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Wondering What to Believe?

  1. Does Nature Give Proof of God?
    8 Digging Deeper
  2. Can I Hear God's Voice?
    8 Digging Deeper
  3. Who is God?
    8 Digging Deeper
  4. Who Wrote the Bible?
    8 Digging Deeper
  5. Can I Trust the Bible?
    7 Digging Deeper
  6. Is there a Right and Wrong?
    7 Digging Deeper
  7. Why Does God Allow Evil?
    9 Digging Deeper
  8. Who Am I?
    7 Digging Deeper
  9. What is the Meaning of Life?
    7 Digging Deeper
  10. Does God Love Me?
    5 Digging Deeper
Lesson 3, Digging Deeper 7
In Progress

A God that is God is long-suffering and forgiving.

If any of us will look honestly inside our hearts, we will see how flawed, imperfect, and selfish we are. If God were not longsuffering and forgiving, we would be without hope because of the many messes we have made in our life. Maybe he would have abandoned or even destroyed us long ago. We need God’s mercy and grace to forgive us and his guidance and strength to help us live better and more in harmony with his will. That’s why we now live lives filled with praises to God. Eventually, when this life is over, all his people will praise him forever, as seen in the worship praises in Revelation chapters 4 and 5 (quoted above in question 7).

The life of faith is one that loves and imitates God. The Apostle John encourages us, “As he is, so also are we in this world” (I John 4:17, CSB). The Apostle Peter urged believers, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;  for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy’” (I Peter 1:15-16, NIV). The Apostle Paul wrote, “Be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us” (Ephesians 5:1-2, ESV). Another translation reads, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children  and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us” (NIV).

Gratitude to God for what he has done and is doing for us motivates us to follow him and become like him in our lives. The Apostle Paul expressed it this way:

 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24, NIV).

Paul continued that thought when he wrote, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord” (5:8-10).

In his letter to the Colossians, Paul writes that appreciation to God for what he has done for us in Jesus motivates us to follow Christ in everything. In our conversion to Christ, we died spiritually to the ways, values and habits of the world without God (Colossians 2:20; 3:9-10). We were buried with Christ in baptism and raised to live a new life in Christ by the powerful working of God who forgave our sins (Colossians 2:11-14). Now we live a new life in Christ where we set our minds on Christ to follow him in everything (3:1-4). He writes, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (3:12, NIV).  We “forgive as the Lord forgave” us (3:13). We act in a loving way in everything (3:14). We let the will of Christ lead and direct our lives (3:15-16). We do everything in the name of Jesus Christ (3:17). Our marriages, families and daily work are to honor Jesus in everything (Colossians 3:18-4:1; he elaborates more on this in Ephesians 5:22-6:9).

The more we focus on God, the more we want to be like him in his holiness, love, mercy, kindness and forgiveness. The more we know about God, the more we will believe in him. The more we believe in him, the better we will love him. The more we love him, the better we will serve him. The better we serve him, the more God is glorified (meaning, the more he is praised, honored and worshiped).