Character of God

Character of God:

Then God said, “Let Us make man (and woman vs 27) in Our image, according to Our likeness; Gen 1:26a

 

I am a combination of my mom and dad, I have character traits from both of them. I’m also a combination of God the Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. God wanted each one of us to have His family traits, so that we would know we came from royalty. God made us in His likeness because He loved us, He wanted us to love Him, and each other. Within each one of us are character traits from God. Lord, help me develop my own likeness of You, and help me see Your likeness in others. 

 

 

Character of God:

“From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Gen 2:16b-17

 

God wanted us to have free will, He wanted sons and daughters, not robots. I don't know how many trees were in the garden, but only one was off limits, and one is all it takes for that free will of ours to rebel. What God says if off limits is always for our best interest, however we still assume we know what’s best way too often, and suffer the consequences. Lord, increase my ability to hear You correctly, and increase my desire to obey quickly every time. 

 

 

Character of God:

If you (Cain) do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Gen 4:7

 

Sin’s desire is to take us down, and many times it’s crouching down, trying to stay just out of sight until it strikes. But God has given us the ability to master sin. He wants us to control our desires, thoughts, attitudes, and actions. We have an advantage as we have Holy Spirit helping us, but it is up to us to master the various sins that present themselves to us on a regular basis. Thank you God for giving us the ability to master sin. Thank You for forgiving us when we succumb to sin and repent. You are such a good, good Father. 

 

 

Character of God:

He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. Gen 4:10

 

God is aware of every drop of bloodshed. He brought swift punishment for Cain, but sometimes it seems He is not so swift. But we can be assured that He does hear and see, and His timing for punishment is always on time and always just. There is nothing that happens to any of us that God is unaware of. And since we are His children, made in His image, we can count on Him to see that justice is done. My part is to surrender any and all sin committed against me or anyone else to Him. It is to heavy a burden for me to carry.

 

 

Character of God:

So the Lord said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him. Gen 4:15

 

Cain sinned, received his punishment, yet went to God to discuss the consequences of it, and God listened and responded (vs 14). No where does it say that Cain even repented of his sin. Would things of been different if he had? What is highlighted to me is that Cain and God were face to face talking even after he sinned. God wants to have face to face conversations with us no matter what we’ve done. Yes we will suffer the consequences of sin, but God still avails Himself to us, because He loves us.

 

 

Character of God:

Make for yourself (Noah) an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. Gen 6:14

 

I marvel at the way Noah heard God speak, what accuracy he had. What if he heard wrong and the ark sank? But God makes sure we hear Him correctly when it’s necessary. He is a God of details, especially when details count. He never asks us to do something we can’t do, and if we need details, He will give them to us. Sometimes the details come quickly and loudly; sometimes we have to sit a while with Papa and discuss things, listening carefully, trusting that the details will come in His perfect timing.

 

 

Character of God:

Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the Lord closed it behind him. Gen 7:16

 

I wonder if Noah knew that God was going to close the door for him? I’m one of those who like to have everything figured out before starting something. But sometimes we just have to trust God, that knowing all the details isn’t always necessary with God, because with God, the impossible becomes possible. Not knowing the how, or the ending, should not keep me from starting what God calls me to start.

 

 

Character of God:

God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. Gen 9:12-13

 

God not only made a covenant with man that we would never flood the earth, He also made the covenant with every bug, animal, and bird; every living creature. Why did He do that? I guess He figured He owed them the same respect He gave to man, because He made them. I don’t know why God made cockroaches, fleas, spiders and other such things. Were they different before the fall of Adam, maybe? But He made each one, and they matter to Him, so He made a covenant with them too.

 

 

Character of God:

Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.” Gen 18:32

 

Abraham respectively negotiated with God from 50 righteous people down to 10. He challenged God with “Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteousness with the wicked” (vs 25). God received the challenged and negotiation began. We never need to be afraid of approaching God (respectively) when things don’t appear right. Relationships are built on communication and trust, Abraham and God had such a relationship, and so can we. God loves to interact with His children. He’s a God to respected, but He’s also our Papa who enjoys being around us.

 

 

Character of God:

It is in my (Laban) power to do you harm, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful not to speak either good or bad to Jacob.’  Gen 31:29

 

God has a plan for what He wants to accomplish. He speaks to His children, He gives them dreams and visions, and He also speaks to those who don’t know Him personally, like Laban. When it seems like so many people alive are making so many ungodly choices, I too have to make a choice. Do I allow myself to get stressed about my future and the future of my country, or any country, or do I go to God? I can get depressed, complain a lot and get angry, or I can pray and trust God that nothing is to big for Him. I can pray that He would give dreams and visions, and face to face encounters with those ungodly people. And I can continue to pray that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven, in any way He chooses. And I can pray that He shows me my part in His big plan

 

 

Character of God:

The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. Gen 39:2

 

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph were all very successful men, not perfect by any means, yet God still chose to bless them. God doesn’t look at our perfection to bless, He looks at our heart, and He looks at His promises to past generations. Obviously, God isn’t against successful, wealthy children, as long as their hearts are for Him. No mater what situation I find myself in I can count of God to be with me, and for me. It doesn’t mean everything  is perfect, as the Bible well shows us, but it does mean I can trust that God is very aware of every detail of my life.

 

 

Character of God:

But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer. Gen 39:21

 

Joseph went from the palace to the dungeon due to lies spoken against him. Many believers have found themselves in the same situation. Hopefully, this verse brought some comfort. I'm sure it’s easy to become offended, defensive, and angry when such unfairness happens. I suppose few really know how they would react unless they've been in a similar situation. But I can choose now, to be as determined as I possibly can, to trust God no matter what the situation. And to remember He is a God of kindness, justice, love, blessings and so much more.

 

 

Character of God:

The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph’s charge because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made to prosper. Gen 39:23

 

God had given Joseph a dream, a prophecy of his future. I wonder if Joseph ever thought about that while in jail, and if he wondered how it would ever come about? When God gives us a dream, vision, or prophecy of our future, we have to hold tight to it, we have to keep declaring it to come to pass. Even when we find ourselves in a situation that doesn’t resemble our dream at all, we can remain faithful to God, and remind Him we are still expecting to fulfill His destiny for us.

 

 

Character of God:

Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me (Joseph) here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. Gen 45:5-6

 

Only God knows why He sets things up to happen the way they do, or why He allows some things to go on for so long. God has a plan for my nation, for all nations. He’s aligning things to meet His agenda. While we wait to see it unfold we can become depressed and hopeless, or like Joseph, we can keep doing what we know to do. Joseph was a leader, an organizer, a take charge person, whether in the palace or the dungeon. God used Joseph in the good times and the not so good times. And God can use us. We have to choose our attitude during the good times and the not so good times. My responsibility is to trust and obey God, His job is to take care of the world.

 

 

Character of God:

When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Ex 2:4

 

Moses saw the burning bush, but it wasn’t until he paused, turned aside from what he was doing to take a closer look, that God then spoke to him. God wants to get our attention, and He is willing to go to great lengths to get it. But we must not be so busy with our own agenda that we won’t pause and listen for the voice of our Father.

 

 

Character of God:

Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. Ex 3:9

 

Why did God wait hundreds of years before taking action, I don’t know? Is God just now answering the cries of our founding fathers in America, maybe? What I do know is that God is always faithful to His promises. I may not see all the promises fulfilled in my lifetime, but I can trust God to have a perfectly detailed plan in place. Maybe the cries to God for help from the Israelites didn’t come until they were severely oppressed; maybe for decades they were content and didn’t talk to God much. But God is faithful, and He hears every one of our cries and prayers.

 

 

Character of God:

Then Moses said, “What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’” Ex 4:1

 

“What if”, can keep us shackled from so many things God has for us. “What if”, doesn’t stand up against God’s power and authority, and is probably an insult to Him. Whether it’s a dream or an assignment from God, we can count on Him to see us through. I feel like I’m experiencing this right now, God is calling me to do things that seem way too big for me. I have to fight against the “what if’s”, and focus on, “But God”. If I could do it all on my own, God wouldn’t get the glory. As I stay surrendered to God’s will and not mine, I can do anything He calls me to do.

 

Character of God:

The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent. ”Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. Ex 14:14-15

 

There are times when God just wants to sit and talk with us, and there are times when He says, “Enough talk, go and do what I’ve told you to do.” Doing what God calls us to do is not always easy and many times we just want one more confirmation that we heard Him, or one more prophecy from someone else. But God, many times, just wants us to be quiet and trust that He is fighting for us, He is with us. Sometimes it takes courage to step out in fear (and trust), and do what God’s called us to do. But that’s when His glory shines brightest.

 

 

Character of God:

“In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed; In Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation. Ex 15:13

 

God is my redeemer and my savior. He is full of lovingkindness and chooses to bestow that on me as I choose to yield to His leading. In His strength, not mine, I choose to trust Him to make straight the path I’m to follow.

 

 

Character of God:

There He made for them a statute and regulation, and there He tested them.  And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.”  Ex 15:25b-26

 

After the greatest miracles of all times the Israelites were tested by God. Would they still trust God in times of need? God wants to bless us, He wants to heal us, He wants to talk to us. All He asks is that we listen when He talks, and be quick to obey. Like the Israelites we may be tested from time to time. How will we do? When do we cry out, when do we sit and rest, when do we take action, when do we ………?  Listen and obey. 

 

 

Character of God:

I have heard the grumblings of the sons of Israel; speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’” Ex 16:12

 

Seventy seven times “you shall know that I am the Lord” appears in the Bible. God wants us to know Him personally. He has done so many mighty miracles in an effort for us to know Him and trust Him. Lord, burn in my heart the desire to know You more today than yesterday.

 

 

Character of God:

Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water that we may drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” Ex 17:2

 

God wanted His people to know and trust Him. Instead they kept going to Moses complaining about their needs not being met. Often times we go to others complaining about anything and everything, instead of going to God in worship and prayer. He should be the first one we go to, not grumbling and complaining, but in worship, prayer, thanksgiving, surrender and obedience.

 

 

Character of God:

And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Ex 19:17

 

God didn’t want a relationship with just Moses and Aaron, He wanted a relationship with every single person that He brought out of Egypt. And God doesn’t just want a relationship with pastors, evangelists, Sunday school teachers, He wants a relationship with each and every one of us. God wants to meet with us on a regular basis, not just one a week, month, or year.

 

 

Character of God:

The Ten Commandments: No other gods, no idols, no taking the Lord’s name in vain, remember the Sabbath, honor your father and mother, no murder, no adultery, no stealing, no lying, no coveting Ex 20:1-17

 

God is very clear on how He wants us to live. He doesn’t want us to be unaware of what He expects from us. Every household has rules and God’s household is no different. Obey the rules and be blessed, disobey and receive discipline. Unlike some earthly fathers, God’s rules are always for our best interest, always fare, never changing, and because He loves us and wants the best for us.

 

 

Character of God:

I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, to make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver, and in bronze, Ex 31:3-4

 

God equipped the Israelites with the skills necessary to accomplish His will in building the tabernacle. He also equips us with the skills we need to accomplish His will. We all know people who are gifted in certain areas, and others who are not. Thank You God for the skills and gifting You’ve given me. I pray that I will develop these to the degree  necessary to do what You desire me to do. So Lord, I receive Your Spirit in wisdom, understanding, and knowledge in the areas You’ve gifted me in, so I can bring You glory and more glory, all the days of my life.

 

 

Character of God:

Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” Ex 34:6-7

 

Here God is describing Himself to Moses, from loving compassion to harsh judgment for sin. He wants to love us wholly and lavish us with His glory; He wants to forgive us and restore us to Himself when we sin; and He is patient while we work at getting our act together. But His judgment will come and the guilty will be punished. Whether it’s us as individuals, or us as a state or nation, God WILL punish the guilty.

 

 

Character of God:

Then God said, “Behold, I am going to make a covenant. Before all your people I will perform miracles which have not been produced in all the earth nor among any of the nations; and all the people among whom you live will see the working of the Lord, for it is a fearful thing that I am going to perform with you. Ex 34:10

 

God did not hold back in the miracle department, He wanted to show the Israelites and everyone else that He wasn’t just a manmade god, He was The God. But even experiencing His miracles first hand, most did not trust in His promise to take care of them, nor obey His commands. God wants us to know Him and to trust Him, He wants to be our only God. There is no end to His glory, miracles and goodness. 

 

 

Character of God:

—for you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God— Ex 34:14

 

God makes everything perfectly clear. Obey and be blessed, disobey and suffer the consequences, and that still applies today for us. God is a jealous God and He doesn’t want us trusting in anyone or anything more than we trust in Him. He wants to be our everything.

 

 

Character of God:

You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord. Lev 19:18

 

One of the greatest commands ever. People pray, especially at Christmas time, “Let there be peace on earth”, and some add, “and let it begin with me”. And if everyone would just love others as themselves there would be peace. Jesus wrapped up the sum off all commands using this verse. I can’t make others love, but I can choose how I’m going to live, and love others as myself. God made it so simple, we wouldn’t need a lot of rules and laws if we all just loved more.

 

 

Character of God:

If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. Lev 26:3-4

 

God spelled out hundreds of laws for the Israelites to obey, and with obedience came blessings. God had reasons for every one of His laws, and when we obey we can expect His blessings to be poured out. God had so many blessings waiting for the Israelites, but they refused over and over to trust Him, and make Him their only God. Fortunately, because of Jesus, 100’s of laws are condensed down to, love the Lord your God with ally our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself. Out of God’s love for us, His laws have always been spelled out.

 

 

Character of God:

“Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’ Numbers 6:23-26

 

God wants to bless us and He wants us to ask Him to bless others and ourselves. If we will just let Him be who He wants to be for us, we would bask in His blessings. Lord, show me any areas in my life that might be keeping me from receiving any blessings you desire to give me.

 

Character of God:

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘If any one of you or of your generations becomes unclean because of a dead person, or is on a distant journey, he may, however, observe the Passover to the Lord. In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight, they shall observe it; they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Num 7:9-10

 

God is so accommodating to His children. Had the unclean Israelites not gone to Moses, asking him to seek the Lord on their behalf to be able to celebrate the Passover, they may of become angry and started sulking because they were left out of the Passover. God welcomes our questions, and our concerns. He just loves communicating with us.

 

 

Character of God:

But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and yet neglects to observe the Passover, that person shall then be cut off from his people, for he did not present the offering of the Lord at its appointed time. That man will bear his sin. Numbers 9:13

 

God had compassion for the unclean man because of being around a dead person, yet still wanted to celebrate the Passover, He did not have compassion for the person who could of celebrated but chose not to. There are seasons in our lives where we just can’t worship God the way we’d like to, due to illness, responsibilities, etc. and He gives His grace. But He’s not very happy with us when we can worship Him the way He desires, yet choose not to.

 

 

Character of God:

It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot, so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God. Num 15:39:40

 

They had just stoned a man for gathering wood on the Sabbath (vs 36). God is serious about obedience, so He gave them a way to remember them. What an amazing Father He is, giving us ways to remember how to live godly lives. Whatever it takes; wall hangings, declarations, memorization, singing, etc. Whatever it takes, it’s in our best interest to please God through obedience. But when we fail, we have a redeemer, Jesus Christ, thank You God for sending Your Son to die for us.

 

 

Character of God:

“Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink.” Num 20:8

 

It’s interesting that God wanted Moses to take the rod with him when he was to speak to the rock. The rod became a stumbling block, or possibly a test, because with it Moses struck the rock, disobeyed God, and suffered the consequences. Quick, complete obedience is what God demands. And just because He gives us something (like a rod), we can’t assume we always know what to do with it. God was faithful though, and water came forth from the rock. Had Moses fallen to his knees immediately and repented, would the outcome be different? Only God knows.

 

 

Character of God:

The Lord heard the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites; then they utterly destroyed them and their cities. Thus the name of the place was called Hormah. Num 21:3

 

Throughout the Old Testament, God’s people cried out, and THEN He took action. Yes God knows our every need, but often He waits until we cry out to Him before taking action. Maybe He wants us to see, to understand, to really know how much He really cares about our needs when we take them to Him in prayer. Many times God blesses us without us saying a thing, other times He just wants us to come to Him in prayer. He’s a personal God and loves spending time with His children, and giving us special things. Usually I don’t just give my grandkids a drink, but if they ask, I always do.

 

 

Character of God:

Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient because of the journey. The people spoke against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food.” Num 21:4-5

 

God’s promise of entering the promised land could have taken a few weeks, instead it took 40 years. Due to bad attitudes and not trusting God, the Israelites were not enjoying their journey. When God has us on a journey we might as well enjoy it. There are lessons to learn along the way that equip and prepare us for what He has planned. Instead of blaming God, we need to ask Him to search our hearts and to reveal any impurity. Trusting God during the journey, ensures that we arrive at the destination He has planned for us.

 

 

Character of God:

Then Moses spoke to the Lord, saying, “May the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation, who will go out and come in before them, and who will lead them out and bring them in, so that the congregation of the Lord will not be like sheep which have no shepherd.” Num 27:15-17

 

Moses was concerned that the Israelites wouldn’t have anyone to lead them into the promised land. So He went to the Lord, and the Lord took action. Moses could of just let God handle everything; he could have taken offence because he wasn’t allowed to enter the promised land. But his relationship with God was so intimate, so special, so real, that he continued the relationship until the day he died. Despite God’s punishment against Moses’ sin, His love and respect for him was enormous. I can ask God for anything, that ultimately will bring Him glory, and expect Him to answer.

 

 

Character of God:

And the Lord said to me, ‘Say to them, “Do not go up nor fight, for I am not among you; otherwise you will be defeated before your enemies.”’ Deut 1:42

 

No mater how many miracles God did, the Israelites believed God hated them (vs 26), and was out to kill them. They were blinded by their own fear, to the love He had for them. He tried to warn them that their actions would be disastrous, but they still didn’t listen. God’s love for us is overwhelming, and if we will just listen to Him and get to know Him, we can count on Him to lead us on the best path for our life.  

 

 

Character of God:

Don't be afraid of them, for the Lord your God will fight for you. Deut 3:22

 

When God is for us, nothing can stop us. Problems arise when we attempt to do things He never intended for us to be doing. Also, fear can set in when we start doubting that we hear Him correctly. Moses knew he heard God accurately, and therefor could trust God completely with his life and the Israelites. Many of us have to step out in faith that we are hearing correctly. But God knows our heart, and if we are seeking Him and His kingdom first, we can trust Him whether we are hearing accurately 100% of the time or not.

 

 

Character of God:

 Go (Moses) to the peak of Mount Pisgah and look to the north and to the south, to the east and to the west. Look carefully at what you see, because you will never go across the Jordan. Give Joshua his instructions. Strengthen his determination, because he will lead the people across to occupy the land that you see.’ Deut 3:27-28

 

Moses was held to a very high accountability with God, he messed up once and it cost Him greatly. However, God still expected obedience after that, and Moses gave it.  He then was instructed to prepare Joshua to carry on; he was asked to strengthen and encourage him to be all God created him to be. Sometimes God calls us to encourage and train someone for a position we really want. Then we have a choice. Do we obey with a good attitude of love, or do it grudgingly? 

 

 

Character of God:

Obey them (laws of God) faithfully, and this will show the people of other nations how wise you are. When they hear of all these laws, they will say, ‘What wisdom and understanding this great nation has!’ Deut 4:6

 

When we obey God’s laws, it’s not just for ourselves. There is wisdom in everything we are called to do, and it doesn’t go unnoticed by others. What would it look like if every believer lived in such a way that non-believers would say, ‘What wisdom and understanding these great believers of God have, I want to know more about their God’? 

 

 

Character of God:

“No other nation, no matter how great, has a god who is so near when they need him as the Lord our God is to us. He answers us whenever we call for help. Deut 4:7

 

This is still true today. No other man made god is known for the things our LORD is known for. We have a God who hears us, and answers us; we have a God who heals, loves, who forgives our sins, who gives us His peace and joy, and so much more. We can have an intimate relationship with the God who created everything, yet sometimes we take Him for granted, and squander the relationship we could have. Lord, remind me when I need to call out to You for help, remind me of who You want to be for me.

 

 

Character of God:

But from there you will search again for the Lord your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.  Deut 4:29

 

God warns us what will happen if when we start serving other Gods (vs 25), yet here He’s saying when we get tired of doing our own thing He’ll be waiting for us. It’s not a flippant decision to return to serving God, it may take a bit of effort. Like anyone who’s been wounded by another, we may have to put some effort into returning to God, especially if it’s been years of rebellion. God wants us to find Him, to know Him, and to have relationship with Him. And there’s always more of God to get to know.

 

 

Character of God:

You said, ‘Behold, the Lord our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire; we have seen today that God speaks with man, yet he lives. Deut 5:24

 

God desires to show us His glory and greatness, He’s not a god trying to hold back who He really is from us. He speaks to us every day, whether we take the time to listen is up to us. Too often we spend what precious time we set aside for God with complaints and requests. But as we come to Him with thanksgiving, praise, and total surrender; as we quietly sit before Him desiring to hear what He wants to say to us, we can here Him.

 

 

Character of God:

Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever! Deut 5:29

 

God was lamenting over what could have been. He so desired to bless the Israelites, but He would not reward their rebellion. He desires the same for us today. Purity of heart is so important to God, along with reverent fear. Lord, search my heart! If there is anything that causes You sorrow, or that is keeping me from being all you created me to be, or is keeping me from the blessings You desire to give me, please let me know so I can repent quickly.

 

 

Character of God:

But you shall seek the Lord at the place which the Lord your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come. Deut 12:5

 

God had a very specific place that He wanted His children to seek Him. Possibly He still desires that today. As we seek God, to know Him more deeply, we can ask Him, “Where do want me to seek You?” Maybe it’s taking a walk alone; maybe it’s in your house somewhere; maybe it’s at the beach or mountains. Maybe it’s several places, one for everyday, and another for when you have more time. One thing for sure is that He wants us to seek Him, and to know Him more deeply. It’s our choice if we choose to do so.

 

 

Character of God:

If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Deut 13:1-3

 

Testing can come in a variety of ways. It’s easy to pass a test when it’s blatantly obvious, right or wrong . But usually testing’s come in very subtle ways. This is when we need to be so tuned into Holy Sprit that we hear the heartbeat of our Father, and our discernment is quick to reveal truth from lies. 

 

 

Character of God:

However, there will be no poor among you, since the Lord will surely bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, if only you listen obediently to the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all this commandment which I am commanding you today. Deut 15:4-5

 

God was setting in place a nation of people where there would be no poor, if they would only obey Him. I can’t help but think that if every nation would turn their hearts to God and obey Him, that poverty might cease to exist. Can a nation be changed in a day, yes? Can a household, a generation? Can my obedience to the Lord make a difference to the poor in my family, community, nation and beyond?

 

 

Character of God:

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” Deut 31:6

 

No matter what battle is before us; no matter the magnitude of obstacles; when God says, “This is for you; this is your path to take; this is your destiny; this is your assignment for today; this is yours for the taking”, etc. we can take Him at His word. We have to remind ourselves (often at times), that God is for us, and with us. Thirteen times we are told to be strong and courageous in the Bible. There’s no need for strength and courage when there’s no fear to overcome. It’s in the midst of fear that we are called to be strong and courageous, and with God we can.

 

Character of God:

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Joshua 1:8

 

When we read God’s word, when we medicate on it, when we sing it, when we talk about it, when we teach it to others, when we believe it, and when it becomes life to our soul, then it’s easy to obey. And when we obey God’s word we open ourselves up to unlimited blessings of His glory and His goodness. Obviously God is for prosperity and success, and He gives us the blueprint to obtain it.

 

 

Character of God:

Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them …..   Joshua 4:6-7a

 

The Israelites were instructed numerous times to remember the mighty signs and wonders God did for them. He didn’t want them or their ancestors to forget who He is, and what He’d done for them. Testimonies are powerful reminders of God’s goodness. In many families there are various traditions, especially around Christmas. My family has very few Christmas traditions. A tradition that I’d like to start is one of remembering all the things God’s done for us. Testimonies of God goodness, healings, miracles, breakthroughs, prophecies, etc. It’s never to late to start a new tradition.

 

 

Character of God:

On that day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; so that they revered him, just as they had revered Moses all the days of his life. Joshua 4:15

 

Joshua had been in training for 40 years, and when the time was right God exalted him. Too often people want to exalt themselves, they think they can do things better than the person in charge. For those who want to be in leadership I highly recommend you ask God to raise you up for that position, when and only when you are qualified in His mind. God hates pride, but will bless the humble. When God qualifies us, and when He exalts us, we know we are ready for the position He has put us to, and can walk in confidence as His beloved servant, friend and child.

 

 

Character of God:

I (God) will not be with you anymore unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst. Rise up! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, for thus the Lord, the God of Israel, has said, “There are things under the ban in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you have removed the things under the ban from your midst.” Joshua 7:12b-13

 

There are times in our lives where it seems nothing is going right, and the enemy is taking ground. Not always, but sometimes we need to take a good look at our level of obedience to God. Maybe there are things in our lives that need to be removed before we can move forward. Lord, reveal to all of us any area in our lives that we have not obeyed and surrendered to You.

 

 

Character of God:

Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. There was no day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel. Joshua 10:13b-14

 

We know however, that God still listens when we speak, and He loves to answer our prayers. No prayer is to big or to small for God, all we have to do is step out by faith and ask. Joshua knew he was in God’s will because God told him so in verses 8-11, so he was bold with his request. We too can be bold with our prayers when we know we are in His will.

 

 

Character of God:

So the Lord gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it. Not one of the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass. Joshua 21:43&45

 

Between God’s promises to Abraham and the time they came to pass was around 500 years. Rebellion, disobedience and lack of faith delayed it by about 40 years, but other than that, it was God’s timing. It’s hard to hold onto a promise when we think it should surely be manifesting now. We have our part and God has His. My part is to love Him with my heart, soul, mind and strength, love my neighbor as my self, purity, obedience, trust, forgiveness, repentance, and whatever else He brings to mind. His part He will do when He’s good and ready.

 

 

Character of God:

Therefore (since you did not obey Me) I (God) also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they will become as thorns in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you.’” Judges 2:3

 

The Israelites didn’t completely do as God had commanded. When we partially obey, it’s not obedience. When we partially obey, what God was wanting us to do was for our own best interest, and we miss out. When we partially obey, we suffer the consequences of not completely obeying. It’s so easy to rationalize partial obedience, but when we do, it’s never as good or rewarding as total obedience.

 

 

Character of God:

Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. Judges 4:4

 

Deborah was a judge, a wife, and probably a mother. If God were against women in leadership positions He wouldn’t have chosen her to lead her army to victory. God will use any man, women, or child who has a heart for Him. He doesn’t care about age, race, position, education, male, female, rich, or poor. He cares about our heart, our love for Him, our purity, our integrity, our surrendered life to Him. However, it’s not the position God call us to that matters most to Him, it’s our willingness to trust Him, love Him and say, “Yes Lord, Your will be done in my life today”.

Character of God:

Then she (Naomi) arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the land of Moab, for she had heard in the land of Moab that the Lord had visited His people in giving them food. Ruth 1:6

 

As I seek God on a regular basis I can count on Him to reveal to me where He’s working, and I can choose to join Him. God does what He wants, He visits where He wants, and He wants us to join Him. If I look and listen, I will see just where the hand of God is working. Just as seasons change, so does the location and plans of God, and if I want to be a part of His plans I need to be seeking Him daily.

