Robert Morris - Enjoy The Ride
It makes a difference what you think about God, and what you believe about God. So I'm going to talk to you over the next few weeks about, "God Is". I've been studying the nature and the character of God for almost 40 years now. And, I feel like that there are so many people that have been taught incorrectly about who God is, and so I want to help you understand that God is good, that God is kind, that God is merciful, that God is gracious, and even that God is just, but even in His justice, He's merciful. So, we're gonna talk about that, all right?
So, the first thing you need to do is I have to tell you a little bit about my son, James. My son, James, is very strong. He was born strong. Some people are just that way. I mean, he's always been strong. When he was young, I traveled and preached, and sometimes Debbie would be able to attend the services. Most of the time she traveled with me, but sometimes she might not be able to because the kids had to be in bed and we were gonna be out late of something. So, I'm at the door, telling everyone "Bye", and she's holding James in her arms, and I said to her, "Make sure and latch, do the burglar latch, you know, when I leave". Lock the door completely, you know. And so, she did that latch when I closed the door then, and James reached up and grabbed it, and she thought, oh, look, he's playing with it, and then he just kind of went and pulled it out of the wall.
Now, this is what protects us from the burglars. And my 18 month old just pulled it out of the wall. So, when he was young, we called him, "Bam Bam". Do you remember that? "The Flintstones", okay? Barney had the son named Bam Bam. He just did supernatural feats of strength from the time he was young. And, I, like all dads, I would wrestle my boys, you know, growing up, and of course as they get older, they start, you know, getting stronger. They get in their teenage years, and what you do, if you don't know this, if you don't have a teenager yet, just so you know, Dad, once they start getting a little stronger, use your weight advantage. And I weigh 200-and-something pounds. I don't know the exact number, so I wouldn't want to lie. But it's over 200. And so, I would just... eventually, if I knew I was losing, I'd just lay on top of 'em, you know, kind of like a T. You just lay across their chest and their arms, and you just kind of lock 'em down.
So, I did that to James one time when he was about 15 years old, and the next thing I know, he just picked me up like this in the air. And then to show off, he just started bench pressing me like this, and then he just sat me down. And so, I grounded him for life, but anyway. So, first thing you need to know is he's very strong. He's just always been strong. Second thing is he's very good at water sports. I mean, he just for some reason became very, very good at water sports. We were looking for one of the pictures. He was about 12 years old. He was slalom skiing. He started out skiing, and then wakeboarding, and now surfing. But when he was skiing, he was doing a slalom with a rooster tail, and his shoulder was just a few inches off the water and he was only, like 12 years old. So, he's always been very good.
So, on the family vacation, James is teaching his kids to surf. It's where you go behind the boat. The boat we have, the propeller is under the boat, so it's very safe. And it makes a wake, and you can just, you get up with a rope and then once you get good, you can throw the rope in, and the wake just, you know, you can surf, and James can do it and he does tricks. He can do it both ways. He can go on either side of the boat, he can go up in the air, he can do all of these tricks. So, he's teaching his sons to do it. Well, his son, Mitchell, who's 4 years old, was scared. So, James is holding him to try to comfort him, so here's a picture of James, surfing with Mitchell. But, zoom in there on Mitchell's face. So, he's not enjoying it, okay?
So, I'm watching this in the boat, and here's what I'm thinking. I'm thinking if Mitchell just knew how strong his father is, if he just knew how strong his father is, if he knew how good his father is, how able his father is at water sports, and how much his father loved him, he would enjoy the ride. Okay, I'll get to the application in a minute in case you didn't catch it. So, when Mitchell got in the boat, the other grandchildren, my grandchildren - James' nephews and nieces wanted him to do them. So, he does them. Again, he gets up on the board. He's well and good enough to get up on the board with one hand, pull his weight up, plus a child and hold another child, and then sometimes he'll sit them on the board, and sometimes he'll put them on his shoulders, and you know, he just does all sorts of.
So, Mitchell's watching him now do this with all of his cousins. And so, I went over to Mitchell and I said to him, "Did you know that your father is one of the strongest people I've ever met in the whole world? He's one of the strongest that I know". And his eyes lit up and he said, "Really"? I said, "Yes, he's very, very strong. And did you know that he's one of the best surfers that I know in the whole world"? And he said, "Really"? And I said, "And do you know how much your father loves you"? And he said, "Oh, yeah, he loves me a lot". And I said, "Mitchell, there is no way that your father would drop you. There's no way". So at lunch, he said to his dad, "I want you to take me surfing again".
