The Word of God – Showing us that God is Loving

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Verses for Today

1 John 4:8 He who does not love has not known God, because God is love.

1 John 4:9 In this the love of God was manifested among us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might have life and live through Him.

1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son as a propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God has loved us in this way, we also ought to love one another.

Fellowship

The 10 commandments are found in chapter 20 of Exodus. In verse 12 God commands us to honor our father and mother. In verse 13, that we shall not kill, in verse 14, that we shall not commit adultery, and in verse 15, that we shall not steal. Look through all the rest of the commandments. You will see that they strongly testify that our God is loving.

[Exodus 20,] verses 12 through 14 reveal that God is a God of love. If we do not honor our parents, it means that we do not love them. Likewise, if we love others, we shall not steal from them. In Matthew 22:37-40 the Lord Jesus answered His opposers by implying that the whole law is fulfilled in loving God and man. We must not only love the Lord with our whole being, but we must also love others as we love ourselves. In Galatians 5:14 Paul says, “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” If we consider the Ten Commandments in depth, we shall see that God’s love is revealed in them (Life Study of Exodus, p. 598).

If the whole law is fulfilled in loving God and man, then this really is telling us that God’s law testifies that our God is a God of love.

God’s nature is love, and therefore His love is unconditional. God loves everyone, even the unlovable ones… We love those who love us but what about those who are mean to us or different from us? God loves everyone including those who are not like us or those who do not always obey Him. (Church in Irvine, Lessons, God is Love).

The highest expression of God’s love is revealed in the New testament. God loves us and does not want us to suffer the punishment for sin. It was out of His love that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to die for us. We should all realize the following three things. 

1) We are all sinners; this means that there is something in us that causes us to do the evil that we don’t want to do. The commandments show us a high standard and expose our fallen condition.

2) Jesus paid the price for our sins. When we believe in Him, He forgives us and takes away all our sins (1 John 4:10). Furthermore, He gives His eternal life to us (1 John 4:9). This is the love of God and it is real love. No other love compares to this. 

3) God does not require the sinner to become sinless before coming to Him. God loved the sinners first and took the first step in coming to them. When we consider our close family, our relatives, friends, and even our enemies, we have to realize that God loves them. He loves every human being and even came to be a man to die for them. Keeping God’s love in mind and enjoying and experiencing God’s love affects the way we see and treat others.

With a heart full of respect, honor, and worship for God’s love, you can sing hymn 30. Stanzas 1 and 3 are included here.

1
What love Thou hast bestowed on us,

We thank Thee from our heart;

Our Father, we would worship Thee

And praise for all Thou art.

3
Thou gavest Thy beloved Son

In love to come and die,

That we may be Thy many sons,

As heirs with Him, made nigh.

The Word of God – Showing us that God is Holy

The-Word-of-God-Showing-us-that-God-is-Holy

Verses for Today

Exodus 20:8 Remember the Sabbath day so as to sanctify it.

Exodus 20:9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

Exodus 20:10 But the seventh day is a Sabbath to Jehovah your God; you shall not do any work, you nor your son nor your daughter, your male servant nor your female servant, nor your cattle nor the sojourner with you, who is within your gates.

Exodus 20:11 For in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore Jehovah blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it.

1 Samuel 2:2a There is none holy like Jehovah

1 Peter 1:15 But according to the Holy One who called you, you yourselves also be holy in all your manner of life;

1 Peter 1:16 Because it is written, “You shall be holy because I am holy.”

Fellowship

Don’t under-estimate seeing God. When we see Him we experience Him. When we see Him we enter into Him, When we see Him, we see ourselves. All things become clear to us. In fact, knowing God and seeing God means everything. Let us beseech our God that we might know Him and see Him. Hebrews 11:6 says that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

God is holy. To be holy means to be separate from common things. For example, God sanctified the seventh day. This means that that day was special, not common. In the Old Testament God wanted His people to set aside that day.

The Ten Commandments also reveal that God is holy. The fourth commandment, which concerns keeping the Sabbath, is related to God’s holiness, to His being separate from all things. According to Genesis 2, God sanctified the seventh day, or made it holy. Thus, the Sabbath as the seventh day is a sign of God’s holiness, of His separation…. As His people, we must have a mark, a sign, of our separation from everything other than God Himself. This reveals that our God is holy (Life Study of Exodus, p 597).  

God is holy and God’s people were chosen to be holy. That means we are also set apart, uncommon, different from everything else around us. We cannot always do what “everyone else” does. (Church in Irvine, Lessons, God is holy)

When we see God as the Holy One, our eyes are opened to see the things around us that are “unholy”. This may include ourselves, our manner of life, certain games or movies, things related to evil characters, music and books with inappropriate words.

