The truth in a nutshell

Selwyn summarises his study of ‘The Character of God’, which he has been been sharing with us over the last two months.

He says there are least three ‘benefits of keeping our gaze continually focused on God.’

The first point is: ‘The more we discover of His love, His holiness, His purity, His trustworthiness, His strength, His patience, the more we want to emulate Him.’, that is, to be like Him.

‘Second, the more we study God, the better we will know ourselves.’

‘Third, the better we come to know God, the clearer will be our perspective on the world.’

In addition, as recorded in Daniel 11:32 (re verses set for reading and meditation) those who know God and fully trust that He is merciful, compassionate, loving, dependable and just – will undertake, with strength and courage, the good work He desires us to do. With such an amazing God standing next to us – who could defeat us - the only thing which can hold us back is a lack of trust – do you agree?  Anything else which stood out for you over the past two months?

I also like today’s prayer: “My Father and my God, with your truth as my compass, and Your Word as my chart, I now embark on this great adventure – getting to know You better. Please guide me day by day, I pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”


Today – is the birthday of the young woman I wrote about in the  section ‘A Light Inside’; please pray for her – she is now pregnant but not without a lot of heartache – please pray that this pregnancy goes full-term and results in a wonderful blessing for her and her husband.

Our only hope

Now, Selwyn starts to bring together what he has been writing about over the last two months.

I think the key statement, in today’s study, is: ‘… when the Lord talks about Himself in Scripture it is often in terms of His attributes or character traits – kindness, justice, righteousness and so on. And there is a clear and definite purpose in this: the more we know of God, the more established our lives will be here on earth. There is nothing more important, in my view, than gaining knowledge of God through contemplation of Him. …’

In addition to contemplation, I believe prayer is the most important aspect of establishing (from our perspective) and building our relationship with God. Think about it, communication is an important element of any human relationship – we tell those closest to us – those we trust the most – details about our lives which we would not tell anyone else. Likewise, talking to our God – who knows us better than anyone else – and who loves us more than anyone else – must be a central plank of our relationship with Him.

The best part about prayer is that Jesus responds perfectly to our prayers and if we carefully listen for His answers and learn from what He says then our love and trust in Him will grow – do you agree? It sometimes appears to me to when some people pray; it’s like they are writing their prayer requests on a piece of paper and letting the wind blow it away. A sort of prayer lucky-dip in that the wind may take their prayer close to God and He may bend down to read it – if they are fortunate. These people really don’t expect an answer from God, and they also don’t usually take the time to listen to His response: such people rarely demonstrate the joy of knowing Jesus, rather they become over-anxious about the turmoil that abounds in our time.

As well as the main verse set for reading and meditation, these verses are also good: (Exodus 34:6-7) ‘And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebelion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished … “‘



‘Some extra practice’

I sometimes find it difficult to say to people, as Selwyn says today: ‘The same wisdom which ordered the course of Abraham’s life orders your life and mine today. We should never be taken aback when unexpected things occur.’

I think there is often, an initial reaction of confusion, when painful unexpected events occur. It’s when we take this pain and confusion to Jesus in prayer, that we then realise that ‘no matter how hard the experience, God’s power will be there to get us through, and God’s wisdom will ensure that the (eternal) benefit outweighs the (earthly) cost.’

What’s your view on this topic?


Well, another landmark today – it’s my wife’s (Neroli) birthday. It’s a nice sunny day; yesterday, we had rain most of the day but the land really needs it – so no complaints. Therefore, it’s a short post today as I’m about to take Neroli ‘shopping’ and lunch out – something, which I know she will enjoy!


God’s one great goal

Selwyn continues his discussion on God’s knowledge and wisdom. He is helping us understand why a loving God with perfect wisdom allows discomfort and pain to happen – especially to those who are His people.

He paraphases Romans 8:29, found in the Living Bible, as follows: “‘For from the very beginning God decided that those who came to him – and all along he knew who would – should become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters.’ God’s great energy and wisdom, working on behalf of all Christians, is directed to making us like His Son, Jesus Christ.” He goes on to say: God’s “wisdom will bring from every trial that comes our way something that will enrich our character and make us more like Jesus Christ.”

