It’s not too late to sign up for the MHEA Virtual Spring Conference!
The conference begins tomorrow, April 24 and lasts through April 29. Registration is only $10.
The keynote speakers are Rachael Carmen with Apologia Educational Ministries and Steve Lambert whose wife wrote the Five in a Row curriculum. My family has personally benefited from both of these families’ efforts.
I’ll be sharing a talk titled “More than a Homeschool Mom” on Thursday, April 29th at 3pm. This talk is near and dear to my heart. Where do you find your identity? At the foot of the cross? Or in your efforts as a homeschooling mom?
Quite a few years ago, I spent two years studying the book of Romans precept upon precept. It was amazingly fruit bearing.
During that study, I created a visual representation to help me remember four key Biblical terms: Redemption, Propitiation, Justification and Imputation. These terms are words used often in scripture, but not used often in our everyday lives.
I pray it would be a blessing to you.
You are welcome to download them by right clicking on the image below. You’re also welcome to share, but please link back.
I’m midway through a study of the classic Christian book, The Knowledge of the Holy, by A.W. Tozer. I’m studying it online with some friends in Asia. These are my notes from week 9. I hope they will bless you. If you would like to join us, please send me a message!
In the past two months, we have already discussed that God is eternal, unchanging, all-knowing, all-wise and omnipotent.
Today we will be studying chapters 13 and 14 of “The Knowledge of the Holy,” where A.W. Tozer teaches that God is transcendent and omnipresent. How wonderful to study God’s transcendence and omnipresence on the same day!
God is transcendent. The word “transcend” reminds me of the more common words “ascend” and “descend.” Ascend (a+scend) means to climb up, while descend (de+scend) means to go down. We can ascend and descend ladders or stairs or mountains.
In Genesis 28:12, Jacob saw a vision of angels ascending and descending on a ladder, and in John 1:51, Jesus tells Nathanael that he will see heaven opened and see angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man.
But transcend means “to rise above or go beyond, to exceed.” A man or a book or a movie might transcend other men or books or movies, yet there will always be a better man, or a better book, or a better movie.
We might think of a goldfish as transcending a single cell amoeba.
We might think of a dolphin as transcending a goldfish.
We might think of young boy transcending a dolphin.
And a grown man transcends a young boy.
Surely the glory of an angel transcends the glory of a man.
But the gap between a single cell amoeba and an angel is small compared to the gap between angels and the Almighty God. Even the most wise, powerful, glorious angel is still a created being. God created the amoeba, the goldfish, the dolphin, the man, and the angel. God designed them in His own creative mind. God created each of them for His purposes. All of these created things are “that-which-is-not-God and can never be God.”
Tozer wrote, God is “exalted far above the created universe.” To exalt means to lift high, to praise, to glorify. In our modern world, people often praise and lift high worldly things.
Who are some people or what are some things that people today wrongly exalt?
God is the only one worthy to be exalted. God is the only one who is worthy of worship and praise. Before building a temple for the Lord, King Solomon said,
“The house that I am to build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods. But who is able to build him a house, since heaven, even highest heaven, cannot contain him? Who am I to build a house for him, except as a place to make offerings before him?” (2 Chronicles 2:5-6 ESV)
When Solomon had finished the temple, he worshipped the Lord before all the people of Israel, saying,
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27 ESV)
In our pride, we want God to fit into a little box. We want to live as if God is merely a man, limited in His power, limited in His knowledge, living far away and unconcerned with our lives.
Satan tempted Eve in the garden of Eden, telling her to eat the forbidden fruit. Satan told Eve that if ate the fruit, her “eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5) We, too, want to be “like God.” But none of us can truly be like God, because God is transcendent.
Only God is perfectly transcendent. God rises above everyone and everything. God transcends space and time. God transcends wisdom and knowledge. As His faithful children, we must humble ourselves and worship Him.
Think of this – this Almighty, Eternal, Unchanging, Self-existent, Self-sustaining God hears our prayers!
In Psalm 34, Solomon’s father, King David, worshipped God saying,
How can you praise and exalt God today? Let’s pause right now to praise and exalt God together!
This almighty, eternal, unchanging, self-existent, self-sufficient, transcendent God is also close and personal. God is omnipresent. Omni- means “all,” and “present” means “here, close to, next to.”
