What is sin? It is the glory of God not honored. The holiness of God not reverenced. The greatness of God not admired. The power of God not praised. The truth of God not sought. The wisdom of God not esteemed. The beauty of God not treasured. The goodness of God not savored. The faithfulness of God not trusted. The commandments of God not obeyed. The justice of God not respected. The wrath of God not feared. The grace of God not cherished. The presence of God not prized. The person of God not loved. That is sin.
There are two gods. The god our teachers teach us about, and the God who teaches us. The god about whom people usually talk, and the God who talks to us. The god we learn to fear, and the God who speaks to us of mercy. The god who is somewhere up on high, and the God who is here in our daily lives. The god who demands punishment, and the God who forgives us our trespasses. The god who threatens us with the torments of Hell, and the God who shows us the true path. There are two gods. A god who casts us off because of our sins, and a God who calls to us with His love.
You hear a lot about God these days: God, the beneficent; God, the all-great; God, the Almighty; God, the most powerful; God, the giver of life; God, the creator of death. I mean, we're hearing about God all the time, so we better learn how to deal with it. But if we know anything about God, God is arbitrary.
Poem from Rev. Jim Cotter, as listed on the opening pages of 'Anatomy of the Spirit' by Caroline Myss: ~ God be in my head and in my understanding. God be in my eyes and in my looking. God be in my mouth and in my speaking. God be in my tongue and in my tasting. God be in my lips and in my greeting. ~ God be in my nose and in my smelling/inhaling. God be in my ears and in my hearing. God be in my neck and in my humbling. God be in my shoulders and in my bearing. God be in my back and in my standing. ~ God be in my arms and in my reaching/receiving. God be in my hands and in my working. God be in my legs and in my walking. God be in my feet and in my grounding. God be in my knees and in my relating. ~ God be in my gut and in my feeling. God be in my bowels and in my forgiving. God be in my loins and in my swiving. God be in my lungs and in my breathing. God be in my heart and in my loving. ~ God be in my skin and in my touching. God be in my flesh and in my paining/pining. God be in my blood and in my living. God be in my bones and in my dying. God be at my end and at my reviving.
To become conscious of God, to become God's consciousness, to become God, to be God and to be beyond God, God being beyond God, God having an existence separate from the creation, to be that, to merge with that, to lose one's self and find one's self endlessly again and again in that is self-realization.
The atheist does not say 'there is no God,' but he says 'I know not what you mean by God; I am without idea of God'; the word 'God' is to me a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation. ... The Bible God I deny; the Christian God I disbelieve in; but I am not rash enough to say there is no God as long as you tell me you are unprepared to define God to me.
Religion has no power if God is not truly 'dangerous, ' but religion also seeks to manage God, and make God safe. The second commandment speaks against the management of God. We cannot help but make our images of God, for God has given us imagination. But every image we make of God is finally a box: a cage, potentially an idol, from which the living God keeps breaking out. And if we try to keep God there, then God comes out with 'jealousy' to overturn our careful construction. The third commandment speaks against the management of God. To take God's name in vain is to make God useful to our projects and ourselves. We are wont to trivialize the truth of God and then disparage it for being trivial. We are told God's name in order to love this God, but loving God is not managing God but fearing [respecting] God. And with God, the attitudes of love and fear [respect] are not contradictory but complementary.
Daniel James Meeter
We could not become like God, so God became like us. God showed us how to heal instead of kill, how to mend instead of destroy, how to love instead of hate, how to live instead of long for more. When we nailed God to a tree, God forgave. And when we buried God in the ground. God got up.
Rachel Held Evans
Loving God means rejoicing in God, being eager to think of and pray to God. It means being glad to be in God's presence and to be with God alone. It means not grieving God, but rejoicing in God simply because it is God who is involved, and because we are permitted to know and have God, and to speak with and live with God.
Intellectually I touched God many times as truth and emotionally I touched God as love. I touched God as goodness. I touched God as kindness. It came to me that God is a creative force, a motivating power, an over-all intelligence, an ever-present, all pervading spirit - which binds everything in the universe together and gives life to everything. That brought God close. I could not be where God is not. You are within God. God is within you.
God felt, God tasted and enjoyed is indeed God, but God with those gifts which flatter the soul, God in darkness, in privation, in forsakenness, in sensibility, is so much God, that he is so to speak God bare and alone. Shall we fear this death, which is to produce in us the true divine life of grace?
The whole story of creation, incarnation, and our incorporation into the fellowship of Christ's body tells us that God desires us, as if we were God, as if we were that unconditional response to God's giving that God's self makes in the life of the Trinity. We are created so that we may be caught up in this, so that we may grow into the wholehearted love of God by learning that God loves us as God loves God.
