A beautiful September to you from Inspiration from a Blind brought to you monthly by www.ShirleyCheng.com!
Do you know God? If so, do you know Him intimately? And how should you respond to your knowledge of Him?
We can know someone in two ways: impersonal knowledge and personal knowledge. To know someone impersonally is to know of the person's existence, their name, what they do, where they live, or perhaps even what they look like. For example, we know the president of the United States. We know his name, what he does, and we know what he looks like (well, except yours truly). Apart from this general knowledge of ours, we do not know President Obama personally or intimately as a friend.
So what kind of knowledge do you have of God? Let's begin with the impersonal kind of knowledge. How do you know of someone's existence when they and others who knew them are no longer around? Well, you would know them by the "footprints" they left behind: their pictures, their writings, or anything they created.
What "footprints" has God left for us to know of His existence and powers? His handiworks:
"The heavens declare the glory of God.
The expanse shows his handiwork.
Day after day they pour forth speech,
and night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech nor language,
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice has gone out through all the earth,
their words to the end of the world." (Psalm 19:1-4, WEB)
Yes, God's creation, which can be seen, felt, tasted, heard, and smelled, openly witnesses to everyone on Earth of God's glory, creative powers, intelligence, and love. His handiworks are evidences of His existence, just as the houses on your street prove of the existence of their builders.
Since "the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity," no one with average mental capacity has the excuse to deny God's existence (Romans 1:20). Thus, if we deny Him despite His "footprints," we are foolishly lying to ourselves.
After we know someone impersonally, we have the option to know them more intimately. Whether we choose to get to know the person more depends on how much desire we have in pursuing further knowledge about them. This holds true in knowing God.
After you have come to the impersonal knowledge of God, do you want to know Him better? If you do, God has personally provided the avenue that will lead you to an intimate knowledge of Him: His words in the Bible, a book He wrote through His human secretaries who recorded down His words under divine empowerment.
The original manuscripts of the Bible are called "autographs." Think of the Bible as God's "autographed autobiography." While the autographs are no longer in existence, we have thousands of manuscript copies of the originals whose doctrinal content has been divinely preserved through the centuries; thus they are an accurate and the primary source in obtaining intimate knowledge of God.
In His Word, God introduces to us His personal name, as intimate knowledge of a person should always start with a name. His name is "Yahweh" from YHWH in Hebrew, transliterated as "Jehovah" in English. His name means "He who causes to be" or "He who chooses to become,"--a perfect name for this awesome Creator!
From His Word, you will learn of Yahweh's plans He has for humanity, of His likes and dislikes, of His Son Jesus, of His precepts and principles for righteous living, and of how we can have fellowship with Him. Additionally, the Bible answers life's colossal questions: What's our origin? What's our purpose? Where will we go? As the Bible has been proven to be prophetically accurate, we can know what it prophesies about our future will come to pass.
After you have read the Bible, the question to ask yourself is: Do I want to have companionship with God? Do I want to be God's friend? The answer to this question will help you properly respond to Yahweh's words as He desires, because only when we want to be someone's friend will we have the desire to please them. What pleases Yahweh is living by His laws and commandments which are for our own benefits. After all, God wrote the Bible for a reason: to be lived by. If you want to please Him, you would live according to His laws.
Do you want to please Yahweh your Creator? This is entirely up to you. No one can make the decision for you, not even God, because Yahweh does not force people to love Him. If he did, He would have created us as robots, where we would have given Him our undivided attention and devotion without hesitation. But He didn't, as He wants us to love Him willingly.
But understand that living in contrary to God's moral laws will yield negative consequences, just as living in contrary to God's laws of nature will have negative consequences. We cannot expect to come out in the end happy and well after we have willfully rejected God's precepts and principles, just as we cannot expect to be unscathed after jumping out a plane without a parachute.
Thus, to choose to live according to Yahweh's moral laws is only for your benefit. It makes no difference to God whether we obey or disobey Him in the sense that He is not dependant upon us one bit. Our sins do not physically harm God, nor do our righteous deeds bring Him benefits:
"Look to the heavens, and see.
See the skies, which are higher than you.
If you have sinned, what effect do you have against him?
If your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?
If you are righteous, what do you give him?
Or what does he receive from your hand?
