Isaiah 55:9, Ephesians 3:16-21
He doesn’t live up to our expectations. God doesn’t act the way we think he should. He doesn’t love like we imagine. He doesn’t redeem, forgive, or set free like we had hoped. And this is a good thing. So what does the Bible say about expectations of God?
God Exceeds Our Expectations Because We Often Humanize Him
So many times we try to lock ourselves into a humanized version of God, but God, out of his love for us, seeks to always crush these little thoughts of ours. He doesn’t act the way we think he should because he is far greater than our minds could ever understand.
Galatians 5:6, 13-14
1 John 4:21
Jesus loves the Father and people. In fact, Jesus loves the Father by loving people.
It seems every few pages you turn in the Old Testament, someone is dying as a penalty for their sins. Compared to the New Testament, the Old Testament seems much more violent and less merciful. So why are the Old Testament laws so harsh?
Why are Old Testament laws so harsh? Why does God seem so mean in the Old Testament and nice in the New Testament? Why does God kill so many people in the Old Testament? Why is God angry in the Old Testament and then merciful in the New Testament? Why Does God punish people like homosexuals in the Old Testament? Why does God command Israel to kill other nations and take their lands? Why is the Old Testament so violent? How can the God of the Old Testament be same as the God in the New Testament?
Skeptics and Christians alike often find it difficult to reconcile how God is presented in the Old Testament compared to the New Testament. With a quick read it seems the God of the Old Testament is different than the God of the New Testament. Thus, it is no surprise that many ask questions like, “Why are Old Testament laws so harsh?” “Why does God seem so mean in the Old Testament?” “Why does God seem so different in the Old Testament?” Or “Why is the Old Testament so full of violence when Jesus seems so peaceful?”
Deuteronomy 5:12-15, Colossians 2:16-17, 23
In Jesus’ time on earth, one of his main battles with the Pharisees revolved around the Sabbath, which was supposed to be a time of resting from working. The Jews were governed by the laws of the Torah, and there it explicitly states not to work on the Sabbath.
Jesus could have just gone along with what they wanted as a way of keeping the peace, but he didn’t. Jesus clearly had an equally strong conviction about how the Sabbath rest should be viewed. He wanted to show people that the Sabbath is important not so much because we are to rest from our work, but more so because we must rest in God. So what’s the importance of resting in God?
Proverbs 9:10, Ecclesiastes 3:4
When we go to the Bible, laughter is usually not a common response. But is it okay to laugh? Does God have a sense of humor? Is humor biblical?
Our relationship with the Holy God must start with a holy fear, with a reverence and recognition of our need for the blood of Christ to wash away our filth. No matter how close and comfortable we get with God, the fear of the Lord must never leave us. We must never try to base our access to God on anything but the righteous work of Jesus Christ. Our humility, honor, and our fear of the Lord truly are the foundation of a healthy attitude towards God. But none of these statements mean that humor is unbiblical.
“And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” -John 5:37-40
(Note: This is a condensed version of the article “What Is the Glory of God?” found on our Resource page.)
“What is the glory of God?” is certainly one of the most foundational questions to answer in all of Christianity because the glory of God is so central to the gospel, the Bible, and everything God does.
Humbly, however, we must first accept our answers will always be incomplete as our Infinite God can never fully be described by his finite creatures. With that said, the Bible uses the phrase “glory of God” in many different ways, which means we can create many different definitions in general. However, the Bible primarily uses the phrase “the glory of God” in a specific way, and therefore what follows is a specific definition.
Definition: The glory of God is the invisible qualities, character, or attributes of God displayed in a visible (or knowable) way.
A Bible Study for Men’s Accountability Partners
Men who are accountability partners with one another often start their relationship with good intentions. Most often they want to be accountability partners because of the lustful temptations that swirl around them on a daily bases. Having another Christian man who wants to obey God’s lessons in the Bible, who will ask you hard questions, who will pray with you, and who you know is fighting sexual temptation right alongside of you is truly a great advantage in the war against lust.
So why do accountability partners so often fail? Not to oversimplify the answer, but often times men’s accountability partners fail because this relationship is based on talking, emotional transparency, and difficult conversations. In other words, men’s accountability partnerships require men to do what does not come natural to them.