No matter where you go – in the middle of the greatest desert, at the top of the most remote mountain peak, at the deepest depth of the ocean, to the farthest reach of outer space – God is there. God is with me here in my little town in America and God is also with you in your big city on the other side the globe.
As Tozer writes, “there is no place in heaven or earth or hell where men may hide from His presence.”
“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:7-10 ESV)
I’m midway through a study of the classic Christian book, The Knowledge of the Holy, by A.W. Tozer. I’m studying it online with some friends in Asia. These are my notes from week 7. I hope they will bless you. If you would like to join us, please send me a message!
In the past few weeks, we have already discussed that God is eternal and unchanging as well as all-knowing and all-wise. Today we will be studying the twelfth chapter of “The Knowledge of the Holy,” where A.W. Tozer teaches that God is omnipotent.
God is omnipotent. Omni- means “all” and potent means “powerful,” so omnipotent means “all-powerful” or “almighty.”
“Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. The LORD lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground.” (Psalm 147:5-6 ESV) ‘我们的主为大，最有能力； 他的智慧无法测度。 耶和华扶持谦卑人， 将恶人倾覆于地。 ‘ 诗篇 147:5-6
God has created man in His image, so people have some wisdom, and some power, but only God is all-wise and all-powerful. The BEST way that we can have wisdom and power is to ask God! God can give us His wisdom and power.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:10-11 ESV) ‘我还有末了的话：你们要靠着主，倚赖他的大能大力作刚强的人。要穿戴上帝 所赐 的全副军装，就能抵挡魔鬼的诡计。 ‘ 以弗所书 6:10-11
Last week, when we were talking about wisdom, sister Beth encouraged us to be faithful to obey all that God tells us to do. She also encouraged us that we must trust God, even when we do not reach those wise goals.
Sisters, even if we make the right choices, we may not reach our goals. We can apply for 100 jobs, but not get hired for any of them. We can study five hours every night and still not get a perfect 100% score on the college exam.
We can read the Bible to our children every morning and night, pray with them before every meal, take them to church every Sunday, and memorize hundreds of Bible verses with them, and yet still we cannot guarantee that they will give their lives to Jesus. We are not all-powerful. Only God is ALMIGHTY. Only God can open the eyes of the blind and save those who are dead.
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”” (Mark 10:27) “耶稣看着他们，说：「在人是不能，在上帝却不然，因为上帝凡事都能。」” 马可福音 10:27
It is so important to remember that God is ALL-POWERFUL! God is OMNIPOTENT. God is ALMIGHTY!
If God was all-knowing and all-wise, but not all-powerful, then we could not fully trust Him.
If God knew what the best plan was, but He didn’t have the power to complete that plan, then we could not fully trust Him.
• What if God wanted to create the world in six days, but He wasn’t strong enough to do it? (Read Genesis 1-2 and Romans 1:20) • What if God wanted Sarah to have a baby in her old age, but He was unable to conceive the child in her womb? (Read Genesis 18:13-14) • What if God wanted to rescue the Israelites from Egypt, but He couldn’t part the Red Sea? (Read Exodus 14)
But, sisters, God DID create the world in six days. God DID give Sarah a baby when she was long past the age of bearing a child. God DID part the Red Sea allowing the Israelites to cross on dry land!
“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27 ESV) ‘「我是耶和华，是凡有血气者的 神，岂有我难成的事吗？ ‘ 耶利米书 32:27
Can you think of a time when God did something that looked impossible?
When has God answered your prayers that your faith grew?
We put our faith into practice by praying for our needs, trusting in God’s perfect wisdom and infinite power.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31) “两个麻雀不是卖一分银子吗？若是你们的父不许，一个也不能掉在地上；就是你们的头发也都被数过了。 所以，不要惧怕，你们比许多麻雀还贵重！」” 马太福音 10:29-31
How can we pray for you today?
How can we trust our cares to our Father who cares for us with all wisdom and power?
Let’s sing and pray together.
