A little boy was somewhat perplexed by all the exchanging of presents on Christmas morning, for he had been taught in Sunday school that it was the birthday of the Savior. Finally, after a long period of silence, he asked, “Mommy, when are we going to give Jesus His present? I thought it was His birthday!”
Life can seem unbearable at times. Physical pain, difficult decisions, financial hardships, the death of a loved one, or shattered dreams threaten to engulf us. We become fearful and perplexed. Plagued by doubts, we may even find it difficult to pray.
In his book Love Is Now, Peter Gilquist mentioned that he and several other friends were invited to speak to a group of UCLA students. After the meeting, a young man expressed a desire to discuss the matter of salvation. So Gilquist arranged to meet with him the next morning.
The Lord led the children of Israel by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21). Commentator Arthur Pink draws a significant parallel between this cloud in the wilderness and the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer.
Certain names from the past can elicit a variety of responses. The mention of Hitler, for example, brings feelings of contempt. On the other hand, a great historical figure like Churchill brings a positive response. Even within the circle of our own acquaintances, we remember some individuals with thankfulness, while we think negatively of others whose lives were spent in selfish pursuits.
It’s one thing to know about God, but it’s quite another to know Him personally. Let’s see how this distinction applies when considering some of God’s attributes.
The thought that God is present everywhere is staggering. But to be aware of His presence in times of need brings comfort and hope.
The thought that God knows everything is mind-boggling. But…
There’s a story about a farmer who was known for his negative attitude. One day a neighbor stopped by and commented on the farmer’s wonderful crop. “You must be extremely happy with this year’s harvest,” he said. The farmer grudgingly replied, “Well, yes, it looks like a pretty good one, but a bumper crop is awfully hard on the soil.”
Shortly before his death, the Duke of Burgundy was presiding over the Cabinet Council of France. A proposal was made by the ministers that would violate a treaty but would secure important advantages for the country. Many reasons were offered to justify the deed. The Duke listened in silence, and when all had spoken he closed the conference without giving approval. Placing his hand on a copy of the original agreement, he said with firmness in his voice, "Gentlemen, we have a treaty!"
A farmer had a weather vane on his barn, on which was written "God is love." When friends asked why, the farmer said, "This is to remind me that no matter which way the wind blows, God is love."