Thursday, December 16, 2010

Awesome God

{Oh yeah, since I haven't posted on here in forever... I'm engaged! We're to be married in my parents' church in June. I can't wait!}

So last August I decided I wanted to read through the entire Bible - verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book. I have never done that before, so I figured I needed to give it a greater purpose than simply "read through the Bible." So on August 21st of last year, I decided that I would read, but as I read I would take notes on anything I found that showed me who God is - His character, His desires, His hates, etc., all with scripture references.

It took me just under 16 months to read through all 66 books while doing this special project along with it. Some of the delay came from traveling this summer and getting off track for a while, but I finished it tonight (er, last night, since it's after 1 am on Thursday now) (Wed, Dec 15), at 11:30 p.m. My final file with all of my references and notes came to 62 pages. Wow! God is truly awesome. I am in awe at the things I've found out about the God I serve through this.

So this is pretty long, but it's just a small a taste of what I've learned about this Great and Awesome, Almighty God we serve:

Old Testament Thoughts (a sampling)

Genesis: He is the creator (ch 1); He is a covenant-making God (9:9-17); He sees us (16:13)

Exodus: He hears our groanings and remembers His promises (2:24); He knows men’s hearts (9:35); He shows love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments (20:6); He provides for our atonement (30:14-16)

Leviticus: He requires atonement for sin (ch 4); He is holy, and demands that His people be holy (19:2); He demands obedience because He is the LORD, YHWH, the God of Israel (chapters 22-25)

Numbers: He guides us and makes Himself visible so we would know which way to go (the cloud, fire) (9:15-17); He is never lacking in the power to do what He says He will do (11:23); He is not a man, that He should lie, or a son of man, the He should change his mind (23:19)

Deuteronomy: He is a merciful God, and will not abandon, destroy, or forget us (4:31); He, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. (6:4); He is God of gods, Lord of lords, the great God, the mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes, who defends the fatherless and widow, loves the alien (10:17-18)

Joshua: He commands us to be strong and courageous because He is with us everywhere we go (1:9); He will bring judgment as well as blessings – He does not go back on His covenants (23:15-16)

Judges: He still has compassion on His people even when they suffer because of disobedience (2:18); He is faithful even when we doubt, and He gives us what we need to obey (6:36-40); He walks us through, step by step, to overcome our fear (7:10-15)

Ruth: He provides for His people (1:6)

1 Samuel: He brings death and makes alive; brings to the grave and raises up; sends poverty and wealth; humbles and exalts; raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash (2:8); He sometimes gives us what we want, even though He does not want it for us (ch 10); He does not look at the outward appearance; He looks at Man’s heart (16:7)

2 Samuel: He has done great things for the sake of His word and according to His will (7:21); He is our shield and the horn of our salvation, our stronghold, our refuge, our savior (22:3); He shows himself faithful to the faithful; blameless to the blameless; pure to the pure (22:26-27)

1 Kings: He requires that we walk in His ways, keep His decrees/commands/laws/requirements (2:3); He came not in the wind or earthquake or fire, but in the gentle whisper (19:11-12)

2 Kings: He is longsuffering, but He will punish wickedness (17:18-20); He is enthroned between cherubim, alone is God over all kingdoms of the earth (19:15)

1 Chronicles: He remembers His covenant forever, His word for a thousand generations (16:15); He searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts (28:9); He tests the heart and is pleased with integrity (29:17)

2 Chronicles: He cannot be contained by the heavens, even the highest heavens (2:6); He will hear from heaven, forgive sin, and heal the land when His people humble themselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways (7:14); He is neither unjust, partial, nor does He bribe (19:7)

Ezra: He, God, is the one who moves hearts (1:5); He gives light to our eyes and relief in our bondage (9:8); He punishes less than we deserve because of our sins (9:13)

Nehemiah: He is a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love (9:17); He is just and faithful (9:33); He gives great joy (12:43)

Esther: He turns sorrow into joy and mourning into celebration (9:22)

Job: He is sovereign (1:6); He is God: to Him alone belong strength and victory (12:16); He can do all things – no plan of His can be thwarted (42:2)

Psalms: He will not abandon me to the grave, nor will He let His Holy One see decay (16:10); He is the King of glory, the LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle (24:7-8); He does not delight in sacrifice or burnt offerings, but in the broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart (51:16-17); His love is as great as the heavens are high above the earth; as far as east is from the west, he has removed our transgressions (103:11-12)

Proverbs: He is the source of knowledge and wisdom: the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (1:7); He disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in (3:12); He detests the ways of the wicked but loves those who pursue righteousness (15:9)

Ecclesiastes: He set eternity in the hearts of men, yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end (3:11); He will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidding thing, good or evil (12:14)

Song of Solomon: He is the bridegroom and He loves the bride, His people (whole book)

Isaiah: He desires that we seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the fatherless, and plead for the widow (1:17); He, the Spirit of the Lord, is the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD (11:2); He, the LORD, is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom (40:28)

Jeremiah: He knew you before He formed you in the womb; before you were born He set you apart (1:5); He desires that we boast not of our own wisdom or strength or riches, but that we’d boast of our understanding and knowledge of Him, that He is the LORD who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in those He delights (9:23-24); He will never stop doing good to His people, and He will inspire them to fear Him so that they will never turn away from Him (32:40)

Lamentations: He has done what He planned; He has fulfilled His word, which He decreed long ago (2:17); He loves us – because of His great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is His faithfulness (3:22-23)

Ezekiel: He speaks what He wills, and it shall be fulfilled without delay (12:25); He does nothing without cause (14:23); He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live (33:11)

Daniel: He is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries (2:47); He, the Ancient of Days, will pronounce judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High (7:22); He is the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with all who love Him and obey His commands (9:4)