Whenever we see who, or what, God is, we see who, or what, we are not. In the Old Testament Job said, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye has seen you. Therefore I abhor myself and I repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6). Job previously thought that he was righteous and complete. By seeing God, he realized he was not complete. In fact, he saw Himself as the opposite of God and abhorred himself. The same happens when we touch God’s word today. We come to the Holy God and the light is turned on.

When the Lord touches you concerning anything unholy in your life, repent, confess it, and let the One who is holy fill you and sanctify you. This doesn’t complete our sanctification process instantly, but brings us day by day and drop by drop to be holy as He is holy.

The Word of God – Showing us that God is Jealous

The-Word-of-God-Showing-us-that-God-is-Jealous

Verses for Today

Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before Me.

Exodus 20:4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, nor the form of anything that is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water beneath the earth.

Exodus 20:5a You shall not bow down to them, and you shall not serve them; for I, Jehovah your God, am a jealous God,

Exodus 34:14 (For you shall not worship any other god; for Jehovah, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)

2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with a jealousy of God; for I betrothed you to one husband to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.

Fellowship

If someone asked you, what kind of God do you have, what would you say? Could you give a faithful testimony of who God is? We all might have testimonies of what God has done for us and this is good. But we want to go further to see God Himself. Let us come to our Lord full of seeking, “Lord Jesus, we love You. We want to know you more. I have a concept of who You are and what You’re like, but I want to see more of You!”.

As an answer to our seeking, God gives us His word. In particular, He gives us the 10 commandments as His testimony. It is here that God Himself tells us that He is a jealous God.

God wants us to love Him and Him alone. If we love someone or something in place of Him, He will be jealous. Thus, the Ten Commandments first reveal God’s jealousy, even His hatred (Rom. 9:13). Jealousy results in hatred. The Bible says not only that God is love, but also that He is jealous. In 2 Corinthians 11:2 Paul refers to the jealousy of God. The ten words, the expression of God, reveal that God is unique. He is a jealous God, and He will not give place to any other god. Do not allow anything else to be your god. Do not take education or wealth as your god. God alone must be your God. (Life Study of Exodus, p 597)

God is jealous over us like the jealousy of a husband over his wife. God cannot tolerate it if our heart is divided or unfaithful. Other gods may rival God in our heart and try to take our heart away from loving God, but it is NOT okay with God if we have other gods. God is like a husband who would not tolerate it if his wife called someone else her husband. (Church in Irvine, Lessons, “God is Jealous”)

When we see that God is such a jealous God, our view of ourselves may change. Previously, if someone asked us, “Do you sin?” “Have you done anything against God?” We might reply, “No”. We might even say, “I’m good.” But by God’s shining in His word, we might now begin to see other things occupying our heart, not necessarily evil things, but things that might be taking a higher position in our heart than the Lord. Here is a practical example of what we are talking about. When called by God to attend the church meetings on the Lord’s day, are there other things that we would rather be doing? Idols are false gods and these are not limited to physical statues.  They can be anything in our heart that we love more than God.

May we pray, “Dear Lord, I turn back to You. Forgive me for loving _______ more than You. I do love You. Reveal Yourself more to me. I want to see You more!”

The Word of God – Showing us that God is Pure

The-Word-of-God-Showing-us-that-God-is-Pure

Verses for Today

Exodus 20:17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Colossians 3:5 Put to death therefore your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and greediness, which is idolatry;

Luke 22:41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed,

Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet, not My will, but Yours be done.

Fellowship

The commandment that tells us not to covet reveals that God is pure. Being pure has to do with your inward person. God is pure because within Him there is no contamination, no selfishness, and no evil desire. This commandment shows us that because God is pure, He not only looks at our outward actions but also at our inward motives. You can hide your inward desires from people. But you cannot hide your inward desires from God. God looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7b says, “For it is not how man sees that matters; for man looks on the outward appearance, but Jehovah looks on the heart.”

To be pure is related to our motives. A pure person does not do things with an ulterior motive. When this person says something nice about another person he does not say it with the intention of obtaining something in return (Church in Irvine, Lessons, Character – Pure).

Here is something more concerning coveting. To covet means to want something that belongs to somebody else. There is a craving within for others’ possessions. Greediness is very similar to covetousness and includes selfishness. Being greedy means you want things not for the sake of anybody else but for yourself. Coveting others’ possessions includes coveting material things as well as desiring others’ skills, spiritual gifts, and responsibilities.