 

 

Character of God:

Then the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” 1 Sam 1:10

 

Hearing from God was rare in those days (vs 1), and Samuel did not yet “know” God (vs 7). Four times God called out to Samuel before he answered Him correctly. God wants to be heard and He wants us to know Him, and not just about Him as they did in Samuel’s day. Lord, thank You for loving us enough to keep calling us. Open our ears to hear You, and our eyes to see You. Open our hearts to seek the desires of Your heart. May I quiet myself daily and say, “Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening.”

 

 

Character of God:

As they were going down to the edge of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Say to the servant that he might go ahead of us and pass on, but you remain standing now, that I may proclaim the word of God to you.” 1 Sam 8:27

 

At any given time God has His chosen ones positioned to speak His words of truth. He orchestrates every detail to make sure “divine appointments” happen at just the right time. There have been times when He’s used me to speak the truth, and there’s been times when He’s used others to speak His truth to me. As I live my life, trusting,  surrendering, and obedient to God, I don’t have to stress if everything is working out. Thank You God for how You orchestrate details of my life that I am not even aware of.

 

Character of God:

Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you (Saul) mightily, and you shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man. It shall be when these signs come to you, do for yourself what the occasion requires, for God is with you. 1 Sam 10:6-7

 

It sounds like Saul was “born again”, just like Christians when they accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. As a born again new man, Saul had the capability of being an amazing, mighty king for Israel. However, eventually he allowed pleasing others to get the best of him. As born again believers we have the capability of living like Jesus and being the amazing men and women that God created us to be. God has given us everything we need to live godly lives, He’s given us Himself. Lord, may I stay so close to You that even the slightest movement away is noticeable, and quickly taken care of.

 

 

Character of God:

Therefore they inquired further of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?” So the Lord said, “Behold, he is hiding himself by the baggage.” So they ran and took him from there, and when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. 1 Sam 10:22-23

 

I wonder if Saul felt unqualified for the position God had called him to? There have been times I’ve felt unqualified and felt like hiding just like Saul. I have since learned to ask God to qualify me, and then I position myself to receive His teaching and training. I now find myself terrified and off the chart excited at the same time.  But I can trust God to qualify me for anything He’s called me to, and then I trust Him for the courage and strength to carry it out. God always qualifies His servants if they are willing.

 

 

Character of God:

Samuel said,  “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. 1 Sam 15:22

 

We may look really holy, spiritual, and godly on the outside, offering praise and worship to God everyday, even sacrificing our needs for those of others. But God doesn’t care how many hours a day we spend in worship, Bible reading, teaching, serving, etc. What matters to Him is our obedience. What are we like behind closed doors, when the outside world isn’t looking? Lord, get our attention every time we start to drift away from total and complete obedience to You.

 

 

Character of God:

But the Lord said to him, “Pay no attention to how tall and handsome he is. I have rejected him, because I do not judge as people judge. They look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.” 1 Sam 16:7

 

If the amount of time and money spent on making our outside appearance pleasing to the eye were spent on building our character, our relationship with God or loving others as God wants us too, the world would be a different place. It’s our heart that matters most, and God alone knows it intimately. I find it very comforting to know that God really knows me and loves me so much. Lord, remind us when we start to put too much emphases on what we, or others look like on the outside; remind us when necessary, that it’s the heart we need to be focusing on.

 

 

Character of God:

And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and may the Lord be with you.” 1 Sam 17:37

 

David knew the character of his God, he could trust that God would be with him when he went up against Goliath. When we really know and trust our God, we can do things that might terrify others. Actually, we can do things that terrify ourselves, but as we trust in God, He gives us the courage and strength to do them anyway.

 

 

Character of God:

He also stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 1 Sam 19:24

 

Everyone Saul sent to kill David started prophesying after the Spirit of God came on them, and then it happened to him too. I think God has a great sense of humor when I read things like this. All these mighty warriors don’t stand a chance against God, but instead of Him just killing them, He has them join Him in what He’s doing. Even though the threats against David’s life were real, the anointing he had from God to be king was more real. And even though he knew his destiny was to be king, he also knew he was going through some mighty challenging times, times where his true identity and faith in God would be tested. Being chosen by God can come with challenges, testing, and heartache, but being chosen by God can also come with the greatest love, peace, joy and guidance imaginable.   

 

 

Character of God:

The Lord has done to you what he told you through me (Samuel): he has taken the kingdom away from you and given it to David instead. 1 Samuel 28:17

 

God had warned Saul what would happen if he didn’t change his ways and start obeying Him. God always warns His children, either through the Bible, or personally through our relationship with Him. However, many times He withholds the consequences of our disobedience and we rationalize that our actions are ok, and continue in sin. When we obey God He promises blessings, when we disobey Him He promises consequences. Our challenge is to keep pressing in with obedience and faith, even when we don’t see the blessings right away. Blessings will come, as God is always faithful to His word.

 

 

Character of God:

Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. 1 Sam 30:6

 

No matter what happens, we can strengthen, or encourage ourselves in the Lord our God. God’s strength, courage, love, guidance, and peace is accessible to us 24/7. All we have to do is call out to Him, and then position ourselves to receive. Everyone turned against David, no one was cheering him on, no one was encouraging him. But his help wouldn’t come from others, it had to come from within himself. He knew God was his only hope, his only lifeline, so he pressed into the truth of who his God is, and drew strength and encouragement from that.  

 

 

Character of God:

When David inquired of the Lord, He said, “You shall not go directly up; circle around behind them and come at them in front of the balsam trees. It shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then you shall act promptly, for then the Lord will have gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines.” 2 Sam 5:23-24

 

What precise instructions God gave to David to defeat his enemies. It doesn’t say how long David waited for God to answer him, possibly minutes or even days. What matters is David inquired of the Lord, and then acted accordingly to what He said. God may want to give us detailed instruction, or a vague overview of His plans; He may want us to trust and obey what He’s already told us before moving on. But one thing is for sure, He cares about every area of our lives, and will answer when we call out to Him.

 

 

Character of God:

But the Lord said to my father David, ‘Because it was in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well that it was in your heart. 1 Kings 8:18

 

God was pleased that David wanted to build Him a house. And even though David was not allowed to do it, the fact that he wanted to brought joy to God. When the desire of our heart is to please God, to bring Him Glory, it gets God’s attention. Sometimes we aren't able to fulfill the desires of our heart for various reasons, and can get pretty hard on ourselves. But God is more concerned with what’s really in our heart, He knows perfectly well why we could or couldn’t accomplish all the desires that are inside us. Lord search my heart, if there is anything that displease You let me know, so I can make it right. When You look at me Lord, I want You to see a pure heart.

 

 

Character of God:

Now therefore, O Lord, the God of Israel, keep with Your servant David my father that which You have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your sons take heed to their way to walk before Me as you have walked.’  Now therefore, O God of Israel, let Your word, I pray, be confirmed which You have spoken to Your servant, my father David. 1 Kings 8:25-26

 

Solomon, the wisest man ever was reminding God of His promises to David. We don’t disrespect God when we remind Him of His promises, and actually we are reminding ourselves of His goodness and giving Him an opportunity say something. When we don’t see His promises manifesting when we had thought they would, by reminding God of them, we can remind ourselves if there is something we need to do, or not do, that could accelerate the of the promise. God is faithful to His promises, and His timing is always perfect, but I still need to position myself to receive from Him any training, teaching, or instructions that I am still responsible for. Many of God’s promises start with “If you …..”, and end with “Then I will …..”. Obedience is always a part of receiving God’s promises.

 

 

Character of God:

“Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised; not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He promised through Moses His servant. 1 Kings 8:56

 

It took hundreds of years for some of Gods promises to come to pass. The hard part at times is to continue living our lives, totally surrendered to God without being consumed over the fact that some of His promises to us have not yet happened. Therefore I bless and declare the promises I’ve been given, while living, loving, being, and doing what He’s called me to today. I continue in worship, praise, and give thanks; I continue to seek Him first and obey; I continue to be His bride, His church, and His servant as I await His perfect timing to release His promises.

 

 

Character of God:

He said to him, “I also am a prophet like you, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’” But he lied to him. 1 Kings 13:18

 

God gave the younger prophet explicit instructions, but unfortunately he believed the older prophet, disobeyed and ended up being killed by a lion (vs 24). It’s easy at time to believe the older, more mature, or more well known prophet, or Christian, hears from God better than we do, and maybe they do. However, our responsibility is to what we personally hear from God. We can always discuss with God words we hear from others to see if we heard correctly or not, but we must not assume everyone else hears God more accurately than we do. Our responsibility is to seek God first, and to be obedient to Him. If we end up doubting, we go to Him first and talk things over, trusting that He will let us know if we are way off course.

 

 

Character of God:

For thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth.’” 1 Kings 17:14

 

God supernaturally fed Elijah bread and meat by using a raven, and then allowed the creek where he drank from to dry up. Then God had a widow’s supply of flour and oil to never run out, so she, her son and Elijah could continue to live. When God has us on an assignment He will provide what we need. He doesn’t promise a life of luxury and a banquet of delicious food, but He does promise to guide us and provide for us.  

 

Character of God:

It will come about when I leave you that the Spirit of the Lord will carry you where I do not know; so when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find you, he will kill me, although I your servant have feared the Lord from my youth. 1 Kings 18:12

 

Elijah had a reputation of just disappearing, and Obadiah was afraid it would happen again. I know this has happened to a few people, so very cool, anytime Lord, anytime. It’s just a reminder that nothing is impossible with God. It’s easy to allow fear to seep into our lives and start to consume us, but as children of God we need to strengthen ourselves in who God is, and keep reminding ourselves that nothing is impossible with God on our side. It’s our choice, to trust or not trust. And the more we know Him, really know Him, the easier it is to totally trust Him.

 

 

Character of God:

Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.”  And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 1 Kings 19:2-3

 

Even with all the miracles Elijah had personally experienced, one woman’s threat consumed him with fear for his life. It’s happened to most of us, we have amazing experiences with God where we know the truth of who He is and what He is capable of. We trust Him with every area of our lives, and know we always will. But then something happens, someone says something and fear creeps in. We start to entertain the thought that God may not come through this time, that the enemy might be greater this time than the One who is in us. It’s happened to the best of us and the best thing to do is repent, repent of even thinking that the enemy is greater than our Lord and Savior, and turn our thoughts and minds to trusting our God again.

 

 

Character of God:

So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child and he was clean. 2 Kings 5:14

 

Naaman was upset when told by Elisha to dip seven times in the Jordan to be healed. Why did Elisha tell him to dip and not just wave his hand over him, or speak the healing? There’s no formula for the way God heals, either in the Old or New Testament. Every healing was, and is many times different because God doesn’t heal based on a formula, but He heals when we listen to how He wants to heal, and then speak or do what He says. Real power for healing comes when we take time to listen to what God is doing, or wants to do. Sometimes what we hear doesn’t make sense, but hopefully we have the courage to say, pray, or do it anyway.

 

 

Character of God:

However, the Lord was not willing to destroy Judah, for the sake of David His servant, since He had promised him to give a lamp to him through his sons always. 2 Kings 8:19

 

What would Israel look like today if David didn’t have a heart for God, and if God hadn’t kept his promises? The promises God makes to those whose hearts are totally His are endless, and our descendants can reap the benefits too. Possibly we are where we are today because of someone in our family line who had a heart for God. David wasn’t perfect, he committed adultery and murder, and possibly other sins. But He was repentant and his heart was for God. God is so good and so faithful, and we can always trust Him to keep His word.

 

 

Character of God:

“Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. 2 Kings 20:5

 

Hezekiah reminded God of how he had served Him with his whole heart, and wept bitterly before Him. God heard his prayers and added 15 years to his life. It’s awesome when God answers immediately to our cry for help. Unfortunately, Hezekiah allowed pride to creep into his life and his descendants suffered for it. The more God blesses us with miracles, giftings and blessings, the more carefully we must walk humbly, avoiding even the smallest amount of pride from attaching itself to us.  

 

 

Character of God:

Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested. 1 Chronicles 4:10

 

A beautiful verse in the middle of a lot of genealogy, showing God’s goodness. The prayer of Jabez was actually pretty self-centered, he wanted to be blessed by God, he wanted more land, and he wanted to be free from pain. I’m sure God saw Jabez’s heart, and therefore granted him his request. Blessings are powerful, and there’s nothing wrong with asking God to open up the heavens and release His blessings on us, our life, our family, our enemies, our nation, and anything else. 

 

 

Character of God:

So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against the Lord, because of the word of the Lord which he did not keep; and also because he asked counsel of a medium, making inquiry of it, and did not inquire of the Lord. Therefore He killed him and turned the kingdom to David the son of Jesse. 1 Chronicles 10:13-14

 

God is a jealous God (Ex 34:14), and He wants us to come to Him, seeking Him for the answers we need. Too often we want quick answers, and we might be tempted to get advice from people or things that have nothing to do with the God of the Bible. God is the only one who has our best interest in mind and has the answers we need to hear. He is worth the time it takes to get to know Him, love Him, hear Him, be led by Him, and trust in Him. 

 

 

Character of God

David became greater and greater, for the Lord of hosts was with him. Now these are the heads of the mighty men whom David had, who gave him strong support in his kingdom, together with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the Lord concerning Israel. 1 Chronicles 11:9-10

 

Behind most great leaders there are those God has called to be the support team. We all have our part in the Body of Christ, and as we walk in our part, God’s plans unfold and His will is done. When we respect, honor, and support the positions God has given to others, pride ceases to exist, and we become united to bring Him glory. 

 

 

Character of God:

David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, even with songs and with lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals and with trumpets. When they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark, because the oxen nearly upset it. The anger of the Lord burned against Uzza, so He struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark; and he died there before God. 1 Chronicles 13:8-10

 

Even when we worship God with everything within us, it doesn’t cancel out our sin, and we may suffer the consequences. Obedience trumps sacrifice, worship, ministry, and good works every time.

 

 

Character of God:

God said to Solomon, “Because you had this in mind, and did not ask for riches, wealth or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor have you even asked for long life, but you have asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may rule My people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you. 2 Chronicles 1:11-12a

 

God was thrilled when Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge to accomplish the assignment He had called him to. I’m sure He’s thrilled when we do the same. Wisdom and knowledge are powerful tools God wants to give us to bring Him glory. The motive behind our asking is what’s important though, when we keep our hearts and our motives pure, we position ourselves to receive from God all He has for us.

 

 

Character of God:

Thus the sons of Israel were subdued at that time, and the sons of Judah conquered because they trusted in the Lord, the God of their fathers. 2 Chronicles 2:13:18

 

God’s chosen people fighting against each other must have saddened Him deeply. He loved them, He taught them, He disciplined them, yet so often they turned their back to Him. But when they humbled themselves and repented, it always got God’s attention. When we choose to humble ourselves; when we choose to repent; when we choose to trust God, we get His attention. When we choose to trust God above anything or anyone else, He goes to great lengths to bless us. When circumstances get challenging is when our total devotion and trusting in the Lord might get tested. We have to choose to humble ourselves and stay the course of trusting in our God.

 

 

Character of God:

For many days Israel was without the true God and without a teaching priest and without law. But in their distress they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and they sought Him, and He let them find Him. 2 Chronicles 15:3-4

 

Finding God isn’t hard, it easy, He wants to be found. Unfortunately, many times it takes distress before we seek God and return to Him. The desire of God’s heart is that we seek Him, and continue seeking Him every single day. It’s when we stop seeking Him every single day that we run into trouble, and it can happen so slowly we hardly notice, until it’s too late. Yes, we can always return to seeking Him, but often there are repercussions. We have to choose to seek Him daily, and when we do, His goodness and glory are released on us. 

 

 

Character of God:

and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. 2 Chronicles 20:15   tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.” (vs 17b)

 

When God says He’s with us, and for us in a difficult situation in life, fear should start to melt away. It doesn’t mean we won’t have to face head on someone trying to take us out though. What it does mean is with God on our side, when He says, “I’ve got this”, He has it, and we can’t trust in Him and fear our situation at the same time. That’s when we need to pull down from heaven God’s strength, courage, and faithfulness that is already in us as His children.

 

Character of God:

When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed (destroyed). 2 Chronicles 20:22

 

God said the battle was His (vs 15), so instead of fretting whether He would do as He said, worshipers were sent out first in battle, singing, worshiping, and praising God. When we have God’s promise in a situation, praise and worship is our greatest weapon against the enemy. Though fear and anxiety might be our first response, praise and worship is a more effective way to approach God for direction.

 

 

Character of God:

He (Uzziah) continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he sought the Lord, God prospered him. 2 Chronicles 26:5

 

When we seek God we prosper, and prosperity can manifest itself is so many ways, that sometimes we miss it. When we seek God we position ourselves to receive absolutely anything, nothing is impossible!

 

 

Character of God:

But when he (Uzziah) became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the Lord his God, for he entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. 2 Chronicles 26:16

 

If we stop seeking God once we become prosperous, or we are walking in signs and wonders, or we are walking in our destiny, we position ourselves for disaster. God blessed Uzziah when he sought Him, and cursed him with leprosy (vs 20) when pride overtook him. The stronger we become, the more prosperous or successful we become, the more famous we become, the more we need to continue to seek God. Until the day He takes us home, seeking God first everyday is a choice we make or choose not to make.

 

 

Character of God:

“Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed because of the king of Assyria nor because of all the horde that is with him; for the one with us is greater than the one with him. 2 Chronicles 32:7

 

Just like Hezekiah, we might have to encourage others or ourselves to remember that our God is greater than any enemy who might come against us. Our God is always with us and for us. Encouraging ourselves, strengthening ourselves, reminding ourselves of God’s faithfulness, goodness, and love for us is powerful. We may never know the ramifications that our words of encouragement might have on others. And when others may not be encouraging us, we may have to do it ourselves, and that’s ok.

 

 

Character of God:

Then the heads of fathers’ households of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and the Levites arose, even everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up and rebuild the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.

 Ezra 1:5

 

When God wants something done, He gets it done. He can stir the spirit of whom ever He wants to, to do whatever He wants done. Oh God, stir my spirit to seek You more; stir the spirits of all Your children to seek You more; and stir the spirits of those who do evil to seek You. My faith and my trust is in You God, and I give You permission to stir my spirit, soul, and body in areas that need to be awakened and activated to bring You more glory. 

 

 

Character of God:

Then my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and the people to be enrolled by genealogies. Then I found the book of the genealogy of those who came up first in which I found the following record: Nehemiah 7:5

 

We can count on God to put things into our heart that are important to Him. When the desire of our heart is to do the desire of His heart, we position ourselves to receive His thoughts and ideas. And we know that when God is placing ideas into our heart, He will be with us to make those ideas a reality.

Character of God:

Esther 1-10

 

Even though God’s name isn’t mentioned in the book of Esther, His character is all over it. From the beginning to the end, God’s faithfulness to His children is loud and clear. He positions people where they are needed, He honors and rewards those who deserve it. I puts ideas into people’s hearts, He wakes people from their sleep and orchestrates His will to be done. When we put our trust in God, and seek Him first, we can rest in peace, knowing He is at work putting everything into place. 

 

 

Character of God:

The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” Job 1:8   

So the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.” Job 2:6

 

I can’t begin to understand why God was having these conversations with Satan, but He did. And I can’t imagine how Job, who was blameless and loved God felt. Sometimes, like Job, we can do everything right, and still bad things happen. Job didn’t know the conversations that went on between his Lord and Satan, and many times we don’t know what is going on in God’s mind either, we just don’t know His plans or what He might be allowing us to go through. Therefore, we have to choose to trust Him no matter what.

 

 

Character of God:

“And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.’” Job 28:28

 

Wisdom is worth more than all the money in the world, and yet most seek money over wisdom everyday. Most work 8-10 hours a day, some up to 16 just to gain more money, which cannot buy wisdom. As we seek God daily, and as the precious fear of the Lord grows in us, so does wisdom. Wisdom isn’t recognized by outward appearances but by an inward devotion to God. Lord, may the wisdom and understanding we gain from knowing You intimately, lead to the financial abundance needed for us to do all You’ve called us to do.

 

 

Character of God:

The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold. Job 42:10

 

Job had been experiencing some very hard and painful days. He felt like God had abandoned him and his friends had betrayed him. His thoughts about God were all over the place, and he allowed his words to spew from his mouth without much thinking. Through it all God watched and listened, and when the time was right He stepped in and had His say. God restored Job’s fortunes when he prayed for his friends. Was it hard praying for his friends who had treated him so badly, probably yes? But it’s when we repent, forgive and pray that God releases his blessings on us.  

 

 

Character of God:

The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; Job 42:10a

 

Many people go through what’s called mid-life crises in their 40-50’s, looking back with regret of how they lived, or what they hadn’t yet achieved. But God being God, can bless our latter days just as He did with Job. As we seek Him, to really know Him on this journey called life, anything is possible. We never have to think that this is all there is to life, because with God everyday can be an adventure. Everyday offers new opportunities to bring God glory with the choices we make; everyday offers new opportunities for the joy of the Lord to strengthen us; and everyday offers new opportunities for God to open up the heavens and pour out unlimited blessings.

 

Character of God:

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. Ps 1:1-2

 

God loves to bless His children when they make wise choices, and one of those choices is to meditate on His word. If we would meditate on God’s word as much as we meditate on the news, Facebook, other social media, the latest gossip, religious books, secular books, TV, etc., His word would be seared into our hearts. Lord, bless us with the desire to seek Your word more often, and to meditate on it’s truth.

 

 

Character of God:

But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head. Ps 3:3

 

David didn’t hold back his anguish from God, he had the freedom as God’s beloved to share his hurts, concerns, frustrations, threats on his life, and so much more. However, he always came around to saying, “But You”, “But God”, and there is always a need for the reminder, “But God”.  No matter what is going on in life, we can declare His promises, we can remind ourselves of who He is, His character, and His promises. 

 

 

Character of God:

I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me round about. Ps 3:5-6

 

In the midst of some of life’s worst circumstances, David laid down and went to sleep. He knew his life was in God’s hands, and that only He could sustain him. Easier said than done, for sure. David had such a special relationship with God, one that is available to all of us, through Jesus Christ. Only when we are totally surrendered to Jesus can we sleep in times of disaster. Then too, His peace can fill us to overflowing. When circumstance are completely out of our control we have to purposely choose to let go, and let God. Yes we seek Him first, we pray, and we do as He says, and then we receive His peace, and His sleep.

 

 

Character of God:

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3

 

We wait expectantly for a loved one to come home, or for a package to arrive that we’ve ordered. Yet, how often do we wait expectantly for the Lord to answer our prayers? I’m reading a book called “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson, which is having an impact on my prayer life. So like David, I plan to start waiting more expectantly for God to answer my prayers. God enjoys answering our prayers, and He enjoys when we are excited for Him to do so.

 

 

Character of God:

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. Psalm 9:10

 

Every time we seek God, we get another glimpse of who He is. And getting to know God is the beginning of being able to trust Him, and He alone is 100% trustworthy every single time. When we seek God we pull on His heart strings, we get His attention. When we seek God, and know God, we can step into that place of total trust and peace.

 

 

Character of God:

I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Ps 16:7-8

 

Millions, if not billions of dollars are spent on counselors every year? We eagerly spend our money to seek counseling from professional counselors and life couches, to help us in a variety of needs. And no doubt about it, many are helped, yet have we sought God too? God Himself likes to counsel His children, He likes to instruct us in our daily needs and decisions. When we continually seek God on a regular basis, we can count on Him to help us in every area of our lives. 

 

 

Character of God:

You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Ps 16:11

 

God is the answer, and has the answers to all of life’s questions. Money can’t buy the answer to what we’re supposed to do with our lives. Money can’t buy joy and happiness. And money can’t buy pleasures that last forever. God is the One we need to be seeking every day and all throughout the day, because He is the answer. Many times He uses other people, through their words and their books to help us in our walk as His children, but their words and their books many times came to them through seeking God themselves. As we seek God first, we can trust Him to make known the path of our lives, and to also make known to us people, books, and other things that cant help.

 

 

Character of God:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Psalm 23:1

 

The Lord is my shepherd, my teacher, guide, counselor, savior, provider, my everything. He alone knows what I need to be successful in life. He alone knows the plans He has for me, and how I am to accomplish them. When I let Him shepherd me above all others, I will lack nothing of any importance. He alone will satisfy my spirit, soul, and body.

 

 

Character of God:

He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. Psalm 23:2

 

There’s a time to work and a time to rest, a time to fight and a time to stand down. Sometimes, God in His sovereignty overrides our desire to work without taking time to rest, and makes us do so. Our spirit, soul and body need rest on a regular basis. We were created for quiet times with our Lord and Savior, we were created for special times with Him, resting in the calmness of His creation.  

 

 

Character of God:

He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Psalm 23:3

 

Our shepherd wants to restore our soul. He wants to renew, refresh, strengthen, revive, bring back to fullness of life, our soul because of His love for us. How? By resting with Him and in Him. As we seek Him in the quiet place, He also wants to guide us in the path of righteousness, where we find His peace. Why? For HIS names sake, not ours, His! We bless God, and we honor Him when our soul is restored to the way He created it to be, and when we allow Him to guide us on the path of His righteousness.

 

 

Character of God:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

 

God is with us in the good times, and the not so good times. He often allows us to go “through” the valleys, when we’d rather go around or over. Why would He want us to go through the hard valleys? Probably so our faith would grow as we trusted in Him to get us through to the other side. And as we are going through our valley, we are not persevering in fear, white knuckling it as some say, but we are going through in peace. When God is right there with us every step of the way; when He’s got His rod ready to smack the enemy if he gets too close; when He’s got His staff pulling us back to Himself if we start to wander off, then we can walk through in peace.

 

 

Character of God:

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Ps 23:5

 

Sometimes God calls us to fast during difficult times. Here however, He calls us to relax and enjoy Him and His provision in the midst of the difficulties. Smack in the middle of the valley, difficulties, enemy attacks, slander, whatever, God is there with us. He’s anointing our head with oil, equipping us with whatever is needed to continue on the path He’s called us on. So as we are enjoying a meal in the presence of our enemies, He is anointing us, and pouring His goodness into us until we overflow with His love, joy, and peace. Our God is so good.

 

 

Character of God:

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Ps 23:6

 

We don’t have to go seeking for God’s goodness and loving kindness. When we seek Him, surrender to Him, obey Him, and trust Him during the good times and the not so good times, His goodness and loving kindness follows us. When we trust God, we are completely immersed in all the good things that come from being His child.

 

 

Character of God:

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood And has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord And righteousness from the God of his salvation. Psalm 24:3-5

 

As sinners we can come to God no matter what we’ve done. He welcomes us, we repent, He forgives and our journey as His children begins. As we grow as God’s children we learn just how righteous and holy He is, and we learn what He expects of His children. If we want all the benefits that come with being God’s children, we have to learn to behave as His children. We have to live with clean hands, a pure heart, and obedient behavior. Then we can come before Him with open arms, ready to receive His abundant blessing.

 

 

Character of God:

Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Psalm 25:4

Whatever it takes Lord, whatever training or discipline, no mater how long it takes, I want to know Your way. You want me to succeed; You want me to have a plan, and You want to be my teacher. What greater teacher can I ask for, than the creator of the universe. You know exactly the path, trail, highway, ravine, or stepping stones you want me on today. You know where You want me to be tomorrow and next year, and You alone know how to prepare me for it. Teach me Lord and illuminate Your path, because I don’t want to miss any part of any path that You’ve planned for my life.