How Great Thou Art sung by Alan Jackson
Oh, Lord my God When I in awesome wonder Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made I see the stars I hear the rollin’ thunder Thy power throughout The universe displayed Then sings my soul My Savior God to Thee How great thou Art How great thou Art Then sings my soul My Savior God, to Thee How great thou Art How great thou Art
When Christ shall come, With shouts of acclamation And take me home What joy shall fill my heart? Then I shall bow In humble adoration And there proclaim, my God How great Thou Art Then sings my soul My Savior God, to Thee How great thou Art How great thou Art Then sings my soul My Savior God, to Thee How great thou Art How great thou Art How great Thou Art How great Thou Art
I’m midway through a study of the classic Christian book, The Knowledge of the Holy, by A.W. Tozer. I’m studying it online with some friends in Asia. These are my notes from week 6. I hope they will bless you. If you would like to join us, please send me a message!
In the eleventh chapter of “The Knowledge of the Holy,” A.W. Tozer teaches that God is all-wise.
Last week we talked about the idea that God is all-knowing or “omniscient.” How isall-knowing different from all-wise? Wisdom and knowledge are not the same. A person can be wise, but not knowledgeable, and a person can be knowledgeable, but not wise. God is both all-knowing and all-wise.
“Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” Daniel 2:20-21 ”但以理 说：「上帝的名是应当称颂的！从亘古直到永远，因为智慧能力都属乎他。他改变时候、日期，废王，立王，将智慧赐与智慧人，将知识赐与聪明人.” 但以理书 2:20-21
Tozer defines wisdom as “the ability to devise perfect ends, and to achieve those ends by the perfect means.” Wisdom is knowing the best way to reach the best goals. In the Bible, true wisdom is always used to describe what is pure, loving, and good, while knowledge can include both good things and evil things.
“… I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.” (Romans 16:19b) “…我愿意你们在善上聪明，在恶上愚拙。” 罗马书 16:19
Who is the wisest person that you know? What makes them so wise? Can you give an example of their wisdom?
Believing that God is both all-knowing and all-wise helps us to trust Him. God knows everything. Nothing is hidden from Him, whether good or bad. God knows everything in every city and every country and every person and animal and insect all over the world! And God is also perfectly wise! God always knows what will bring Him the most glory and achieve the highest good for the greatest number of people for the longest time. WOW!
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” (Proverbs 9:10) “敬畏耶和华是智慧的开端； 认识至圣者便是聪明。” 箴言 9:10
Things here on earth often seem wrong to us. We think that God isn’t watching. We feel like God has forgotten us. We think that we would have a better plan.
I would have pulled Joseph out of the pit, but in God’s perfect wisdom, He had a better plan.
I would have pulled Jesus off the cross, but in God’s perfect wisdom, He had a better plan.
Sometimes I want to force my husband to do whatever seems right to me. I need to remember that God is all-wise, but I am not.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (Proverbs 14:12) ‘有一条路，人以为正， 至终成为死亡之路。 ‘ 箴言 14:12
When has something seemed wrong to you, but later you found out it was good? Or when has something seemed right to you, but later you found out it was wrong?
To study more about wisdom, you can read through Proverbs, one chapter a day. There are 31 chapters, so you could read one chapter for every day of the month! While you read, look for how the words “wise” or “wisdom” are used. What do you learn from your study?
Jesus said That if I thirst I should come to him No one else can satisfy I should come to him Jesus said If I am weak I should come to him No one else can be my strength I should come to him For the Lord is good and faithful He will keep us day and night We can always run to Jesus Jesus, strong and kind Jesus said That if I fear I should come to him No one else can be my shield I should come to him For the Lord is good and faithful He will keep us day and night We can always run to Jesus Jesus, strong and kind Jesus said if I am lost He will come to me And he showed me on that cross He will come to me For the Lord is good and faithful He will keep us day and night We can always run to Jesus Jesus, strong and kind
I pray that you know how deep and wide and long and high is the love of Jesus.
I pray that you know the greatness of our God – from His mighty power and perfect holiness to His personal closeness and faithful love.
I pray that you know that God has a unique purpose for your life.
No matter what happens, no matter how hard life gets, I pray that you will always remember that God is always, always good. May your faith in Him grow as you grow. May you trust Him with every part of your life every day of your life.
I pray that you cast all your cares on Him – from the biggest to the smallest – knowing that He cares for you.
