Father, he is personally related to you. Many people know there is a God, but do not know the God they know there is. For these spiritual orphans, God is a vague, abstract, impersonal, coldly indifferent, Higher Power.

If God is impersonal, he is less than human. He can't think, can't act, can't feel. He is unable to do simple things even the weakest human among us takes for granted. Such a god can not have created human beings: what is impersonal can't create something greater than itself.

The polytheistic gods on Mount Olympus were closer to the truth than the bloodless abstractions of modern philosophy. Such impersonal Supreme Beings can't answer prayer. They don't know, care or act in any way that makes any difference.

The God we worship makes a difference. He is a God who takes sides. A God who loves love, hates hate and wants his children to act in one way and not another.

If God is impersonal, worship is impossible. We may think, preach, study, prove his/her/its existence, but we cannot worship such a god. A personal God, however, is satisfied only with a personal relationship of love and respect. "I believe in God the Father, Almighty."

THE ALMIGHTY
When Moses had doubts about his safety, "The Lord said to Moses, 'Is the Lord's power limited? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not'" (Numbers 11:23). Through the prophet Jeremiah, he said: "See, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too hard for me" (Jeremiah 32:27)? In the New Testament, the angel told Elizabeth, "Nothing shall be impossible with God" (Luke 1:37). Jesus stated the same truth positively: "For with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).

God can do anything he wants to do. Don't be fooled by nonsense questions such as: can God create a stone so big he can't lift it, or can God create a two-sided triangle? Power and wisdom are attributes of God, but not nonsense.

"Is there anything God can't do?" the Sunday School teacher asked her class.
"Yes," said a boy on the back row.
"What can Almighty God not do?"
"He can't please everybody."

I agree that not even almighty God can do that!

God's power is displayed in the act of creation. "By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth. He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle; he put the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm" (Psalm 33:6-9).

God's power is displayed in the act of preservation. "He sustains all things by his powerful word" (Hebrews 1:3).

God's power is displayed in the act of redemption. We are "being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Peter 1:5). "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth."

THE CREATOR
John said, "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created" (Revelation 4:11).

If you don't believe in God, you can't make sense out of the universe and your place in it. Without God, you become an insignificant particle of dust lost in the immensity of space and time. Without God you may be able to have a little fun, make a little money, get a little satisfaction out of little irrelevant things you do, but you can never feel the universe means anything to you. . . or vice versa!

I believe in God the Creator. You and I are not slapped up from the slime of some primeval pool. We are hand-crafted objects of God's love. We are created in his image and endowed with the capacity to glorify and enjoy him forever. God did not create to acquire something but to give something: himself. "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created" (Revelation 4:11)

Yes, I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. What I believe I proclaim to the world. Other people may not believe it, but they have to admit that here is something they might be glad to believe.

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