This commandment is such a high requirement. We should be in awe at how high God is. How noble. How pure. Psalm 113:5 says, “Who is like Jehovah our God.” This God who became a man exemplified the God who is pure. In His human life, Jesus Christ wanted nothing for Himself but only everything for God. He even gave up His own life for God’s will. Before going to the cross He prayed to the Father, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet, not My will but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42)

[The words of Exodus 20:17] also reveal that God is pure. His purity touches our inner being. Whereas the first nine commandments are related to outward conduct, the tenth is related to the sin hidden within us, mainly in our thoughts. Actually, the first commandment is also related to our inward condition. To have another God besides the true God is primarily an inward matter. However, to make an image or likeness of something is an outward deed. Hence, the first commandment touches our inward condition, and the commandment about coveting likewise touches our inward condition. The first and the last commandment together expose the idolatry and covetousness within us. Inwardly we are filled with idols and coveting. Colossians 3:5 says that covetousness [or greediness] is idolatry…

…The fact that we are covetous indicates that we are not pure. Only God is pure, for those who are pure do not covet. We covet because we are impure and unclean. If our heart, desire, and intention were pure in every way, we would not be covetous.

The commandment about coveting reveals God’s purity. Under the light of this commandment, we all need to see that inwardly we are not pure. We all have a certain amount of covetousness. But because God is pure, with Him there is no covetousness (Life Study of Exodus, Msg 51, Section 3).

God’s intention in making Himself known to us through His word is that He would be dispensed into us and make us His habitation, the place where He lives. In order for us to be purified within, we need the God who is pure to inhabit our being and fill all our inward parts. Ask Him to come in. Read His word a little, and ask Him to occupy you more. Our heart can be God’s house.

That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith (Ephesians 3:17a)

Open up all the parts of your heart to God. Let Him do His house work. You can bring your feelings on any matter to God. That thing that you desire, God wants to hear about it. As you tell Him the things, God moves in.

In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; And the peace of God, which surpasses every man’s understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

The Word of God – Showing us that God is Righteous

The-Word-of-God-Showing-us-that-God-is-Righteous

Verses for Today

Exodus 20:5b visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

Exodus 20:6 Yet showing lovingkindness to thousands of generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Psalm 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; / Lovingkindness and truth go before Your face.

1 Peter 2:23 Who being reviled did not revile in return; suffering, He did not threaten but kept committing all to Him who judges righteously;

Isaiah 56:1 Thus says Jehovah, / Preserve justice and do righteousness, / For My salvation is about to come / And My righteousness is about to be revealed.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, both to Jew first and to Greek.

Romans 1:17a For the righteousness of God is revealed in it

Fellowship

The Ten Commandments also reveal that our God is righteous. Because He is righteous, He will visit those who hate Him for three or four generations. If He failed to do this, He would not be a righteous God. He must act in this way in order to indicate that He is righteous. If you hate Him, He will deal with you according to His righteousness. At the same time, however, He is merciful and loving. (Life Study of Exodus, p. 599)

When God says He will do something, He is bound by His righteousness to carry it out. This should encourage all of us. No matter what is happening around us, God is righteous. He will reward the loving seekers and He will judge the evil. The Apostle Peter said of the Lord Jesus: “Who being reviled did not revile in return; suffering, He did not threaten but kept committing all to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23). Because God is righteous we can be like the Lord Jesus and commit all things to Him.

God is just. He judges fairly. It is therefore quite reasonable that we also come to fear God for His righteousness. This is a healthy fear of God.

God is righteous. Although He loves us, when we do something that is not right in God’s eyes, there are consequences. We should heed God’s word and be mindful that there are consequences if we do not obey His word (Church in Irvine, Lessons, God is Righteous).

With this understanding of God’s righteousness, that it is an encouragement to us in the midst of the suffering in the world, and that it is something to be feared, we want to see another awesome application of God’s righteousness. It is because God is righteous, that we are ultimately saved.

According to John 3:16, salvation is out of God’s love, and according to Ephesians 2:5 and 8, salvation is by God’s grace. But in Romans 1:17 Paul says that salvation comes by the righteousness of God. Neither love nor grace is related to the law. No law forces us to love or to give grace. Whether we love or not we are still lawful, and whether we extend grace or not we are still legal. In a sense, God is not bound to love us. Furthermore, He is not legally bound to show us grace. Righteousness, on the contrary, is very much related to the law.

Because Christ has fulfilled all the righteous requirements of God’s law, God is bound to save us. If you say, “Lord Jesus, You are my Savior,” you can turn to God and say, “God, You must forgive me, whether You like it or not. You are righteous if You forgive me, but You are unrighteous if You do not forgive me.” We can say this to God because Christ has fulfilled all the righteous requirements of the law, and, as a result, God is bound by His righteousness to save us. Righteousness, therefore, is a mighty bond God cannot escape—He must save us because He is righteous. (The Conclusion of the New Testament, (Msgs. 001-020), Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)

Even if we don’t understand the depths of God’s salvation, we should all at least see this: We are saved because of God’s righteousness. 1 John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If you want to study this application of God’s righteousness a little more, we invite you to read more on this topic.