I pray that you will give thanks in all circumstances – not because the circumstances are good, but because God is good. God has created you at just the right time, in just the right place, and with just the right parents, but sometimes your parents are going to blow it. They’re going to mess things up like their parents before them and their parents before them and their parents before them. I pray that you will know that you have a Heavenly Father who is perfect in all of His ways and who is always there for you and always there for them, too.
I pray that your parents will be quick to see and confess their faults, and be quick to turn to God in their sins and shortcomings. May your parents have humble hearts toward one another, toward you, and toward God.
Baby, I pray that you will be quick to forgive those who hurt you, even your mom and dad. You can only do this, Baby, when you realize how much God loves you and how much He loves to forgive you. God loved you before you were born, before you’d taken a breath, before you’d had a chance to do even one good thing. In fact, God loved you even before He created you, before He knit you together in your mother’s womb.
You are not an accident. You are a unique, purposeful creation of the Most High God of the Universe.
God will give you unique skills and interests, and I pray that you will use those skills and interests for His glory. Wherever you live and whatever you do, may you live for the glory of God – giving thanks to Him for everything that you receive because our Father is a good Father who gives us these gifts to enjoy, for our pleasure and for His fame and glory.
I pray that you will know Jesus.
I pray that you will know all about Jesus, about His birth, His life, His goodness, His teachings, His death, and His resurrection. But I also pray that you will know Jesus – like a friend who is always there for you, who sticks closer than a brother, who walks with you on the lonely roads and busy streets of life, who talks with you in quiet closets and noisy rooms, who is your best and closest counselor, speaking words of life and wisdom every day.
May you hear His still, small voice above all the others. May you hear clearly the voice of your Lord and King saying, “This is the way: Walk in it.”
And may you obey Him. May you follow Him as a faithful sheep, discerning His voice among all the cacophony of thousands of voices screaming out at you in this world. Jesus is the way, the only way. Jesus is the truth, the source of truth. Jesus is the life. He is the giver of life, Baby. Turn to Him and follow Him, and it will go well with you even when life isn’t really going so well.
I pray that your life will be filled with Joy and Peace and Hope and Purpose. But I also pray that you will know that these are only truly found at the feet of Jesus.
I pray that your heart would be kept free from idols. I pray that you would diligently keep your life free from the love of money, of fame, of power and selfish ambition, of worldly pursuits and people pleasing, of thinking too highly of yourself and not highly enough of others.
Look to Jesus. Jesus is our perfect example. He has gone before us and shown us the way. Jesus left heaven, HEAVEN, to be born as a helpless little baby – like you. Jesus gave up His glory and His throne, to live among common men and women like your mom and dad, and your grandma and grandpa.
Jesus loved people. Always. Jesus told the truth. Always. Jesus told the truth with love. Always.
I pray this for you. May you love truth and love people. May you love God’s Word, our fountain of truth and our fountain of love, and our source of wisdom for life.
Jesus was humble. Jesus, the great and glorious King of kings and Lord of lords, listened to the very people He had made. Jesus, the sinless Savior and sacrificial Lamb of God, went willingly to the cross to die a sinner’s death in place of sinful man. Jesus willingly gave up His own life that we could have life eternal and life to the full.
Baby, I pray that you would have that kind of spirit, a humble, gentle, willing, selfless spirit.
Jesus was bold. Jesus spoke boldly and loved boldly. Jesus didn’t follow the crowd. Jesus led the crowd, or Jesus left the crowd. Beware of the self-righteous. Beware of the wolves in sheep’s clothing. Jesus spoke earnestly with the Samaritan woman at the well, an outcast, a sinner. Jesus touched the hearts, minds, and lives of broken people like you and me.
I pray that you would be a bold, sacrificial leader for God’s kingdom, following Jesus rather than the crowds.
I pray that you will have the strength and fortitude of Daniel and his three friends, standing strong for what is right despite the risk.
I pray that you would have the wisdom of Esther, discerning right from wrong and using your life to serve others rather than your self.
I pray that you would have the righteousness of Job, holding fast to your integrity and your Savior, no matter the tests and trials that come your way.
I pray that you would have the tender heart of David, repenting time and time again of your own sins even at great personal expense.
I pray that you would have the integrity of Joseph, trusting in God’s good, loving will and choosing what you know is right, even when all of life’s circumstances are pointing you the other way.
