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Category Archives: My God is Great

My God is…Greater 1 John 4:1-6

1 John 4:1-6 – Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, Listening-on-phonebecause many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist  which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Don’t believe everything you hear. How many of you heard that from your parents at one time or another? I know I did as a child. Sometimes I need to be reminded of that as an adult. The other day I mentioned to my sister that I had read that those who chew gum are more likely to have more wrinkles. This basically made me think I should probably stop chewing gum. My sister instantly retorted that she didn’t think that was true. She said that probably those who smoke make up a large group of those who chew gum, and it’s more likely smoking that makes someone more wrinkly than chewing gum. I don’t know if she’s right (she probably is – I always think she’s right!), but I did think it was a good reminder not to believe everything I hear. It’s important as residents on this earth to be discerning about what we hear. It especially important when we’re talking about spiritual things. There are so many theories out there. So many ways people say you can be your best you, live your full life and be all that you can be. Some of the information can be useful, but some can lead you away from the Lord, putting your faith in things that have no truth and pull your attention away from Jesus.

But test the spirits to see whether they are from God

It is important that we test the things we hear against what we know is true in scripture. We can sometimes learn something from the self-help books, studies and gurus of this world, but the verse above tells us exactly how to test these spirits and ideas, “Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.” Any theory or idea that doesn’t acknowledge Jesus came as a man, but is also God is a pitfall for leading us astray. Even if they do have good pieces in them, they can be more damaging to us than they are edifying. Don’t believe everything you hear!

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

We have overcome these false spirits, because we have the truth. We have God’s word which does tell us about Jesus as man and God. God has given us His Holy Spirit, and His Holy Spirit is greater than those spirits of the world. Our God is greater. He has the true answers. Not answers for the temporary things of this world, but for our life now and on into eternity. So many of the theories of this world have come and gone, some persist, but unless they jive with the word of God, they are meaningless.

They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.

Don’t be surprised when those you care about use these theories of the world, these gurus and philosophies to try to help you. They’re probably well-meaning, but these theories only work in the temporary, the here and now. They’re only about you. They’re not about others. It’s self-help for a reason – it’s all about you. The world loves that, because it is our human nature to think our problems are more important than anyone else’s problems. My husband’s arm hurting? He’s a wimp. My legs are sore, I’m practically dying. What’s the difference? One is about me and one is about him. I don’t care as much about his as I do my own pain (selfish I know, I got a lot of work to do). We’re all a bit like that. When we allow ourselves to think how the world thinks, we can’t see past ourselves. We think it’s OK to do whatever we want, because “I had to do what was right for me.” We need to be careful people. When something like that comes out of our mouths, it may very well not be from God. He tells us to love others as ourselves, and that flies in the face of that statement.

We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. 

Listening-on-phone

Don’t believe everything you hear!

Just because our truth is from the Lord, don’t expect people to accept it that way. Those who know God will likely listen and be able to apply any wisdom that is based on God’s word, but those who are still living according to the world probably won’t. They may hear us, but more than likely they’ll pass off our ideas and scriptural references as strange, kooky Christian talk. They won’t be able to take it seriously, because they don’t know the Lord. Does that means we stop believing what we believe, or stop professing what we believe? No, but it does help us to have realistic expectations of what is likely to happen. It’s not going to be all rainbows and butterflies.

This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

Our God is greater. Even though we might have doubts or struggle with a Biblical truth, we’ve got God, and our God is greater than all of the gibberish our world. Even the information that is helpful for this world is a far cry from what our Lord has told us and has planned for us. Our God is greater.

Don’t believe everything you hear – test it against God’s word.

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My God is…Great Psalm 96:3-5

Psalm 96:3-5 Declare his glory among the nations,young-people-clapping
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.

Declare his glory among the nations

The other day during my Bible study (I think I mentioned it in another blog post), I learned more about God’s glory. Glory is God being revealed. That is why Jesus is the fullness of God’s glory while at the same time, I can reflect God’s glory. I can, through my actions, help people to know God more fully. This was a revelation to me. Previously I had thought that giving God glory was the same as praising Him. Saying God is good, or thanking Him for what He has done, and while it does include those things, it includes them as a way to show and reveal more of God. Every song with glory in it now has a deeper, fuller meaning for me. I want to declare His glory among all the nations.

His marvelous works among all the peoples

I remember a few years back when I was reading the book Pivot, by Dr. Alan Zimmerman, there was an exercise at the end of one of the chapters that had you write down all the blessings you could think of in your life. I, who can be a relatively negative person (my husband doesn’t call me the cheerful pessimist for nothing), found too many to fill a page. It was astonishing to me all the things I had begun to take for granted. All of the things the Lord had provided me with, blessed me with and the things for which I was now responsible were written on the page. No, that’s probably not true. I probably forgot some. There were more than what I had written down. The good things the Lord had provided me with were too many for me to recount. If you have never done an exercise like this, I suggest you do. Do it now. I won’t be offended if you stop reading here. I think it’s too important to recognize all we’ve been given.

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods

great  /grāt/

Adjective – Of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above the normal or average.

Noun – A great or distinguished person.

Adverb –  Excellently; very well.

Considerably above the normal or average

Our God isn’t some made up God. He is Great. He is above all gods. By the definition of great, God is considerably above the normal or average. He’s not just a little bit above, considerably above. God is God. He is great, and He deserves our praise.

For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.

Sadly we often choose to make things other than God great. We make people, relationships, addictions, greed and so much more increasingly important until they actually replace God at the top of our list. Today in my Bible Study I read in Isaiah how God felt about the false gods, and how crazy it made those that worshiped them seem. Bear with me as I share with you these verses, Isaiah 44: 6-23. Especially take not of verses 9 and 19. Those are the verses that really stuck out to me.

The Lord, Not Idols

“This is what the Lord says—
Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God.
Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
and what is yet to come—
yes, let them foretell what will come.
Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”

All who make idols are nothing,
and the things they treasure are worthless.
Those who would speak up for them are blind;
they are ignorant, to their own shame.
10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol,
which can profit nothing?
11 People who do that will be put to shame;
such craftsmen are only human beings.
Let them all come together and take their stand;
they will be brought down to terror and shame.

12 The blacksmith takes a tool
and works with it in the coals;
he shapes an idol with hammers,
he forges it with the might of his arm.
He gets hungry and loses his strength;
he drinks no water and grows faint.
13 The carpenter measures with a line
and makes an outline with a marker;
he roughs it out with chisels
and marks it with compasses.
He shapes it in human form,
human form in all its glory,
that it may dwell in a shrine.
14 He cut down cedars,
or perhaps took a cypress or oak.
He let it grow among the trees of the forest,
or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.
15 It is used as fuel for burning;
some of it he takes and warms himself,
he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
But he also fashions a god and worships it;
he makes an idol and bows down to it.
16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
over it he prepares his meal,
he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
“Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.”
17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
he bows down to it and worships.
He prays to it and says,
“Save me! You are my god!”
18 They know nothing, they understand nothing;
their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see,
and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
19 No one stops to think,
no one has the knowledge or understanding to say,
“Half of it I used for fuel;
I even baked bread over its coals,
I roasted meat and I ate.
Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left?
Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”
20 Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him;
he cannot save himself, or say,
“Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?”

21 “Remember these things, Jacob,
for you, Israel, are my servant.
I have made you, you are my servant;
Israel, I will not forget you.
22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me,
for I have redeemed you.”

23 Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this;
shout aloud, you earth beneath.
Burst into song, you mountains,
you forests and all your trees,
for the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
he displays his glory in Israel.

What’s so great?

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2013 in My God is Great, Psalm

 

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