‘Time’ was Created…perplexing is our ‘time’ – light from a Star! Have you ever gazed into the sky on a clear night? Have you seen stars?
Earth is a planet orbiting the Sun. A Star! The Milky Way has a mass of 1.5 trillion suns. Most of it is mysterious dark matter. Something weird is happening in our galaxy: It’s spinning fast enough that stars ought to be flying off, but there’s something holding them together. The Hand of God holds ALL things together! Creations great Artist – God. Describing God’s Creation of huMan beings, Genesis 1:26 says: “then God said, ‘Let Us make (asah) huMans in Our image, according to Our likeness’”; Genesis 2:7 reads, “Then The LORD God formed (yatsar) Man of dust from the ground”; and Genesis 5:1 declares, “He made (asah) them in the divine likeness.”
I am struck by the simplicity of the complexity of the huMan spirit. You are who and what you are. This is unchanging but for experiences which form what and who we are! Identity is simply defined by our collection of experiences. We are all simply collections of our experiences, and naturally those collections are all unique and different.
Definition of experience
1a: Direct observation of or participation in events as a basis of knowledgeb: the fact or state of having been affected by or gained knowledge through direct observation or participation
2a: Practical knowledge, skill, or practice derived from direct observation of or participation in events or in a particular activity
b: The length of such participation
3: Something personally encountered, undergone, or lived through
4a: The conscious events that make up an individual life
b: The events that make up the conscious past of a community or nation or huMankind generally
5: The act or process of directly perceiving events or reality
Definition of experience
1: To have experience of : UNDERGO i.e. experienced severe hardships as a child
2: To learn by experience ie “I have experienced that a landscape and the sky unfold the deepest beauty”
First, it is crucial to understand what Deuteronomy 6:4 means when it says, “LORD is one.” The Hebrew word translated “one” in Deuteronomy 6:4 is echad. It means “unity,” not “singularity.” It is also used in Genesis 2:24 in referring to a husband and wife being “one” flesh. A husband and wife are not one as in a singular being. Rather, they are in unity with each other. There is a Hebrew word that means “absolute singularity,” yachid, but it is never used in the Hebrew Scriptures in reference to God.
With that said, it is important to affirm the biblical teaching of one God. From the very first words of Scripture, we are told there is only one God who created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). The controversy is not whether there is only one God versus two gods. The discussion is how Christians understand Jesus as this one true God. Christians believe that the Bible presents one God who exists in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The doctrine of the Trinity does not contradict Deuteronomy 6:4. As was said above, the Hebrew word echad means “unity,” not “singularity.” Christians believe the Persons of the Trinity are united in the Godhead.
In Matthew 28:19, Jesus commands His followers to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” He refers to all three Persons functioning as the same God. Another occasion that shows all three Persons of the Trinity operating at the same time is the baptism of Jesus. Luke 3:21–22 reads, “When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’” God the Father speaks from the sky to Jesus who is on earth while the Spirit comes down from the sky upon Jesus. We see the same three Persons equated in Paul’s benediction to the Corinthian church (2 Corinthians 13:14).
Each Person of the Trinity is clearly referred to as God. In addition to the Father being called God, Jesus is referred to as God in John 1:1; 14; Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:8–9; and 1 John 5:20. The Holy Spirit is also referred to as God in Acts 5:3–4 and 1 Corinthians 3:16.
Some argue that God cannot have a Son. Although God did not give birth to a Son as humans understand birth, God chose the Father/Son relationship to help us understand the inner workings of the Trinity. The Son and Spirit, together with the Father, have existed from eternity past. There is perfect eternal fellowship within the Trinity among all three. God exists in both perfect unity and community.
The presentation of Jesus as God was a difficult teaching for the Jews to accept during the time of Jesus. However, the resurrection of Jesus provided the full evidence that He is both fully human and fully divine. Jesus is the Messiah predicted in the Old Testament who is equal with the Father: “I and the Father are one”” (John 10:30).
Do you ever sit there and wish things would change? And then…you sit there and wish things would stop changing, especially so fast? We change, the world changes, society changes…but how comforting is it that God Never Changes!!
