Christmas and the Character of God
A timely guest post by a beautiful prayer warrior, Becki Dudley.
The day before the Sandy Hook school shooting I was sitting quietly with the Lord. Two scriptures came to my mind; one a familiar passage, and a favorite:
“Be still and know that I am God”. Ps. 46:10
The other was a scripture that I rarely think of. Until now.
“I Am Who I Am.” Ex. 3:14
I have read and mediated on Psalm 46 many times. It was written in the context of a battle. Another translation says “stop striving” – or “stop fighting”, and know that I am God. We face battles every day – it might not be physical warfare but there is a war for our minds and our hearts going on. There is always something or someone vying for our attention and it can be a battle to keep our focus on God. This scripture has often reminded me to refocus.
I was not as comfortable with the other passage. Perhaps because the thought of who God is can be overwhelming. In my estimation He is so big and so amazing that it is beyond my ability to comprehend.
…and yet He beckons us to know Him
…and yet He says we can have a relationship with Him
Scripture is full of the character of God.
I want to invite you to do something with me right now. To “be still” before God and focus on who He is for a little while.
“Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.” Ps 145:3
He is Infinite:
“Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God.” Ps 90:2
He is Majestic:
“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.” 1 Chr. 29:11
He is BIG!
“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand or marked off the heavens with the span of His hand?” Is 40:12
He is Unchangeable:
“I am the LORD, and I do not change.” Malachi 3:6
He is Holy:
“Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you–majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? Ex 15:11
He is a Consuming Fire:
“Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.” Heb 12:28-29
He is Emmanuel, God with us:
“He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being.”
He is love:
“ Who shall separate us from the love of God? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? [Neither] height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom 8:35,39
He is Mercy:
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, … ” Titus 3:5
He is Righteous:
“…I am the LORD who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken!” Jer . 9:24
He is All Powerful:
“…I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, I summon a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.” Is 46:10-11
He is Omnipresent:
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths,you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Ps 139:7-10
He is all Knowing:
“Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows tired or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.” Is 40:28
He is the Creator:
“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Col 1:16
Power & Peace
Did you feel the power that comes from focusing on His character? Did you feel the peace? We get strengthened when we worship God. No wonder there are forces trying to keep us distracted from this simple act of worship.
As my husband and I were processing the news of the latest school tragedy our hearts were sick. But I also realized how powerful are our thoughts of God, and how precious are His promises. One day this darkness will be snuffed out forever, one day there will be no more tears. In the meantime His light does shine in the darkness.
This amazing God that we worship chose to leave His glorious habitation in heaven, to enter a world of darkness and sin to walk among us. To suffer with us. To suffer for us. He went to great lengths to show us the path of salvation.
In Jesus – God said the words” I Am” also: He said: “I am the light of the world”, “ I am the good shepherd”, “ I am the way the truth and the life”, “I am the true vine”, “I am the bread of life”, “I am the door”, and “I am the resurrection and the life”.
The First Christmas
The first Christmas was such a grand event in the heavens – Luke says the shepherds saw the heavens open and they were surrounded by the glory of the Lord and heard a host of angels saying “Glory to God in the highest heaven, peace on earth good will toward men.” All of heaven was celebrating the first Christmas!
But isn’t it interesting that not too many people on earth noticed? Some shepherds, a few wise men, Simeon, Anna, and Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth noticed.
Even Herod was paying attention. But most people were blindly unaware. Israel had been supposedly waiting for the prophesied Messiah for thousands of years. Their long awaited Savior was in their midst and they missed it! Could it be that their thoughts were completely self-focused? Consumed with their daily to do list?
God invites us to know Him, to find our strength in Him. To stop striving to do things in our own power.
This is how David said it in Psalm 27:4
“One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to seek Him in His temple.”
Because of Jesus we have access to God – because He was born in the flesh we can be reborn in the spirit. He has shown us the way.
We were once walking in darkness and now have seen a great light! And it is fitting to celebrate God’s great gift to us at Christmas, even as we grieve the sorrows of this world. Because of who God is.
Becki Dudley is happily married to her husband, Tim. They share 6 adult or nearly adult children and step-children. Becki spends her time managing their home (lovingly dubbed the “Dudley Bed & Breakfast”). She enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking, reading, and good conversation. Whenever a spare minute arises she daydreams of living on a small farm in Northwest Arkansas. She has guest blogged here before (see Actively Listening to God) and I hope she returns soon!
About Jennifer O. White
I'm a simple wife who has discovered God's amazing gift of prayer. Here at Prayerfully Speaking I share my journey of unwrapping this gift. God invites us to ask Him, but His enemy works diligently to keep that from happening. I hope to offer you encouragement to believe God is ready to pour more into your life than you've ever imaged.