Tag Archives: Attributes

What God Gave Up for Lent – Day 11

11. A Divine Exchange  

Foot Washing

He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him. (Isaiah 53:2b)

We see here the divine exchange. He Who angels and all manner of Heavenly Host fall on their faces before Him; He Who is the King of kings and Lord of lords, now has no stately form or majesty. Just looking at the Hebrew word for majesty, we catch a glimpse of what kind of majesty was given up. Some of the translations are: glory, honor, beauty, comeliness, excellency, and goodly, to name a few.

Consider Paul’s description of God and His dwelling: I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen. (1 Timothy 6:13-16)

Move from the unapproachable light of Christ’s deity, to the humanity of Christ: Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:6-8)

From immortality and unapproachable light; from glory, honor, beauty, comeliness, excellency, and goodly. These were the words that would describe His heavenly existence; but now as He walked the earth, apparently none of these characteristics were readily evident. Therefore there was no reason for us to look upon Him.

Why would He do this? Humility. Love. Two of the attributes of Christ that we see, if we choose to look. And two attributes of Christ which we can emulate, that others should see in us.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus… (Philippians 2:5)

Are you willing to make His attitude your attitude?

Singing with the King (74) – Praise Enough?

Dancing in the Sun1Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.  Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord? Who can ever praise Him enough? (Ps 106:1-2)

I’ve probably said this somewhere in this blog, but every time you see the phrase “Praise the LORD!”, it’s literally the English translation of the word Hallelujah! That’s not only a great way to begin the Psalm, it’s a great way to begin your day, because it puts your day into the proper context. The Lord is your focus, the Lord is your purpose, and your thoughts, words, deeds, and emotions are permeated with praise.

Since the Lord is our focus, and our purpose, we discover that the object of this praise and thanks (at least in this Psalm) is: He is good. And His faithful love endure forever. That’s something worth hanging onto, especially when surrounded by the uncertainties, sorrows, and pain that life brings. We need to remember “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) And “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

When you ponder that verse from Lamentations, about a love that never ends, about mercies never cease, you then realize what the psalmist was writing in verse two: Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord? Who can ever praise him enough? Those are what you call rhetorical questions, because we can never list His glorious miracles, nor will we ever praise him enough.

There’s an old hymn called The Love of God, the final verse goes like this:

Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky

And notice that that’s just writing about the love of God. What about His other attributes? Such as His goodness, and His faithfulness. The end of the Gospel of John says something quantitatively similar:

This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that His testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written. (John 21:24-25)

May you begin your day with His praise. Because His love endures forever, you may discover that His praise may occupy your day.


Singing with the King (4) – Acts & Attributes

Praise Him for His mighty deeds, praise Him according to His excellent greatness. (Psalm 150:2)


Several years back, I led a chapel at the Intentional Living Center, and we focused on the above verse from Psalm 150. This verse focuses on two things: Praise Him for His mighty deeds—WHAT God does; and Praise Him according to His excellent greatnessWHO God is.

We started with WHAT God does first. It’s relatively easy to recite the works of God, either those you have seen for yourself, or have heard about from others, or have seen in Scripture. And whether you know it or not, we have all been recipients of mighty deeds. As such, we were able to fill up an entire side of whiteboard in a short time.

But when I flipped the whiteboard and asked them to recount WHO He is, it took significantly longer, and we came up with maybe only a third the number of examples.

Why was that? Many of the works of God are tangible; they can be seen, touched, heard, tasted and smelled. His attributes however may not fall within the physical realm, and require a bit more study on our part. The good news is His acts are entirely consistent with His nature; so if you have to start with WHAT He has done in your life—if you look—you will find a divine attribute behind that act.

Mighty deeds – most often, this Hebrew word is translated as power or strength, and what we can learn from its various definitions is, God’s power not only proclaims who He is, but what He has done. And when He empowers us, it reveals who He is, and what He has done—in us:

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

Excellent in excellent greatness is most often translated as abundance, and can also be translated as greatness; so verse two could say: Praise Him according to His great greatness. But the psalmist was seeking to convey a “better” superlative; sort of a super superlative. That makes sense when you’re talking about the Lord. Language tends to fail us when we describe Him. Which only points us back to my introductory post: Be still and know that I am God.

Get caught up in WHAT He has done… This Is My Father’s World by GLAD