May you know that no matter how often you mess up, no matter how often you go astray like a foolish little sheep, that you have a praying grandma who loves you, who’s in your corner, who’s cheering for you.
By the grace and love and power and strength that is ours in the Mighty Name of Jesus I pray.
I’m midway through a study of the classic Christian book, The Knowledge of the Holy, by A.W. Tozer. I’m studying it online with some friends in Asia. These are my notes from week 5. I hope they will bless you. If you would like to join us, please send me a message!
In the ninth and tenth chapters of “The Knowledge of the Holy,” A.W. Tozer teaches that God is immutable and omniscient.
Immutable means unchanging. “Im-“ is a prefix meaning “not” or “opposite of,” and “mutate” means “to change.”
Maybe you have heard the word “mutate” before. The verb mutate is related to “mutant,” like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, turtles that began as ordinary turtles but mutated to be walking, talking, ninja turtles.
In many ways, our changing world is getting worse year after year. Our broken world suffers from earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts, and snowstorms. Our broken bodies suffer from cancer and viruses.
But we can also be thankful that God allows us to change! Praise God that we can change! We can be transformed, changed, to be more like Jesus!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 ‘若有人在基督里，他就是新造的人，旧事已过，都变成新的了。 ‘ 哥林多后书 5:17
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 ‘我们众人既然敞着脸得以看见主的荣光，好像从镜子里返照，就变成主的形状，荣上加荣，如同从主的灵变成的。’ 哥林多后书 3:18
How have you changed since you were a child?
How have you changed since becoming a follower of Christ?
God will never mutate. God will never get better and He will never get worse. God is immutable.
God cannot forget His children. God cannot break His promises. He can never love you more or love you less. God’s hatred for sin is immutable, and God’s love for His children is immutable.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 ‘我们不致消灭， 是出于耶和华诸般的慈爱； 是因他的怜悯不致断绝。每早晨，这都是新的； 你的诚实极其广大！ ‘ 耶利米哀歌 3:22-23
God’s immutability is especially great when we remember that God is also omniscient.
Omniscient means all-knowing. “Omni” comes from Latin for “all” and “science” comes from Latin for “knowledge.” Omni + science = omniscience. God already knows everything, so he never needs to learn anything. God knows every language. God knows the answer to every question to every math test, every science test, every history test. No one can teach God anything because He already knows it all!
What is something you would like to learn?
God’s omniscience means we are never hidden from God … and we cannot hide from God.
We can trust that God knows the good deeds that we did that no one else knew. God knows that our hearts were right even if someone said we were wrong. If you are ever punished or imprisoned unjustly, you can trust that God is all-knowing! God knows the thoughts, motives and intentions of our hearts – for good and for bad.
We cannot hide anything from God. God knows our thoughts. God knows when we are lying. No one can hide from God.
“If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” Psalm 139:11-12 ‘我若说：黑暗必定遮蔽我， 我周围的亮光必成为黑夜；黑暗也不能遮蔽我，使你不见， 黑夜却如白昼发亮。 黑暗和光明， 在你看 都是一样。 ‘ 诗篇 139:11-12
When I was about 10 years old, my older sister saved up her money to buy an Atari video game console. Then, my sister told me I had to pay her to play it, maybe $.50 (50 cents) or $1.00 (one dollar). I didn’t want to pay her, so I secretly stole some money from her piggy bank and then gave it to her. I was paying her with the money that I had stolen from her. My sister never knew that I was taking that money, but God did. God knew that I was stealing, and God knew that I was lying.
‘For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.’ Isaiah 54:10 “大山或可移开，小山或可挪动， 但我的慈爱必不离开你， 我平安 的约也不挪移！” 这是怜悯你的耶和华说的。” 以赛亚书 54:10
Nothing you have ever done is hidden from God, so you do not have to fear that God will suddenly discover something about you and not love you anymore. God knows your thoughts and your actions. You can always confess and repent of your sins to God, because God knows everything you have ever done … and the blood of Jesus is sufficient to cover you.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 ‘我们若认自己的罪，上帝是信实的，是公义的，必要赦免我们的罪，洗净我们一切的不义。 ‘ 约翰一书 1:9
I am so thankful that God is omniscient, that He knows everything, and that He loves me with an immutable, everlasting, infinite love! Let’s pray together.