So, look at this picture, after he understands about his father. And then, do a zoom in on his face there. Here's my point. I'm sitting there in the boat, watching this, having this thought, and I know that God wants me to preach to you about who God is. So, listen to me very carefully. I'm thinking to myself about you, and I'm thinking, because I've studied God for 40 years, and I'm thinking, if they just knew. If they just knew what I know about their Father. If they knew how strong He is, how able He is, and how much He loves them, they would relax and enjoy the ride. They'd just enjoy the ride. So, I hope you remember that, because you need to understand that your Father... obviously, my son's a human, but God's not, and He loves you and He's able, and we worry a lot when we shouldn't worry, because He's got us.
So, let me tell you some things about God. Number one, God does because He is. Now, this is important to understand and I'm going to explain it. God does because He is. It's not the other way around. It's not that God does something so He is something. It's He does because He is something. Let me show you the verse. Psalm 119:68, "You are good and do good". Okay, listen to me. God isn't good because He does good, God does good because He is good. Are you all following the difference? It's a big deal here. It's huge, because God isn't good because He does good, He does good because He is good. See, He just is good. By the way, this is what's great about grace when you understand it. You're not good because you do good, you're good because a good God made you good. And even if you do something bad, that doesn't make you bad, 'cause God made you good, because Jesus took your punishment on the cross.
Now, it's important how you think about God, and I want to make some strong statements here. These are really strong statements, all right? So, just stay with me. We don't really worship God, we worship our concept of God. See, I know we worship God, but every one of us here, you're worshipping who you think God is. And there are some people who come to church out of fear instead of joy, 'cause they think God'll get 'em if they don't. See? We don't really pray to God, we pray to our concept of God. We don't really, here's a sad one, witness about God, we witness to others about our concept of God. So, the more you can understand of who God really is, the more it'll change your life.
Again, I've known the Lord now for almost 40 years, and I've been studying Him - going to school, studied, been studying, preaching, teaching and getting to know who God really is, so it helps me. Like, in that helicopter when I'm dying - and the first responders, without them I would have. But also, I knew that God was faithful and it gave me peace. And Debbie, who was driving back to the hospital two hours, she had peace, because we knew that no matter what happened, even if I did die, God was still faithful. See, that's what this series is for, is to help us understand. So, here's point number two - what are attributes? So, we're gonna talk about the attributes of God, but you need to know what the word means.
You know, I'm kind of a wordsmith and love words, and Debbie heard Pastor Jimmy Evans, I think, use a word one time, and so, she said to me afterwards, she said, "What does that word mean"? And I said, "Well, let's break it down". And she said, "Never mind, I'll just Google it". But, that's what I do, is I break a word down and that's how we get to understand the meaning. So, let me show you the word, "attribute". So, here's the word, "attribute". We're gonna know about the attributes of God.
Now, we're gonna help break it down so you understand. Just take one "T" out of the word - "a tribute". A tribute, when you give someone a tribute, you tell us some of the distinct qualities and characteristics of that person. But, to attribute is to someone who deserves what we're talking about, but we're talking about the distinct qualities and characteristics of that person, all right? But, there's another word here. Look at the other root word, it's "tribe". Here, by the way, is the definition of "tribe" - the distinct characteristics of a group of people who have descended from one person. The distinct characteristics of a group of people who have descended from one person.
Okay, so we're talking about the attributes of God, so here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna tell you the distinct characteristics of God, but here's the great thing. Because of Jesus Christ, we now have become a part of His tribe. And so, because God is good, we can be good. Because God is merciful, we can be merciful. Because God is loving, we can be loving. Because God is kind, we can be kind. Because we get to be part of His tribe now, see? So, you've got to understand these attributes. "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful, gracious, long suffering, abounding in goodness and truth".
So, there are some of God's attributes. Here's the list of some of His attributes in 1 Timothy 1:17. "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, to honor and glory forever and ever". Those are some of His attributes. Now, let me tell you something about His attributes that we need to know. Some of His attributes are communicable, and some are incommunicable. Communicable means can be imparted, can be shared. In other words, because He's merciful, we can be merciful. Because He's good, we can be good. Because He's kind, we can be kind. Some are incommunicable. God is omnipotent. That means He has all power. You'll never have all power.
But, here's what is good that is communicable - but you can have power. You'll never have all power, but you can have the power of God working in your life, the power of the Holy Spirit. Eternal - God's always existed. Here's what's incredible. We get the gift when we come to Christ of eternal life. Immortal - well, we're mortal, but one day, the Bible says we're gonna put off our mortal life and we're gonna put on immortality. Isn't that good? But again, there are some that are incommunicable, okay?