Hosea: He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds (6:1); He desires mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings (6:6); He is the LORD God Almighty, the LORD is His name of renown (12:5)

Joel: He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. (2:13); He will pour out His Spirit on all people; Israel’s sons and daughters will prophesy, their old men will dream dreams, their young men will see visions; even on His servants, both men and women, He will pour out His Spirit in those days (2:28-29)

Amos: He will judge sin (all of ch 1); He who made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns blackness into dawn and darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land – the LORD is His name (5:8)

Obadiah: He punishes those who attack Israel but will deliver Israel (1-17)

Jonah: He answers our calls and listens to our cries (2:2); He sees when we turn from our evil ways and has compassion upon us (3:10)

Micah: He has shown you, o man, what is good and what the LORD requires of you: to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (6:8); He alone is God: who is like Him, who pardons sins and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance; He does not stay angry forever but delights to show mercy (7:18)

Nahum: He is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath (1:2); He is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished (1:3)

Habakkuk: He, the LORD, is from everlasting, the Holy One (1:12); His eyes are too pure to look on evil; He cannot tolerate wrong (1:13); He is the Sovereign LORD – He is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights (3:19)

Zephaniah: He, the LORD, is righteous – He does no wrong. Morning by morning He dispenses His justice, and every new day He does not fail (3:5); He, the LORD your God, is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing (3:17)

Haggai: He shakes the heavens and earth, the sea and dry land, and all the nations and fills His house with glory (2:7)

Zechariah: He is determined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah (8:15); He refines His children in the fire like silver and tests them like gold; they will call on His name and He will answer them; He will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘the LORD is our God.’ (13:9)

Malachi: He has loved you (1:2); He, the LORD, does not change (3:6); He will throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it (3:10)

New Testament Thoughts (a sampling)

Matthew: He is victorious over the devil (ch 4); He knows our needs and provides for them (6:8, 25-31); He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God (16:16); He is not willing that even one be lost (18:13); He is RISEN! (28:6)

Mark: He, Jesus, is the Son of God (1:1); He came to serve and give His life as a ransom for many (10:45); He is the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One, the Son of Man who sits at the right hand of the Mighty One, who will come on the clouds of heaven (14:61-62)

Luke: He has come and has redeemed His people (1:68); He, Jesus, was annointed to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the captives, recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, as Isaiah predicted (4:18-21); He forgave even his executioners (23:34)

John: He was in the beginning and made all things (1:1-3); He is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world (1:29); He grants eternal life, not condemnation, for all who hear His word and belive (5:23); He, the Son, set us free, and we are free indeed! (8:36)

Acts: He cannot be contained by death (2:24); He will not let His Holy One see decay (2:27); He does not show favoritism, but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right (10:34-35)

Romans: His gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (1:16); He presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished (3:25); His kingdom is not a matter of eating or drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (14:17)

1 Corinthians: He chooses the foolish things of this world to shame the wise, the weak things of the world to shame the strong, the lowly things and despised things and things that are not to nullify the things that are so that none may boast before Him (1:27-29); He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts (4:5); He is not a God of disorder, but of peace (14:33)

2 Corinthians: He is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles (1:3-4); He made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (5:21)

Galatians: He, Christ, redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit (3:14); In Him, Christ, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love (5:6)

Ephesians: He marked us in Him (when we believed) with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of His glory (1:13-14); He is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in His flesh the law with its commandments and regulations (2:14-15)

Philippians: He, Christ, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likelness (2:6-7); He, Christ, humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross (2:8)

Colossians: He is pleased when we bear fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of Him, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so we may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light (1:10-12); He, Christ, is your life, and when He appears, you will also appear with Him in glory (3:4)

1 Thessalonians: He, Jesus, rescues us from the coming wrath (1:10); His will is that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him (4:3-6)

2 Thessalonians: He, Jesus, will be revealed from heaven in blazing fire with His powerful angels (1:7); He is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one (3:3)

1 Timothy: He is our Savior and our hope (1:1); He is the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God (1:17)

2 Timothy: He, Christ, destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (1:10); He will judge the living and the dead (4:1)

Titus: He does not lie (1:2); He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy (3:5)

Philemon: the only book that says little directly about God, other than He desires that we treat each other in love, whether free or slave, wronged or not.

Hebrews: He, Christ, is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word (1:3); His word is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (4:12); He is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised inheritance – now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant (9:15)

James: He is the source of every good and perfect gift, and is the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (1:17); His coming is near (5:8)

1 Peter: His word stands forever (1:25); He is the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls (2:25)

2 Peter: He did not spare angels when they sinned; He did not spare the ancient world when He brought the flood; He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah; He rescued Lot, a righteous man distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men – He knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment (2:4-9)

1 John: He, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, speaks to the Father in our defense (2:1); He is love (4:8)

2 John: He desires that we love one another!

3 John: He desires that His followers do what is good (1:11)

Jude: He is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen (1:25)

Revelation: He is the First and the Last; He is the Living One; He was dead, and behold He is alive for ever and ever, and He holds the keys of death and Hades (1:17-18); His words are holy and true, and He holds the key of David – what He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open (3:7); He is worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because He was slain, and with His blood He purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. He has made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth. (5:9-10); He speaks and out of His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations; He will rule them with an iron sceptor, and He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty (19:15); He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End; to him who is thirsty He will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life (21:6); He is coming soon! (22:7); He is the Root and Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star (22:16)

This is just a small taste of what I've seen over the last 16 months. What a truly awesome, wonderful, fearsome, powerful God we serve. He deserves all glory and praise and honor and love.