 

 

Character of God:

For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day. Psalm 25:5

 

Without You Lord, I would cease to exist; You are the very breath that keeps me living. You are my everything. You are my salvation, eternal life, healer, provider, deliverer, truth, friend, EVERYTHING!  You are always on my mind. My hope is in You, my trust is in You, and Your timing in my life is always perfect. You are worthy of my patience, my thoughts, my presence, my obedience; You are worthy of my time waiting for Your will to manifest in my life.

 

 

Character of God:

You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book? Psalm 56:8

 

God is taking notice of everything happening to us, nothing gets past His eyes. He has seen our hurts, frustrations, disappointments, betrayal, everything. Our prayers and tears do not go unnoticed either, He collects them all as special treasures, and puts them away for safe keeping. He has plans we know nothing about, He has His timing all planned out. We have our part in this life we live, and it is to trust in Him. He has His part in our life, and when it happens might just depend on if we are doing our part.

 

 

Character of God:

In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? Psalm 56:4

 

Only God is worthy of all our trust; only God can bring peace in fearful situations; and only God has the power and authority to override the odds that might be stacked against us. With God anything is possible, no matter what our circumstances look like.

 

 

Character of God:

A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, Is God in His holy habitation. God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land. Psalm 68:5-6

 

Since being called to the fatherless and widows last year, reading this verse touches my heart like never before. God has a special place in His heart for those who have lost their parents, they now become His Children, and He is their Father. They are no longer orphans because the God of the universe has become their Father. And widows are no longer alone, they have a Father and a Judge they can count on to be with them, and be their advocate in every situation. His desire is to break off every chain that has kept them prisoners in their own life, and guide them into a life of prosperity.

 

 

Character of God:

God be gracious to us and bless us, And cause His face to shine upon us - Selah. That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations. Psalm 67:1-2

 

I love the Strong’s 3444 definition of salvation: Deliverance, help, prosperity, security, victory, and salvation against external evils. God is for us, He’s on our side, and through Him we have access to His grace and His blessings. God desires every people group and every nation on planet earth to know Him, His grace, blessings, and salvation. We praise and worship such an amazing God and there is none like Him anywhere. Lord, help us to know You, Your ways, Your blessings, and Your salvation in there fullness.

 

 

Character of God:

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You! Psalm 84:11-12

 

In God alone is everything we need. I think we tend to get into trouble when we want everything we think we need or deserve right now. God honors integrity, righteousness, and a pure heart; He honors us with His goodness and blessings when we honor Him by trusting Him. We continually choose to make Him our first choice in what or whom to trust, or our second, third, or even last choice. 

 

 

Character of God:

Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. Psalm 86:11

 

God loves to teach His children, and He must be thrilled when we want to be taught by Him. In order to be taught though, we must meet with Him on a regular basis, ready to listen, anticipating His every word. Some of us hear God speaking to us more than others do, but He is speaking. During times when I don’t hear Him, I just read His word, and He’s always speaking through that. But nothing is as exciting as sitting with God and saying, “Here I am Lord, what do You want to say to me, what do You want to teach me”? And then listening to what He has to say. He speaks to all of us in many different ways, but He does speak. If you want to know the truth about how much God loves you and what He wants to say to you, just ask. Then wait and listen. 

 

 

Character of God:

Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. Psalm 103:2-5

 

What an amazing God we love and serve. When things get tough, sometimes we need to remind ourselves of God’s goodness and benefits, especially if our circumstances seem void of them at the moment. He is our God who forgives our sins. He is our God who heals, who saves us. And He crowns US with lovingkindness and compassion. We love and serve a good good God. I bless my soul to remember today, now, all the benefits I possess as God’s beloved child.

 

 

Character of God:

Many times He would deliver them; They, however, were rebellious in their counsel, And so sank down in their iniquity. Nevertheless He looked upon their distress When He heard their cry; And He remembered His covenant for their sake, And relented according to the greatness of His lovingkindness.   Psalm 106:43-45

 

No mater what we’ve done, when we cry out to the Lord, we get His attention. When we repent for our sin, His heart is softened and His loving kindness overflows into us. However, just like the Israelites, many times we suffer the consequences of our sin, even after God forgives us. Continually seeking God and His ways, and trusting in Him in all circumstances, keeps our relationship with Him, one that He delights in.

 

 

Character of God:

Oh let those who fear the Lord say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Psalm 118:4

 

Forty-one times in the Bible are the words “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” From the beginning of time God’s loving kindness is seen, and it will continue to be seen for eternity. In every situation we find ourselves in, let us choose to say, “His loving kindness is everlasting.” Praising God for who He is should be as natural as breathing. Lord, open our eyes to see more of Your loving kindness in our lives, so we can continuously praise You for it. 

 

 

Character of God:

The Lord is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me? Psalm 118:6

 

What an awesome verse to memorize and meditate on. The truth in this verse, if we choose to believe it, has the power to change our lives forever. Lord, may the truth that this verse holds penetrate our spirit, soul and body as we meditate on it. Holy Spirit, bring this verse to our mind when our flesh forgets, and starts to take hold of fear.

 

Character of God:

The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation. Psalm 118:14

 

Everything I need, at any moment of my life, is available in Jesus. Not only is He my strength and my salvation which covers a lot, He is my song. He is my joy and my happiness, He makes me smile just thinking about Him. Many times throughout the day I burst into song, because that which is deep within me must come out, that part of God within me needs to be expressed.

 

 

Character of God:

Your word is the essence of truth, and all Your righteous judgments endure. Psalm 119:160

 

In this day and age it’s hard to know the truth at times. Lying and cheating are prevalent in all walks of life, and most act as if nothing is wrong with it. But God’s word was, is, and always will be truth, because God is truth. God’s word is our standard to live by even when so many others don’t, and that’s why it’s so important to know His word. If we don’t know and meditate on His truth, it will be easier to fall into the trap of the enemies lies.

 

 

Character of God: Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain. Psalm 127:1

 

God wants to be a part of everything we do. It’s so easy at times to start trusting in our own efforts, our own knowledge and our own mind. Even though our efforts, strength, knowledge and mind come from God, He is a personal God and He wants to be included in everything we do. There’s a saying “Work smart, not hard”. When we include God, when we seek His counsel, we are working and living smart.

 

 

Character of God:

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Psalm 136:1

 

There are 26 verses in Psalm 136, and each verse includes the words, “For His lovingindness is everlasting.” God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, glory, and everything else about who He is, is everlasting. There will never be an end to God or His loving kindness, because there will never be an end to Him. He alone deserves all our thanks, praise, worship, and love, just for being who He is.

 

 

Character of God:

O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. Psalm 139:1-2

 

God knows us far better than we even know ourselves, and absolutely nothing concerning us is ever hidden from Him. I can’t even imagine knowing absolutely everything about another person, yet God does about each one of us. He knows the good, bad, and the ugly, and He still loves us and wants a relationship with us. Oh Lord, may we search and know You, to the same degree that You search and know us.

 

Character of God:

Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it all. Psalm 139:4

 

Thankfully, God keeps our thoughts hidden from others, even though they aren’t hidden from Him. Our thoughts are very powerful, they lead to our words, which lead to our actions. I like that I can have a conversation with God without even opening my mouth. In this day and age when we never know when someone might be recording what we say, no one can record our thoughts, God alone knows them.  How special and exciting it is to have such an intimate relationship with the God of the universe, that He cares about my every thought. 

 

 

Character of God:

You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. Psalm 139:5-6

 

Our minds can’t even begin to understand how much God loves us. He goes to great lengths to show us His love, and who He is. Even though David’s circumstances didn’t always look in the natural how they looked in the spiritual, he chose to believe the spiritual. He chose to believe the truth of who God is, and make that his true reality, and so can we. 

 

 

Character of God:

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14

 

Very few of us really know how fearfully and wonderfully God really made us, and how unique we really are. David was calling God’s creation of himself, wonderful. Forgive us Lord, for all the times we’ve criticized ourselves, Your workmanship. May we treat ourselves with the love and respect that You do.

 

 

Character of God:

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. Psalm 139:16

 

God had a plan for our lives from the time we are conceived. I wonder how often He has to change His original plans due to the choices we make? Knowing God, He always has a way, when we yield to Him, of redirecting our lives when we get off course. What was He thinking when He looked at my unformed substance? I think I’ll ask Him.

 

 

Character of God:

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. Psalm 139:23-24

 

When we give God permission to search our heart, we are choosing to embrace an opportunity to repent, forgive, love, change, make amends, etc.  Only God really knows what’s going on inside of us, and this is a great verse to say to God on a regular basis. When He revels these hidden things within us, then we have a choice to make. We can choose to ignore or justify what God reveals, or we can go to Him and ask what He would like us to do about it.

 

 

Character of God:

Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. Psalm 143:10

 

God is the best teacher ever, and if we let Him, He will qualify us for whatever path He chooses for us to venture on. He has tests along the was to make sure we understand, just like any teacher does. He wants us to be prepared for whatever comes our way, and if we sit with Him and allow Him to teach us what He wants to, we will be ready for anything in life. 

 

Character of God:

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord raises up those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous; The Lord protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, But He thwarts the way of the wicked. Psalm 146:8-9

 

Simply put, God is so amazingly good, that’s His character, that’s who He is. Does He do what we want on demand, like healing every blind eye, raising up every down and out person? No, He doesn’t. But that’s still who He is. We can go to Him and say something like, “Lord, I know this is the desire of Your heart because Your word says so, please show me my part in all of this, so I can come along side of You, and join You in what You are doing”. Lord, open my eyes to see Your goodness, to see more of who You really are.

 

 

Character of God:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Proverb 3:5-6

 

When we trust God, we open ourselves up to so many blessings, one of them being guidance. Who doesn’t want to know the best possible path in life to take?  Unfortunately, many of us too often rely on our own understanding of things to guide us.  God wants to guide us on the path that He has chosen for us, the best path possible for our lives. All He asks is that we rust Him, and that we acknowledge Him for who He is. Our own understanding is so very limited, and we really do have tunnel vision in comparison to what God sees. As we love, trust, acknowledge, obey, praise and worship God, we can be assured that He will make His path for us known.

 

 

Character of God:

The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight. Proverbs 15:8

 

God delights in our prayers, He delights when we take time to talk to Him. He looks at our heart whether we are sacrificing or praying, He alone knows our motives.  

 

 

Character of God:

All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the Lord weighs the motives. Proverbs 16:2

 

What is the real reason we say some of the things we say, or even do some of the things we do? Is it to manipulate someone, to make them feel bad for what they said or did, to make them feel sorry for us, or to make them want to do something for us? Anytime we are trying to change someone else to benefit ourselves, in a deceptive way, it’s manipulation and our motives are impure. Our prayers if we aren't careful can be very manipulative. Lord, search our hearts, and bring to our attention any impure motives in our thoughts, words, prayers and actions.

 

 

Character of God:

Commit your works to the Lord And your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3

 

When we commit our desires, goals, plans, and dreams to the Lord, we can count on Him to make a way, IF, they have His approval. If they don’t have His approval, He knows something we don't, and we can trust Him to know what’s best for us. We can also trust that as we seek Him everyday, if we are heading in the wrong direction, that He will redirect us.

 

 

Character of God:

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

 

Our words so powerful that life or death (Proverbs 18:21) can be the result of them. However, when we choose to speak words of life, we can bring healing to ourselves and to others. We alone have complete control over the words that come out of our mouth. It costs us nothing to speak pleasant, encouraging words, yet when we do, we gain so much. It also costs us nothing to speak vile, arrogant, hateful, or abusive words, yet when we do, we lose everything.

 

 

Character of God:

The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted (safe). Proverbs 29:25

 

Fear of others have kept so many of us from experiencing all that God has for us. We can get so concerned about what others think, even people we don’t know, that we can be paralyzed with fear. We need to get to the place where we’d rather look like a fool to others, than to be untrusting to God. Seems like such a simple choice, yet in the moment, it’s not always easy. It’s one of those areas where we need to determine ahead of time that we fear disappointing God, more than we fear man.

 

 

Character of God:

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. Isaiah 1:18

 

God was fed up with the sins of His people, but the Father’s heart comes through in this verse. He wanted to gather His children together and talk about the situation. No mater what we’ve done God is ready in an instant to forgive a repentant heart. Just like any earthly parent wants their children to come to them and talk things over, so does our heavenly Father. We have such a good Father, such an amazing Papa.

 

 

Character of God:

“If you consent and obey, You will eat the best of the land; “But if you refuse and rebel, You will be devoured by the sword.” Truly, the mouth of the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 1:19-20

 

We never have to wonder where God stands on things, He is very clear, and His character doesn’t change. Just like with our earthly parents, when we obey life goes well, when we don’t, life doesn’t go so well. With all the blessings God wants to bestow upon us, why would we ever choose to disobey Him?  

 

 

Character of God:

"The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

 

When we keep our thoughts and our mind focused on God and not our circumstances, we position ourselves to step into His perfect peace. However, we also have to trust that God is who He says He is, and that He will do, what He says He will do. It’s easy to trust God when everything is going well, it takes faith to trust Him if difficult times. Yet it’s in the difficult times of trusting, that the peace is extra sweet.

 

 

Character of God:

For his God instructs and teaches him properly. Isaiah 28:26

 

God taught His children how to prepare, grow, and harvest their food. Each herb, spice and plant takes different care because of their uniqueness. Each of us is unique in our own special way, and only God knows completely how complex we are, and how best to instruct and teach us all we need to know, to be all He created us to be. As we press in to the heart of God, He has so many things He wants to teach us; about ourselves, others, problem solving, daily living, the list is endless. 

 

 

Character of God:

Then the Lord said,  “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; And the wisdom of their wise men will perish, And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.” Isaiah 29:13-14

 

God wants our hearts! God wants our hearts! God wants our hearts, and nothing else comes close to what God desires of us. Lord, forgive us for the times we’ve tried to cut corners in our relationship with You. Talk is cheap, and rote prayers don’t carry much weight, because all You really wants is our hearts.

 

 

Character of God:

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will never grow faint or weary; His understanding is beyond searching out. Isaiah 40:28

 

What an amazing God we serve and worship. He never grows weary of us coming to Him, seeking Him, not quite understanding Him or His ways, and even complaining to Him at times. He created us in His image, so our potential as His children is off the chart awesomeness. His love for us is so far out our ability to understand totally, and the more we get to know and love God, the more we realize how little we really know of Him. His love for us never grows weary, and our love for Him never has to grow weary either.

 

 

Character of God:

Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait (hope) for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:30-31

 

In the natural realm, young and healthy seems to have the advantage over old and unhealthy in a lot of ways. However, in God’s kingdom it can be just the opposite. God chooses to bless those who wait upon Him, who trust Him and don’t give up. He chooses at time to bless them with strength and energy that doesn’t make sense, so they can do what seems impossible, because in the natural it is. But God reigns in His kingdom, and in His kingdom, anything is possible.

 

 

Character of God:

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10

 

In God’s opinion, we are worthy of His help and protection. What would our lives look like if we actually believed this? Is it possible to really believe that God will sustain us with His righteous hand; that He will strengthen us in our time of need; or that we don’t have to look anxiously around to see who can help us besides Him? Is it really possible to “fear not”, knowing that God is with us and will take care of us? Yes, it has to be possible, because God said so. Lord, remind us of this verse when fear starts to creep into our thoughts. Remind us to “fear not”, because You really are with us.

 

 

Character of God:

The Lord will go forth like a warrior, He will arouse His zeal like a man of war. He will utter a shout, yes, He will raise a war cry. He will prevail against His enemies. Isaiah 42:13

 

What a beautiful picture of our Lord. Yes, He is loving and kind, and full of patience, but when He’s had enough, the warrior in Him rises up. The warrior in Him says, “Enough is enough”, and HE arouses His zeal to fight. We too at times need to arouse our zeal, and fight the fight before us. Our fight might be to keep trusting God; our fight might be overcoming addiction; our fight could be anything. Whatever our battle, may we emulate our Lord, and go forth.

 

 

Character of God:

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,  “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go. Isaiah 48:17

 

Throughout our years of schooling we’ve had numerous teachers, some good and some not so good. If given the choice, we would have only chosen the good teachers to teach us. As God’s beloved children, He wants to teach us to prosper, to live a good life with all the benefits and blessings that come from being His child. He wants to make sure we take the right path, so He’s always guiding us with His love and truth. Our Lord God is the ultimate teacher of all teachers, and He’s wanting to teach all of us. But we have to be in school every day; we have to sit, read, listen, discuss, and follow His instructions. Then we reap the benefits as a child and student of God almighty. 

 

 

Character of God:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

 

Since the beginning of time people have tried to figure God out, yet there is so much about Him we just don’t know. We know some from the Bible that He inspired for us, and we know some from the special times we spend with Him. But as to why He does or does not do things, that can remain a mystery for many of us. We know He has a reason for everything He does, that He has a plan for everyone of our lives, and that He loves us. We know we have to trust Him, and when we do that we can live in His peace. There are no formulas for answered prayers, and there is no putting our God in a box.  

 

 

Character of God:

So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11

 

God’s words are powerful. I’ve been reading in “Whisper” by Mark Batterson (excellent book) how sound (when it’s loud enough) on one side of the earth can affect what’s happening on the other side of the world. God’s whisper can do the same thing. His promises are not empty words, they are powerful, and we can trust them. However, there are times when we can help accelerate their manifestation by doing our part. Just as God’s promise of the Promised Land when the Israelites came out of Egypt took 40 years, with obedience, faith and trust, it could of just taken 11 days. 

 

 

Character of God:

You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves; And give Him no rest until He establishes And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. Isaiah 62:6b-7

 

God is giving us permission to remind Him of His promises, and keep reminding Him until they come to pass. Who does that? It’s not like He will forget, like we humans do from time to time, so it must be for our benefit. He doesn’t want us forgetting His promises, or giving up on them. Of course we can remind Him in a disrespectful way, as we’ve all done to others, or we can remind Him in love, knowing His timing is always perfect, as is His love for us.

 

 

Character of God:

“I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’ To a nation which did not call on My name. Isaiah 65:1

 

I love this verse. I prayed this many time for my dad who I knew wasn’t seeking God, asking God to allow my dad to find Him even though he wasn't’ seeking Him at all. God can reveal Himself to any one, any time He chooses. Anyone, any people group, or any nation can come to the Lord though they may not be seeking Him? We are called to share the Gospel to everyone, but it seems like sometimes God likes to do it Himself.  

 

Character of God:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5

 

No one knows us like God, who was there at our conception and had plans for us before we were even born. Jeremiah though he was to young (vs 6), God said he wasn’t. Some may think they are to old, they missed their opportunity to serve God, God says we are never to young or to old. The point is, He created each of us for a purpose, and it’s never to early or late in life to find that purpose and walk in it.

 

 

Character of God:

They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 1:19

 

God doesn’t promise that enemies won’t attack us, but He does promise to be with us. So if we know we are where God wants us to be and find ourselves in the midst of fear, we gather up our courage, knowing that God is with us. And in the midst of a fight, we trust in God to deliver us. When we know we’re walking in obedience, we know our God is on our side.

 

 

Character of God:

Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 9:23-24

 

God’s greatest delights is that we know Him, and how awesome and loving He really is. I know several people who have written books about themself and their life, and yet I only really know what they choose to reveal in their books and the times I’ve been around them. God longed for the Israelites to return to Him so He could bless them as He delights in doing. Oh Lord, I long to know You and understand You more deeply.

 

 

Character of God:

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord And whose trust is the Lord. “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8

 

Blessings come when we trust the Lord, and trust in Him. When that trust goes deep down, like the roots of a big oak tree, nothing can make us waiver in unbelief, or can threaten our commitment to God, or His commitment and love for us. When disasters and disappointments come, we can stand firmly planted on His promises, and we will continue to flourish, produce pleasing fruit for our Lord.

 

 

Character of God:

At one moment I (God) might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it. Jeremiah 18:7-10

 

Our choices as a nation affects all of us. Our choices individually also affect us. We can miss out on a lot of God’s promises due to disobedience. We may not be able to change our nation in a day, but we can change our individual choices in a day. When we choose obedience, we choose God’s promises.

 

 

Character of God:

But if they had stood in My council, they would have proclaimed My words to My people and turned them back from their evil ways and evil deeds.” Jeremiah 23:22

 

 When we spend time with God, seeking Him and the desires of His heart, He shares His words with us. We need to be careful who we allow to speak into our lives. Are they proclaiming words that come from spending time in God’s council, or are they coming from their fleshly thoughts? Sometimes we don’t know, and that’s when we go to God ourselves and seek His truth. God desires to give us His words, all He asks is that we also desire to be with Him.

 

 

Character of God:

I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart. Jeremiah 24:7

 

God never ceases going after His children who have gone astray, and He tries everything to draw us to Himself. He loves us so much, and just wants us to love Him back. Oh God, give us a heart that never ceases to want to know You more and more. Thank You Lord for all the times You’ve drawn me closer to You. My greatest desire is to know You more tomorrow, than I do today.

 

 

Character of God:

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

 

The Israelites were going to go through 70 years of exile, where they were told to build houses, plant gardens, and seek peace where they were living (vs 5-8), before receiving this promise. God has amazing promises and plans for our lives, but sometimes we may have to go through a season of exile if we aren't living a surrendered life to Him before receiving them. This verse has always been the desire of God’s heart for us, and as we yield to His leading in our lives, we can walk in His plans, where we prosper, and live in peace with His future and hope for us.

 

 

Character of God:

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

 

If we were told that there was a million dollars buried somewhere that was accessible on our property, how hard would we search for it? In comparison, how hard do we seek God, whose relationship is worth far more than a million dollars. And even though seeking God takes time, and effort, yet is done from a place of peace and rest. And the dividends are worth far more than any amount of money. 

 

 

Character of God:

“Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a delightful child? Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him, I certainly still remember him; Therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 31:20

 

God yearns for His children who have gone astray, just like any good earthly father does. It doesn’t matter how far we’ve gone astray; it doesn’t matter what sin we’ve stepped into, and it doesn’t matter how many times we’ve turned our backs on Him, He remembers His children. The mercy God showers on a repentant heart, cleanses us from any and all sin, and God stands with open arms welcoming us back into His family. Thank You Papa God for loving us so much, and for never giving up on us.

 

 

Character of God:

Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3

 

What an amazing God we worship! He flat out tells us that when we call to Him, He WILL answer. Within God’s words to us personally and intimately are hidden treasures concerning everything imaginable, and yet to be imagined. God loves us so much, and has so much to share with us, if we will only take the time to listen.

 

 

Character of God:

This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23

 

After reminding the Lord of everything that was going wrong, Jeremiah pauses for a moment, to recall God’s true character of loving kindness and compassion. When everything seems to be going wrong is when we need to remind ourselves of the truth. When we take the time to look beyond our momentary circumstances, we can see that God is still on the throne, and we can grab hold of a sliver of hope. Sometimes we have to be our greatest encourager of hope. And as we hope in the Lord, our eyes are opened to see that His loving kindness and compassions for us never ceases, and they truly are new every morning.

 

 

Character of God:

You drew near when I called on You; You said, “Do not fear!” Lamentations 3:57

 

When we seek God, calling upon His name, He can’t help but to draw nearer to us. He knows our heart though, He knows when it’s just lip service, or when our call comes from deep within us. God says over and over “Do not fear!”, easier said than done for many of us. However, as we continually stay in His presence on a daily basis, we can learn to trust Him, and take Him at His word, and fear not.

 

 

Character of God:

And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house. Ezekiel 2:6

 

Sometimes God gives us an assignment that we’d rather not do, where people are just plain mean, scary, and just don’t like us at all. And then again He tells us not to fear them or their words. That’s when we need to fear God more than we fear man. When we totally surrender our lives to God and say “Yes!”, we don’t always know what we might be getting into, and sometimes we do know, and it just isn’t pleasant at all. However, anytime we are smack in the middle of God’s will for our lives, we can trust Him, pleasant or not, we can always trust Him.

 

 

Character of God:

As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams. Daniel 1:17

 

We don’t know if Daniel and his friends had knowledge intelligence before they were captured, but we do know that God qualified them for the assignment He had for them. We can’t let the fear of being unqualified keep us from stepping into where we sense  God calling us. Whether we find ourselves in an unpleasant situation like Daniel, or whether we have a dream and passion for something, when God is in it, He can use us in mighty ways. It’s interesting that this verse comes after Daniel and his friends made the choice not to defile their bodies. God honors our choices to stand firm in our surrendered obedience to Him.

 

 

Character of God:

Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. Daniel 10:12

 

The word that caught my eye here is “humbling”. When we come before the Lord with a humble heart, we get His attention. In a world where pride, arrogance, and narcissism is rampant, humbling oneself can often appear as weakness. Yet, we are called to live a humble life, void of all pride, and when we do, we position ourselves to receive from God answers to our prayers.

 

 

Character of God:

For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6

 

Sometimes we can try so hard to please God through our works, that we miss out on what He really desires, our heart. God wants us to get to know Him like two young people in love want to get to know each other. He wants us to think about Him likes He thinks about us, He wants us to trust Him and be faithful to Him. He doesn’t want us so busy doing things for Him, that we miss just being with Him, and knowing Him.

 

 

Character of God:

And rend your heart and not your garments.” Now return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil. Joel 2:13

 

Years ago people would tear their garments and put ashes on their skin as a sign of mourning, or sorrow, yet God wants our heart. It’s hard to understand why anyone would choose to worship a false god, when here before us is the creator of the universe wanting to love us. There is a place in our heart that only God can fill, and there’s a place in His heart that only we can fill. There’s a song, “Looking for love in all the wrong places”, and many spend their whole lives looking for love, or looking for something missing in their lives. Only God can fill the void within us. 

 

 

Character of God:

For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind And declares to man what are His thoughts, He who makes dawn into darkness And treads on the high places of the earth, The Lord God of hosts is His name. Amos 4:13

 

God has been sharing His thoughts with man since the beginning of time, yet many just don’t hear. Some people, even believers, rarely hear when God speaks. But He does speak, and yearns to share His thoughts with us, if only we will seek to hear. Lord, I want to know Your heart, and Your thoughts, and I’m willing to meet with You everyday, to hear what You have to say.

 

 

Character of God:

“Lord God, please pardon! How can Jacob stand, For he is small?” The Lord changed His mind about this. “It shall not be,” said the Lord. Then I said,  “Lord God, please stop! How can Jacob stand, for he is small?” The Lord changed His mind about this. “This too shall not be,” said the Lord God.  Amos 6:2-3 & 5-6

 

God’s character doesn’t change, He is a compassionate God ready to relent when His children call out to Him. Amos was given visions of God’s plans to destroy many of His rebellious children, and interceded for them. When we come before God with a repentant heart, for ourselves, our loved ones, or our country, God listens, He sees our heart, and He just might change His plans of punishment. God loves when we come to Him with a heart of love, compassion and concern. He welcomes our prayers, maybe even expecting them, so He can change His plans in accordance with our prayers. 

 

 

Character of God:

Then Amos replied to Amaziah, “I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs. But the Lord took me from following the flock and the Lord said to me, ‘Go prophesy to My people Israel.’ Amos 7:14-15

 

The old saying, “You can never tell a book by it’s cover” would certainly be true here. At any time God could say, “Go prophecy, go do …..,  go say …..”, to me, you, or anyone. Amos was a herdsman and farmer, we might be a housewife, teacher, construction worker, doctor, or even a homeless person struggling in life, one encounter with God and everything can change. God can qualify anyone for His purpose in an instant, and therefore we should never discount what someone says, by what we know or see them as. Lord, may I see people through Your eyes, and not my own. And may I see myself through Your eyes, and not my own.