Some people have views of God that are so broad and flexible that it is inevitable that they will find God wherever they look for him. One hears it said that 'God is the ultimate' or 'God is our better nature' or 'God is the universe.' Of course, like any other word, the word 'God' can be given any meaning we like. If you want to say that 'God is energy,' then you can find God in a lump of coal.
Do you know God? Do you know there is a power greater than ourselves which manifests itself within us as well as everywhere else in the universe? This I call God. Do you know what it is to know God, to have God's constant guidance, a constant awareness of God's presence? To know God is to reflect love toward all people and all creations. To know God is to feel peace within - a calmness, a serenity, an unshakeableness which enables you to face any situation. To know God is to be so filled with joy that it bubbles over and goes forth to bless the world.
What was after the universe? Nothing. But was there anything round the universe to show where it stopped before the nothing place began? It could not be a wall; but there could be a thin thin line there all round everything. It was very big to think about everything and everywhere. Only God could do that. He tried to think what a big thought that must be; but he could only think of God. God was God's name just as his name was Stephen. Dieu was the French for God and that was God's name too; and when anyone prayed to God and said Dieu then God knew at once that it was a French person that was praying. But, though there were different names for God in all the different languages in the world and God understood what all the people who prayed said in their different languages, still God remained always the same God and God's real name was God.
God is real. God is here now. God is this moment revealed. For the most part, we are lost in the past and future world of the mind. To experience the living Presence of God in all things present, we will have come to where God is. We will have to become fully present. Otherwise we have no choice but to believe in God or disbelieve in God and neither is true, for the truth is beyond belief!
He was without any comforts of God - no feeling that God loved him - no feeling that God pitied him - no feeling that God supported him. God was his sun before - now that sun became all darkness... He was without God - he was as if he had no God. All that God had been to him before was taken from him now. He was Godless - deprived of his God. He had the feeling of the condemned, when the Judge says: 'Depart from me, ye cursed, ' 'who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power.' He felt that God said the same to him. Ah! This is the hell which Christ suffered. The ocean of Christ's sufferings is unfathomable... He was forsaken in the [place] of sinners. If you close with him as your surety, you will never be forsaken... 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' [The answer?] For me - for me.
Robert Murray McCheyne
We spoke to God about the children, and we were afraid to ask God for specific things. We thought that it might be too much. So we said to God 'Please give us a healthy child' and left it at that, not knowing that God is a generous God, but also has a sense of humor. And if you leave that much open for God, some wonderful jokes are going to come about.
I will prove that the world is wrong, by showing what God is...God himself was once as we are now and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret...I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see
God wills our liberation, our exodus from Egypt. God wills our reconciliation, our return from exile. God wills our enlightenment, our seeing. God wills our forgiveness, our release from sin and guilt. God wills that we see ourselves as God's beloved. God wills our resurrection, our passage from death to life. God wills for us food and drink that satisfy our hunger and thirst. God wills, comprehensively, our well-being-not just my well-being as an individual but the well-being of all of us and of the whole of creation. In short, God wills our salvation, our healing, here on earth. The Christian life is about participating in the salvation of God.
Marcus J. Borg
There is no fact, no detail of our life too sordid for God's intervention. God has seen murder. God has seen rape. God has seen drug addiction's and alcoholism's utter degradation. God is available to us no matter what our circumstances. God can find us in a crack house. God can find us crumpled in a doorway or cowering on a park bench. We need only reach out to discover that God reaches back. We are led a step at a time even when we feel we are alone. Sometimes God talks to us through people. Sometimes God reaches us through circumstances or coincidence. God has a million ways to reach out to us, and when we are open to it, we begin to sense the touch of God coming to us from all directions.
Let the average man be put to the proof on the question of who is above, and his true position will be exposed. Let him be forced into making a choice between God and money, between God and men, between God and personal ambition, God and self, God and human love, and God will take second place every time.
Aiden Wilson Tozer
We cannot find God without God. We cannot reach God without God. We cannot satisfy God without God - which is another way of saying that all our seeking will fall short unless God starts and finishes the search. The decisive part of our seeking is not our human ascent to God, but His descent to us. Without God's descent there is no human ascent. The secret of the quest lies not in our brilliance but in His grace.
the very minute we think we 'have' God, God will surprise us. As we search in fire and earthquakes, God will be in the still small voice. As we listen in silent meditation, God will be shouting protests in the street. God is warning us that we had best not try to find our security in any well-defined concept or category of what is Godly - for the minute we believe we are into God, God is off again and calling us forth into some unknown place.
And there is something profoundly humbling about knowing God. I'm not talking about the trinket God or the genie-in-a-lamp God. I mean the God who invented the tree in my front yard, the beauty of my sweetheart, the taste of a blueberry, the violence of a river at flood. There are a lot of religious trends that would have us controlling God, telling us that if we do this that and the other, God will jump through our hoops like a monkey. But this other God, this real God, is awesome and strong, all-encompassing and passionate, and for reasons I will never understand, he wants to father us.
