Thursday, June 16, 2011

June 16, 2011

While in Rwanda teaching at the college, I believe the Holy Spirit pressed upon my heart to spend time focusing on the attributes of God, focus on Him and sharing ways for others to do the same.
What are “attributes”?   An attribute is to “assign qualities to somebody or something: to regard somebody or something as having particular qualities” (Encarta World English Dictionary)

So what are some of the particular qualities that we assign to God?  There are places on the internet where you can find His attributes but to get us started in pondering God, here are a few:

God is good. 
God is eternal.
God is faithful and trustworthy.
God is gracious.
God is Holy.
God is impartial. 
 God is just. 

I want to know HIM! 

How can I love a being with all my heart, mind and soul
 if I am not spending time getting to know who he is?

Over the next few months, I plan to collect scripture readings that will turn my attention towards the qualities of our God.

Want to join me?

Set aside some time each week just to sit with God and meditate on Him.  I am asking Him right now to teach us about His goodness.  Even though our God, Creator of the Universe is good, it is possible to ignore the goodness that He showers on us.  I am praying that as I focus on His goodness, I will become increasing thankful not just for who He is but also that I may become more like Him.

Psalm 145 New Living Translation (NLT)
A Psalm of Praise of David.

1 I will exalt you, my God and King,
      and praise your name forever and ever.
 2 I will praise you every day;
      yes, I will praise you forever.
 3 Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
      No one can measure his greatness.
 4 Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts;
      let them proclaim your power.
 5 I will meditate[b] on your majestic, glorious splendor
      and your wonderful miracles.
 6 Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue;
      I will proclaim your greatness.
 7 Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness;
      they will sing with joy about your righteousness.
 8 The Lord is merciful and compassionate,
      slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
 9 The Lord is good to everyone.
      He showers compassion on all his creation.
 10 All of your works will thank you, Lord,
      and your faithful followers will praise you.
 11 They will speak of the glory of your kingdom;
      they will give examples of your power.
 12 They will tell about your mighty deeds
      and about the majesty and glory of your reign.
 13 For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
      You rule throughout all generations.
   The Lord always keeps his promises;
      he is gracious in all he does.[c]
 14 The Lord helps the fallen
      and lifts those bent beneath their loads.
 15 The eyes of all look to you in hope;
      you give them their food as they need it.
 16 When you open your hand,
      you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
 17 The Lord is righteous in everything he does;
      he is filled with kindness.
 18 The Lord is close to all who call on him,
      yes, to all who call on him in truth.
 19 He grants the desires of those who fear him;
      he hears their cries for help and rescues them.
 20 The Lord protects all those who love him,
      but he destroys the wicked.
 21 I will praise the Lord,
      and may everyone on earth bless his holy name
      forever and ever.

1.   In silence, prepare your heart.  Slow down.  Relax.  Be intentional about letting go of all that is distracting you.  Ask the Lord to open your heart and mind to hear Him.

2.   Read.  Read Psalm 145 out loud very slowly.   Is there a word or phrase that resonates with you?  Stay there.  Ask God what is He is saying to you in that word or verse.  Just listen. Just wait.

3.   Meditate.  Read Psalm 145 again out loud. Listen again for any words or phrases that light up or stand out to you. Mary, the mother of Jesus, pondered things she saw in her heart.  Ponder these verses or phrases in your heart.

4.   Respond. Pray.  Read Psalm 145 out loud a third time “Now is the moment to enter into a personal dialogue with God. There is no right or wrong way to do this. The important thing is to respond truthfully and authentically. What feelings has the text aroused in you? Name where you are resistant or want to push back. Become aware of where you feel invited into a deeper way of being with God. Talk to God about these feelings[1]

5.  Contemplate. Rest. Wait.  Before rushing back into your tasks and responsibilities, just sit with God. Consider your time in His word.  Sit in His presence.  Think of a way that you can remember your time throughout the rest of the day.

[1] Calhoun, Adlel Ahlberg, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook Practices that Transform Us, Page 169

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