Character of God:

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

 

God made us in His image, and when we choose to live as He created us to, we have the amazing privilege of walking with Him. He didn’t create us to do things “for” Him, He created us to do things “with” Him. I have to remind myself of this from time to time, as I can get into the “working for God mode”, which is working in the flesh. Lord, teach us all to walk side by side, to work side by side, and to live side by side with You every day.

 

Character of God:

After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,  and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17

 

Jesus had yet to “do” any miracles or teachings, yet His Father was thrilled to tell the world that He was well-pleased with Him.  Jesus may have been anxious to start His ministry, He may have seen sick people growing up and yearned for the day He could heal them. Waiting for God’s timing in anything can be difficult at times, yet we can trust that His timing is perfect. Lord, may we continuing “being” who You created us to be, as we wait to “do” what You created us to do.

 

 

Character of God:

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Matthew 4:1

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations, and wonder how we got there. Maybe it’s  Holy Spirit, leading us to be tempted by the devil also. Why? Only when we’re tempted do we really know who we are. Will we choose God, truth, justice, humility, forgiveness, righteousness, self-control, etc.? Or, will we give in to the temptation? If we don’t have the opportunity to fail, victory or success looses some of it’s sweetness. All throughout the Bible God offered choices to His children, and He still does today. Temptation is an opportunity to choose God, to put our love into action by our choices.

 

 

Character of God:

Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him. Matthew 4:11

 

God is so good, after His Son was put through the wringer, He sent ministering angles to love on Him. I wonder how many times angles have ministered to me, without me having a clue? Maybe some of those times I suddenly started feeling better, were because of His ministering angels. Thank You Lord for Your compassionate heart, thank You for all the times You’ve sent Your angels, or other people to minister to me, at just the right time.  

 

 

Character of God:

Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. Matthew 4:23

 

God loves to heal people, it gets their attention. In the past He’s used gold dust, gold teeth, feathers, manna, jewels, and many more manifestations to get people’s attention. But Jesus’ main message was the gospel of the kingdom, and it’s still the main message today. We love, and unfortunately at times seek, the manifestations more than the gospel, more than Jesus Himself. We know that Jesus was pro healing of every kind, and He still is today. However, to seek any His manifestation above Him, is not a good choice. Lord, may we always seek You, and Your gospel first.

 

 

Character of God:

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

 

As believers we are to be radiant with the glory of God, and others should be drawn to our light by the things we say and do. Due to lack of identity, it’s tempting at times to take glory that belongs to God alone, and use it to draw attention to ourselves. In the same way, when I look at others and what they’ve accomplished, am I more likely to glorify them, or God? 

Character of God:

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matthew 5:43-44

 

I love this verse! In the past I’ve allowed myself to get pretty worked up about people who do extremely vile things to other people. Then I heard a message on how hurting people, hurt people, and they need Jesus. Now I’m able to pray that God would bless them to be who He created them to be, knowing that God created people in His image and to bring Him glory, not to be hurt, or to hurt others. Lord, remind us to pray for those who hurt us or others, that way we all can benefit.

 

 

Character of God:

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. Matthew 6:1-2

 

God is all about us living a righteous life, and giving to the poor. He is also all about us being humble as we do so. It’s human nature to want to be recognized for the things we do, but it’s kingdom nature to know that God’s recognition is the only thing that really counts. It’s nice when we get recognized for the things we do, we just need to be careful not to seek it. Let’s encourage the humble, we all need it.

 

 

Character of God:

But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:6

 

Every word and prayer is heard by God. Sometimes our prayers come across as complaints, gripping, pleading, or desperation. Sometimes they come from the depths of our heart, straight to His. The thread of living humbly carries into every area of our lives, including our prayer life. God knows our heart, He hears our prayers, He loves us more than we can comprehend, and He loves rewarding His children.

 

 

Character of God:

 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. Matthew 6:24

 

The blessings that come with being a child of God are endless. However, there is a price to pay, and that’s our total devotion and surrender. We must not think that meeting with God once or twice a week for a few hours is enough. With practice, we can be God conscience most of the day. With practice He can be the only master we lovingly trust and serve. Without practice, other things and other people will occupy the majority of our thoughts and heart.

 

 

Character of God:

But seek (continually seek) first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things (cloths, food, life) will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

 

The answer to everything in my opinion, is to always seek God first, everyday and all day long. We tend to want quick answers, when all God wants is relationship with us. The hours we spend seeking relaxation, peace, comfort, ambition, security, success, fame, fortune, acceptance, approval, and so much more, could be ours by seeking God first. 

 

 

Character of God:

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-2

 

I love God’s standard for living. He leaves so much us, we choose how we want to be treated. If we go against His laws and disobey there are consequences. It’s so easy to get caught up in judging others, as we walk in the ugly sin of pride, self-righteousness, and envy. If we are not careful we can make dozens, if not hundreds of judgments against others throughout the day. And then we wonder why we don’t have the joy and peace God talks about. Lord, please bring to my attention every time I choose to judge someone, so I can repent.

 

Character of God:

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:11

 

Our Father God is the most loving and giving of all fathers, and He loves blessings us when we ask for something good. We don’t give a 2 year old a baseball bat, when we knowing they just wants to hit the cat and watch it run. But at 10 years old we might, knowing they are interested in learning to hit a ball. God alone knows our motives behind everything we ask Him for. He wants us to ask, seek, and knock (vs 7), and keep on doing so; He wants us to receive all He has for us.

 

 

Character of God:

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

 

If only we could know the ramifications that our words and actions have on others. What if we could experience physically and emotionally how our words and actions would impact their sprit, their soul, their body, or their life? Treating others as I would like to be treated is good, treating them how I know they would like to be treated is also very good. Lord, this is such a powerful lesson that we all need to practice more. Help us to understand more the power of walking out this verse on a daily basis.

 

 

Character of God:

Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:22-23

 

Many are wowed by celebrities, and people with lots of money. Many are also wowed by people who prophesy accurately, and perform amazing miracles in Jesus name. Yet behind closed doors, both groups can be very different than what most people see. God tells us we know people by their fruit, but many of us don’t really know celebrities or those preforming miracles. We may even be deceived ourselves because of the applauds from others. Lord, open my eyes to fruit others bear, and also my own.

 

 

Character of God:

When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill. Matthew 8:16

 

With a “word” Jesus cast out evil spirits; and many times with a “word” Jesus healed people. He only did what His Father did, and He only said what His Father said, which is an example for us to follow.  One word spoken with power and authority is all it took  for the demon to flee. We never see Jesus yelling at demons, or begging His Father to heal, and yet some how many of us do just that. Lord we want to walk like Jesus, we want our words to carry power and authority, so we can minister to others as He did. 

 

 

Character of God:

On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:12-13

 

I know very little about sports, but what I do know is that during the championships many people are rooting for the underdog’s team. I think at times God is rooting for the underdog’s of this world too. He see’s their potential, and who they could be. He takes the sick, the sinners, and the outcasts and touches them with His love, and they are forever changed. We may view ourselves as underdogs at times, but God views us as His beloved children, full of pure potential.

 

 

Character of God:

While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. Matthew 9:18-19

 

This synagogue leader was both bold and humble as he came to Jesus for help. Jesus not only allowed this interruption, but took immediate action. Many times people don’t want to bother Jesus with their needs, yet we see all throughout the New Testament that those who made an effort to seek Him out got their healings, and their needs met. And like Jesus, may we too see that interruptions at times, can be opportunities to do God’s will.  

 

 

Character of God:

And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.” …….. “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.” Matthew 9:2 & 6b

 

It was the faith of the people who brought the paralytic that caught Jesus’ attention, it was “their” faith that led to his healing. Did the paralytic have faith for his healing? We don’t know, but what we do know is that his friends did. God heals in so many different ways, and there is no formula that works every time. As we grow in listening to Holy Spirit, we grow in how to  hear our Father, and pray His heart’s desires, whether if’s for ourselves, our loved ones, or anyone else.

 

Character of God:

Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Matthew 9:35

 

Jesus knew His purpose in life, and was in training for His first 30 years before His Father gave Him the go ahead to step into it. When He did, He went around teaching, proclaiming the gospel, and healing every kind of disease and sickness. The desire of God’s heart is to heal disease and sickness, and He did so every time through Jesus. Just because we don’t see every one we pray for healed, doesn’t mean it’s not the desire of God’s heart. We have to choose everyday to live like Jesus, that includes proclaiming the gospel, and healing the sick. Lord, help us to love and live more like Jesus everyday. 

 

 

Character of God:

Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Matthew 10:1

 

God likes to work with and through His children. We hear very little in Scripture about the disciple’s success rate in casting out demons and healing the sick. They didn’t seem to want to bring attention to the power and authority they walked in, I assume they wanted to give all glory to Jesus. We see again God’s desire to work with us to bring freedom to those in pain and sickness. Oh that we might live in the truth of who we are in Christ Jesus, and truly believe the power and authority we possess, and walk in it to bring God glory everyday.  

 

 

Character of God:

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. Matthew 10:16

 

Only God can develop in us the ability to be shrew and innocent at the same time, just like Jesus was. To be shrewd we need to be spending time with God, learning His wisdom, learning His ways, and learning all He has to teach us. To walk in innocence we need to be childlike in the way we live. We need to trust our Father, and trust what He’s taught us. We have to allow all fear, anxiety, stress, and uncertainty to be surrendered into the loving hands of Papa God, knowing that as we live in this way, He will take care of us.   

 

Character of God:

Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. Matthew 11:20

 

When God chooses to show up in mighty ways, in signs and wonders, healings, and even good preaching of the Word, there’s for a reason. Hundreds and thousands may show up for a conference where the leader is known for miracles of various kinds. We sit and marvel at God’s power and authority. Sometimes we’re offended because we didn’t get the healing or breakthrough we wanted. But we were there, we witnessed God in His glory, yet many times leave unchanged, unrepentant of anything God might be wanting to teach us. God’s glory, goodness and miracles are all around us. Lord, may a day not go by when I not experience, or witness You, yet remain unchanged, or unrepentant if necessary.

 

 

Character of God:

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29

 

In this fast paced world we live in, sometimes we forget that we need to rest, that our spirit, soul and body needs rest to function properly. Jesus is giving the answer to stress, the number one killer in most countries. He tells us to come to Him, to take what He has to offer, and to learn from Him. He’s telling us that gentleness and humility are key components to resting. The power of living a gentle and humble life is  very underestimated. Jesus is our example! He was bold, powerful, courageous, full of fun and life, yet very gentle and humble at the same time. Rest is ours, if we choose to take it.

 

 

Character of God:

Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him. Matthew 12:13-14

 

In life there will always be those who want to bring down others. Due to pride, jealousy, envy, self-righteousness, or a religious spirit, people would rather see others sick, crippled, poor, or in bondage, rather than prosper or be healed at the hand of another. God created us to help others, and not tear them down. May we never hold back doing the good things that God has called us to do, because of what others think or do to us.

 

 

Character of God:

For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:37

 

God has given us a choice, do we want to stand before Him justified or condemned? Every day of our lives we speak, and every word we say has the power of life or death in it. Not only do our words affect others, but they also affect us. So in those times when we get so worked up and angry that we just want to lash out with our words, we’d better think twice. As we learn to allow Holy Spirit to speak through us, we will be able to say what needs to be said, and still remain justified before God. Again, Jesus is our perfect example.

 

 

Character of God:

But seeing the wind, he (Peter) became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Matthew 14:30

 

Peter wanted to walk on water, he wanted to do the miraculous, and Jesus said, “Come”. Jesus wants all of us to do the miraculous, He wants us walking in signs and wonders on a regular basis. However, when we look around at our circumstances, the storms in life, we no longer are looking at Him. And that’s when doubt, fear, and distractions come in, and we start to sink. Every morning I give my dog a treat, just for being himself. When he sees the treat tossed on the floor near him, he looks at me intently. He is looking for the slightest move of my finger, a nod of my head, a soft word spoken, the go ahead that it’s ok, the time is now, go for it. If someone else is around, it’s easy for him to get distracted, and the process takes longer. It reminds me how intently I need to be keeping my eyes on Jesus at all times, especially in times of need. 

 

Character of God:

When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” Matthew 14:32-33

 

I use to think that worship was just what we did Sunday morning before the sermon began. But now I know that worship is the relationship I have with Jesus, talking to Him all day long. Praising and thanking Him with words, not just singing. Worship can become a lifestyle, where one can stay 24/7. Worship is powerful! It can move mountains, bring down strongholds, change the course of history, bring love, peace, and freedom to a family. When we worship God with a pure heart, absolutely anything is possible. 

 

 

Character of God:

This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. ‘But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’’’ Matthew 15:8-9

 

We don’t get credit, or a “Well done” from God just because we go to church several times a week, or because we spend hours in group worship, singing and dancing, praising His name. God always looks at our heart, our motive behind everything we say and do. When we try and get others to do what we want them to do, claiming that that’s what God wants them to do, we can cross the line into sin. There are many manipulative pastors, teachers and leaders, who on a regular basis teach their own doctrines, knowingly or unknowingly. We are all accountable for following God’s word, and His doctrines over mans. Lord, open our eyes to see our own heart, and that of others.

 

 

Character of God

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. Matthew 16:16-17

 

We all love learning more about God from our pastors, teachers, and friends, but there are some things we can only learn from being with God intimately on a regular basis. He has so much He wants teach us and share with us. Peter was blessed by Jesus because he had been with Father God learning things, and so can we.

 

 

Character of God:

And He *said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

 

Sometimes we have faith for a healing or miracle and nothing happens. We know we had faith, we believed 100% that what we asked God for He would do. We know healing is His desire, we had faith, yet nothing (apparently) happened. It says right here that nothing will be impossible if we only have faith. I don’t have the answer, but I know God’s word is true and so are His promises. Ultimately my faith has to be in Jesus, no matter what my circumstances look like. Faith, like a small mustard seed, has to be watered and taken care of. Lord, teach me how to continually water and grow my faith.

 

 

Character of God:

However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.”  Matthew 17:27 

 

Jesus could have taken this opportunity to have a word with the tax collectors, however He didn’t. Why? He always did what His Father did, and said what He said. Sometimes, even when we know we are right, we don’t have to prove it. Sometime we are called to keep the peace and not offend. When we know who we are as children of God, we no longer have to prove anything. As we tune into hearing what our Father is doing and saying, then we will know how to live our everyday lives.

 

 

Character of God:

“Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3-4

 

God’s ways are not are ways. So often we try to prove our self-worth to ourselves and to others. We draw attention and praise to our accomplishments, our ministries, the size of our church, how many we’ve led to Christ, even how many people like and comment on our Facebook post. None of that matter in God’s kingdom. God is looking to see if we’ve become childlike in our faith in Him. He’s looking to see if we’ve humbled ourselves as a child does, in how we act and live. Our worth comes from being a child of God, period. Oh Lord, may I continually seek You, and not greatness. 

 

 

Character of God:

And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Matt 20:30-32

 

Why didn’t the crowd want the two blind men healed? Seems a little selfish to me, it’s not like Jesus had a limit to His healings. But the blind men paid no attention to the crowd trying to keep them from Jesus. They knew where their only hope of healing would come from, so they cried out all the more. Sometimes we just have to cry out to Jesus all the more. He is our only hope to whatever it is that we need, He is the answer to everything. Sometimes we just have to cry out a little more, then listen to what He has to say.

 

 

Character of God:

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.” Matthew 20:12-13

 

Jesus knew when to be bold and aggressive, He knew how to be angry and not sin. And He is always our example of how to live our everyday lives. He must have gotten the go-ahead from His Father, otherwise He wouldn’t of made such a ruckus. When we pause to get fresh instructions from Papa God, then we know exactly how to respond to any situation. Jesus was no wuss, He was bold and confrontational, yet humble and a servant. He was who Papa God needed Him to be at any given time.   

 

 

Character of God:

But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23:11-12

 

I think it’s human nature to want to be great, to want others to notice when we’ve done something amazingly great, or even something small. But things are different in God’s kingdom, and we don’t always understand them with our earthly minds. I don’t think we always understand them with our renewed minds either. I think it’s a choice we have to make several times a day, renewing our minds to coincide with God’s. I also think we choose several times a day to be a servant, to be humble, or not. Knowing and trusting that if God needs us to be exalted for a purpose, He will do so. Servanthood and humility are not taught in school, but only from being a student of Teacher God.

 

 

Character of God:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. Matthew 23:23

 

It’s easy for some just to give money and feel they’ve done what is expected, but really it’s just the beginning. Tithing to God involves being who He created us to be, and living the way He created us to live. Tithing was never meant to be a burden, it was meant to be an expression of our love for God.

 

 

Character of God:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Matthew 23:25-26

 

I love it when God’s word is so on-point for everyday living. Americans spend billions of dollars making our outside appearance as beautiful as possible, and often our insides are a mess. At any given time we can look around us and see what people want us to see, but not see the reality of the ugly, abusive, addicted, hurt, sad, lonely, depressed, abused, person on the inside. It’s time we all spent more time cleaning up what’s in our heart, aligning our spirit, soul, and body with Gods. When our insides are beautiful in God’s eyes, our outside will glow with His glory, and no amount of money can buy that.

 

 

Character of God:

a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste? Matthew 26:7-8

 

God sees things differently than we do, He sees the heart of every person alive. He sees the real motive behind everything we say and do, and rewards accordingly. People may look at us and say, “What a waste”, to something we are doing, but if we are doing as God leads, we have to ignore them and continue. The people who criticized this woman were Jesus’ closest friends, they were Godly, and had followed Him for 3 years. They still criticized because they just didn’t understand. Many may never understand what we do and why, that’s ok, because God does. 

 

 

Character of God:

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39

 

God gave us the perfect example of surrendering our will to His. Easy? At times absolutely not. Life changing? Yes, every single time. Jesus was born to eventually die for our sins, that was one of His purposes for being born. We have a purpose too, and sometimes to accomplish that purpose we have to surrender everything to the will of God, when we are hurting the most. Just like Jesus, we have to choose to trust God’s will, and His timing. Trusting God is always worth it, because no one loves us as much as He does, and no one knows what we are capable of, more than He does. 

 

 

Character of God:

And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:75

 

God is giving us an example of what true repentance looks like. It’s not just a repentance prayer we pray when we know we’ve sinned, it’s an awareness in our heart that we’ve grieved the one we love most in life. Then it’s changing the way we live our lives, so as not to continue doing it any more. When God makes us aware of our sin it should hurt to the core of who we are, it should lead to change. Lord, make us aware of when we grieve You, and how we grieve You, so our repentance will lead to change.

 

 

Character of God:

In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. Mark 1:35

 

Jesus is our perfect example. What did it take for Him to choose to get up before everyone else, leave the house, and find a quiet place to sit, pray and just talk to His Father? Love! He loved His Father more than any of us can comprehend, and He loved us. Guilt, shame, or religion shouldn’t be what compels us to spend alone time with God, love should. Many of us would choose to die for our God, before we would deny Him. But will we also choose to live for Him, to really give Him first place in our lives? Will we choose to set aside special time, just for Him, because we love Him? Heavenly Father, I want to love You morel; I want to love You more, just like Jesus.  

 

Character of God:

Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? Mark 2:8-9

 

God is so good. He created us to be “aware” in our spirit, to be able to tap into Holy Spirit at any given time to know what’s going on in someone’s heart. It’s called discernment, and because of Jesus’ intimate relationship with His Father and Holy Spirit, He could read people’s hearts very well. Some of us are more gifted than others in this area, but the more time we spend with God the more we grow in it.

 

 

Character of God:

As He passed by, He saw Levi (Matthew) the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him. Mark 2:14

 

When Jesus says, “Follow Me!”, we can choose to follow and have our lives completely changed, or not. He said it to some and they wanted to delay before following. Matthew didn’t hesitate, he probably just left his money box behind and followed Jesus. How often is Jesus saying to us, “Just follow Me, I will lead you through this.” Or “Just follow Me, I have plans for you.” Or, “Just follow Me ………. (fill in the blank)”.  Are we willing to just follow, no questions asked? Most people who Jesus said this to didn’t even know Him, yet followed anyway. We know Him, yet many times hesitate. Lord, help us to hear Your, “Follow Me”, and not hesitate at all.

 

 

Character of God:

The apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) Mark 6:30-31

 

When God anoints us for ministry, no matter what kind it is, it’s wonderful and exciting, but it can also be draining. God created us to rest one day a week, and at times we can get caught up in the exhilaration of ministry and we forget to rest. Jesus was teaching them that they needed rest, their soul and body needed to rest and be rejuvenated. Many have neglected this rest thinking they are doing God’s work and He will protect them, and many have suffered the consequences of disobeying His command, and our body’s need for rest. Lord, You alone are my strength, my rest, my breath, and the One who fills me to overflowing on the path You have for me. Remind me to always take time to rest in You.

 

 

Character of God:

Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. Mark 16:9

 

You would think that Jesus would appear to His disciples first, but God had other plans and He appeared to Mary Magdalene first. A woman with many past sins was chosen to be the first to see Jesus after His resurrection. Jesus appeared to several before appearing to His disciples, who He rebuked for not believing the ones chosen to see Him first (vs 14). God uses the simple, the surrendered heart, the least of these, to at times put to shame the self-righteous, who most of us have been at one time or another. It’s easy at times to judge to quickly, thinking that we surely know the obvious plans of God. Oh Lord, forgive us for thinking this way too many times.

 

 

Character of God:

These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues;  they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:17-18

 

Jesus had just rebuked the disciples (vs 14) for not believing those chosen to see Him first after He was raised from the dead. Now they were told what they could accomplish if they only believed. What we all could and should be accomplishing on a regular basis, if we only believe. Lord, we believe, help our unbelief.

 

 

Character of God:

And behold, you (Zacharias) shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.” Luke 1:20

 

“Believe” is found over 400 times in the Bible, and it’s a very powerful word. It’s hard at times to believe in something we don’t see with our own eyes, yet God asks us to do it all the time. The level of our ability to believe comes from the source asking us to do so. We shouldn’t believe everything we hear from others, TV, magazines, government, etc. But God and His Word never lie. When we choose to believe God and His Word, we choose to step into endless possibilities, where absolutely anything is possible. When we choose to believe God and His Word, our lives will be forever changed.  

 

 

Character of God:

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. Luke 1:30-31

 

Mary was going about her everyday life when God found favor with her. Favor usually looks like something awesome is happening. For Mary, favor looked like she had sex before marriage, and she was probably shunned by many. Many people throughout the Bible who found favor in God’s eyes, didn’t live an easy life. Lord, may we see those You’ve found favor with, through Your eyes, and not our own. That way we can be encouragers, and not shunners. 

 

 

Character of God:

For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:37-38

 

When God gives us an assignment, no matter how impossible it looks, we need to believe that it is in fact, possible. For me, my doubt comes into play when I’m not sure I heard Him correctly. But I’ve learned to put that responsibility back on Him. I do my part by sitting with Him, seeking Him, and reading His word. I have to trust if I’m not hearing incorrectly that He will intervene. Especially since I give Him permission to do that quite often. May we not abort an assignment just before completion because of doubt. May we say, “May it be done to me and through me according to your word Lord”. And then truly believe, nothing is impossible with God.

 

 

Character of God:

But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you Luke 6:27-28

 

Again, God’s ways are not our ways. God’s heart is for us to love, bless, and pray for those who mistreat us. Easy? No! Beneficial? Yes! Anytime we obey God’s Word, no matter how hard it seems, we are the ones who reap the benefits. We might be able to bless and pray for someone without a pure heart, but to love someone is different. The only way we can love, bless and pray for those who mistreat us with a pure heart, is to be so immersed in God’s love, that there is nothing else in us. Easy? No! Possible? Yes, for with God, ALL things are possible, even loving, blessing, and praying for those who mistreat us.

 

 

Character of God:

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Luke 6:35

  

Most of us have wondered at some time, why good things happen to bad people. Here’s the answer, God is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Just as He is asking us to love our enemies, do good expecting nothing in return, so is He. So many evil people have been brought into the Kingdom of God, and their lives forever changed, due to His kindness. How many people will do the same thing, due to our kindness.

 

 

Character of God:

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like. He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. Luke 6:46-48

 

Just listening to God’s word, sermons preached, or attending church, doesn’t necessary change our lives. However when we come to Jesus, listen to His words AND do what He says, the foundation we are built on can stand firm against anything that might come our way. God isn’t going to make the storms in life go away, but in Him we can stand, unwavering, and strong. I’ve seen the big rocks in the ocean standing tall, unmovable by the waves crashing against them. That is how God created us to be in Him.

 

 

Character of God:

Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain; and the demons implored Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission. And the demons came out of the man and entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. Luke 8:32-33 

 

Here Jesus was, ministering outside the box again. Talking to demons, listening to them, and even doing what they asked. I marvel at the way He responded, wondering what was going through His mind when he allowed the demons to go into the swine at their request. Jesus never used a formula for healing and deliverance, what He used was His intimacy and obedience to Father God. Knowing His Fathers heart, doing what He did, and saying what He said. That’s our example, that’s our formula. 

 

 

Character of God:

While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.” But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” Luke 11:27-28

 

No doubt about it, Mary was blessed. But in comparison we can be blessed so much more, when we hear God’s words and obey them. The easiest way to hear His words is to read the Bible. As we read it, our mind is hearing it, and then we can obey it. In today’s world, we can also listen to the Bible on our phone or computer. But we can’t obey what we don’t know. Reading His Word on a regular basis is so important, it’s His love letters to us. His blessings are unlimited to those willing to do what it takes to receive them.

 

 

Character of God:

Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” Luke 12:13-15

 

Jesus doesn’t like it when we tell Him what to say to someone else, especially when we are the one who would gain something if He did so. He hates greed and He hates manipulation of others for our own benefit. Greed is such a nasty sin. As we seek God to be all we were created to be, we must also encourage others to be who He created them to be. We must not get caught up in the love for money and possessions, that is a deadly trap, and we will suffer for it. Lord, search my heart every day, if there is any greed reveal it to me, that I might repent.

 

 

Character of God:

And He said to them, “Which one of you will have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?” And they could make no reply to this. Luke 14:5-6

 

People can get very legalistic at times, and God is so full of just plain common sense. We can see Jesus’ common sense along with His sense of humor, as we read His words in the Bible.  Jesus is our example of how to live. He knew how to live, party, celebrate, have fun, and be over dramatic at time. All the while having total submission, respect and obedience to His Father. Non-believers need to see more of Jesus living through us, than us being legalistic, judgmental and boring. 

 

 

Character of God:

In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10

 

Too often we try to pretend that we have it all together, trying to convince ourselves and others that we are living the Christian life. However, when we cross the line into sin, no matter how “small” it seems to be, we break the intimacy that we could have had with Jesus. We become too proud to admit that we gossiped, had sexual fantasies, lied, cheated, were gripped with fear, or any other sin. But when we repent, heaven celebrates, God celebrates. There’s no condemnation when we repent, just pure joy as the angels and God rejoice. May we all be quick to repent whenever necessary, no matter how often, turning from sin, planning never to return. Then, rejoicing with God.