Great is Thy Faithfulness – Shane and Shane Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father There is no shadow of turning with Thee Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness Morning by morning new mercies I see All I have needed Thy hand hath provided Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me
I’m midway through a study of the classic Christian book, The Knowledge of the Holy, by A.W. Tozer. I’m studying it online with some friends in Asia. These are my notes from our fourth week. I hope they will bless you. If you would like to join us, please send me a message!
In the seventh and eighth chapters of “The Knowledge of the Holy,” A.W. Tozer teaches that God is eternal and infinite.
Eternal means everlasting, endless, without end. Imagine a rope that goes on and on without beginning or end.
Infinite means unlimited, limitless, without limit. Imagine a piece of paper that goes out in all four directions covering your room, your house, your city, your nation, the globe, the universe.
Eternal is primarily used to describe time, while infinite is used to describe time as well as other things, like space or patience or mercy.
God has infinite wisdom, infinite patience, and infinite power, but people are not infinite in our wisdom or patience or power. We have limits on what we can think and do. We are finite. There are all kinds of things that we can’t do.
I can’t be in China and America at the same time. I can’t know what you are thinking. I can’t see what my children are doing right now in the other room of my house.
I can’t fly. I can’t bend steel or jump over tall buildings or shoot spiderwebs out of my hands.
We don’t like these limits. We can be frustrated by all of these things that we are unable to do! I think that’s a big reason why people like superheroes so much! Superheroes can do things that regular people can’t do.
What is something you wish you could do, but you can’t?
God alone is infinite (without limit) and God alone is eternal (without beginning or end).
God existed before time began and God will still exist after time comes to an end. Some number of years ago, God created the enormous universe and everything in it. The sun, moon and stars were created at a point in time. Time began at some point.
“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
“诸山未曾生出， 地与世界你未曾造成， 从亘古到永远，你是 神。” 诗篇 90:2
God created every human with an eternal soul, but every man, woman, and child who has ever lived came into being on a certain day.
I was born in January of 1973, and I was created by God about 9 months before that! 😊 Right now, I am 48 years old.
When is your birthday? How old are you?
The English language uses a lot of different verb tenses. My students must spend a lot of time and effort in learning how to use the correct verb tense. “Yesterday, I ran. Now, I am running. Every day I run to school. Tomorrow I will run at the park.” They also must learn: “comes before” and “comes after.” January comes before February. February comes after January. 2020 comes before 2021. 2021 comes after 2020.
God alone is the great “I am.” (Exodus 3:14) God came BEFORE the first day of creation and God will exist for all eternity. God is the only one who always WAS, who always IS, and who always WILL BE!
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” Revelation 4:8b
圣哉！圣哉！圣哉！主 神是昔在、今在、以后永在的全能者。启示录 4:8
As human beings, created in the image of God, we are born with a desire to live forever. We have “eternity in our hearts.” But sometimes we forget that our time on earth will not last forever. We should remember that our days here on earth are numbered.
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
“求你指教我们怎样数算自己的日子， 好叫我们得着智慧的心。” 诗篇 90:12
Yet our lives after we die are eternal. We have souls that will never die. Our souls will live for eternity. We will either live forever with God in heaven, or with the devil in hell. In God’s infinite love and mercy, God sent His own Son Jesus Christ into the world to pay the price for our sin, that through faith in Him we, too, could have eternal life.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
神爱世人，甚至将他的独生子赐给他们，叫一切信他的，不致灭亡，反得永生。 约翰福音 3:16
God’s love for us is both eternal and infinite. He loved us before the foundation of the world and His love for us is boundless, measureless, limitless. There is no limit to His love. God’s love is so infinite that He sent His own Son to die in our place. Can you imagine love like that?
When have you experienced human love?
When have you experienced God’s love?
Who do you know who needs to be reminded of God’s infinite, eternal love?
I’m midway through a study of the classic Christian book, The Knowledge of the Holy, by A.W. Tozer. I’m studying it online with some friends in Asia. These are my notes from our third week. I hope they will bless you. If you would like to join us, please send me a message!
