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There is one attribute of God that is rarely discussed. Yet it is foundational to understanding what kind of God we serve.  This is the generosity of God. While it is sometimes discussed under the kindness of God or the love of God in most theological textbooks, it is rarely given much attention. But I think the generosity of God is one aspect of God’s character that that is crucial to understanding what an amazing God we serve! 

What a person thinks about God affects the way he serves God. In Matthew 25, Jesus tells a parable that we have come to call the “Parable of the Talents.” He tells about a master who gives 3 servants “talents” (a monetary value equal to about 20 years wages) before he goes away. He gives 5 to one, 2 to another and 1 to the last. When the master returns, the first two joyfully give back to the master double the amount he had given to them. The last one returns his one talent says, “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.” He condemned the servant saying that he should have at least invested the money so he could have gotten some interest from it. But the third servant’s problem was that he viewed his master as stingy instead of generous. Our service of God will never exceed our view of God!  

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All-Knowing God … (January 2022 Update) 

If there is one attribute of God that I often wish I had it would be omniscience. My limited knowledge affects almost everything I do – especially my planning for the future. I have gotten pretty good at planning and anticipating what will happen. But I must admit that I am wrong far more often than I am right. What I often think will happen does not. And what I greatly desire to not happen, frequently does. 

Right now, we are faced with some monumental decisions as Russia seems poised to invade Ukraine (more on that below). Since Putin has annually made it look like he is planning an open attack on Ukraine but never followed through, it is hard to know if his latest threat is simply another attempt to gain some negotiating leverage, or if he is really planning to invade this time. If would be great to be able to know the future as we face major, life-affecting decisions in the coming days. To be all-knowing like God would be a tremendous advantage! 

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No Other Name … (December 2021 Update) 

“A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.” That famous line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet captures a universal truth – what something is matters more than what something is called. But when we are thinking about Jesus, His name is more than just a name that He is called. His name signifies WHO He is as well as WHAT He does! The names of Jesus are unique and special. They convey meanings that remind us about the real meaning of Christmas. They tell us WHO Jesus is and WHY He came to us that first Christmas morning. 

In the first chapter of Matthew’s gospel, two of the names of the Messiah are given … Jesus and Emannuel. Both are essential to the Christmas message. He is Jesus – born to save His people from their sins. And He is Emannuel – God with us. Both names are essential. Jesus must have a human birth to be our savior. He must be one of us. But if He is just one of us, then He cannot save us. He must also be God to have a perfect, infinite righteousness able to cover all our sin. That’s why He is Emannuel – God with us. 

In Matthew 1:18-25, we can see three truths about the birth of Jesus. In verses 18-20, we can see His Special Birth. In verse 21, we see His Special Work. And in verses 22-25, we see His Special Person

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Thankfulness and Godliness … (November 2021 Update) 

Over the last couple of months, I have been participating in a study of Jerry Bridge’s Respectable Sins with a group of guys. It’s a great book! But this past week, we studied two chapters that I thought I would do fairly well with – ungodliness and unthankfulness. I tend to think of myself as a fairly “godly” person (in a humble way, of course) and I am usually very thankful for all that God gives me.  

But, as I read the chapters, I discovered that those two sins had become “respectable” for me too. Bridges defines “ungodliness” as a failure to recognize and depend on God at all times. I quickly realized that I usually recognize the Lord in spiritual matters but often leave Him out of my thinking in daily, regular issues and work. Ungodliness is not wickedness – but just failing to recognize God and depend on Him for everything. My previous assessment of my own godliness quickly crumbled to the ground. 

When I began the chapter on “Unthankfulness,” I felt more secure because I am very grateful for all the Lord gives me. In the first half of the chapter, I felt pretty good about being a thankful person as Bridges reminded us that we need to be thankful for all the Lord has given us. But … halfway through the chapter, Bridges switched from being thankful for what God has given us to being thankful whenever things do not turn out the way we want. Ouch! That hit home and I immediately saw that I needed to repent of my unthankfulness too. 

Godliness and Thankfulness go together. A godly person sees that he needs the Lord in every situation and learns to depend upon Him for everything. The ungodly live as though God does not exist – even if they believe that He does exist! The truly thankful person is not just grateful for the good things God gives. He recognizes that God is in every situation (godliness) and therefore he is able to give thanks even when things do not go according to his plans and wishes. A godly man is truly a thankful man. 

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The love of God is probably the one attribute that everyone likes to read about. But God’s love is not exactly the same as ours. We love because others love us. God loves us even while we were sinners. God loved us even before we loved Him! And His love is for us is what makes us special and valuable. Martin Luther once said, “God does not love us because we are valuable, But we are valuable because He loves us.” So, the love of God is a precious attribute for all believers to rejoice in! 

Let’s look at the attribute of loveFirst, 1 John 4:8 plainly says, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” The love of God is not a sentimental love but is a love of passionate commitment to His creation. This love is WHO God is and all real love flows from Him. He is not only the supreme example of love; He is its source. 

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