 

 

Character of God:

Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him.  And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God. Luke 16:14-15

 

Many lives have been ruined due to the love of money, and many of us at times have coveted for more of it. Money can do so much good in the right hands and with the right heart. However, when we esteem (value, honor, admire, appreciate) anything higher than we do God, it’s detestable in His sight. Would I like more money? Yes! But not if would ever cause me to be detestable in God’s sight, due to my lack of character. If I don’t have the character to handle the money I have, I pray God won’t give me more.

 

 

Character of God:

A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him,  ……….. You know the commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness……...’” And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “ONE THING YOU STILL LACK; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Luke 18:18-22

 

What is the “One Thing” we are lacking to be all God created us to be, to see all He created us to see, or to hear all He created us to hear? It’s not necessary selling all our possessions, it’s individual and personal. Only God knows our “One Thing”. So Lord we come to You humbly, seeking to know the “One Thing” You desire of us today, that we might do it.

 

 

Character of God:

Jesus said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” John 2:7, 9-10

 

Jesus turned water into wine, high quality wine at that, and the bridegroom got the credit for serving the best wine last. But God allowed those He had chosen to see what Jesus did. It was part of the humble life that Jesus lived, that He never had to draw attention to Himself. I would have been jumping up and down, saying Jesus used me to turn water into wine, but not Jesus. He is our example. Sometimes others may get the credit for things we’ve done. It’s ok, God will see to it that if someone needs to know it was us, they will know.

 

 

Character of God:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

 

God made eternal life so easy, just believe in Jesus. But believing is not as simple as it seems at times. If we really believe in Jesus, we have to really know Him. We read the Bible, or someone tells us about Jesus, and we say “Yes, I believe, now I have eternal life.”  But the more we get to know Him, both through reading the Bible and through relationship with Him, the more we have to choose to believe and trust this greater knowledge of who He is. Believing in Jesus means believing everything about Him, not picking and choosing what suits us. Believing in Jesus is believing that obedience to Him and His word, because we now know Him and believe Him, is not an option. 

 

 

Character of God:

He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” John 4:16-18

 

According to the law of Moses this woman should have been stoned due to her sin of adultery. Jesus acknowledge her sin, all the while treating her with respect, as He lovingly shared the truth of who He was. When we have the opportunity to share who our Jesus is to someone who is interested, we don’t have to bring attention to all their sins, we just have to bring attention to who Jesus is. Only God’s Spirit, Holy Spirit, can turn a heart of sin to a heart of love for Jesus.

 

 

Character of God:

Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, John 5:2-3

 

There was a multitude of sick people in need of healing, yet Jesus only healed one. And we don’t know if He ever went back and healed the others. He only did what His Father did, this time Father God only wanted to heal one. We can look at the mass of people in need of love, food, clothing, work, healing, etc. and get overwhelmed. Yet, like Jesus here, we may only be called to help the one He brings us to. We can pray that He will send others to do what we’re not called to do, that they will listen to Him and be obedient. Heide Baker has a saying, “Stop for the one”. We can’t help every person who needs help, but we can stop for one, we can help one.

 

 

Character of God:

For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. John 5:18

 

There are thousands of gods that people worship, but only one claims to be our Father, our living God. Only one wants a personal, intimate relationship with us. The God who created the heavens and the earth, and everything in it wants to be our Father, our Papa. Some earthly fathers are fabulous, loving men, but none come close to Father God. He is a perfect Father, who loves, teaches, disciplines, guides, opens doors, is full of wisdom, understanding, and so much more. We can turn our back on our Father and rebel, or we can embrace Him, as the Father He wants to be for us.

 

 

Character of God:

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. John 5:19

 

Some of us are very good at analyzing situations, and meeting needs. We figure out what needs to be done, and just do it. But not even Jesus did things on His own, He was always submitted to His Father’s will. It’s easy to make things happen in the flesh, but that is not the desire of God’s heart. God’s desire is for all of us to be watching Him, and doing what He does, saying what He says. God’s desire is that we are so tuned into Him, that we truly are one with Him.

 

 

Character of God:

“If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true. There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true. John 5:31-32

 

The testimony that Father God gives about me is true, and it’s what really matters. Too often we go by feelings and not truth regarding who we really are. Too often we allow our circumstances or others to dictate who we are. But God testifies if Jesus is our Lord, that we are His children, and if we are His children than we are who He says we are. He has amazing, outrageous, almost unbelievable things to say about who we are in Him. Now, all we have to do is believe them ourselves. When we can truly believe who He says we are, absolutely nothing is impossible. Lord, what are You testifying about me, so I might believe it as absolute truth?

 

 

Character of God:

Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?” This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do. John 6:5-6

 

Jesus may ask something of us that seems impossible, maybe He’s testing us to see what we’ll do, like He did with Philip. Jesus is never without a plan, so if He is asking us to do somethings, there has to be a way. It may not be easy, and it may take a while, but it is possible. Is our first response, “Yes Lord, let’s do it.”, or “This is impossible, I must have heard wrong.”?

 

 

Character of God:

So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. John 7:16-18

 

The greatest desire of my heart is to always be able to say, “My teachings are not mine, but His who sent me”. However, I’m still a work in progress. My prayer is that every preacher, teacher, and evangelist would strive to be able to say the same thing. May our ultimate goal be to bring glory to God, and not to our well organized and outlined message that we may have spent hours on, but is not from God.

 

 

Character of God:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10

 

Our first instinct might be to think that an abundant life is one of plenty of money to take care of all of our needs. Yet, thinking of the disciples lives and many of ours, that can’t be the answer. I think real abundance is knowing God, who He really is, and trusting Him to be who He claims to be. I think abundance is knowing the joy of the Lord, His peace, His love, and yes His provision too. Living the abundant life that Jesus came to give us comes in different packages, mine may look different than yours. I think abundance has more to do with our attitude and heart, than with anything else. Lord, thank You for the abundance life You’ve given me. May I see it, and appreciate it.

 

 

Character of God:

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; John 10:27

 

God created us to hear Him, to hear Jesus, and to hear Holy Spirit. Many have sadly said, “I don’t hear God speaking to me”. My husband can be talking to me, we can be in the same room, yet I’m not really hearing him. I may hear the sound of his voice, but I don’t know what he said. And, as we know, this happens with children all the time. We have to pay attention, we have to choose to listen. We have to stop talking, stop doing, even stop praying at times, and listen. He’s talking, He wants us to follow Him, let us put our ear to His heart and hear what He’s saying.

 

 

Character of God:

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. John 11:5-6

 

In the natural this doesn’t make sense, but Jesus had a plan, He always has a plan. 

Jesus loved this family, yet He purposely delayed answering their request. Just because our prayers haven’t been answered the way we think they should, doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t love us, it may be because He does. We have to trust His reasoning, His timing. We have to trust that in the delay, He will be glorified more. And isn’t that our ultimate desire, to bring glory to God? Oh Lord, when things don’t seem to be going well at all, may we look to You, and surrender our will for Yours. 

 

 

Character of God:

No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. John 15:15

 

Jesus is our friend, and He wants to be our best friend, our BFF actually. Some children have had an invisible friend from time to time, usually they grow out of it. However, it shows the deep need for that kind of special friend, even as a child. Jesus wants to be that special friend to us. That friend you can trust with your deepest thoughts, who you know will never share with others. Some of us have been blessed with a human friend like that, but Jesus far surpasses any human friend. Lord, help us learn what friendship with You is all about, what it looks like, and what it feels like.

 

 

Character of God:

Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full. John 15:23b-24

 

The desire of God’s heart is for us to be full of joy. The desire of God’s heart is for us to talk to Him, to ask of Him for the desires of our heart, that we might receive from Him. Let us not grow weary in asking our Father for anything, in Jesus name. Let us not grow weary if we don’t see it manifest right away. Let us not grow weary of growing the friendship that He desires to have with us. Despite our circumstances, let us continue walking as children of God, and friends of Jesus.  

 

 

Character of God:

Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. John 17:17

 

Jesus is asking His Father to sanctify us, to make us holy, set apart for Himself. This is done through the word of God, which is the only real truth. Sanctification doesn’t just happen, we have to want it, we have to give God permission. Sanctification doesn’t guarantee us friends, or an easy life, but it does guarantee a oneness with God (vs 21). In a world of fake everything, it’s easy to miss the truth. God’s word is the only truth we can always believe in. We can’t know the truth just by reading through the Bible once or twice, we know the truth when we know the author of the truth. Lord, I surrender myself to you, sanctify me for Your Glory

 

 

Character of God:

So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” John 21:21-22

 

Many times we get too concerned with what others are doing, about what is fair and what isn’t. However, Jesus is saying to Peter and to us, ‘You follow Me, you keep your eyes on Me, you do what I tell you to do, don’t concern yourself with others, concern yourself with Me. Life isn’t fair, circumstances aren’t fair, but God is always fair. He treats each of us differently because we are different, and He says to each of us, ‘Follow Me!”  When we follow Jesus, we are in His will, and we are where we’re supposed to be, and it doesn’t get any better than that.

Character of God:

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

 

God made us in His image, and when we choose to live as He created us to, we have the amazing privilege of walking with Him. He didn’t create us to do things “for” Him, He created us to do things “with” Him. I have to remind myself of this from time to time, as I can get into the “working for God mode”, which is working in the flesh. Lord, teach us all to walk side by side, to work side by side, and to live side by side with You every day.

 

Character of God:

After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,  and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17

 

Jesus had yet to “do” any miracles or teachings, yet His Father was thrilled to tell the world that He was well-pleased with Him.  Jesus may have been anxious to start His ministry, He may have seen sick people growing up and yearned for the day He could heal them. Waiting for God’s timing in anything can be difficult at times, yet we can trust that His timing is perfect. Lord, may we continuing “being” who You created us to be, as we wait to “do” what You created us to do.

 

 

Character of God:

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Matthew 4:1

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations, and wonder how we got there. Maybe it’s  Holy Spirit, leading us to be tempted by the devil also. Why? Only when we’re tempted do we really know who we are. Will we choose God, truth, justice, humility, forgiveness, righteousness, self-control, etc.? Or, will we give in to the temptation? If we don’t have the opportunity to fail, victory or success looses some of it’s sweetness. All throughout the Bible God offered choices to His children, and He still does today. Temptation is an opportunity to choose God, to put our love into action by our choices.

 

Character of God:

Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him. Matthew 4:11

 

God is so good, after His Son was put through the wringer, He sent ministering angles to love on Him. I wonder how many times angles have ministered to me, without me having a clue? Maybe some of those times I suddenly started feeling better, were because of His ministering angels. Thank You Lord for Your compassionate heart, thank You for all the times You’ve sent Your angels, or other people to minister to me, at just the right time.  

 

 

Character of God:

Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. Matthew 4:23

 

God loves to heal people, it gets their attention. In the past He’s used gold dust, gold teeth, feathers, manna, jewels, and many more manifestations to get people’s attention. But Jesus’ main message was the gospel of the kingdom, and it’s still the main message today. We love, and unfortunately at times seek, the manifestations more than the gospel, more than Jesus Himself. We know that Jesus was pro healing of every kind, and He still is today. However, to seek any His manifestation above Him, is not a good choice. Lord, may we always seek You, and Your gospel first.

 

 

Character of God:

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

 

As believers we are to be radiant with the glory of God, and others should be drawn to our light by the things we say and do. Due to lack of identity, it’s tempting at times to take glory that belongs to God alone, and use it to draw attention to ourselves. In the same way, when I look at others and what they’ve accomplished, am I more likely to glorify them, or God? 

Character of God:

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matthew 5:43-44

 

I love this verse! In the past I’ve allowed myself to get pretty worked up about people who do extremely vile things to other people. Then I heard a message on how hurting people, hurt people, and they need Jesus. Now I’m able to pray that God would bless them to be who He created them to be, knowing that God created people in His image and to bring Him glory, not to be hurt, or to hurt others. Lord, remind us to pray for those who hurt us or others, that way we all can benefit.

 

 

Character of God:

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. Matthew 6:1-2

 

God is all about us living a righteous life, and giving to the poor. He is also all about us being humble as we do so. It’s human nature to want to be recognized for the things we do, but it’s kingdom nature to know that God’s recognition is the only thing that really counts. It’s nice when we get recognized for the things we do, we just need to be careful not to seek it. Let’s encourage the humble, we all need it.

 

 

Character of God:

But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:6

 

Every word and prayer is heard by God. Sometimes our prayers come across as complaints, gripping, pleading, or desperation. Sometimes they come from the depths of our heart, straight to His. The thread of living humbly carries into every area of our lives, including our prayer life. God knows our heart, He hears our prayers, He loves us more than we can comprehend, and He loves rewarding His children.

 

 

Character of God:

 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. Matthew 6:24

 

The blessings that come with being a child of God are endless. However, there is a price to pay, and that’s our total devotion and surrender. We must not think that meeting with God once or twice a week for a few hours is enough. With practice, we can be God conscience most of the day. With practice He can be the only master we lovingly trust and serve. Without practice, other things and other people will occupy the majority of our thoughts and heart.

 

 

Character of God:

But seek (continually seek) first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things (cloths, food, life) will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

 

The answer to everything in my opinion, is to always seek God first, everyday and all day long. We tend to want quick answers, when all God wants is relationship with us. The hours we spend seeking relaxation, peace, comfort, ambition, security, success, fame, fortune, acceptance, approval, and so much more, could be ours by seeking God first. 

 

 

Character of God:

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-2

 

I love God’s standard for living. He leaves so much us, we choose how we want to be treated. If we go against His laws and disobey there are consequences. It’s so easy to get caught up in judging others, as we walk in the ugly sin of pride, self-righteousness, and envy. If we are not careful we can make dozens, if not hundreds of judgments against others throughout the day. And then we wonder why we don’t have the joy and peace God talks about. Lord, please bring to my attention every time I choose to judge someone, so I can repent.

 

Character of God:

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:11

 

Our Father God is the most loving and giving of all fathers, and He loves blessings us when we ask for something good. We don’t give a 2 year old a baseball bat, when we knowing they just wants to hit the cat and watch it run. But at 10 years old we might, knowing they are interested in learning to hit a ball. God alone knows our motives behind everything we ask Him for. He wants us to ask, seek, and knock (vs 7), and keep on doing so; He wants us to receive all He has for us.

 

 

Character of God:

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

 

If only we could know the ramifications that our words and actions have on others. What if we could experience physically and emotionally how our words and actions would impact their sprit, their soul, their body, or their life? Treating others as I would like to be treated is good, treating them how I know they would like to be treated is also very good. Lord, this is such a powerful lesson that we all need to practice more. Help us to understand more the power of walking out this verse on a daily basis.

 

 

Character of God:

Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:22-23

 

Many are wowed by celebrities, and people with lots of money. Many are also wowed by people who prophesy accurately, and perform amazing miracles in Jesus name. Yet behind closed doors, both groups can be very different than what most people see. God tells us we know people by their fruit, but many of us don’t really know celebrities or those preforming miracles. We may even be deceived ourselves because of the applauds from others. Lord, open my eyes to fruit others bear, and also my own.

 

 

Character of God:

When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill. Matthew 8:16

 

With a “word” Jesus cast out evil spirits; and many times with a “word” Jesus healed people. He only did what His Father did, and He only said what His Father said, which is an example for us to follow.  One word spoken with power and authority is all it took  for the demon to flee. We never see Jesus yelling at demons, or begging His Father to heal, and yet some how many of us do just that. Lord we want to walk like Jesus, we want our words to carry power and authority, so we can minister to others as He did. 

 

 

Character of God:

On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:12-13

 

I know very little about sports, but what I do know is that during the championships many people are rooting for the underdog’s team. I think at times God is rooting for the underdog’s of this world too. He see’s their potential, and who they could be. He takes the sick, the sinners, and the outcasts and touches them with His love, and they are forever changed. We may view ourselves as underdogs at times, but God views us as His beloved children, full of pure potential.

 

 

Character of God:

While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. Matthew 9:18-19

 

This synagogue leader was both bold and humble as he came to Jesus for help. Jesus not only allowed this interruption, but took immediate action. Many times people don’t want to bother Jesus with their needs, yet we see all throughout the New Testament that those who made an effort to seek Him out got their healings, and their needs met. And like Jesus, may we too see that interruptions at times, can be opportunities to do God’s will.  

 

 

Character of God:

And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.” …….. “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.” Matthew 9:2 & 6b

 

It was the faith of the people who brought the paralytic that caught Jesus’ attention, it was “their” faith that led to his healing. Did the paralytic have faith for his healing? We don’t know, but what we do know is that his friends did. God heals in so many different ways, and there is no formula that works every time. As we grow in listening to Holy Spirit, we grow in how to  hear our Father, and pray His heart’s desires, whether if’s for ourselves, our loved ones, or anyone else.

 

Character of God:

Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Matthew 9:35

 

Jesus knew His purpose in life, and was in training for His first 30 years before His Father gave Him the go ahead to step into it. When He did, He went around teaching, proclaiming the gospel, and healing every kind of disease and sickness. The desire of God’s heart is to heal disease and sickness, and He did so every time through Jesus. Just because we don’t see every one we pray for healed, doesn’t mean it’s not the desire of God’s heart. We have to choose everyday to live like Jesus, that includes proclaiming the gospel, and healing the sick. Lord, help us to love and live more like Jesus everyday. 

 

 

Character of God:

Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Matthew 10:1

 

God likes to work with and through His children. We hear very little in Scripture about the disciple’s success rate in casting out demons and healing the sick. They didn’t seem to want to bring attention to the power and authority they walked in, I assume they wanted to give all glory to Jesus. We see again God’s desire to work with us to bring freedom to those in pain and sickness. Oh that we might live in the truth of who we are in Christ Jesus, and truly believe the power and authority we possess, and walk in it to bring God glory everyday.  

 

 

Character of God:

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. Matthew 10:16

 

Only God can develop in us the ability to be shrew and innocent at the same time, just like Jesus was. To be shrewd we need to be spending time with God, learning His wisdom, learning His ways, and learning all He has to teach us. To walk in innocence we need to be childlike in the way we live. We need to trust our Father, and trust what He’s taught us. We have to allow all fear, anxiety, stress, and uncertainty to be surrendered into the loving hands of Papa God, knowing that as we live in this way, He will take care of us.   

 

 

Character of God:

Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. Matthew 11:20

 

When God chooses to show up in mighty ways, in signs and wonders, healings, and even good preaching of the Word, there’s for a reason. Hundreds and thousands may show up for a conference where the leader is known for miracles of various kinds. We sit and marvel at God’s power and authority. Sometimes we’re offended because we didn’t get the healing or breakthrough we wanted. But we were there, we witnessed God in His glory, yet many times leave unchanged, unrepentant of anything God might be wanting to teach us. God’s glory, goodness and miracles are all around us. Lord, may a day not go by when I not experience, or witness You, yet remain unchanged, or unrepentant if necessary.

 

 

Character of God:

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29

 

In this fast paced world we live in, sometimes we forget that we need to rest, that our spirit, soul and body needs rest to function properly. Jesus is giving the answer to stress, the number one killer in most countries. He tells us to come to Him, to take what He has to offer, and to learn from Him. He’s telling us that gentleness and humility are key components to resting. The power of living a gentle and humble life is  very underestimated. Jesus is our example! He was bold, powerful, courageous, full of fun and life, yet very gentle and humble at the same time. Rest is ours, if we choose to take it.

 

 

Character of God:

Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him. Matthew 12:13-14

 

In life there will always be those who want to bring down others. Due to pride, jealousy, envy, self-righteousness, or a religious spirit, people would rather see others sick, crippled, poor, or in bondage, rather than prosper or be healed at the hand of another. God created us to help others, and not tear them down. May we never hold back doing the good things that God has called us to do, because of what others think or do to us.

 

 

Character of God:

For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:37

 

God has given us a choice, do we want to stand before Him justified or condemned? Every day of our lives we speak, and every word we say has the power of life or death in it. Not only do our words affect others, but they also affect us. So in those times when we get so worked up and angry that we just want to lash out with our words, we’d better think twice. As we learn to allow Holy Spirit to speak through us, we will be able to say what needs to be said, and still remain justified before God. Again, Jesus is our perfect example.

 

 

Character of God:

But seeing the wind, he (Peter) became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Matthew 14:30

 

Peter wanted to walk on water, he wanted to do the miraculous, and Jesus said, “Come”. Jesus wants all of us to do the miraculous, He wants us walking in signs and wonders on a regular basis. However, when we look around at our circumstances, the storms in life, we no longer are looking at Him. And that’s when doubt, fear, and distractions come in, and we start to sink. Every morning I give my dog a treat, just for being himself. When he sees the treat tossed on the floor near him, he looks at me intently. He is looking for the slightest move of my finger, a nod of my head, a soft word spoken, the go ahead that it’s ok, the time is now, go for it. If someone else is around, it’s easy for him to get distracted, and the process takes longer. It reminds me how intently I need to be keeping my eyes on Jesus at all times, especially in times of need. 

 

Character of God:

When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” Matthew 14:32-33

 

I use to think that worship was just what we did Sunday morning before the sermon began. But now I know that worship is the relationship I have with Jesus, talking to Him all day long. Praising and thanking Him with words, not just singing. Worship can become a lifestyle, where one can stay 24/7. Worship is powerful! It can move mountains, bring down strongholds, change the course of history, bring love, peace, and freedom to a family. When we worship God with a pure heart, absolutely anything is possible. 

 

 

Character of God:

This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. ‘But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’’’ Matthew 15:8-9

 

We don’t get credit, or a “Well done” from God just because we go to church several times a week, or because we spend hours in group worship, singing and dancing, praising His name. God always looks at our heart, our motive behind everything we say and do. When we try and get others to do what we want them to do, claiming that that’s what God wants them to do, we can cross the line into sin. There are many manipulative pastors, teachers and leaders, who on a regular basis teach their own doctrines, knowingly or unknowingly. We are all accountable for following God’s word, and His doctrines over mans. Lord, open our eyes to see our own heart, and that of others.

 

 

Character of God

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. Matthew 16:16-17

 

We all love learning more about God from our pastors, teachers, and friends, but there are some things we can only learn from being with God intimately on a regular basis. He has so much He wants teach us and share with us. Peter was blessed by Jesus because he had been with Father God learning things, and so can we.

 

 

Character of God:

And He *said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

 

Sometimes we have faith for a healing or miracle and nothing happens. We know we had faith, we believed 100% that what we asked God for He would do. We know healing is His desire, we had faith, yet nothing (apparently) happened. It says right here that nothing will be impossible if we only have faith. I don’t have the answer, but I know God’s word is true and so are His promises. Ultimately my faith has to be in Jesus, no matter what my circumstances look like. Faith, like a small mustard seed, has to be watered and taken care of. Lord, teach me how to continually water and grow my faith.

 

 

Character of God:

However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.”  Matthew 17:27 

 

Jesus could have taken this opportunity to have a word with the tax collectors, however He didn’t. Why? He always did what His Father did, and said what He said. Sometimes, even when we know we are right, we don’t have to prove it. Sometime we are called to keep the peace and not offend. When we know who we are as children of God, we no longer have to prove anything. As we tune into hearing what our Father is doing and saying, then we will know how to live our everyday lives.

 

 

Character of God:

“Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3-4

 

God’s ways are not are ways. So often we try to prove our self-worth to ourselves and to others. We draw attention and praise to our accomplishments, our ministries, the size of our church, how many we’ve led to Christ, even how many people like and comment on our Facebook post. None of that matter in God’s kingdom. God is looking to see if we’ve become childlike in our faith in Him. He’s looking to see if we’ve humbled ourselves as a child does, in how we act and live. Our worth comes from being a child of God, period. Oh Lord, may I continually seek You, and not greatness. 

 

 

Character of God:

And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Matt 20:30-32

 

Why didn’t the crowd want the two blind men healed? Seems a little selfish to me, it’s not like Jesus had a limit to His healings. But the blind men paid no attention to the crowd trying to keep them from Jesus. They knew where their only hope of healing would come from, so they cried out all the more. Sometimes we just have to cry out to Jesus all the more. He is our only hope to whatever it is that we need, He is the answer to everything. Sometimes we just have to cry out a little more, then listen to what He has to say.

 

 

Character of God:

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.” Matthew 20:12-13

 

Jesus knew when to be bold and aggressive, He knew how to be angry and not sin. And He is always our example of how to live our everyday lives. He must have gotten the go-ahead from His Father, otherwise He wouldn’t of made such a ruckus. When we pause to get fresh instructions from Papa God, then we know exactly how to respond to any situation. Jesus was no wuss, He was bold and confrontational, yet humble and a servant. He was who Papa God needed Him to be at any given time.   

 

 

Character of God:

But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23:11-12

 

I think it’s human nature to want to be great, to want others to notice when we’ve done something amazingly great, or even something small. But things are different in God’s kingdom, and we don’t always understand them with our earthly minds. I don’t think we always understand them with our renewed minds either. I think it’s a choice we have to make several times a day, renewing our minds to coincide with God’s. I also think we choose several times a day to be a servant, to be humble, or not. Knowing and trusting that if God needs us to be exalted for a purpose, He will do so. Servanthood and humility are not taught in school, but only from being a student of Teacher God.

 

 

Character of God:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. Matthew 23:23

 

It’s easy for some just to give money and feel they’ve done what is expected, but really it’s just the beginning. Tithing to God involves being who He created us to be, and living the way He created us to live. Tithing was never meant to be a burden, it was meant to be an expression of our love for God.

 

 

Character of God:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Matthew 23:25-26

 

I love it when God’s word is so on-point for everyday living. Americans spend billions of dollars making our outside appearance as beautiful as possible, and often our insides are a mess. At any given time we can look around us and see what people want us to see, but not see the reality of the ugly, abusive, addicted, hurt, sad, lonely, depressed, abused, person on the inside. It’s time we all spent more time cleaning up what’s in our heart, aligning our spirit, soul, and body with Gods. When our insides are beautiful in God’s eyes, our outside will glow with His glory, and no amount of money can buy that.

 

 

Character of God:

a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste? Matthew 26:7-8

 

God sees things differently than we do, He sees the heart of every person alive. He sees the real motive behind everything we say and do, and rewards accordingly. People may look at us and say, “What a waste”, to something we are doing, but if we are doing as God leads, we have to ignore them and continue. The people who criticized this woman were Jesus’ closest friends, they were Godly, and had followed Him for 3 years. They still criticized because they just didn’t understand. Many may never understand what we do and why, that’s ok, because God does. 

 

 

Character of God:

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39

 

God gave us the perfect example of surrendering our will to His. Easy? At times absolutely not. Life changing? Yes, every single time. Jesus was born to eventually die for our sins, that was one of His purposes for being born. We have a purpose too, and sometimes to accomplish that purpose we have to surrender everything to the will of God, when we are hurting the most. Just like Jesus, we have to choose to trust God’s will, and His timing. Trusting God is always worth it, because no one loves us as much as He does, and no one knows what we are capable of, more than He does. 

 

 

Character of God:

And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:75

 

God is giving us an example of what true repentance looks like. It’s not just a repentance prayer we pray when we know we’ve sinned, it’s an awareness in our heart that we’ve grieved the one we love most in life. Then it’s changing the way we live our lives, so as not to continue doing it any more. When God makes us aware of our sin it should hurt to the core of who we are, it should lead to change. Lord, make us aware of when we grieve You, and how we grieve You, so our repentance will lead to change.