In the fifth chapter of The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer discusses the “Self-existence of God.” Self-existence means that God is the One who has always existed, the great “I am.” God has no beginning. God has no origin.
“origin” (noun) – source, where things come from
“Origin” is also a term used in math. The origin on a graph is at (0,0). Everything on a graph is measured relative to the origin, whether positive or negative from that original point.
America has often been called the “Melting Pot of the World,” because it is filled with people from every nation around the globe. In America, people here might ask, “What is your national origin? Where did your family come from?” I would answer that my mother’s family was from Wales and England, and my father’s family was from Germany.
How about you? What is your national origin? Where did your family originate? What is your original hometown?
God didn’t come from anywhere or anyone, rather God is who made everything.
God has no origin, rather God is who made everything.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
“起初， 神创造天地。” (创世记 1:1)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. “ (John 1:1-3)
When we think about God’s self-existence, we can appreciate even more that God created everything in creation, and we can especially appreciate that God created man in the image of God.
As selfish humans, we do not like someone else to rule over us. Like Eve in the garden of Eden, we want to make our own choices. We may want God to rule over the universe, over the nations, over other people, but we rebel against God ruling over our own lives. This is the essence of sin. Like foolish sheep, we want to go our own way.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6
“我们都如羊走迷；各人偏行己路； 耶和华使我们众人的罪孽都归在他身上。” (以赛亚书 53:6)
We were created to worship and glorify God. God is our creator, our Father, and our King … but we choose (intentionally or unintentionally) to put ourselves on the throne. We want God to rule “with us,” but we don’t want God to rule “over us.”
Jesus Christ, the Almighty Son of God, lived a sinless life, obeying His Father perfectly, and He wants us to obey Him perfectly. In fact, we will be the most fulfilled in life when we follow Him, rather than our own selfish desires.
As a follower of Jesus Christ and a child of God, we must take ourselves off the throne and give Jesus His rightful place on the throne of our lives. Paul wrote about this in Galatians 2:20.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Putting God on the throne is easier when we remember that we need God for everything, but God does not need us. The Father and the Son have life in themselves (John 5:26). God has created man for His own good pleasure, not because He needs us. God is the only one who doesn’t need anything outside of Himself to survive.
Chapter 6 is about the “Self-Sufficiency of God.” The word “sufficient” means enough. God is sufficient in Himself. He is self-sufficient. He is enough in Himself. Paul often uses the words “sufficient” and “sufficiency” in 2 Corinthians.
“Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Corinthians 3:4-5)
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9a)
“他对我说：「我的恩典够你用的，因为我的能力是在人的软弱上显得完全。” (哥林多后书 12:9)
We are not self-sufficient, but God’s grace is sufficient. His grace is enough. In fact, our need for God draws us closer to Him. All created things need something outside of themselves to survive. All living things need air, water, and food. And all living things need God’s sustaining grace.
Humans are naturally full of pride. We think we can provide for our own needs. We take pride in our self-sufficiency. We don’t want to need other people or God. I remember my little children saying, “I do it myself” when they were trying to feed themselves with a spoon or get a t-shirt over their head.
Additionally, we want to think that God needs us. We take pride in our human accomplishments, wrongly thinking God needs our help to achieve His plans.
No, sisters. No. God does not need us to accomplish His purposes. Rather, it is an honor and joy to serve God. It is an honor and joy to take up our cross and follow Him. It is an honor and joy to take up the yoke of Christ for the glory of God and the good of mankind. Not because we need to repay Him for a gift, but because we are grateful to be used by Him.
Where do you struggle with feeling like you are self-sufficient and don’t need any help? Where do you need God’s help today? How can you praise God today for His self-sufficiency and His provision for your every need?
I’m midway through a study of the classic Christian book, The Knowledge of the Holy, by A.W. Tozer. I’m studying it online with some friends in Asia. These are my notes from our second week. I hope they will bless you. If you would like to join us, please send me a message!
In “The Knowledge of the Holy,” A.W. Tozer will examine many attributes of God, such as God’s self-existence, omniscience, and omnipresence. Before going any further, let’s first define “attribute.” What is an attribute?
An attribute is “a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something.”
