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Sunday, April 10, 2016

God: Thinks, Feels and Acts

parameter: the minute and the distant
There are some things which characteristically typify the discussion on God. Those are the parameters, not the actual substance, which outline the discussion. They are the infinitely, microscopically minute on one side and the infinitely distant in the universe on the other side. Between those parameters is a free-for-all of impassioned mockery and much-speak. The sole objective of one is to tear down; the other to build up.


God: thinks, feels and acts
These objectives, in the fuller spectrum of things, are not bad or evil in themselves. They are as much a part of life as anything else. There is a time for one as much as the other, Solomon said. The impassioned drive behind those discussions on God is not that we do not see or understand what or how we think, feel and act.
Generally, those things are cast that aside as though it were an inconvenient irrelevance. What we continue to fail to see and understand is, not just the what and how of it, but that God even thinks, feel and acts. Whoa. This is much too close for comfort and much too obvious. It does not fit within the parameter of the infinitely, microscopically minute and the infinitely distant in the universe. It is too much like . . . us.


God: a fabrication of man
Of course, any claim or admission by theists to the likeness between us and God is cannon fodder for atheists. The return fire from atheists: God is just the fabrication of the imagination of man. It sounds good doesn’t it? The truth is that if we were to create a God in our own image the very nature of being human is that we would not create something or someone which would do or say anything that is to our disliking and displeasure. It would all be about and according to what we like best. This is human nature. It runs counter to the atheists’ notion about humans having fabricated God out of their own imagination.


theologians and scholars
Even among so-called and self-professed theologians and scholars their understanding, discussion and, more importantly, their teaching spans from the infinitely, microscopically minute on one side and the infinitely distant in the universe on the other side. It ranges from the dissecting of verbs and nouns and passages of scripture in isolation to the open range of speculation and the multitude of possible meanings with rarely, if ever, a single substantive suggestion as to why one single meaning is likely that which was intended by the writer.


We think, feel and do a multitude of things seemingly without being aware of it. We say it is second nature for us; kind of like driving a car. What about God? What does He think? What does He feel? What does He Do? Is it even possible for us to know and understand what God thinks, feels and does?


Yes, it is possible and it is just about as obvious and they are the very same things which we say are second nature for us to do. Why would God have urged Israel to let this be their demonstration of love towards him; with all your heart and soul? Similarly, why would Jesus have urged the disciples to love the Lord their God with all your heart, and with all your mind, and with all your soul, and with all your strength? Love is not to be devoid of any of these even when the demonstration of love is primarily of heart, that is, emotionally, or of the mind, that is, intellectually.


Recently I heard a sermon by a brother whom I acknowledge as being a student of the word and I believe is regarded by others (some seemingly like glee-filled teens) as such. I was baffled to hear him say as he was making a passing point about the Father and Jesus that most of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, (he might even have placed a high percentage figure on it) is about the Father. I thought: That is such an loose, unspecified statement about God. It seemed to be like, wait . . . the infinitely distant of the universe, only in this instance, it was . . . the parameter of the scriptures!


the stuff of debates
The unfortunate truth of this reality is that this is reflective of the lack of understand by theologians and scholars on the God who is one. Their debate rages back and forth either between singular and plural nouns or what some ancient brother in Christ wrote outside of the scriptures topped by endless speculations. Yet, what the apostle Paul revealed in Ephesians 1 is what thinks, feels and does, or what God thought, felt and did in order to redeem a people for his own possession. I encourage you to read the chapter rather than a verse or two in isolation.


what the Father thought
First, the Father purposed before the foundation of the world what He would do. Right at the beginning it is immediately evident that thought, feeling and action, while they can be separated in isolation is not to say that they are unrelated and not connected.


What this ought to suggest is that when the door of creation in the Garden of Eden in the Genesis account open for us the Father has already done his work. Who is that the scripture presents to us at that time and subsequently throughout the history of Israel and the Old Testament writings and who interacted with Moses, the kings of Israel, Israel and the prophets? Did not Jesus say, [Moses] wrote about me? Even, that Christ was the rock which followed Israel? This may be a starting point for understanding and appreciating that work of redemption which the Son was to fulfill began long before He stepped was born to Mary.


what the Son felt
Second, the Son was the one whom the Father purposed to come into the world to redeem his people. This was the ultimate sentient experience for the God whom scripture defines as being spirit. He did not become a man. He took on the form of a man in order to be able to feel the entire range of human experience; the hunger, distress, the trouble of soul and ultimately the pain of death by crucifixion.


what the Holy Spirit did
Third, what the Holy Spirit did was to given demonstrative proof that those who believed in Jesus the Son of God was according to the good pleasure, an interesting expression, perhaps suggestive of the feelings of the Father. The action of the Holy Spirit is as much overlooked, misunderstand and seemingly first to be put aside by some believers looking for something more. There is nothing more or greater than the testimony of the scriptures as to the work of the Holy Spirit. The words of Jesus to the Jews bring to mind this thought: If you do not believe what the Holy Spirit wrote how can you believe and accept what He is doing?


What God thought, felt and did for Israel and expected from them was not excessive,. The commandment, He said, is not way up in heaven where no one can reach it nor is it under the see that no one can reach it. It was near to them. Does this remind you of the words of Jesus about his yoke, that is, his teaching not being burdensome?


Conclusion


We human beings think. We feel. We act, that is, we do what what have thought to do or what we feel like doing sometimes seemingly without thinking about as being second nature to us. This not a deep, dark and obscure unknown mystery about human beings. It is not a deep, dark and obscure unknown mystery about God. Both, think, feel and act.

The popular saying heard when a seemingly difficult or complex idea or concept is being expressed and one struggles to grasp it is that it is not rocket science. This is true about understanding and knowing God.

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