 

 

Character of God:

In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. Mark 1:35

 

Jesus is our perfect example. What did it take for Him to choose to get up before everyone else, leave the house, and find a quiet place to sit, pray and just talk to His Father? Love! He loved His Father more than any of us can comprehend, and He loved us. Guilt, shame, or religion shouldn’t be what compels us to spend alone time with God, love should. Many of us would choose to die for our God, before we would deny Him. But will we also choose to live for Him, to really give Him first place in our lives? Will we choose to set aside special time, just for Him, because we love Him? Heavenly Father, I want to love You morel; I want to love You more, just like Jesus.  

 

Character of God:

Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? Mark 2:8-9

 

God is so good. He created us to be “aware” in our spirit, to be able to tap into Holy Spirit at any given time to know what’s going on in someone’s heart. It’s called discernment, and because of Jesus’ intimate relationship with His Father and Holy Spirit, He could read people’s hearts very well. Some of us are more gifted than others in this area, but the more time we spend with God the more we grow in it.

 

 

Character of God:

As He passed by, He saw Levi (Matthew) the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him. Mark 2:14

 

When Jesus says, “Follow Me!”, we can choose to follow and have our lives completely changed, or not. He said it to some and they wanted to delay before following. Matthew didn’t hesitate, he probably just left his money box behind and followed Jesus. How often is Jesus saying to us, “Just follow Me, I will lead you through this.” Or “Just follow Me, I have plans for you.” Or, “Just follow Me ………. (fill in the blank)”.  Are we willing to just follow, no questions asked? Most people who Jesus said this to didn’t even know Him, yet followed anyway. We know Him, yet many times hesitate. Lord, help us to hear Your, “Follow Me”, and not hesitate at all.

 

 

Character of God:

The apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) Mark 6:30-31

 

When God anoints us for ministry, no matter what kind it is, it’s wonderful and exciting, but it can also be draining. God created us to rest one day a week, and at times we can get caught up in the exhilaration of ministry and we forget to rest. Jesus was teaching them that they needed rest, their soul and body needed to rest and be rejuvenated. Many have neglected this rest thinking they are doing God’s work and He will protect them, and many have suffered the consequences of disobeying His command, and our body’s need for rest. Lord, You alone are my strength, my rest, my breath, and the One who fills me to overflowing on the path You have for me. Remind me to always take time to rest in You.

 

 

Character of God:

Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. Mark 16:9

 

You would think that Jesus would appear to His disciples first, but God had other plans and He appeared to Mary Magdalene first. A woman with many past sins was chosen to be the first to see Jesus after His resurrection. Jesus appeared to several before appearing to His disciples, who He rebuked for not believing the ones chosen to see Him first (vs 14). God uses the simple, the surrendered heart, the least of these, to at times put to shame the self-righteous, who most of us have been at one time or another. It’s easy at times to judge to quickly, thinking that we surely know the obvious plans of God. Oh Lord, forgive us for thinking this way too many times.

 

 

Character of God:

These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues;  they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:17-18

 

Jesus had just rebuked the disciples (vs 14) for not believing those chosen to see Him first after He was raised from the dead. Now they were told what they could accomplish if they only believed. What we all could and should be accomplishing on a regular basis, if we only believe. Lord, we believe, help our unbelief.

 

 

Character of God:

And behold, you (Zacharias) shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.” Luke 1:20

 

“Believe” is found over 400 times in the Bible, and it’s a very powerful word. It’s hard at times to believe in something we don’t see with our own eyes, yet God asks us to do it all the time. The level of our ability to believe comes from the source asking us to do so. We shouldn’t believe everything we hear from others, TV, magazines, government, etc. But God and His Word never lie. When we choose to believe God and His Word, we choose to step into endless possibilities, where absolutely anything is possible. When we choose to believe God and His Word, our lives will be forever changed.  

 

 

Character of God:

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. Luke 1:30-31

 

Mary was going about her everyday life when God found favor with her. Favor usually looks like something awesome is happening. For Mary, favor looked like she had sex before marriage, and she was probably shunned by many. Many people throughout the Bible who found favor in God’s eyes, didn’t live an easy life. Lord, may we see those You’ve found favor with, through Your eyes, and not our own. That way we can be encouragers, and not shunners. 

 

Character of God:

For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:37-38

 

When God gives us an assignment, no matter how impossible it looks, we need to believe that it is in fact, possible. For me, my doubt comes into play when I’m not sure I heard Him correctly. But I’ve learned to put that responsibility back on Him. I do my part by sitting with Him, seeking Him, and reading His word. I have to trust if I’m not hearing incorrectly that He will intervene. Especially since I give Him permission to do that quite often. May we not abort an assignment just before completion because of doubt. May we say, “May it be done to me and through me according to your word Lord”. And then truly believe, nothing is impossible with God.

 

 

Character of God:

But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you Luke 6:27-28

 

Again, God’s ways are not our ways. God’s heart is for us to love, bless, and pray for those who mistreat us. Easy? No! Beneficial? Yes! Anytime we obey God’s Word, no matter how hard it seems, we are the ones who reap the benefits. We might be able to bless and pray for someone without a pure heart, but to love someone is different. The only way we can love, bless and pray for those who mistreat us with a pure heart, is to be so immersed in God’s love, that there is nothing else in us. Easy? No! Possible? Yes, for with God, ALL things are possible, even loving, blessing, and praying for those who mistreat us.

 

 

Character of God:

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Luke 6:35

  

Most of us have wondered at some time, why good things happen to bad people. Here’s the answer, God is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Just as He is asking us to love our enemies, do good expecting nothing in return, so is He. So many evil people have been brought into the Kingdom of God, and their lives forever changed, due to His kindness. How many people will do the same thing, due to our kindness.

 

 

Character of God:

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like. He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. Luke 6:46-48

 

Just listening to God’s word, sermons preached, or attending church, doesn’t necessary change our lives. However when we come to Jesus, listen to His words AND do what He says, the foundation we are built on can stand firm against anything that might come our way. God isn’t going to make the storms in life go away, but in Him we can stand, unwavering, and strong. I’ve seen the big rocks in the ocean standing tall, unmovable by the waves crashing against them. That is how God created us to be in Him.

 

 

Character of God:

Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain; and the demons implored Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission. And the demons came out of the man and entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. Luke 8:32-33 

 

Here Jesus was, ministering outside the box again. Talking to demons, listening to them, and even doing what they asked. I marvel at the way He responded, wondering what was going through His mind when he allowed the demons to go into the swine at their request. Jesus never used a formula for healing and deliverance, what He used was His intimacy and obedience to Father God. Knowing His Fathers heart, doing what He did, and saying what He said. That’s our example, that’s our formula. 

 

 

Character of God:

While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.” But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” Luke 11:27-28

 

No doubt about it, Mary was blessed. But in comparison we can be blessed so much more, when we hear God’s words and obey them. The easiest way to hear His words is to read the Bible. As we read it, our mind is hearing it, and then we can obey it. In today’s world, we can also listen to the Bible on our phone or computer. But we can’t obey what we don’t know. Reading His Word on a regular basis is so important, it’s His love letters to us. His blessings are unlimited to those willing to do what it takes to receive them.

 

 

Character of God:

Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” Luke 12:13-15

 

Jesus doesn’t like it when we tell Him what to say to someone else, especially when we are the one who would gain something if He did so. He hates greed and He hates manipulation of others for our own benefit. Greed is such a nasty sin. As we seek God to be all we were created to be, we must also encourage others to be who He created them to be. We must not get caught up in the love for money and possessions, that is a deadly trap, and we will suffer for it. Lord, search my heart every day, if there is any greed reveal it to me, that I might repent.

 

 

Character of God:

And He said to them, “Which one of you will have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?” And they could make no reply to this. Luke 14:5-6

 

People can get very legalistic at times, and God is so full of just plain common sense. We can see Jesus’ common sense along with His sense of humor, as we read His words in the Bible.  Jesus is our example of how to live. He knew how to live, party, celebrate, have fun, and be over dramatic at time. All the while having total submission, respect and obedience to His Father. Non-believers need to see more of Jesus living through us, than us being legalistic, judgmental and boring. 

 

 

Character of God:

In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10

 

Too often we try to pretend that we have it all together, trying to convince ourselves and others that we are living the Christian life. However, when we cross the line into sin, no matter how “small” it seems to be, we break the intimacy that we could have had with Jesus. We become too proud to admit that we gossiped, had sexual fantasies, lied, cheated, were gripped with fear, or any other sin. But when we repent, heaven celebrates, God celebrates. There’s no condemnation when we repent, just pure joy as the angels and God rejoice. May we all be quick to repent whenever necessary, no matter how often, turning from sin, planning never to return. Then, rejoicing with God.

 

 

Character of God:

Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him.  And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God. Luke 16:14-15

 

Many lives have been ruined due to the love of money, and many of us at times have coveted for more of it. Money can do so much good in the right hands and with the right heart. However, when we esteem (value, honor, admire, appreciate) anything higher than we do God, it’s detestable in His sight. Would I like more money? Yes! But not if would ever cause me to be detestable in God’s sight, due to my lack of character. If I don’t have the character to handle the money I have, I pray God won’t give me more.

 

 

Character of God:

A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him,  ……….. You know the commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness……...’” And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “ONE THING YOU STILL LACK; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Luke 18:18-22

 

What is the “One Thing” we are lacking to be all God created us to be, to see all He created us to see, or to hear all He created us to hear? It’s not necessary selling all our possessions, it’s individual and personal. Only God knows our “One Thing”. So Lord we come to You humbly, seeking to know the “One Thing” You desire of us today, that we might do it.

 

 

Character of God:

Jesus said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” John 2:7, 9-10

 

Jesus turned water into wine, high quality wine at that, and the bridegroom got the credit for serving the best wine last. But God allowed those He had chosen to see what Jesus did. It was part of the humble life that Jesus lived, that He never had to draw attention to Himself. I would have been jumping up and down, saying Jesus used me to turn water into wine, but not Jesus. He is our example. Sometimes others may get the credit for things we’ve done. It’s ok, God will see to it that if someone needs to know it was us, they will know.

 

 

Character of God:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

 

God made eternal life so easy, just believe in Jesus. But believing is not as simple as it seems at times. If we really believe in Jesus, we have to really know Him. We read the Bible, or someone tells us about Jesus, and we say “Yes, I believe, now I have eternal life.”  But the more we get to know Him, both through reading the Bible and through relationship with Him, the more we have to choose to believe and trust this greater knowledge of who He is. Believing in Jesus means believing everything about Him, not picking and choosing what suits us. Believing in Jesus is believing that obedience to Him and His word, because we now know Him and believe Him, is not an option. 

 

 

Character of God:

He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” John 4:16-18

 

According to the law of Moses this woman should have been stoned due to her sin of adultery. Jesus acknowledge her sin, all the while treating her with respect, as He lovingly shared the truth of who He was. When we have the opportunity to share who our Jesus is to someone who is interested, we don’t have to bring attention to all their sins, we just have to bring attention to who Jesus is. Only God’s Spirit, Holy Spirit, can turn a heart of sin to a heart of love for Jesus.

 

 

Character of God:

Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, John 5:2-3

 

There was a multitude of sick people in need of healing, yet Jesus only healed one. And we don’t know if He ever went back and healed the others. He only did what His Father did, this time Father God only wanted to heal one. We can look at the mass of people in need of love, food, clothing, work, healing, etc. and get overwhelmed. Yet, like Jesus here, we may only be called to help the one He brings us to. We can pray that He will send others to do what we’re not called to do, that they will listen to Him and be obedient. Heide Baker has a saying, “Stop for the one”. We can’t help every person who needs help, but we can stop for one, we can help one.

 

 

Character of God:

For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. John 5:18

 

There are thousands of gods that people worship, but only one claims to be our Father, our living God. Only one wants a personal, intimate relationship with us. The God who created the heavens and the earth, and everything in it wants to be our Father, our Papa. Some earthly fathers are fabulous, loving men, but none come close to Father God. He is a perfect Father, who loves, teaches, disciplines, guides, opens doors, is full of wisdom, understanding, and so much more. We can turn our back on our Father and rebel, or we can embrace Him, as the Father He wants to be for us.

 

 

Character of God:

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. John 5:19

 

Some of us are very good at analyzing situations, and meeting needs. We figure out what needs to be done, and just do it. But not even Jesus did things on His own, He was always submitted to His Father’s will. It’s easy to make things happen in the flesh, but that is not the desire of God’s heart. God’s desire is for all of us to be watching Him, and doing what He does, saying what He says. God’s desire is that we are so tuned into Him, that we truly are one with Him.

 

 

Character of God:

“If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true. There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true. John 5:31-32

 

The testimony that Father God gives about me is true, and it’s what really matters. Too often we go by feelings and not truth regarding who we really are. Too often we allow our circumstances or others to dictate who we are. But God testifies if Jesus is our Lord, that we are His children, and if we are His children than we are who He says we are. He has amazing, outrageous, almost unbelievable things to say about who we are in Him. Now, all we have to do is believe them ourselves. When we can truly believe who He says we are, absolutely nothing is impossible. Lord, what are You testifying about me, so I might believe it as absolute truth?

 

 

Character of God:

Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?” This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do. John 6:5-6

 

Jesus may ask something of us that seems impossible, maybe He’s testing us to see what we’ll do, like He did with Philip. Jesus is never without a plan, so if He is asking us to do somethings, there has to be a way. It may not be easy, and it may take a while, but it is possible. Is our first response, “Yes Lord, let’s do it.”, or “This is impossible, I must have heard wrong.”?

 

 

Character of God:

So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. John 7:16-18

 

The greatest desire of my heart is to always be able to say, “My teachings are not mine, but His who sent me”. However, I’m still a work in progress. My prayer is that every preacher, teacher, and evangelist would strive to be able to say the same thing. May our ultimate goal be to bring glory to God, and not to our well organized and outlined message that we may have spent hours on, but is not from God.

 

 

Character of God:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10

 

Our first instinct might be to think that an abundant life is one of plenty of money to take care of all of our needs. Yet, thinking of the disciples lives and many of ours, that can’t be the answer. I think real abundance is knowing God, who He really is, and trusting Him to be who He claims to be. I think abundance is knowing the joy of the Lord, His peace, His love, and yes His provision too. Living the abundant life that Jesus came to give us comes in different packages, mine may look different than yours. I think abundance has more to do with our attitude and heart, than with anything else. Lord, thank You for the abundance life You’ve given me. May I see it, and appreciate it.

 

 

Character of God:

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; John 10:27

 

God created us to hear Him, to hear Jesus, and to hear Holy Spirit. Many have sadly said, “I don’t hear God speaking to me”. My husband can be talking to me, we can be in the same room, yet I’m not really hearing him. I may hear the sound of his voice, but I don’t know what he said. And, as we know, this happens with children all the time. We have to pay attention, we have to choose to listen. We have to stop talking, stop doing, even stop praying at times, and listen. He’s talking, He wants us to follow Him, let us put our ear to His heart and hear what He’s saying.

 

 

Character of God:

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. John 11:5-6

 

In the natural this doesn’t make sense, but Jesus had a plan, He always has a plan. 

Jesus loved this family, yet He purposely delayed answering their request. Just because our prayers haven’t been answered the way we think they should, doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t love us, it may be because He does. We have to trust His reasoning, His timing. We have to trust that in the delay, He will be glorified more. And isn’t that our ultimate desire, to bring glory to God? Oh Lord, when things don’t seem to be going well at all, may we look to You, and surrender our will for Yours. 

 

 

Character of God:

No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. John 15:15

 

Jesus is our friend, and He wants to be our best friend, our BFF actually. Some children have had an invisible friend from time to time, usually they grow out of it. However, it shows the deep need for that kind of special friend, even as a child. Jesus wants to be that special friend to us. That friend you can trust with your deepest thoughts, who you know will never share with others. Some of us have been blessed with a human friend like that, but Jesus far surpasses any human friend. Lord, help us learn what friendship with You is all about, what it looks like, and what it feels like.

 

 

Character of God:

Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full. John 15:23b-24

 

The desire of God’s heart is for us to be full of joy. The desire of God’s heart is for us to talk to Him, to ask of Him for the desires of our heart, that we might receive from Him. Let us not grow weary in asking our Father for anything, in Jesus name. Let us not grow weary if we don’t see it manifest right away. Let us not grow weary of growing the friendship that He desires to have with us. Despite our circumstances, let us continue walking as children of God, and friends of Jesus.  

 

 

Character of God:

Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. John 17:17

 

Jesus is asking His Father to sanctify us, to make us holy, set apart for Himself. This is done through the word of God, which is the only real truth. Sanctification doesn’t just happen, we have to want it, we have to give God permission. Sanctification doesn’t guarantee us friends, or an easy life, but it does guarantee a oneness with God (vs 21). In a world of fake everything, it’s easy to miss the truth. God’s word is the only truth we can always believe in. We can’t know the truth just by reading through the Bible once or twice, we know the truth when we know the author of the truth. Lord, I surrender myself to you, sanctify me for Your Glory

 

 

Character of God:

So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” John 21:21-22

 

Many times we get too concerned with what others are doing, about what is fair and what isn’t. However, Jesus is saying to Peter and to us, ‘You follow Me, you keep your eyes on Me, you do what I tell you to do, don’t concern yourself with others, concern yourself with Me. Life isn’t fair, circumstances aren’t fair, but God is always fair. He treats each of us differently because we are different, and He says to each of us, ‘Follow Me!”  When we follow Jesus, we are in His will, and we are where we’re supposed to be, and it doesn’t get any better than that.

Character of God:

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

 

God made us in His image, and when we choose to live as He created us to, we have the amazing privilege of walking with Him. He didn’t create us to do things “for” Him, He created us to do things “with” Him. I have to remind myself of this from time to time, as I can get into the “working for God mode”, which is working in the flesh. Lord, teach us all to walk side by side, to work side by side, and to live side by side with You every day.

 

Character of God:

After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,  and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17

 

Jesus had yet to “do” any miracles or teachings, yet His Father was thrilled to tell the world that He was well-pleased with Him.  Jesus may have been anxious to start His ministry, He may have seen sick people growing up and yearned for the day He could heal them. Waiting for God’s timing in anything can be difficult at times, yet we can trust that His timing is perfect. Lord, may we continuing “being” who You created us to be, as we wait to “do” what You created us to do.

 

 

Character of God:

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Matthew 4:1

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations, and wonder how we got there. Maybe it’s  Holy Spirit, leading us to be tempted by the devil also. Why? Only when we’re tempted do we really know who we are. Will we choose God, truth, justice, humility, forgiveness, righteousness, self-control, etc.? Or, will we give in to the temptation? If we don’t have the opportunity to fail, victory or success looses some of it’s sweetness. All throughout the Bible God offered choices to His children, and He still does today. Temptation is an opportunity to choose God, to put our love into action by our choices.

 

 

Character of God:

Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him. Matthew 4:11

 

God is so good, after His Son was put through the wringer, He sent ministering angles to love on Him. I wonder how many times angles have ministered to me, without me having a clue? Maybe some of those times I suddenly started feeling better, were because of His ministering angels. Thank You Lord for Your compassionate heart, thank You for all the times You’ve sent Your angels, or other people to minister to me, at just the right time.  

 

 

Character of God:

Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. Matthew 4:23

 

God loves to heal people, it gets their attention. In the past He’s used gold dust, gold teeth, feathers, manna, jewels, and many more manifestations to get people’s attention. But Jesus’ main message was the gospel of the kingdom, and it’s still the main message today. We love, and unfortunately at times seek, the manifestations more than the gospel, more than Jesus Himself. We know that Jesus was pro healing of every kind, and He still is today. However, to seek any His manifestation above Him, is not a good choice. Lord, may we always seek You, and Your gospel first.

 

 

Character of God:

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

 

As believers we are to be radiant with the glory of God, and others should be drawn to our light by the things we say and do. Due to lack of identity, it’s tempting at times to take glory that belongs to God alone, and use it to draw attention to ourselves. In the same way, when I look at others and what they’ve accomplished, am I more likely to glorify them, or God? 

Character of God:

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matthew 5:43-44

 

I love this verse! In the past I’ve allowed myself to get pretty worked up about people who do extremely vile things to other people. Then I heard a message on how hurting people, hurt people, and they need Jesus. Now I’m able to pray that God would bless them to be who He created them to be, knowing that God created people in His image and to bring Him glory, not to be hurt, or to hurt others. Lord, remind us to pray for those who hurt us or others, that way we all can benefit.

 

 

Character of God:

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. Matthew 6:1-2

 

God is all about us living a righteous life, and giving to the poor. He is also all about us being humble as we do so. It’s human nature to want to be recognized for the things we do, but it’s kingdom nature to know that God’s recognition is the only thing that really counts. It’s nice when we get recognized for the things we do, we just need to be careful not to seek it. Let’s encourage the humble, we all need it.

 

 

Character of God:

But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:6

 

Every word and prayer is heard by God. Sometimes our prayers come across as complaints, gripping, pleading, or desperation. Sometimes they come from the depths of our heart, straight to His. The thread of living humbly carries into every area of our lives, including our prayer life. God knows our heart, He hears our prayers, He loves us more than we can comprehend, and He loves rewarding His children.

 

 

Character of God:

 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. Matthew 6:24

 

The blessings that come with being a child of God are endless. However, there is a price to pay, and that’s our total devotion and surrender. We must not think that meeting with God once or twice a week for a few hours is enough. With practice, we can be God conscience most of the day. With practice He can be the only master we lovingly trust and serve. Without practice, other things and other people will occupy the majority of our thoughts and heart.

 

 

Character of God:

But seek (continually seek) first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things (cloths, food, life) will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

 

The answer to everything in my opinion, is to always seek God first, everyday and all day long. We tend to want quick answers, when all God wants is relationship with us. The hours we spend seeking relaxation, peace, comfort, ambition, security, success, fame, fortune, acceptance, approval, and so much more, could be ours by seeking God first. 

 

 

Character of God:

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-2

 

I love God’s standard for living. He leaves so much us, we choose how we want to be treated. If we go against His laws and disobey there are consequences. It’s so easy to get caught up in judging others, as we walk in the ugly sin of pride, self-righteousness, and envy. If we are not careful we can make dozens, if not hundreds of judgments against others throughout the day. And then we wonder why we don’t have the joy and peace God talks about. Lord, please bring to my attention every time I choose to judge someone, so I can repent.

 

Character of God:

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:11

 

Our Father God is the most loving and giving of all fathers, and He loves blessings us when we ask for something good. We don’t give a 2 year old a baseball bat, when we knowing they just wants to hit the cat and watch it run. But at 10 years old we might, knowing they are interested in learning to hit a ball. God alone knows our motives behind everything we ask Him for. He wants us to ask, seek, and knock (vs 7), and keep on doing so; He wants us to receive all He has for us.

 

 

Character of God:

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

 

If only we could know the ramifications that our words and actions have on others. What if we could experience physically and emotionally how our words and actions would impact their sprit, their soul, their body, or their life? Treating others as I would like to be treated is good, treating them how I know they would like to be treated is also very good. Lord, this is such a powerful lesson that we all need to practice more. Help us to understand more the power of walking out this verse on a daily basis.

 

 

Character of God:

Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:22-23

 

Many are wowed by celebrities, and people with lots of money. Many are also wowed by people who prophesy accurately, and perform amazing miracles in Jesus name. Yet behind closed doors, both groups can be very different than what most people see. God tells us we know people by their fruit, but many of us don’t really know celebrities or those preforming miracles. We may even be deceived ourselves because of the applauds from others. Lord, open my eyes to fruit others bear, and also my own.

 

 

Character of God:

When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill. Matthew 8:16

 

With a “word” Jesus cast out evil spirits; and many times with a “word” Jesus healed people. He only did what His Father did, and He only said what His Father said, which is an example for us to follow.  One word spoken with power and authority is all it took  for the demon to flee. We never see Jesus yelling at demons, or begging His Father to heal, and yet some how many of us do just that. Lord we want to walk like Jesus, we want our words to carry power and authority, so we can minister to others as He did. 

 

 

Character of God:

On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:12-13

 

I know very little about sports, but what I do know is that during the championships many people are rooting for the underdog’s team. I think at times God is rooting for the underdog’s of this world too. He see’s their potential, and who they could be. He takes the sick, the sinners, and the outcasts and touches them with His love, and they are forever changed. We may view ourselves as underdogs at times, but God views us as His beloved children, full of pure potential.

 

 

Character of God:

While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. Matthew 9:18-19

 

This synagogue leader was both bold and humble as he came to Jesus for help. Jesus not only allowed this interruption, but took immediate action. Many times people don’t want to bother Jesus with their needs, yet we see all throughout the New Testament that those who made an effort to seek Him out got their healings, and their needs met. And like Jesus, may we too see that interruptions at times, can be opportunities to do God’s will.  

 

 

Character of God:

And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.” …….. “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.” Matthew 9:2 & 6b

 

It was the faith of the people who brought the paralytic that caught Jesus’ attention, it was “their” faith that led to his healing. Did the paralytic have faith for his healing? We don’t know, but what we do know is that his friends did. God heals in so many different ways, and there is no formula that works every time. As we grow in listening to Holy Spirit, we grow in how to  hear our Father, and pray His heart’s desires, whether if’s for ourselves, our loved ones, or anyone else.

 

Character of God:

Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Matthew 9:35

 

Jesus knew His purpose in life, and was in training for His first 30 years before His Father gave Him the go ahead to step into it. When He did, He went around teaching, proclaiming the gospel, and healing every kind of disease and sickness. The desire of God’s heart is to heal disease and sickness, and He did so every time through Jesus. Just because we don’t see every one we pray for healed, doesn’t mean it’s not the desire of God’s heart. We have to choose everyday to live like Jesus, that includes proclaiming the gospel, and healing the sick. Lord, help us to love and live more like Jesus everyday. 

 

 

Character of God:

Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Matthew 10:1

 

God likes to work with and through His children. We hear very little in Scripture about the disciple’s success rate in casting out demons and healing the sick. They didn’t seem to want to bring attention to the power and authority they walked in, I assume they wanted to give all glory to Jesus. We see again God’s desire to work with us to bring freedom to those in pain and sickness. Oh that we might live in the truth of who we are in Christ Jesus, and truly believe the power and authority we possess, and walk in it to bring God glory everyday.  

 

 

Character of God:

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. Matthew 10:16

 

Only God can develop in us the ability to be shrew and innocent at the same time, just like Jesus was. To be shrewd we need to be spending time with God, learning His wisdom, learning His ways, and learning all He has to teach us. To walk in innocence we need to be childlike in the way we live. We need to trust our Father, and trust what He’s taught us. We have to allow all fear, anxiety, stress, and uncertainty to be surrendered into the loving hands of Papa God, knowing that as we live in this way, He will take care of us.   

 

 

Character of God:

Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. Matthew 11:20

 

When God chooses to show up in mighty ways, in signs and wonders, healings, and even good preaching of the Word, there’s for a reason. Hundreds and thousands may show up for a conference where the leader is known for miracles of various kinds. We sit and marvel at God’s power and authority. Sometimes we’re offended because we didn’t get the healing or breakthrough we wanted. But we were there, we witnessed God in His glory, yet many times leave unchanged, unrepentant of anything God might be wanting to teach us. God’s glory, goodness and miracles are all around us. Lord, may a day not go by when I not experience, or witness You, yet remain unchanged, or unrepentant if necessary.

 

 

Character of God:

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29

 

In this fast paced world we live in, sometimes we forget that we need to rest, that our spirit, soul and body needs rest to function properly. Jesus is giving the answer to stress, the number one killer in most countries. He tells us to come to Him, to take what He has to offer, and to learn from Him. He’s telling us that gentleness and humility are key components to resting. The power of living a gentle and humble life is  very underestimated. Jesus is our example! He was bold, powerful, courageous, full of fun and life, yet very gentle and humble at the same time. Rest is ours, if we choose to take it.