Everything I've read about Christians in prison for their non-violent witness to Christ rings true. Whether it's St. Paul, St. Edmund Campion, Dorothy Day or Dr. King, the experience remains the same: God comes close to those in prison. God's spirit is unleashed on the person who suffers imprisonment in a spirit of obedient love. God is a God of prisoners, a God of the poor, a God of the oppressed-but most of all, as the life of Jesus testifies, a God of nonviolent resisters. God is a God of nonviolence and peace.
Beware of manufacturing a God of your own: a God who is all mercy, but not just; a God who is all love, but not holy; a God who as a heaven for every body, but a hell for none; a God who can allow good and bad to be side by side in time, but will make no distinction between good and broad in eternity. Such a God is an idol of your own, as truly an idol as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple. The hands of your own fancy and sentimentality have made him. He is not the God of the Bible, and beside the God of the Bible there is no God at all.
J. C. Ryle
Atheism is without God. It does not assert no God. The atheist does not say that there is no God, but he says 'I know not what you mean by God. I am without the idea of God. The word God to me is a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation. I do not deny God, because I cannot deny that of which I have no conception, and the conception of which by its affirmer is so imperfect that he is unable to define it for me.
Sunday morning in America is the greatest hour of idolatry in the whole week. Why? Because most people who are even worshiping God, are worshiping a God they don't know. They're worshiping a god that looks more like Santa Claus than the God of Scripture. They're worshiping a god that is a figment of their own imagination. They created a god in their own likeness and they worship the god they've made.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we had a world where everybody said, 'We don't know?' The fact is that you're surrounded -God and you don't see God, because you KNOW ABOUT God. The final barrier to the vision of God is your God concept. You miss God because you think you know. The highest knowledge of God is to know God as unknowable. All revelations, however divine, are never any more than a finger pointing at the moon. As we say in the East, 'When the sage points to the moon, all the idiot sees is the finger'.
Anthony de Mello
A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be it is obeying [God]. It 'consents, ' so to speak, to [God's] creative love. It is expressing an idea which is in God and which is not distinct from the essence of God, and therefore a tree imitates God by being a tree
I'll pit my God against your god any day, I say to the Calvinists. It's not their god I'm praying to... The God I'm praying to is neither male nor female. My God is the one who exists apart from all of men's agendas, the God who takes you away when there is no possible place you can go.
I'll pit my God against your god any day, I say to the Calvinists. It's not their god I'm praying to.... The God I'm praying to is neither male nor female. My God is the one who exists apart from all of men's agendas, the God who takes you away when there is no possible place you can go.
If someone were to ask me whether I believed in God, or saw God, or had a particular relationship with God, I would reply that I don't separate God from my world in my thinking. I feel that God is everywhere. That's why I never feel separated from God or feel I must seek God, any more than a fish in the ocean feels it must seek water. In a sense, God is the "ocean" in which we live.
Do we not see God at work in our circumstances? Dark times are allowed and come to us through the sovreignty of God. Are we prepared to let God do what He wants with us? Are we prepared to be separated from the outward, evident blessings of God? Until Jesus Christ is truly our Lord, we each have goals of our own which we serve. Our faith is real, but it is not yet permanent. And God is never in a hurry. If we are willing to wait, we will see God pointing out that we have been interested only in his blessings, instead of God Himself.
That experience showed me that I-from moment to moment-am the only person in control of my connection to God. It's not that God is deciding to connect with me, depending on whether I had a good day, or did good or bad deeds. It's all up to me. God, the awareness of God, the love of God, the blessings of God-that lively ecstasy-is always there. It's me who separates from God by judging, by indulging in negativity, by criticizing myself, as well as others.
Barbara De Angelis
What the hell are you getting so upset about?" he asked her bewilderedly in a tone of contrite amusement. "I thought you didn't believe in God." "I don't, " she sobbed, bursting violently into tears. "But the God I don't believe in is a good God, a just God, a merciful God. He's not the mean and stupid God you make Him out to be.
Somewhere, sometime, somehow you got tangled up in garbage, and you've been avoiding God. You've allowed a veil of guilt to come between you and your Father. You wonder if you could ever feel close to God again. The message of the torn flesh is you can. God welcomes you. God is not avoiding you. God is not resisting you. The curtain is down, the door is open, and God invites you in
If we are in Christ the whole basis of our goings is God, not conceptions of God, not ideas of God, but God Himself. We do not need any more ideas about God, the world is full of ideas about God, they are all worthless, because the ideas of God in anyone's head are of no more use than our own ideas. What we need is a real God, not more ideas about Him.
God is beyond definition. But according to one's own vision or receptivity, one will define God in one's own way. Some will say that God is all Love. Others will say that God is all Power. Each one will see God according to his own necessity, his own receptivity and, finally, according to the way God wants him to see the ultimate Truth.