Archive for the ‘Acts of God’ Category

The Exodus account is probably the most significant event in Israel’s national history.  It was the first time God acted with miraculous signs and wonders for a specific nation.  The people of Israel were delivered from centuries of enslavement at the hands of the Egyptians.  The effects of this event is seen by the numerous references back to the Exodus in Israel’s psalms and writings (e.g., Ps. 77, 78, 103, 105).  But why did God do it?  What was the purpose behind bringing them out of Egypt?

Moses’ gives the explanation when he speaks to Pharaoh: “The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness” (Ex. 7:16).  He gives this explanation multiple times to Pharaoh and then God further defines in after they come out of Egypt.  “Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God.  They will know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I may dwell among them.  I am the LORD their God.

The reason God brought the Israelites is not only that they might worship them, but that he might dwell with his people.  In other words God wants a home and a family where I can spend time with.  He wants to stay and be near to his people.  But the question still remains, so what does the Exodus have to do with me?

The Exodus reveals that God wants to be with you.  He wants to establish his residence with you, spend time with you and be family together.  That is what it means by “dwelling.”  God is not angry with you or grudgingly spending time with you until you are perfect.  But right now, in the midst of weaknesses and brokenness he wants to dwell with you.  He goes through great lengths so that he can spend time with you.  He displayed his mighty power to deliver Israel from bondage and deep pain.  And he does the same for you.  He will move every mountain and cross every valley to be with you.

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Things generally tend to be inclined to chaos.  For example: my room.  If I just let things proceed naturally my room would get more and more cluttered until it become uninhabitable.  The same is true for my bathroom.  The more things get used they generally begin to become more disorderly.  Yet, it takes energy to maintain order and change the normal progression of life. (I am very grateful for janitors and those who clean bathrooms.  They are such servants)

The same is true of God.  He expended energy in order to create the heavens and the earth.  He formed the earth and separated the seas and brought order.  He was willing to put effort into providing such an amazing dwelling place for all living creatures.  This is a God who brought order and in a sense served all of creation.  He is also able to bring order to the chaos that surrounds our lives: the various things that bring us anxiety and worry.  He who spoke “Let there be light” can bring light to our “dark” situations and provide the order that we need.  He can still the chaos around us and even within us with his word.  So we ask you to speak God and let the light of your face shine down upon us.

On a side note: I’ve provided a link for the beauty of God’s creation.  Just watch and be amazed here!

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In my last post about creation I spoke on how God is happy concerning the works of his hands.  Like a master artist he created the world and all things in it with great joy.  He was ecstatic concerning creation.  That includes you!  Do you believe that God was ecstatic about you when you were born?  Here’s another question?  Do you believe that God is overjoyed with you now?  The answer is a resounding yes!  God is so happy over you.

Another point concerning creation I wanted to discuss is that God is not afraid to get his hands dirty.  In the second account of creation in Genesis it says, “The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Gen. 2:7).  This story reveals that God formed humanity from the dust and was willing to get his hands dirty.  He is an “earthy” God who loves to draw near to his creation.  He does not stand aloof in the distance, but came near.

This is emphasized in the fact that he breathed into the nostrils to create a human being.  This picture reminds me of someone doing CPR.  This is an intimate act that involves the whole being of God.  He breathes into the dust and creates humanity.  He is so near to us and is willing to get dirty with us.  He desires to help those who are in need and give them new life.  So God just as you breathed life into humanity who were made from the dust, so even now breath into our weary and tired hearts; revive the places that need your life again and cause us to rejoice with you as you rejoice over us.

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As I begin my reflections on the act of God concerning creation I believe it is appropriate to start with God’s nature of being happy. As I imagine the three persons of the Trinity initiating the powerful demonstration of power in ordering the universe I picture God almost like parents overjoyed with the birth of a new son or daughter. The excitement and joy for life fills the creation account found in Gen. 1-2. With new developments in the process, God saw it as “good.” In other words He was happy and overjoyed with the life that was flowing.

Each new step built upon the other from the light, land, vegetation, animals and humanity. Each gave a fuller picture of the great gladness in his heart. When people create things like art it is an expression of who they are and a little piece of their personality and worldview. In many ways this is how creation is connected with God. His personhood is intricately tied to creation. He is not a distant God who is sitting on his throne in heaven in a detached manner. But he is in the midst of creation and is extremely happy.

O God of creation, who created all things with great delight: touch my heart concerning your delight over me and over all your creation, that I might be set free from despair and arise with the very life and breath that you give to all living things. Amen.

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The Acts of God revisited

It has been a long time since I have written a blog entry on the Acts of God, but I decided to begin afresh. The reason for focusing on the Acts of God (what He has done in history) is because it makes God more real and in a sense “tangible.” Many times the knowledge of God is communicated in abstract terms like Holy, merciful, and even love that do not help us in seeing him for who he truly is.

But when we begin to see what he has done we become filled with more clarity concerning the person of God. By the Acts of God I mean the central events that God has been involved in history. This list includes The Creation, Covenants, Exodus, Incarnation of Jesus, Life and Ministry of Jesus, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension, Giving of the Holy Spirit, and the Eschaton or 2nd coming of Jesus. These ten acts reveal the person of God in a vibrant and enriching way that impacts the human heart. We speak and live through stories, which is why so many people have loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and movies like Braveheart. We become enraptured by stories and they form the framework for our lives. Thus, getting connected with the story of God’s acts allows us to live in the greatest of all narratives: God’s.

Thus, roughly each month I will be focusing on one particular act of God. For September I will be meditating and studying the Creation. So look forward to some entries concerning this Act of God!

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The life and ministry of Jesus was about restoration. He restored what was originally established in the garden of Eden. He healed sick bodies, broached the chasm between humanity and God, and set the captives free with the proclamation of the good news of the kingdom of God. He also transformed the hearts of the sinners to see that God is the one who loves and embraces the lost (Lk. 15). Jesus’ life was a life that was poured out to draw many people into the kingdom of God. He lived a life of restoration.

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When I think of how God responds to the problem of evil in the world I immediately think of one thing: the incarnation of Jesus.  In the midst of thousands of years of history, where humanity had turned away from God and gone off track from their vocation of being God’s image-bearers and ruling the earth (Gen. 1:27-28), God did not just throw up his hands in frustration and passively wait for things to turn out right.  He acted by sending his only son into the world so that we might live through him (1 Jn. 4:9).  In a time of great crisis, God opened up his heart and gave his most prized possession to the world.

The God who created the heavens and the earth, the one who made covenant with Abraham, who delivered his people out of Egypt, took on flesh.  John’s gospel describes it this way.  “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (Jn. 1:14).  The very Word who was in the beginning with God and was God took on our human frame.  And he will forever have a human body.  Oh the glorious manner in which God loved us!  He drew near and did not leave us to fend for ourselves in this dark world.  He did not just stop in for a weekly visit, but came to live with us.  In the nitty gritty, difficult, and problem filled life that we live.  He was not afraid to come and get “his hands dirty.”

Thank you God for becoming human and drawing near.

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