In those difficult times we can trust Jesus because we know that He loves us and wants the eternal best for us. We also know that He will never let the pain of these trials separate us from His love. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” In this case it is the temptation not to trust that God is always helping you through hard times.

What has helped you survive difficult times?


As we approach the end of this study on ‘The Character of God’ and we reflect on what Selwyn has written over the past two months – what has been the most significant issue for you?

Fullness – only in God

Today’s study by Selwyn has helped me in a number of ways.

First off, I really liked the verses set for Further Study (Romans 11:33-36 & Colossians 2:2-4) because while looking up these verses I ‘stumbled’ across a number of other verses which appear to be very relevant to some of the other material which I’m writing. The Colossians verses are particularly good: ‘My purpose (Paul’s) is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.’ 

The second thing is what Selwyn has to say about God’s knowledge and wisdom. He says: “We can recognise wisdom only when we see the end to which it is moving. Yet God often calls us to trust Him when we can’t see the end He is pursuing, and at such times we have to ask ourselves: How much do I trust Him? …

God’s wisdom is not, and never was, intended to get us through life without being hurt. The goal of divine wisdom, as we said, is to bring about the best possible results, which for us means making us holy. And sometimes pursuing that goal may involve us in considerable pain.”

I think that many people lose sight of God’s goal for us, which as mentioned above is  – ‘to make us holy’ – and; replace it with – ‘to have a long, happy and healthy life.’ This change in emphasis can be devastating for those who see God as a kind of  ‘Mister Fix-it’ because there will be times when what we want to be resolved, will be left unresolved. These occasions, if we let them, will start to eat away at our trust in God. Do you agree?

Trust in God’s knowledge, wisdom and power and our response to love others in the same way God loves us. These ‘vision’ statements should be written in our hearts and read each morning when we wake up as it will help focus our actions during the day – we may never get it entirely right but at least we will be heading in the right direction – what do you think?


A friend recently delivered a really good sermon on the Centurion’s faith (Luke 7:1-10), which I’ve put up on my other site (which is still under development). It brings out in a really concise way the faith of one trusting in God’s authority.

The God who sees

I think that it’s amazing that, as Selwyn says today, that we are ‘never out of His thoughts’; ‘there is not a single moment when His eye is not upon us.’

The area which really stirred my heart was the bit about “Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor who was executed by the Nazis (in the very last days of the War). … The poem he wrote in his prison cell entitled ‘Who an I?’ ends with the words ‘Who am I? O Lord, Thou knowest I am Thine.’ Realising how much he was known by God brought him great comfort and consolation.”

Jesus will be with us all the days of our lives. He has not left us alone to struggle on our own strength through the dark periods that we will suffer from time-to-time. Bad things do happen to God’s people – it’s the nature of this fallen world, which we are passing through. Yet, for some this is a stubbling block – they think, ‘how can a loving God, who sees me in this situation, not do anything about it?’  Yet, look at the cross, Jesus suffered – and He is God’s Son! Jesus is always doing ‘something’ about our suffering – it’s a matter of trust.  Do you agree?

Somewhat related is the discussion starter for this week: ‘Are there any areas where you find it difficult to trust God and receive His grace and wisdom?’ What are the areas in your life where you find it difficult to trust God - are they related to ‘why does a loving and good God allow these types of things to happen’?


Reflection on perfection

The bit I like from today’s study is: ‘Even when things are happening in our lives that are profoundly mysterious to us and quite incomprehensible to those who are around us, we must never lose sight of the fact that “He knows the way [we] take.’ (Job 23:10)

I also like, and it’s one of my favourite sections in John’s Gospel, Peter’s response to Jesus’ question; ‘Do you love me?’: which was, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’ (John 21:17)

We can apply Peter’s response to our own situation – it does not matter what we may say to others – or the words we might recite on a Sunday – Jesus knows the relationship you have with Him – He knows if you live your life in a relationship with Him based on love. Likewise, He also knows if you are a fake. If you profess fellowship with Him yet ignore His teaching as you live your life, day-to-day. Perhaps, this is the worst position to be in – to know the truth but not to apply it to your life – what possible defence could you have – when, He asks you ‘Why?’

Any other comments on today’s study?