We learned last night about 4 things with God that never change. (There are more, of course, but each message is only 25 minutes or so:))
God’s Laws Never Change: God’s “law of minimum wage” never changes. “For the wages of sin is death…” Our sin deserves punishment, and God tells us in His Word that that punishment is death. Death is separation – physical and spiritual. Separation from God for all eternity! (Rom 6:23)
God’s Standard Never Changes: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” God’s standard, or measuring stick, is perfection – holiness. The Bible tells us that we fall short of that standard, and we cannot enter Heaven with sin. (Romans 3:23)
God’s Love Never Changes: “I have loved you with an everlasting love” “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” As our Holy God, our Creator, knowing that we have sinned and deserve death, God sent his perfect Son to bear the punishment of death for us. (Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:16)
God’s Promises Never Change: “Not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke…” (Joshua 23:14)
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. John 5:24
- My Words will not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)
- Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, The Creator of the ends of the Earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable. (Isaiah 40:28)
- Have you not heard? The Lord is The everlasting God, The Creator of the ends of the Earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable. (Isaiah 40:28)
- Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the Earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting You are God. (Psalm 90:2)
- Thus says The Lord, The king of Israel and his Redeemer, The Lord of hosts: “I am The first and I am The last; besides Me there is no god. (Isaiah 44:6)
- I am The Alpha and The Omega, The first and The last, The Beginning and The End.” (Revelation 22:13)
In thinking of an event in The Word which ties so very much together. I was led to the prophet Elijah who was as huMan as you and I. He simply made himself available to shine The glory of God. Yet we see despite being used by God; he was huMan! instead of feeling victorious, Elijah felt hopeless, alone and afraid. He had low self-esteem and wanted to die. He wanted to sleep and had to be encouraged to get up and nourish himself.
The people of Israel were worshipping an idol named Baal so the prophet Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to a contest to see who could bring down fire from heaven to burn their sacrifice. The prophets of Baal went first; they prayed, shouted, and even cut themselves. Nothing happened. Then Elijah prayed and fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifice as well as the stones of the altar. Then Elijah had all the prophets of Baal killed. When this happened, Queen Jezebel said she would kill Elijah, so, in fear, he left his servant behind and ran into the wilderness where he sat under a broom tree and prayed he would die because he lacked faith. While Elijah slept, an angel woke him up, provided him with food and water, and encouraged him to take nourishment. Elijah ate and drank, but then he lay back down. Again, the angel told him to get up and eat so he could go on a journey to Mt. Horeb, the mountain of God. When he got there, he spent the night in a cave, and God asked him what he was doing there. Elijah complained that he had been very zealous for God, but the Israelites had rejected God’s covenant, torn down God’s altars and put God’s prophets to death. Elijah said he was the only one left and they wanted to kill him also. God told Elijah to come out of the cave and stand on the mountain because God was going to pass by. Then a powerful wind blew and shattered rocks on the mountain, but God was not in the wind. There was an earthquake, but God was not in the earthquake. Then there was a fire, but God also was not in the fire. Finally, there came a gentle whisper. God again did not rebuke Elijah but told him to journey back to his life, anoint a man to be the new king and anoint Elisha to succeed him.
One of the many events that Elijah was used and blessed by God (blessing those around him!)
Malachi 3:6 declares, “I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.” Similarly, James 1:17 tells us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Numbers 23:19 is clear: “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?” Based on these verses, no, God does not change. God is unchanging and unchangeable. He is also all-wise. So He cannot “change His mind” in the sense of realizing a mistake, backtracking, and trying a new tack.
And we pray:
Father LORD God above ALL that exists, the seen and the unseen. You have Penned the story of my existence. You have placed the decision in my hands and I have Madd the decision to lay my entire existence at Your feet. Use me LORD. Where I need molding; shape me to Your will and purpose. Where I have stepped away from Your instruction and guidance forgive me LORD. I am giving it ALL up for You. Be my Guide, my Comforter, my Reason. Wash me with The blood of Jesus, Amen. My thoughts are in subjection to Your will. I pray Your will over my life. Amen.