 

 

Character of God:

Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him. Matthew 12:13-14

 

In life there will always be those who want to bring down others. Due to pride, jealousy, envy, self-righteousness, or a religious spirit, people would rather see others sick, crippled, poor, or in bondage, rather than prosper or be healed at the hand of another. God created us to help others, and not tear them down. May we never hold back doing the good things that God has called us to do, because of what others think or do to us.

 

 

Character of God:

For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:37

 

God has given us a choice, do we want to stand before Him justified or condemned? Every day of our lives we speak, and every word we say has the power of life or death in it. Not only do our words affect others, but they also affect us. So in those times when we get so worked up and angry that we just want to lash out with our words, we’d better think twice. As we learn to allow Holy Spirit to speak through us, we will be able to say what needs to be said, and still remain justified before God. Again, Jesus is our perfect example.

 

 

Character of God:

But seeing the wind, he (Peter) became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Matthew 14:30

 

Peter wanted to walk on water, he wanted to do the miraculous, and Jesus said, “Come”. Jesus wants all of us to do the miraculous, He wants us walking in signs and wonders on a regular basis. However, when we look around at our circumstances, the storms in life, we no longer are looking at Him. And that’s when doubt, fear, and distractions come in, and we start to sink. Every morning I give my dog a treat, just for being himself. When he sees the treat tossed on the floor near him, he looks at me intently. He is looking for the slightest move of my finger, a nod of my head, a soft word spoken, the go ahead that it’s ok, the time is now, go for it. If someone else is around, it’s easy for him to get distracted, and the process takes longer. It reminds me how intently I need to be keeping my eyes on Jesus at all times, especially in times of need. 

 

Character of God:

When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” Matthew 14:32-33

 

I use to think that worship was just what we did Sunday morning before the sermon began. But now I know that worship is the relationship I have with Jesus, talking to Him all day long. Praising and thanking Him with words, not just singing. Worship can become a lifestyle, where one can stay 24/7. Worship is powerful! It can move mountains, bring down strongholds, change the course of history, bring love, peace, and freedom to a family. When we worship God with a pure heart, absolutely anything is possible. 

 

 

Character of God:

This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. ‘But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’’’ Matthew 15:8-9

 

We don’t get credit, or a “Well done” from God just because we go to church several times a week, or because we spend hours in group worship, singing and dancing, praising His name. God always looks at our heart, our motive behind everything we say and do. When we try and get others to do what we want them to do, claiming that that’s what God wants them to do, we can cross the line into sin. There are many manipulative pastors, teachers and leaders, who on a regular basis teach their own doctrines, knowingly or unknowingly. We are all accountable for following God’s word, and His doctrines over mans. Lord, open our eyes to see our own heart, and that of others.

 

 

Character of God

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. Matthew 16:16-17

 

We all love learning more about God from our pastors, teachers, and friends, but there are some things we can only learn from being with God intimately on a regular basis. He has so much He wants teach us and share with us. Peter was blessed by Jesus because he had been with Father God learning things, and so can we.

 

 

Character of God:

And He *said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

 

Sometimes we have faith for a healing or miracle and nothing happens. We know we had faith, we believed 100% that what we asked God for He would do. We know healing is His desire, we had faith, yet nothing (apparently) happened. It says right here that nothing will be impossible if we only have faith. I don’t have the answer, but I know God’s word is true and so are His promises. Ultimately my faith has to be in Jesus, no matter what my circumstances look like. Faith, like a small mustard seed, has to be watered and taken care of. Lord, teach me how to continually water and grow my faith.

 

 

Character of God:

However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.”  Matthew 17:27 

 

Jesus could have taken this opportunity to have a word with the tax collectors, however He didn’t. Why? He always did what His Father did, and said what He said. Sometimes, even when we know we are right, we don’t have to prove it. Sometime we are called to keep the peace and not offend. When we know who we are as children of God, we no longer have to prove anything. As we tune into hearing what our Father is doing and saying, then we will know how to live our everyday lives.

 

 

Character of God:

“Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3-4

 

God’s ways are not are ways. So often we try to prove our self-worth to ourselves and to others. We draw attention and praise to our accomplishments, our ministries, the size of our church, how many we’ve led to Christ, even how many people like and comment on our Facebook post. None of that matter in God’s kingdom. God is looking to see if we’ve become childlike in our faith in Him. He’s looking to see if we’ve humbled ourselves as a child does, in how we act and live. Our worth comes from being a child of God, period. Oh Lord, may I continually seek You, and not greatness. 

 

 

Character of God:

And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Matt 20:30-32

 

Why didn’t the crowd want the two blind men healed? Seems a little selfish to me, it’s not like Jesus had a limit to His healings. But the blind men paid no attention to the crowd trying to keep them from Jesus. They knew where their only hope of healing would come from, so they cried out all the more. Sometimes we just have to cry out to Jesus all the more. He is our only hope to whatever it is that we need, He is the answer to everything. Sometimes we just have to cry out a little more, then listen to what He has to say.

 

 

Character of God:

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.” Matthew 20:12-13

 

Jesus knew when to be bold and aggressive, He knew how to be angry and not sin. And He is always our example of how to live our everyday lives. He must have gotten the go-ahead from His Father, otherwise He wouldn’t of made such a ruckus. When we pause to get fresh instructions from Papa God, then we know exactly how to respond to any situation. Jesus was no wuss, He was bold and confrontational, yet humble and a servant. He was who Papa God needed Him to be at any given time.   

 

 

Character of God:

But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23:11-12

 

I think it’s human nature to want to be great, to want others to notice when we’ve done something amazingly great, or even something small. But things are different in God’s kingdom, and we don’t always understand them with our earthly minds. I don’t think we always understand them with our renewed minds either. I think it’s a choice we have to make several times a day, renewing our minds to coincide with God’s. I also think we choose several times a day to be a servant, to be humble, or not. Knowing and trusting that if God needs us to be exalted for a purpose, He will do so. Servanthood and humility are not taught in school, but only from being a student of Teacher God.

 

 

Character of God:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. Matthew 23:23

 

It’s easy for some just to give money and feel they’ve done what is expected, but really it’s just the beginning. Tithing to God involves being who He created us to be, and living the way He created us to live. Tithing was never meant to be a burden, it was meant to be an expression of our love for God.

 

 

Character of God:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Matthew 23:25-26

 

I love it when God’s word is so on-point for everyday living. Americans spend billions of dollars making our outside appearance as beautiful as possible, and often our insides are a mess. At any given time we can look around us and see what people want us to see, but not see the reality of the ugly, abusive, addicted, hurt, sad, lonely, depressed, abused, person on the inside. It’s time we all spent more time cleaning up what’s in our heart, aligning our spirit, soul, and body with Gods. When our insides are beautiful in God’s eyes, our outside will glow with His glory, and no amount of money can buy that.

 

 

Character of God:

a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste? Matthew 26:7-8

 

God sees things differently than we do, He sees the heart of every person alive. He sees the real motive behind everything we say and do, and rewards accordingly. People may look at us and say, “What a waste”, to something we are doing, but if we are doing as God leads, we have to ignore them and continue. The people who criticized this woman were Jesus’ closest friends, they were Godly, and had followed Him for 3 years. They still criticized because they just didn’t understand. Many may never understand what we do and why, that’s ok, because God does. 

 

 

Character of God:

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39

 

God gave us the perfect example of surrendering our will to His. Easy? At times absolutely not. Life changing? Yes, every single time. Jesus was born to eventually die for our sins, that was one of His purposes for being born. We have a purpose too, and sometimes to accomplish that purpose we have to surrender everything to the will of God, when we are hurting the most. Just like Jesus, we have to choose to trust God’s will, and His timing. Trusting God is always worth it, because no one loves us as much as He does, and no one knows what we are capable of, more than He does. 

 

 

Character of God:

And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:75

 

God is giving us an example of what true repentance looks like. It’s not just a repentance prayer we pray when we know we’ve sinned, it’s an awareness in our heart that we’ve grieved the one we love most in life. Then it’s changing the way we live our lives, so as not to continue doing it any more. When God makes us aware of our sin it should hurt to the core of who we are, it should lead to change. Lord, make us aware of when we grieve You, and how we grieve You, so our repentance will lead to change.

 

 

Character of God:

In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. Mark 1:35

 

Jesus is our perfect example. What did it take for Him to choose to get up before everyone else, leave the house, and find a quiet place to sit, pray and just talk to His Father? Love! He loved His Father more than any of us can comprehend, and He loved us. Guilt, shame, or religion shouldn’t be what compels us to spend alone time with God, love should. Many of us would choose to die for our God, before we would deny Him. But will we also choose to live for Him, to really give Him first place in our lives? Will we choose to set aside special time, just for Him, because we love Him? Heavenly Father, I want to love You morel; I want to love You more, just like Jesus.  

 

Character of God:

Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? Mark 2:8-9

 

God is so good. He created us to be “aware” in our spirit, to be able to tap into Holy Spirit at any given time to know what’s going on in someone’s heart. It’s called discernment, and because of Jesus’ intimate relationship with His Father and Holy Spirit, He could read people’s hearts very well. Some of us are more gifted than others in this area, but the more time we spend with God the more we grow in it.

 

 

Character of God:

As He passed by, He saw Levi (Matthew) the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him. Mark 2:14

 

When Jesus says, “Follow Me!”, we can choose to follow and have our lives completely changed, or not. He said it to some and they wanted to delay before following. Matthew didn’t hesitate, he probably just left his money box behind and followed Jesus. How often is Jesus saying to us, “Just follow Me, I will lead you through this.” Or “Just follow Me, I have plans for you.” Or, “Just follow Me ………. (fill in the blank)”.  Are we willing to just follow, no questions asked? Most people who Jesus said this to didn’t even know Him, yet followed anyway. We know Him, yet many times hesitate. Lord, help us to hear Your, “Follow Me”, and not hesitate at all.

 

 

Character of God:

The apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) Mark 6:30-31

 

When God anoints us for ministry, no matter what kind it is, it’s wonderful and exciting, but it can also be draining. God created us to rest one day a week, and at times we can get caught up in the exhilaration of ministry and we forget to rest. Jesus was teaching them that they needed rest, their soul and body needed to rest and be rejuvenated. Many have neglected this rest thinking they are doing God’s work and He will protect them, and many have suffered the consequences of disobeying His command, and our body’s need for rest. Lord, You alone are my strength, my rest, my breath, and the One who fills me to overflowing on the path You have for me. Remind me to always take time to rest in You.

 

 

Character of God:

Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. Mark 16:9

 

You would think that Jesus would appear to His disciples first, but God had other plans and He appeared to Mary Magdalene first. A woman with many past sins was chosen to be the first to see Jesus after His resurrection. Jesus appeared to several before appearing to His disciples, who He rebuked for not believing the ones chosen to see Him first (vs 14). God uses the simple, the surrendered heart, the least of these, to at times put to shame the self-righteous, who most of us have been at one time or another. It’s easy at times to judge to quickly, thinking that we surely know the obvious plans of God. Oh Lord, forgive us for thinking this way too many times.

 

 

Character of God:

These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues;  they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:17-18

 

Jesus had just rebuked the disciples (vs 14) for not believing those chosen to see Him first after He was raised from the dead. Now they were told what they could accomplish if they only believed. What we all could and should be accomplishing on a regular basis, if we only believe. Lord, we believe, help our unbelief.

 

 

Character of God:

And behold, you (Zacharias) shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.” Luke 1:20

 

“Believe” is found over 400 times in the Bible, and it’s a very powerful word. It’s hard at times to believe in something we don’t see with our own eyes, yet God asks us to do it all the time. The level of our ability to believe comes from the source asking us to do so. We shouldn’t believe everything we hear from others, TV, magazines, government, etc. But God and His Word never lie. When we choose to believe God and His Word, we choose to step into endless possibilities, where absolutely anything is possible. When we choose to believe God and His Word, our lives will be forever changed.  

 

 

Character of God:

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. Luke 1:30-31

 

Mary was going about her everyday life when God found favor with her. Favor usually looks like something awesome is happening. For Mary, favor looked like she had sex before marriage, and she was probably shunned by many. Many people throughout the Bible who found favor in God’s eyes, didn’t live an easy life. Lord, may we see those You’ve found favor with, through Your eyes, and not our own. That way we can be encouragers, and not shunners. 

 

 

Character of God:

For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:37-38

 

When God gives us an assignment, no matter how impossible it looks, we need to believe that it is in fact, possible. For me, my doubt comes into play when I’m not sure I heard Him correctly. But I’ve learned to put that responsibility back on Him. I do my part by sitting with Him, seeking Him, and reading His word. I have to trust if I’m not hearing incorrectly that He will intervene. Especially since I give Him permission to do that quite often. May we not abort an assignment just before completion because of doubt. May we say, “May it be done to me and through me according to your word Lord”. And then truly believe, nothing is impossible with God.

 

 

Character of God:

But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you Luke 6:27-28

 

Again, God’s ways are not our ways. God’s heart is for us to love, bless, and pray for those who mistreat us. Easy? No! Beneficial? Yes! Anytime we obey God’s Word, no matter how hard it seems, we are the ones who reap the benefits. We might be able to bless and pray for someone without a pure heart, but to love someone is different. The only way we can love, bless and pray for those who mistreat us with a pure heart, is to be so immersed in God’s love, that there is nothing else in us. Easy? No! Possible? Yes, for with God, ALL things are possible, even loving, blessing, and praying for those who mistreat us.

 

 

Character of God:

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Luke 6:35

  

 

Most of us have wondered at some time, why good things happen to bad people. Here’s the answer, God is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Just as He is asking us to love our enemies, do good expecting nothing in return, so is He. So many evil people have been brought into the Kingdom of God, and their lives forever changed, due to His kindness. How many people will do the same thing, due to our kindness.

 

 

Character of God:

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like. He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. Luke 6:46-48

 

Just listening to God’s word, sermons preached, or attending church, doesn’t necessary change our lives. However when we come to Jesus, listen to His words AND do what He says, the foundation we are built on can stand firm against anything that might come our way. God isn’t going to make the storms in life go away, but in Him we can stand, unwavering, and strong. I’ve seen the big rocks in the ocean standing tall, unmovable by the waves crashing against them. That is how God created us to be in Him.

 

 

Character of God:

Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain; and the demons implored Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission. And the demons came out of the man and entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. Luke 8:32-33 

 

Here Jesus was, ministering outside the box again. Talking to demons, listening to them, and even doing what they asked. I marvel at the way He responded, wondering what was going through His mind when he allowed the demons to go into the swine at their request. Jesus never used a formula for healing and deliverance, what He used was His intimacy and obedience to Father God. Knowing His Fathers heart, doing what He did, and saying what He said. That’s our example, that’s our formula. 

 

 

Character of God:

While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.” But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” Luke 11:27-28

 

No doubt about it, Mary was blessed. But in comparison we can be blessed so much more, when we hear God’s words and obey them. The easiest way to hear His words is to read the Bible. As we read it, our mind is hearing it, and then we can obey it. In today’s world, we can also listen to the Bible on our phone or computer. But we can’t obey what we don’t know. Reading His Word on a regular basis is so important, it’s His love letters to us. His blessings are unlimited to those willing to do what it takes to receive them.

 

 

Character of God:

Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” Luke 12:13-15

 

Jesus doesn’t like it when we tell Him what to say to someone else, especially when we are the one who would gain something if He did so. He hates greed and He hates manipulation of others for our own benefit. Greed is such a nasty sin. As we seek God to be all we were created to be, we must also encourage others to be who He created them to be. We must not get caught up in the love for money and possessions, that is a deadly trap, and we will suffer for it. Lord, search my heart every day, if there is any greed reveal it to me, that I might repent.

 

 

Character of God:

And He said to them, “Which one of you will have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?” And they could make no reply to this. Luke 14:5-6

 

People can get very legalistic at times, and God is so full of just plain common sense. We can see Jesus’ common sense along with His sense of humor, as we read His words in the Bible.  Jesus is our example of how to live. He knew how to live, party, celebrate, have fun, and be over dramatic at time. All the while having total submission, respect and obedience to His Father. Non-believers need to see more of Jesus living through us, than us being legalistic, judgmental and boring. 

 

 

Character of God:

In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10

 

Too often we try to pretend that we have it all together, trying to convince ourselves and others that we are living the Christian life. However, when we cross the line into sin, no matter how “small” it seems to be, we break the intimacy that we could have had with Jesus. We become too proud to admit that we gossiped, had sexual fantasies, lied, cheated, were gripped with fear, or any other sin. But when we repent, heaven celebrates, God celebrates. There’s no condemnation when we repent, just pure joy as the angels and God rejoice. May we all be quick to repent whenever necessary, no matter how often, turning from sin, planning never to return. Then, rejoicing with God.

 

 

Character of God:

Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him.  And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God. Luke 16:14-15

 

Many lives have been ruined due to the love of money, and many of us at times have coveted for more of it. Money can do so much good in the right hands and with the right heart. However, when we esteem (value, honor, admire, appreciate) anything higher than we do God, it’s detestable in His sight. Would I like more money? Yes! But not if would ever cause me to be detestable in God’s sight, due to my lack of character. If I don’t have the character to handle the money I have, I pray God won’t give me more.

 

 

Character of God:

A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him,  ……….. You know the commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness……...’” And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “ONE THING YOU STILL LACK; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Luke 18:18-22

 

What is the “One Thing” we are lacking to be all God created us to be, to see all He created us to see, or to hear all He created us to hear? It’s not necessary selling all our possessions, it’s individual and personal. Only God knows our “One Thing”. So Lord we come to You humbly, seeking to know the “One Thing” You desire of us today, that we might do it.

 

 

Character of God:

Jesus said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” John 2:7, 9-10

 

Jesus turned water into wine, high quality wine at that, and the bridegroom got the credit for serving the best wine last. But God allowed those He had chosen to see what Jesus did. It was part of the humble life that Jesus lived, that He never had to draw attention to Himself. I would have been jumping up and down, saying Jesus used me to turn water into wine, but not Jesus. He is our example. Sometimes others may get the credit for things we’ve done. It’s ok, God will see to it that if someone needs to know it was us, they will know.

 

 

Character of God:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

 

God made eternal life so easy, just believe in Jesus. But believing is not as simple as it seems at times. If we really believe in Jesus, we have to really know Him. We read the Bible, or someone tells us about Jesus, and we say “Yes, I believe, now I have eternal life.”  But the more we get to know Him, both through reading the Bible and through relationship with Him, the more we have to choose to believe and trust this greater knowledge of who He is. Believing in Jesus means believing everything about Him, not picking and choosing what suits us. Believing in Jesus is believing that obedience to Him and His word, because we now know Him and believe Him, is not an option. 

 

 

Character of God:

He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” John 4:16-18

 

According to the law of Moses this woman should have been stoned due to her sin of adultery. Jesus acknowledge her sin, all the while treating her with respect, as He lovingly shared the truth of who He was. When we have the opportunity to share who our Jesus is to someone who is interested, we don’t have to bring attention to all their sins, we just have to bring attention to who Jesus is. Only God’s Spirit, Holy Spirit, can turn a heart of sin to a heart of love for Jesus.

 

 

Character of God:

Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, John 5:2-3

 

There was a multitude of sick people in need of healing, yet Jesus only healed one. And we don’t know if He ever went back and healed the others. He only did what His Father did, this time Father God only wanted to heal one. We can look at the mass of people in need of love, food, clothing, work, healing, etc. and get overwhelmed. Yet, like Jesus here, we may only be called to help the one He brings us to. We can pray that He will send others to do what we’re not called to do, that they will listen to Him and be obedient. Heide Baker has a saying, “Stop for the one”. We can’t help every person who needs help, but we can stop for one, we can help one.

 

 

Character of God:

For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. John 5:18

 

There are thousands of gods that people worship, but only one claims to be our Father, our living God. Only one wants a personal, intimate relationship with us. The God who created the heavens and the earth, and everything in it wants to be our Father, our Papa. Some earthly fathers are fabulous, loving men, but none come close to Father God. He is a perfect Father, who loves, teaches, disciplines, guides, opens doors, is full of wisdom, understanding, and so much more. We can turn our back on our Father and rebel, or we can embrace Him, as the Father He wants to be for us.

 

 

Character of God:

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. John 5:19

 

Some of us are very good at analyzing situations, and meeting needs. We figure out what needs to be done, and just do it. But not even Jesus did things on His own, He was always submitted to His Father’s will. It’s easy to make things happen in the flesh, but that is not the desire of God’s heart. God’s desire is for all of us to be watching Him, and doing what He does, saying what He says. God’s desire is that we are so tuned into Him, that we truly are one with Him.

 

 

Character of God:

“If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true. There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true. John 5:31-32

 

The testimony that Father God gives about me is true, and it’s what really matters. Too often we go by feelings and not truth regarding who we really are. Too often we allow our circumstances or others to dictate who we are. But God testifies if Jesus is our Lord, that we are His children, and if we are His children than we are who He says we are. He has amazing, outrageous, almost unbelievable things to say about who we are in Him. Now, all we have to do is believe them ourselves. When we can truly believe who He says we are, absolutely nothing is impossible. Lord, what are You testifying about me, so I might believe it as absolute truth?

 

 

 

Character of God:

Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?” This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do. John 6:5-6

 

Jesus may ask something of us that seems impossible, maybe He’s testing us to see what we’ll do, like He did with Philip. Jesus is never without a plan, so if He is asking us to do somethings, there has to be a way. It may not be easy, and it may take a while, but it is possible. Is our first response, “Yes Lord, let’s do it.”, or “This is impossible, I must have heard wrong.”?

 

 

Character of God:

So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. John 7:16-18

 

The greatest desire of my heart is to always be able to say, “My teachings are not mine, but His who sent me”. However, I’m still a work in progress. My prayer is that every preacher, teacher, and evangelist would strive to be able to say the same thing. May our ultimate goal be to bring glory to God, and not to our well organized and outlined message that we may have spent hours on, but is not from God.

 

 

Character of God:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10

 

Our first instinct might be to think that an abundant life is one of plenty of money to take care of all of our needs. Yet, thinking of the disciples lives and many of ours, that can’t be the answer. I think real abundance is knowing God, who He really is, and trusting Him to be who He claims to be. I think abundance is knowing the joy of the Lord, His peace, His love, and yes His provision too. Living the abundant life that Jesus came to give us comes in different packages, mine may look different than yours. I think abundance has more to do with our attitude and heart, than with anything else. Lord, thank You for the abundance life You’ve given me. May I see it, and appreciate it.

 

 

Character of God:

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; John 10:27

 

God created us to hear Him, to hear Jesus, and to hear Holy Spirit. Many have sadly said, “I don’t hear God speaking to me”. My husband can be talking to me, we can be in the same room, yet I’m not really hearing him. I may hear the sound of his voice, but I don’t know what he said. And, as we know, this happens with children all the time. We have to pay attention, we have to choose to listen. We have to stop talking, stop doing, even stop praying at times, and listen. He’s talking, He wants us to follow Him, let us put our ear to His heart and hear what He’s saying.

 

 

Character of God:

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. John 11:5-6

 

In the natural this doesn’t make sense, but Jesus had a plan, He always has a plan. 

Jesus loved this family, yet He purposely delayed answering their request. Just because our prayers haven’t been answered the way we think they should, doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t love us, it may be because He does. We have to trust His reasoning, His timing. We have to trust that in the delay, He will be glorified more. And isn’t that our ultimate desire, to bring glory to God? Oh Lord, when things don’t seem to be going well at all, may we look to You, and surrender our will for Yours. 

 

 

Character of God:

No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. John 15:15

 

Jesus is our friend, and He wants to be our best friend, our BFF actually. Some children have had an invisible friend from time to time, usually they grow out of it. However, it shows the deep need for that kind of special friend, even as a child. Jesus wants to be that special friend to us. That friend you can trust with your deepest thoughts, who you know will never share with others. Some of us have been blessed with a human friend like that, but Jesus far surpasses any human friend. Lord, help us learn what friendship with You is all about, what it looks like, and what it feels like.

 

 

Character of God:

Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full. John 15:23b-24

 

The desire of God’s heart is for us to be full of joy. The desire of God’s heart is for us to talk to Him, to ask of Him for the desires of our heart, that we might receive from Him. Let us not grow weary in asking our Father for anything, in Jesus name. Let us not grow weary if we don’t see it manifest right away. Let us not grow weary of growing the friendship that He desires to have with us. Despite our circumstances, let us continue walking as children of God, and friends of Jesus.  

 

 

Character of God:

Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. John 17:17

 

Jesus is asking His Father to sanctify us, to make us holy, set apart for Himself. This is done through the word of God, which is the only real truth. Sanctification doesn’t just happen, we have to want it, we have to give God permission. Sanctification doesn’t guarantee us friends, or an easy life, but it does guarantee a oneness with God (vs 21). In a world of fake everything, it’s easy to miss the truth. God’s word is the only truth we can always believe in. We can’t know the truth just by reading through the Bible once or twice, we know the truth when we know the author of the truth. Lord, I surrender myself to you, sanctify me for Your Glory

 

 

Character of God:

So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” John 21:21-22

 

Many times we get too concerned with what others are doing, about what is fair and what isn’t. However, Jesus is saying to Peter and to us, ‘You follow Me, you keep your eyes on Me, you do what I tell you to do, don’t concern yourself with others, concern yourself with Me. Life isn’t fair, circumstances aren’t fair, but God is always fair. He treats each of us differently because we are different, and He says to each of us, ‘Follow Me!”  When we follow Jesus, we are in His will, and we are where we’re supposed to be, and it doesn’t get any better than that.

Character of God:

but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

 

Even though there is one Holy Spirit, He manifests in many different ways. As believers we have Holy Spirit living in us, yet many of us are powerless in our walk with God. When God gives us an assignment He wants to empower us to be able to accomplish it, and He does this through Holy Spirit. So not only is Holy Spirit in us, He wants to come upon us, that’s where the power is. Lord, may I bask in Your presence until Holy Spirit comes upon me in power, when it’s Your power needed in my life, to do Your will.

 

 

Character of God:

Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.  But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:3-4

 

We each have our part in the body of Christ. For the overseeing and distribution of food to the widows, one needed to be full of Spirit and wisdom. For the disciples who went out preaching and teaching, they spent their time in prayer and ministry of the word. The word ministry here specifically refers to Spirit-empowered service guided by faith. How doe one become Spirit-empowered and guided by faith? By being devoted to prayer first. How does one become full of Spirit and wisdom? By spending time with God. Jesus doesn’t want “normal” people serving Him, He wants us empowered.

 

 

Character of God:

When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:39

 

God doesn’t do it very often, but I have heard testimonies of Him snatching people from one place and placing them somewhere else. I can only imagine His sense of humor coming out at these times. Some of us take life way too seriously, we worry about so many things. Part of the life Jesus died to give us is joy and fun. At any time God could just pick us up and drop us somewhere else, there is absolutely nothing He can’t do it. God forgive me and my limited imagination, and for being more concerned about the limited physical realm, than the unlimited spiritual realm. Also Lord, just for fun, I give You permission to snatch me up anytime, and put me anywhere You want to.