Dogs and cats have many similar attributes, but dogs and cats also have many different attributes. A dog has four legs and a tail. A cat, too, has four legs and a tail. A dog barks, but a cat meows. A cat can climb a tree, but a dog can’t.
People are created beings, created in the image of God. We were created with a mind and a body. We were created to think and speak. We can change and grow. We can grow better or worse over time. We can have bad days. We can be honest one minute, but dishonest the next. We can be kind and helpful for many hours of the day, but still have sinful thoughts and habits.
How would you describe yourself? What traits describe you? Are you tall or short? Do you have curly hair or straight hair? Are you loud or quiet?
How have you changed over time? How do you change even in the same day?
I would describe myself as friendly and outgoing – but I’m not always friendly and outgoing. Sometimes I feel shy. Sometimes I have a headache and I want to sit quietly. Sometimes I enjoy being alone to read a book or take a walk.
I would also describe myself as critical. Critical means that I notice when other people make mistakes. When I’m reading a book, I often notice a spelling or grammatical error. Being critical can be painful for my husband, my children, and my friends. But I am not always critical. Sometimes I am so full of grace that I surprise myself!
I am praying for God to help me remember that God loves me even when I say something wrong or have a mean attitude. God is growing me and helping me to be less critical of others and to speak words of encouragement.
God is not like a human. God’s attributes are unchanging. God was never made.
God is the same yesterday, today and forever. God is the same every minute of every day. God is the same today that he was the day He created the universe! God does not grow or improve over time.
God has never sinned. God has never had an evil thought. God never gets tired or sick.
Additionally, God has complete unity in Himself. God is ALWAYS ALL of His attributes. God is 100% loving, 100% holy, 100% just and 100% merciful … at-the-same-time … always.
As Tozer puts it, “An attribute, then, is not a part of God. It is how God is… The divine attributes are what we know to be true of God…. Love, for instance, is not something God has, and which may grow or diminish or cease to be. His love is the way God is, and when He loves He is simply being Himself. And so with the other attributes.” (Chapter 3)
In Chapter 4, Tozer considers the Holy Trinity. How can God be ONE, and yet also exist in THREE persons? The trinity is difficult for everyone to understand.
In our modern scientific world, we think we should be able to fully understand everything. We want to know exactly why it rains and exactly how gravity works and exactly how atoms hold together. The truth is, though, that we do not fully know how these things work.
As an atheist, I had faith in science. I had faith in evolution. I had faith in my history textbooks and the news media. I believed and trusted in science, but I did not believe or trust in God.
Tozer wrote this book before the invention of the internet. Tozer wrote, “We cover our deep ignorance with words, … we are ashamed to wonder, we are afraid to whisper “mystery.””
Today if I want to know how my car works or how to make jianbing 煎饼 for myself, I can simply type my question into the internet and get an answer in less than 60 seconds!
When was the last time you realized that you didn’t know the answer to a question in your own mind, or a question that someone else asked? How did you feel? What did you do?
Today in 2021, “google” is a verb I often use. When my son asks me what the capital of Mongolia is, I might say, “I don’t know. You should google it.” This means, “You should look on the internet to find the answer.” If I wanted to learn more about the trinity, I could “google it” to read what scholars have to say.
Tozer refers to several ancient Christian creeds such as the Athanasian Creed which help us to better understand the triune nature of God. For example, the Athanasian Creed says, “Thus the Father is God; the Son is God; the Holy Spirit is God: And yet there are not three gods, but one God.”
If I went on a Bible website such as www.Blueletterbible.com and searched for the word “trinity” written in the Bible, I wouldn’t find it … because it isn’t there.
There are many things that God says in the Bible without a complete explanation of the details. In many ways the trinity is a mystery that we don’t fully understand, but the Bible does have many examples of God’s three-in-one existence. Let’s look at these four passages together:
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26a)
“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)
Jesus said: “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30)
“我与父原为一。” (約翰福音 10:30)
The triune God worked in unity during creation (Genesis 1:1, Colossians 1:16, Job 26:13, Psalm 104:30), during the incarnation of Christ in His mother Mary (Luke 1:35), during the atonement (Hebrews 9:14), during the resurrection of Christ (Acts 2:32, John 10:18, Romans 1:4), during salvation (1 Peter 1:2) and the indwelling of a Christian (John 14:15-26).