The Attributes of God
An essay by Mary Lee Glassburn
It was a Sunday afternoon at Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant. I was eating a delicious shredded beef Chimichanga with rice and beans. It was accompanied by a nice cold glass of iced tea. The conversation turned to “the attributes of God” and an essay that the worship team was assigned to write. I said; “you have to write an essay? I want to write one!” Donna of course said I HAD to because I am a member of the team. OK I’ll write one I said. How long is it supposed to be and when is it due? The crowd said it is due on Thursday and should be one thousand words (I think they were kidding about the one thousand words…but just in case, Kathy; my friend, you are getting at least that many words!). So I went home and pondered God’s attributes. http://www.dictionary.com/ defines an attribute as: a quality or characteristic inherent in or ascribed to someone or something. A quality that is a particular part of a person or thing. Well, He has so many. Let me just name a few.
He is infinite
He is omnipotent
He is good
He is just
He is holy
He is omnipresent
He is merciful
He is wise
He is faithful
He is righteous
He is full of grace
He is our comforter
He is our intercessor
I could go on and on; reaching that one thousand word goal in no time; then I remembered something Donna said at lunch. She said to make it personal. So…..the attribute of God which I chose to write about is God’s love.
Why? Well, for one thing, it encompasses all that He is! Look at the above list. If it weren’t for love; none of it would be possible. Remember; “God so loved the world that he gave His only son”. I know what you are probably thinking…..this sounds pretty generic; and it does. Until… the; make it personal is added. It was an incredibly long time before I realized in my heart that God loved ME so much that He would send Jesus to the cross for Me. I knew it in my head; but until that truth traveled to my heart; it was just words on a page. Let me tell you how this transformation came about. Here is where it gets personal. It was 1998; I had been saved for twenty two years. I volunteered to accompany the youth to the “Desperation” event in Colorado Springs. The very first night; they, (the organizers) staged a mock crucifixion of Jesus. It was the most “real” thing I had ever seen. It brought me to tears…I mean real tears…the kind that you need more than one tissue for! By the time they (and I) were finished, I knew in my heart and not just my head that I was loved by God! I think I really became a Christian that night in 1998; even though I had been saved for many years. That is pretty personal I think! Anyway, let me continue with my essay. I believe one of the most amazing things about God’s love is that it is extended to us even when we don’t deserve it. His love is unconditional. Ours (mine) is not. We as humans tend to express our love when people perform according to our expectations. And then withhold our fondness when people or circumstances displease us. We shower friendliness on children like Bethany and Daniel; and tend to avoid argumentative, ill-mannered little kids (no names here) as if they have the plague! Fortunately God is not like that. Love is the way He is. God’s love is not an emotion….but it is an action. Jesus’ entire life was love in action! God sent Jesus to commit the ultimate sacrifice-death on the cross for the sins of others (an act of love). I have often wondered if I could/would sacrifice myself for someone else. I would definitely do that for Bethany and Daniel. But; it is doubtful I would take a bullet (so to speak) for a stranger. Alas; my love is conditional; but then I already knew that!
Anyway; when I see the cross I think about the love that God has for me! There are two songs; both of which you know quite well, which say it better than I can.
The first one is from the old song The Love of God:
“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, tho’ stretched from sky to sky.”
Amazing Love by Chris Tomlim
I like the whole song, but the chorus is particularly meaningful to me.
How can it be?
That You, my King would die for me?
I know it’s true.
It’s my joy to honor You,
In all I do, I honor You.”
Oh…I also like:
“Jesus loves me
This I know
For the bible
Tells me so!”
Okay, let me toss in a few scriptures which speak of God’s love. How about:
John 16:27 “for the Father Himself loves you.”
John 17:24 “for You loved me before the foundation of the world.”
Jeremiah 31:3 “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you”.
Don’t forget 1 Corinthians 13 (the whole chapter) but especially the 13th verse: “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
God has many attributes; far more than are listed in this paper. I chose to write about the attribute of God’s love for two reasons. First, because it truly is amazing to me. And, secondly because Donna said to make it personal and Gods’ love is personal to me!
Did you know that coffee is mentioned in the bible?
The Attributes of God