People are known by their name. Their name is establish by what they do and say. For example if I was to bring up the name Adolph Hitler, you would probably think of a person who was responsible for murdering thousands of people because of race or religion in the early nineteen-forties. He was a German dictator and a racist. If I was to bring up the name Abraham Lincoln, he was a famous President of the United States of America. Through his actions came the test upon America regarding the fundamental principle of equality of all people. If I mention Abraham of the Bible we could think of the Hebrew, whose example of faith was accounted as righteousness to God. If I bring up the name Jehovah or God, what kind of a picture of this being do we see? When we say God the Father, what do we see and know about Him? Would this picture be accurate? The bible teaches us many characteristics and activities of God that help paint a picture of God sufficient for us. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
Genesis 1:1 says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." The bible teaches in many places that the God of heaven is a creator. Where there was nothing, he created something. This is not to say that something comes from nothing, "Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow." (James 1:17 NASB). The things of creation that are visible were made by the invisible to the naked eye. "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible." (Heb. 11:3 NASB). The creation teaches us many things about God, (Romans 1:20), thus helping to answer the question, "Who is our heavenly Father?"
The power of God is unfathomable. Man lifts weights to make his arms strong. God's arm is already strong from eternity. He upholds all things with the word of his power, (Hebrews 1:3). The next time you think you are something great or powerful, ask yourself if you can create something physical where there is nothing, using only your words; that is, speak it into existence. Another thing that can bring us off our high-horse is to try to explain how all the things of creation exist. No man on earth is fitted for that. We have many scientists that are searching for answers but they will never find the end. God, on the other hand, already has all the answers. When Job made judgment of God's justice, God asked Job to explain many of the wonders of God. Since Job presented himself as a judge of God's justice and in so many words said that God was unfair, Job was putting himself in the place of God. What can we say if we do as Job? Job was rebuked and repented of his arrogance. (Job 9:16-24; 10:2-7; 19:1-11; 40:1-9; 42:1-6).
Wisdom is found in His creation which shows that God is responsible. To have living beings on earth survive would take wisdom beyond man's comprehension. We see in nature what God did. How He did this, we do not know; except that he spoke it into existence.
For example, take animals that live off eating vegetation that grows on dry land. Without vegetation, they would die. In order for grass seed to grow on dry land, there must be moisture. How can we get fresh water to water the surface of the whole earth? We can't, but God does. By His wisdom and power He exercised his responsibility by creating the cycle of rain. Water is evaporated from the oceans and seas. It goes upward into the sky, it is held in a cloud of moisture. The winds carry it along over the dry land, then with other natural forces, the water is dropped onto the dry ground. The grass seed now has moisture to germinate and grow. Water that does not go into the ground, follows a downward path on the surface of the ground and collects into streams, then the steams into rivers. The rivers carry the water back to the seas where the cycle is started all over again. Nature tells us that God is very creative, wise, and powerful.
THE COMPASSIONATE SAVIOR
God knows our condition. He knows how frail we are. God has shown his love for us in many ways. Again, if we look at nature, He cares for us and supplies our bodies with the things of the earth, (food, water, clothing, air, etc). The fact that God cares for our bodies, shows His kindness and love toward us.
He also has given His word to us. Because we are sinners, that is, those who have violated God's word, He has provided for us a way to escape condemnation which we ought to receive for our crimes. God sent "the Word" to this earth to save mankind. "The Word" is Jesus Christ, (John 1:1-3, 14). If you believe in the word of God, you believe in Jesus Christ. By a working faith in God's word, you will be saved. (James 2:14-26). In His word is found instruction, correction, direction and hope. He has given us words to live by, instruction on how to live.
Because of these provisions by God, He is shown to be loving and merciful toward mankind.
GOD IS JUST
As God is loving, kind and compassionate. He is also just and fair. He rewards for good behavior and punishes for bad behavior.
This is a characteristic of God that many people do not want to hear about; specifically the part about punishing. God is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29). It can stir up deep emotions of fear when one reads this, "For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge His people." It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Heb 10:30-31. NASB). However, if you are faithful in Christ, there is no need of fear of the kind that causes you to cower from the knowledge of God's characteristics.
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." (2 Cor. 5:10 NASB) This is the way of God. Therefore, this is the way it will be. It is just. If one is unfaithful to Christ (the bad), he will be condemned. If one is faithful to Christ (the good), God will extend his mercy and save that person. (Mark 16:16).
Also, our heavenly Father is not one to show partiality in judgment. (Rom. 2:11).
GOD KEEPS HIS WORD
Another characteristic of our heavenly Father is that he keeps his word. If He makes a promise, He will follow through with it. One of the strongest builders of faith and strength in our relationship with God is to read, study, and meditate on his word. If there is one thing that should ring loud and clear in our minds by what the bible teaches, is that when God gives His word, He keeps it.
Because of this fact, the more that this is brought into our view, two kinds of final judgments increase in certainty; (1) punishment, and (2) reward of salvation. God wants us to be assured of both, relative to His conditions of salvation. "But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:7-9 NASB, bolding mine ACW).