 

 

Character of God:

So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God. Acts 12:5  But Peter continued knocking; and when they had opened the door, they saw him and were amazed. Acts12:16

 

Peter was put in prison, the church was praying, and then the church was amazed that it wasn’t Peter’s angel before them, but Peter himself. Many times we pray, and dismiss what appears to be an answer, maybe because it happens to quickly, or wasn’t answered the way we assumed it would be. God is overflowing with the ways He can answer our prayers, and we must keep our eyes on Him, and our mind open to His ways. Lord, open my eyes, ears, and heart to recognize Your answered prayers in my life.

 

 

Character of God:

But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord? Acts 13:9-10

 

There’s a time to be quiet and a time to be bold and confrontational. Before Paul tore into the magician opposing him, he was filled with Holy Spirit. In my commentary it says, ‘having just been filled’. Many times the Bible talks about Holy Spirit speaking through us, giving us the words to say. So when we get angry, before we open our mouth to speak, maybe we need to make sure we are filled with Holy Spirit. And if we “haven’t just been filled”, then we keep quiet until we have.

 

 

Character of God:

And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.  Acts 13:52

 

Character of God:

Barnabas wanted to take John, called Mark, along with them also. But Paul kept insisting that they should not take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. And there occurred such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. Acts 15:37-39

 

We all continue to be a work in progress, and being such, at times we may greatly disagree with other believers. Paul may have had an offence against Mark, or he may have been discerning from Holy Spirit. We aren’t responsible for others as they journey towards righteousness and Holy Spirit leading in their lives, we can only be responsible for our choices. There may be times we go our separate ways from other believers, and there’s a right way and a wrong way to do that. We can always do so in love, blessing others to hear, and follow God leading and truth for their lives. 

 

 

Character of God:

They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia;  and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. Acts 16:6-8

 

I love these verses; I love the words, ‘forbidden by the Holy Spirit’, and ‘the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them…’. When we are walking closely with God, we can count on Him to get our attention if we are getting of course. Even if somethings seems good, it may not be God’s desire for us at this time. 

 

 

Character of God:

But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; Acts 16:25

 

Clothes torn off, beaten, and thrown into a dark prison, they were praising God. Most of us don’t really know what we would do in the same circumstance, because it’s never happened to us. But during our darkest, most painful times, what we do matters. As a child of God, we can choose to bask in His presence, and His glory that He provides for us, where we can praise and worship Him with pure joy. Or, we can allow our offenses to consume us. We don’t choose to praise God in our difficulties to impress others, our hearts are totally devoted to God, but they do see, and they do hear.

 

 

Character of God: 

When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.  But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” Acts 16:27-28

 

God does a miracle, probably in response to their prayers and worship, and they were free to escape, but they didn’t. As we surrender to God on a daily basis, we can’t assume we know what He’s up to, we have to continually be listening and interacting with Him, so we know what to do. God had a bigger picture in mind, He had plans for the salvation of the jailer and his family. Through continuous interaction with God, we will know what to do, and when to do it.

 

 

Character of God:

knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Romans 6:6-7

 

Every day we have choices to make. The Bible says we are no longer slaves to sin, yet what happens when we do sin? Usually, we concentrate on the sin, and how horrible we are for committing it. We feel bad, we feel shame, and we basically condemn ourselves. What if we chose to repent quickly and declare the truth! It doesn’t matter if we did slip up and sin, the truth is, we are no longer slaves to sin, that is the truth. The enemy wants us to chain ourselves in guilt, but God says we have no chains. Who do we believe? Our old self was crucified with Jesus, along with our sins. Others may say we will never change, we may say it too. But the truth is, the more I believe God’s word and declare it, the more it will become our reality, I am no longer a slave to sin.

 

 

Character of God:

Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, Romans 6:8

 

I use to think that we were called to live for Jesus, and that our ministry was for Him. But actually, we are called to live “with” Jesus, and we are to minister “with Him. What an awesome God we have, wanting us to be a part of what He does. And, it’s hard to get prideful when we are working with Him, because it’s obvious who’s doing what. It’s when we start working and living with Him and not for Him, that we truly are blessed.

 

 

Character of God:

Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh; but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5

 

God created our mind to be a powerful weapon, used to bring life to our flesh, or life to the Spirit. He also created us with the power to choose, and setting our minds on the Spirit doesn’t just happen, we have to choose to do so throughout each and every day. Experts estimate that we think around 60,000 thoughts a day, or about 40 per minute. Therefore thinking cannot be passive, we have to purposely set our minds on the things of the Spirit. 

 

 

Character of God:

For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:14-15

 

When we choose to be led by Holy Spirit, we are choosing to walk in our true identity as children of God. We have a Father who wipes away every fear, and every tear. We have a Father who wants us to climb up on His lap and call Him Daddy, Papa, or whatever enduring name we choose. There are many amazing earthly fathers, taking care of their children the best they can. But nothing comes close to our Heavenly Father, our Abba, who loves us beyond our ability to comprehend. 

 

 

Character of God:

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans 8:35

 

Absolutely nothing can separate us from God’s love. However, we can choose to separate ourselves from Him. When chaos happens in our lives, and we allow doubt and fear to swirl around in our minds, it’s hard at times to “feel” His love. It’s in those times that we need to cling to the truth, His truth. God’s love is forever, and continuously coming for us, surrounding us, and consuming us, if we’ll let it.

 

 

Character of God:

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37

 

Through God’s love for us we conquer tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger and the sword (vs 35). We are in essence, real live super heroes. God’s love for us is the most powerful weapon, and the only weapon needed to be super heroes in today’s world. We are all super heroes in the body of Christ, conquering through God’s love for us, all He’s called us to do.

 

 

Character of God:

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Romans 12:14

 

God wouldn’t ask us to do this, if it wasn’t possible and profitable. When we choose to be obedient to God, when we choose to bless those who have hurt us, we are choosing to be blessed ourselves. When we bless instead of curse, we are choosing peace, and we are choosing to let go of bitterness, offense, and sin. When we choose to bless others to be who God created them to be, knowing that God created all of us in His image, to be His children, and to walk in love, we are choosing to love God.

 

Character of God: 

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 1 Corinthians 2:12-13

 

Only Holy Spirit knows the things God has prepared for us who love Him (vs 9), amazing things, many of which we have not even thought about. He wants relationship with us so He can share these things with us. There are things about God and ourselves that we can’t learn any other way, than through His Spirit. We all spend many years in school, learning from books and teachers what the world says we need to know to be a productive citizen. Holy Spirit has things to teach us too, things we can’t learn in any other school. And we never graduate from Holy Spirit’s school, hopefully we continue until the day we die.

 

 

Character of God:

For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16

 

God gave us the mind of Christ, that we may know Him more. There are people with brilliant minds, they love knowledge and books, and they understand and remember what they read. I am not one of them. I have a simple mind, but I also have the mind of Christ, and that is very powerful. With the mind of Christ I can be sure that anything God wants to teach me, I will be able to learn. It may not be easy, but it is possible. What an amazing and loving God we have, who gives us the same mind as His Son.

 

  

Character of God:

I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? 1 Corinthians 3:2-3

 

God takes jealousy and strife very seriously, basically calling it childish and ungodly. Until we can surrender our jealousy and striving to the Lord we will never grow from babies in Christ into mature men and women of God. We are confronted with opportunities to walk in jealousy every single day, it’s a part of our flesh that must die on a daily basis. It’s a very powerful weapon in the enemies arsenal that we need to be aware of, and fight against. When we know our identity in Christ, and how much God loves us, it’s harder to get sucked into jealousy and strife. 

 

 

Character of God:

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 1 Corinthians 12:4

 

Holy Spirit has the privilege of distributing the different gifts to each of us. Probably before we are even born He spent time thinking, possibly talking with our Father and Jesus about what gift would be just right for us. Some of us wish we had a different gift than the one Holy Spirit chose for us, but I think He knows best. Holy Spirit, thank you for the giftings You chose for me, help me develop my gifts to the fullest, so I can accomplish all I was created to do. Remind me Holy Spirit to celebrate and encourage others in their giftings, but to never envy them.  

 

 

Character of God:

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

 

We’ve all heard about or met mighty men or women of God, chosen by Holy Spirit to receive amazing gifts. They walk in their giftings, and in miracles, signs and wonders, yet some don’t please God at all. What pleases God, is when we love. No matter how big or small our giftings are, if we don’t walk in love we don’t please God, and we profit nothing.

 

 

Character of God:

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

 

God’s greatest commandment is to love, and here is His definition. We don’t have to wonder if we’re walking in love, He spell it out for us. It’s easy to skip over these verses quickly as we’ve read them so many times, but we must not do that. Lord, as we read these verses, please show us where our love is lacking, show us areas we need to work on. Lord, because we want to love others the way You want us to.

 

 

Character of God:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

 

Americans spend billions of dollars a year on comfort, we are addicted to it. Yet, material comfort only comforts the flesh, God’s comfort, goes deep into our soul. He comforts us in our affliction, not in our life of ease. No one likes affliction, pain, or suffering, but it’s in those times that God chooses to show us how it’s done by comforting us. Why? So we can learn to comfort others. What God does for us, is what we are to do for others. Freely we have received God’s amazing comfort, freely we can choose to comfort others. 

 

 

Character of God:

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.  2 Corinthians 4:8-10

 

Being a believer in Jesus Christ is not always easy, and certain death to some. And yet people keep believing, because once we’ve encountered God face to face we will do anything for Him. No matter what happens to us while we are still on earth, we can count on God to be right here with us. His love for us goes so deep inside of us that we are able, through His strength and love to pick ourselves up, and keep going. May there never be any doubt in anyone’s mind, that we are believers and lovers of Jesus Christ. May He manifest in us, on us, and through us, at all times.

 

 

Character of God:

For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

 

I must admit, I don’t like conflict, affliction, pain, hate, abuse, or unkindness of any kind. But it’s in those times that we have the opportunity to produce eternal glory beyond comparison. When we choose to look into the unseen, to make it our reality, when we choose love, joy and peace to be our reactions in the seen world, eternal glory is deposited into our heavenly account. Lord, help us keep our mind on the unseen, in a world of seeing. Help us see, hear, and experience the unseen on a more regular basis. 

 

 

Character of God:

I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren;  I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. 2 Corinthians 11:26-28

 

Some people have a more challenging walk with God, while others seem to walk in much favor, and it’s hard at times to understand God’s plan for each of our lives. But He does have a plan, and He is always with us, strengthening us to accomplish His plans. We must not judge others or ourselves by the circumstances we find ourselves in, but we must continue seeking, obeying and trusting our Lord. And we must continue encouraging others and ourselves on our journey with God.

 

 

Character of God:

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 2 Corinthians 12:7

 

Paul paid a price for the great revelations he experienced, and there’s a lesson we can learn from this. God hates pride, and He hates self-exalting, and He has ways of keeping us from walking in them. Maybe God is waiting for pride and self-exalting to be put to death in our lives once and for all, before He blesses us with all He has for us. I’m sure God’s first choice is not to give us a thorn in the flesh, but for us to walk in humility. Lord, we want more of Your great revelations! Holy Spirit, we give You permission to reveal any pride and self-exalting, so we can quickly repent.

 

 

Character of God:

For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:11-12

 

It is an amazing experience to receive revelation from Jesus Christ. When you receive something first-hand, straight from Holy Spirit to you, you remember it. I remember such a revelation during a huge conference, all I was hearing was, “It’s all about Me”. After rethinking it about 500 times, I asked God why He kept bringing it to my mind, then it went from my head to my heart, and penetrated my soul. It’s not about me, and it’s not about you, it’s all about Jesus. I have been known to say this to people I hardly know (in love of course), because of the impact it’s had to me. 

 

 

Character of God:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 3:22-23

 

The fruit of the Spirit, the character of God, who we were created to be, all spelled out right here. We don’t always know the specifics of what God wants us to do right now, maybe we are praying about which direction to take, or if what we are doing is His will. We may not know the specifics, but if we walk in what we do know, like the fruit of the Spirit, then we know we are in His will. What kind of fruit do we produce on a daily basis, what kind do we produce behind closed doors where most don’t see? Lord, we want Your fruit to be our fruit, reveal any area that needs working on.

 

 

Character of God:

Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11

 

Being equipped to fight the enemy who is always out to get us, doesn’t just happen. The words, “Put on” are mentioned around 70 times in the Bible, and calls for action. Our shoes don’t just appear on our feet every morning, we have to put them on. We have to purposely put on and arm ourselves with weapons that affectively take out the enemy, just like we put on our clothes every day. These weapons have to become a part of who we are on a daily basis. So let us put on: The Lord Jesus Christ, our new self, belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, word of God, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and love, just to name a few. 

 

 

Character of God:

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

 

God never tires of watching us grow into the desire of His heart. None of us are the same as we were 5 years ago, and we won’t be the same 5 years from now. There’s a saying when one reaches 40-50 that, “It’s all down here from now.”, but that is not how God sees it. I wonder what goes through His mind as He thinks of each one of us, deciding what’s next for us, How He’s going to perfect us to be a little more like Himself? Lord, we never want You to weary in perfecting us, we open ourselves to You as willing vessel.

 

 

Character of God:

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13

 

My greatest desire is to please God, and it’s His greatest desire for me too. Do I always please Him, probably not? We are saved by God’s grace, and not by works, yet we are asked to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. When we are saved by God’s grace, that is just the beginning, we are born again babies. God’s desire is for us to mature and become mighty men and women of God. He has hopes and dreams for all of us, and as we seek Him and obey Him on a daily basis, becoming who He created us to be, we bring Him pleasure. What a thrill, to know we can bring God joy.

 

 

Character of God:

Do all things without grumbling or disputing (arguing);  so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, Philippians 2:14-15

 

We all have things we must do, that we would prefer not to do. These are opportunities where we have a choice to make, to do them in a godly manner, bringing glory to God, or not. It doesn’t mean that we can’t confront and discuss things privately in love, but we must remember at all times, that we are called to be lights in this world. Lord, when we start to grumble and argue (as we all do at times), make us aware of this. Lord, we want our light shining bright, we don’t want it dimming due to the way we act.

 

 

Character of God:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4

 

Rejoice is mentioned almost 200 times in the Bible, so it’s important to God. He created us with the ability to rejoice always. Sometimes when our circumstances look so bleak, it’s hard to rejoice. But as we choose to draw close to God, as we come humbly to Him with all our concerns and heavy burdens, and lay them at the feet of Jesus, we can rejoice. The more we get to know our Lord and Savior, the easier it is to rejoice in Him, not in our circumstances, but in Him. In Him are the answers, In Him is the joy, and in Him is our peace.

 

 

Character of God:

Finally, brethren, whatever is TRUE, whatever is HONORABLE, whatever is RIGHT, whatever is PURE, whatever is LOVELY, whatever is of GOOD REPUTE, if there is any EXCELLENCE and if anything WORTHY OF PRAISE, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9

 

It’s so easy to focus on the negative areas of our life that we want to change. However if we give more thought, focus and effort to thinking and walking in the positive ways of God, the negative ways of our flesh will die away. When we change our thinking, we change our lives. And when we practice thinking and living righteously, God’s peace will reward us.

 

 

Character of God:

Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. Philippians 4:17

 

When we give to the needs of those who preach the gospel, God blesses us. It doesn’t matter if our gift is small or large, God knows our heart. And it doesn’t matter if the person or organization we are giving to seems to have an abundance, when we give He blesses. God never tires of blessings us for giving. Lord, open our hearts to give to those You’ve chosen to preach the gospel.

 

 

Character of God:

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 

 

Sometimes we forget that this verse comes after Paul thanked the Philippians for giving to his needs. When we live as true sons and daughters, obedient to our Father and Holy Spirit’s leading; when we give to others, serve and love others, then we can count on God to supply all our needs. The desire of God’s heart is to give, so let us position ourselves to receive.

 

 

Character of God:

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, Colossians 1:9

 

The desire of God’s heart is to fill us with knowledge and understanding of His will, and we all want that. According to vs. 10-11, He want to do this so we will walk in a manner that pleases Him, and bear much fruit. He wants this knowledge and understanding to strengthen us with the power of endurance, patience, and joyfully giving thanks to Him always. This wisdom and understanding that God wants to give us is not for our benefit only, but to give Him glory by the way we live.

 

 

Character of God:

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

 

God created us with a hunger to know Him more, but we have to choose to keep fanning that flame of passion. We have to choose to keep seeking Him, and seeking the things above. This doesn’t just happen, we have to be intent on setting our mind on the things above and not of the things on earth. People have spent their whole lives seeking gold, diamonds, money, prestige and fame, because of drive and passion. Lord, put that drive and that passion for more of You in our hearts.

 

 

Character of God:

Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— Colossians 3:9-10

 

Just like we can’t put on our new shoes until we take the old ones off, we can’t put on our new self until we take off and lay aside our old self. Easier said than done for some. We are not always perfect, as we are “being” renewed, but with practice we will progress, and grow more and more into the image of Jesus. But we have God on our side, we have His power and strength working in us, giving us the ability to put on our new self, and keep it on. 

 

 

Character of God:

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved (that’s us), put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Colossians 3:12-14

 

Every morning we purposely put on clothes and shoes suitable to what we will be doing. Likewise, we have to purposely put on our spiritual clothes, suitable to God’s plans for us. Some people rarely have to put on these spiritual clothes, because they never take them off, others of us have to on a daily basis. But the more we put them on, the more they become a part of who we are, who God created us to be, and the longer they will stay on, with little effort.  

 

 

Character of God:

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. Colossians 3:23-24

 

Whether we make millions or minimum wage, our rewards are from God. Likewise, whether we work in a high rise building all dressed up, clean houses for others, stay at home raising our children, or out of work looking for a job, when our service is to God, our rewards are from Him. Too often we look to our job, our circumstances, or to others to bring us fulfillment and joy, when only God can do that. Lord, next time I have a task to do that I don’t enjoy, remind me to do it heartily and with a good attitude, for You.

 

 

Character of God:

but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts. 1 Thes 2:4

 

Some people open their mouth and just want to please others by their flattering words. Some people open their mouth and just want to speak what’s on their mind, no matter who gets hurt. But God wants us to speak what’s on His mind and what’s in His heart. When we do this we never have to worry about how others receive our words, because they are not ours but Gods. When we speak words that please God, in love, they have the potential of changing lives, creating miracles, healing, encouraging, and helping others change from a flesh pleasing life, to a God pleasing life. 

 

 

Character of God:

just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. 1 Thes 2:11-12

 

How exciting to know that God is calling us into His own kingdom and glory. Jesus died so we could walk in a manner worthy of His calling for us. But worthy or not, He is calling, Hi is always calling. Do we stop, do we listen? When He calls do we go running to Him with our arms wide open? Lord, thank you for calling us to Your kingdom and glory, may we always hear Your calling, and come quickly. Open our eyes and heart to the wonders of Your kingdom and glory.

 

 

Character of God:

and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; 1 Thes 2:11-12

 

Love is one of the most powerful weapons against the enemy that we have, and God wants to help us increase in it. Only God can increase our love for others, for the unlovely, for the dirty, for the mean, for the desperate, and for other believers. It’s not always easy to love others, but when we desire to do so, He will increase our ability to love them. I have experienced this first hand, and know that God is quite capable of increasing our love for others, if we are willing. Lord, we come before You today, ready to have You increase our love for others, no matter who they are.

 

 

Character of God:

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 2:3-4

 

There is no question about it, God wants EVERYONE to be saved and to know Him. There are some despicable, gruesome people in this world, doing horrible things to other human beings, yet God desires them to be saved. He alone knows the hearts of these people, and He alone knows if they will ever choose Him. He alone knows what might happen if we prayed more for these people instead of cursing, rebuking, or slandering them. He alone knows when love could be the answer to their eyes and heart being opened to the Gospel. Lord, open our eyes and our hearts to know when You desire to use us to bring salvation to the most unlikely of people.

 

 

Character of God:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

 

God’s word equips us to be all He created us to be. Within it lies treasures and knowledge worth far more than any amount of money. Some of us are blessed with multiple copies of the Bible, yet rarely read it. Some have to hide their Bible or face persecution, yet read it every chance they get, devouring the precious words of their Lord and Savior. Thank you God for giving us the Bible, which prepares and equips us to be who You created us to be, and lead us to know You more intimately and completely. Lord, help us choose to make reading Your word a priority in our life.

 

 

Character of God:

 “You (Jesus) have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions.” Hebrews 1:9

 

Jesus was anointed with the oil of gladness, joy, ecstatic delight, exultation, exhilaration, He was not this stoic person who is serious all the time. Like Jesus, we should be the most joyful, happy people on planet earth. Non-believers should be drawn to our joy, and want to know the source of it. Lord, anoint us with more of Your gladness, more of Your joy. Anoint us to be the life of the party, high on Your presence and Your joy. And Lord, let our joy in You be contagious. We were created to be joyful, but it’s our choice to walk in it, or not.

 

 

Character of God:

So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:19

 

The Israelites were not able to enter to the promised land of rest, due to unbelief. God had a plan for them, a destiny, and a promise, yet many died without receiving it. Many of us have a destiny, promises from God, prophecies from others, and words directly from God Himself, yet we will never receive them, they will never manifest. Why? Unbelief! It’s hard for me at times to believe all I think I’m hearing from God. He has given me glimpses of what I will be doing, amazing, wonderful things, beyond what I ever hoped or imagined. Yet if I’m not careful, unbelief can keep me from all God has for me. Lord, help us all to live our lives trusting in You and Your promises completely. May we never give up, and may we never choose to doubt You, or allow unbelief to consume us.   

 

 

Character of God:

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

 

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (vs 1). It is impossible to please God when we put our trust in things we can see, and that’s just hard to do at times. God rewards those who continually seek Him, and He rewards us by allowing us to get to really know Him. And when we know Him, we can trust Him. Total, surrendered faith doesn’t just happen, we have to continually practice it, and with practice comes progress, and with progress comes God’s rewards and blessings.

 

 

Character of God:

Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21

 

We serve and love the only God whose desire is to equip us to bring Him glory. It doesn’t matter our education level, where we are living, if we are rich or poor, our God wants to equip us. He wants to teach us what only He knows we will need for the life He’s chosen for us. We can never blame our lack of education, money, resources, friends, family, connections, or anything else for the way our life is now. When we choose to make God our number one focus, He will equip us with everything we need to please Him. 

 

 

Character of God:

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2-4

 

Joy is not the first thing most of us think of when going through a trial or temptation. Only our amazing Father can ask that of us, because only He knows the benefit that could come from it. Here we are given the opportunity to grow in maturity, which automatically positions us for more, because we can be trusted more. We can’t just declare that we are mature and complete, lacking nothing, without living out the first two verses successfully. Lord, remind us to choose joy, and the benefits of doing so, the next time we have the opportunity of encountering a trials and temptations. Remind us too of the benefits of maturing, being complete, and lacking nothing.

 

 

Character of God:

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:5-8

 

For me, these four verses are easier said than done. It’s easy to ask my loving Father for wisdom, knowing He wants to give it to me. But it’s also easy for me at times to feel tossed around by the wind. Nothing is impossible with God, but nothing is possible without faith. Faith in who God says He is, and faith in Him doing what He says He will do is the foundation of our Christian life. Without faith it’s impossible to please God, and without faith we miss out on so much that He wants to give us.

 

 

Character of God:

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.  James 1:13-14

 

We can never blame God for putting a temptation in front of us, that’s not who He is. Satan on the other hand loves to dangle temptation in front of us, and he is very aware of our weaknesses. However, it’s our own lust that entices us to cross the line into sin. We may have no control of thoughts that come into our mind, and we may have no control over what suddenly appears before our eyes, but we do have control over how long we allow our thoughts and flesh to be enticed with the temptation. Within about 2-3 seconds we have a very serious choice to make. Lord, help us choose victory, not sin.

 

 

Character of God:

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. James 3:17

 

When looking to others, especially pastors, preachers, teachers, elders, or parents for Godly advice and wisdom, we must choose wisely if we should trust all that they say. Not all knowledge and wisdom is from God. We must discern the advice we are given to see if it lines up with wisdom from above. Does it bring peace or chaos? Is it gentle or harsh? Is it merciful or inhumane?  God’s wisdom comes from a place of peace and love, it leaves us feeling closer to God, with our identity intact. Likewise, when we seek God for wisdom, if what we’re hearing doesn’t bring peace and love, it’s probably not Him we’re hearing.

 

 

Character of God:

For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 1 Peter 2:20

 

This goes against human nature starting when we are very small. Tattling on others, blaming others, and wanting everything to always be fair is common place in children. But God is calling us to a higher standard, a standard that goes against human nature. We are blessed to have a heavenly Father that we can go to anytime we are treated wrongly, He will tell us whether we are to say something, or whether we are to patiently endure. When our ultimate goal is to please God, we can swallow all pride, not demand fairness, not spread rumors, but patiently endure through the challenge of the situation. He is with us, He will comfort us, and He will bless our obedience with favor.

 

 

Character of God:

As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11

 

We are all called to serve others with the gifts God’s given us. We are to speak the utterance of God, which we will only know by spending time with Him and listening carefully. These utterances will be full of love and wisdom. And when we serve with the strength God supplies, there is less need of complaining, and more joy is released. Lord, remind us that serving others is to bring You glory, not ourselves.

 

 

Character of God:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

 

One of the greatest verses in the Bible, and the foundation of our Christian life. How blessed we are to know for sure our sins are forgiven when we confess them to God, yet many times we don’t forgive ourselves. We can stand before God cleansed, holy, and righteous, but not accept His gift of forgiveness. What must He think when we do this? And, when we learn to forgive others for their sins against us, it’s easier to understand that God Himself is faithful in forgiving us completely. Confessing our sin is powerful, and accepting God’s forgiveness is the only way to be able to walk in freedom and peace. Lord, reveal to us whenever we sin, so we can quickly confess and be forgiven.

 

 

Character of God:

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

 

God has equipped us with the ability to be victorious in every situation, by giving us His Spirit to dwell in us. We are never without this weapon of truth and mass destruction, and the only thing that can cause it to malfunction is our lack of faith in God. Some trust in their feelings, knowledge, strength, guns, position, government, money, etc., but we trust in God. May we never forget the power of Him who is in us.

 

 

Character of God:

This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. 1 John 5:14-15

 

It’s easier for us to know God’s heart, than to know His will. Only God knows the detailed plans He has for us, and how He will accomplish them. Only He knows what it will take to position us to accomplish His will, only He sees the big picture. When we choose to live a surrendered life to God, we present ourselves to Him as moveable, pliable, and teachable. When we truly only want God’s will in our lives, we can know for certain that we will receive what we ask for at the right time, His time.

 

 

Character of God:

He who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Revelation 3:21 

 

We all go through struggles from time to time, some much more than others. Our God blesses us when we overcome the challenges in our life, when we go through them seeking Him, and trusting Him. When we come out victorious because our faith didn’t waiver, and our heart didn’t doubt that God is who He says He is, we are blessed. We are blessed not only in this life, but the life to come. Imagine sitting on the throne with our Lord Jesus Christ. Lord, give us the strength to keep trusting You in times of great difficulties, strengthen us to be victorious overcomers. 

 

 

Character of God:

Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty day. 

Revelation 12:6

 

I will be the first to admit I don’t understand a lot of Revelation. However, here we see the love and protection God shows to this woman. In the midst of life threatening events, God had prepared a place in advance for her to go to, and be nourished back to health. He many times doesn’t take us out of violent  situations, but if He still has plans for our life, and assignments for us to finish, He will take care of us, and give us rest in the midst of chaos.