Your wickedness may hurt a man as you are,
and your righteousness may profit a son of man." (Job 35:5-8)
So we're not doing Yahweh a "favor" when we obey Him. When we obey Him, we are doing ourselves a favor. And when we obey Him, that pleases Him, because He only wants the best for His creation.
How will you respond to God's footprints? In other words, how will you proceed after you know Yahweh through His handiworks? Will you seek after an intimate knowledge of Him? After knowing Him intimately, will you respond to His fellowship invitation?
If you need help in understanding God's Word, please by all means contact me, and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have! Today is the day to start knowing our awesome Creator--don't delay!
~*~Q&A with Dr. Shirley~*~
Question: Did God create evil?
Answer: No, Yahweh did not create evil. Evil is simply the result of disobedience to His moral laws. Where there is no light, there is darkness. Likewise, where God's principles and precepts are not kept, there is evil.
Some people point to the King James Version translation of Isaiah 45:7 to say that God did create evil. The verse says, "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." However, this verse does not indicate that God creates moral evil.
First, the word "evil" is translated from the Hebrew word "rah," which speaks of anything unpleasant. It can mean anything from "bad," as a bad land, to "rotten," as a rotten fruit, and any adversities or hardships we may face, from natural disasters to divine punishments from God. Yes, "rah" can also mean moral evil or wickedness. Thus, depending on the verse and context, "rah" has been translated into various words, such as trouble, affliction, bad, wickedness, ill, evil, calamity, sad, harm, adversity, grievous, mischief, and hurt. Below are a few verses where "rah" is present:
a) "Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan didn't please ["rah"] Isaac, his father." (Genesis 28:8)
b) "Why do you look so sad ["rah"] today?" (Genesis 40:7)
c) "See what kind of land they live in. Is it good or bad ["rah"]?" (Numbers 13:19, NLT)
Second, Isaiah 45:7 is contrasting opposites: light and darkness, peace and disturbance. "Moral evil" is not the exact opposite of "peace," so a better translation is, "I form the light, and create darkness. I make peace, and create calamity. I am Yahweh, who does all these things." (Isaiah 45:7, WEB) The "calamity" Yahweh creates can be in the form of judgments.
Third, the entire Bible does not support the idea of God creating evil. We're told that Yahweh is the only Being who is purely good, and that everything He created is very good (Matthew 19:17; Genesis 1:31).
However, Yahweh does indirectly cause moral evil to exist. When He establishes moral laws and those laws are not followed by others, then evil is the outcome of that disobedience and rebellion.
~*~Dr. Shirley's Corner~*~
My book "Do You Love Jehovah?" is now available on Apple's iTunes for your iPod, iPad, and iPhone, as well as on Barnes and Noble Nook!
Are you interested in obtaining in-depth knowledge of God's Word to help you deepen your understanding of God and His plans and develop a sacred relationship with your Heavenly Father? If so, you are more than welcome to sign up for the In-Depth Ultra-Ability Bible Virtual Class via e-mail.
· You will study the Bible in depth from Genesis to Revelation in order.
· The study will progress in your own pace.
· You will work one-on-one with me via e-mail only.
· Your personal Bible-related questions will be answered.
· Although the virtual class has no financial cost, it will require your dedication and diligence. There will be lessons to complete and tests to take
for all Bible chapters. All assignments are in short question and answer format.
· The only textbook for this program is the Bible. If you do not have a copy of the Bible, you can read it online for free at www.BibleGateway.com.
· The class is non-denominational and is not affiliated with any church or ministry.
· You have no obligations; you may pause or stop anytime, though you are strongly encouraged to complete the study.
Interested? Then fill out the form at www.ultra-ability.com, and we'll get started. I look forward to our study time together!
May the grace and peace from Yahweh God and Jesus Christ be with you.!
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Dr. Shirley Cheng
Award-Winning Author with 27 Book Awards
Founder of Ultra-Ability Ministry
Proclaimer of Yahweh God's Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ
Author/Contributor/Editor of 35 books by age 27, Bible Teacher, Poet, Motivational Speaker, Self-Empowerment Expert, Advocate
Board member of World Positive Thinkers Club
"Although I'm blind, I can see far and wide; even though I'm disabled, I can climb high mountains. Let the ropes of hope in Yahweh God haul you high!"
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