Questions for Thought

1. We saw that God always has within his own life everything that really is good. How does this show why God alone ought to be loved and respected and honored above everything and everyone else?

2. What are some things you need that if you didn’t have them you wouldn’t be able to live? Why should you thank God for giving you those things?

Memory Verses
Acts 17:24–25—“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.”

 

God Is God with Us

Amazingly, even though God is fully God apart from us and apart from the whole creation that he has made, the Bible also teaches that God is a God who is with us. That is, he not only is a God far-off, vast and mighty, big and full of all good things, but he also is a God who has chosen to come near to us, to live with us, to make himself known to us, and to provide for us all that we truly need. Sometimes we might think to ourselves, “Well, of course God wants to be with us; after all, we are such wonderful people.” But to think this way is to miss how amazing and truly wonderful it is that God is a God who is with us.

Two things need to be clear in our thinking. First, we must realize that God didn’t need to create this world or to create us. Remember that God possesses within his own life everything that is good and wise and perfect. He didn’t need the creation that he made, and he didn’t have to create us. Some have thought that God made us because he was lonely, but this just is not true. As Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (we’ll talk about this more in the next section), he delights in the fellowship he has as three persons in one. And since God already possesses everything that is good within his own life, creation could never add anything to God that he lacked. So, we are not here to fill some supposed emptiness in God or because God needs us somehow to help him out. Second, we must remember that after God created us, we turned against him, rejecting his goodness and wanting to live our lives our own way (we’ll talk more about this later also). Because we have sinned against God, we deserve to be rejected by God, not accepted by him.

So, it really is amazing and wonderful that even though God doesn’t need us, and even though we have turned away from God in our sin, God comes to us, makes himself known to us, and desires to give himself fully to us. While God is fully God apart from us, amazingly, God is also a God who has chosen to be with us.

Isaiah 57:15 gives us a beautiful description of God in both of these ways: “For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.’” Can you see both of these truths about God in this verse? First, God is “high and lifted up,” and he lives “in the high and holy place.” As such, God is God apart from us. In himself, he lives fully as God apart from this world that he has made. But even though God is so great and full in his own life, he has chosen also to come and “dwell” with those who are “contrite and lowly.” Why has he chosen to do this? Has he come because he needs something from us? No, rather God sees that we need something—everything!—from him. God chooses to come to those who are humble before him, “to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” In other words, God comes to us not so we can fill up some emptiness in God (there is none), but so he can fill up the huge emptiness in us. Even though God doesn’t need us, he loves us, and he wants us to receive from him all of the goodness, blessing, and joy that he has for those who will be humble and dependent before him.