Let me add on 1 Timothy 1:17 and let me just tell you. You'll never be invisible. Just give up. So, that one's incommunicable. Here's one that's incommunicable - omniscience. God is all-knowing. You'll never know everything. But we will know as He knows, the Bible says, and we don't know what that means. When we get to heaven, we'll know. There'll be more that we know. But, you'll never be omniscient. The closest thing that we have to omniscience on this earth are mothers. A mother seems to know everything. You ever notice how they look at you and they ask you a question, and you lie to 'em and then they say, "Tell me the truth"? Okay, so just wanted you to know that.
So, let me just take one attribute now and we'll talk about it for just a little while, okay? And that is point number three, God is good. God is good. He is good and He does good. Now, here's the great thing about attributes. God is all of these things at the same time. So, you say, well, what do you mean? Okay, let me give you another attribute of God. God is infinite. The word "infinite" means that He has no bounds, no limits, and He cannot be measured. He's infinite. He has no bounds, no limits, and cannot be measured. Okay, so why am I telling you that? Because I'm telling you that God is good. Listen to this. His goodness has no limits, no bounds, and cannot be measured. God is infinitely good. You see what I'm saying?
So, the more you know about God, see, it's so good, because His goodness will never run out. He's infinitely good. He's omnipotent. He has all power. So, His goodness will never be limited, because He's all powerful. He's omnipresent. That means His goodness is everywhere. God is immutable. "Immutable", again, if you want to break it down, "mute" in the middle, "mute" would be mutation. It means to change. "Im", would be you can't change. God can't change. So, here's what's good. God can never not be good. Are you all following me? This is better than you think it is. God is incredible! He's wonderful, and He can never change. His goodness is not limited.
Do you know the one thing God looked for in creation? Every day at the end of the day, He'd check for this one thing. Let me show it to you, Genesis 1:4. This is the end of the first day. "And God saw the light, that it was good". Here's the end of the second day, Verse 10. "And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good". The Scripture is, "And God saw that it was good". That little phrase, I'm just gonna kind of show you that phrase. Verse 12, He creates trees and plants, and it ends with, "And God saw that it was good". Verse 18, He created the sun, moon, and stars, "And God saw that it was good". Verse 21, He created the animals of the sea, "And God saw that it was good". Verse 25, He created animals on the Earth, "And God saw that it was good". Verse 31, He created man and woman on the sixth day.
He did create man first, and we'll talk about that in a moment, but he created man and woman. "Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good". There was one thing, though, that God created that wasn't good. Genesis 2:18, God says, "And the Lord God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone'". Now, I don't know if Adam was running around the garden with scissors or what, but basically, God the Father said to the Son, "Hey, this is not good. That's not good". And so, God created a wo-man. Whoa, man, whoa. That's the only thing that wasn't good. Okay, but the greatest display of God's goodness was not His creative goodness, but it's His infinite goodness.
Let me say it another way. The greatest display of God's goodness was not His first creation, but His second creation. Let me say it another way. I know this is theological, so I hope you'll stay with me. When man fell from God's creative goodness, He sent Christ so that we wouldn't fall from His infinite goodness. The greatest display of God's goodness was not the first Adam, but the second Adam. See? James says everything good comes from the Father. Everything good comes from the Father.
Okay, let me just give you a theological interpretation of that. Banana pudding is from God. Well, 'cause it's good, and God's good. Here's what Satan does. Satan tells us to look at this world and the horrible things we see in this world, and he tries to impugn God's character. And he says this - if God is good, then why did this happen? If God is good, then why did this happen? Okay, listen to me. Please hear me. It's actually the easiest theological question to answer. People will say, "If God's good, why did He create such a messed up world"? Okay, that's easy, theologically, to answer. God didn't create a messed up world, we did. We created a messed up world, God didn't. Disease is not a blight against the goodness of God, it's an advertisement for the work of Satan, because God's good, and God is infinitely all powerful, all knowing, and cannot change good. That's how good He is.
There was a missionary named Amy Wilson Carmichael. She was a missionary to India for 55 years. She was born in Ireland. Most of her friends and the young girls in Ireland had blue eyes, but she had brown eyes. So when she was young, she would pray every night that God would change her brown eyes to blue - every night. And every morning, she'd look in the mirror and she'd be disappointed. And she said, "I almost got to the place when I thought God wasn't a good God because He wouldn't answer this prayer". She grew up and felt the call to be a missionary. She went to the missions board and she wanted to go to China because she heard Hudson Taylor speak, and they turned her down and said, "We don't need any more missionaries in China, we need missionaries in India". She said, "I don't have any burden for India". They said, "Well, that's the only place you could go".
So, they sent her to India. When she got to India, she found that families were keeping their boys because they could work, but they were selling their girls to the temple to be temple prostitutes - sex trafficking. This is the late 1800s, early 1900s. These girls were kept in chains in the basement, and people would give gifts to the Hindu temple and have sex with these young teenage girls, and treat them horribly.
So, Amy began spreading coffee grounds on her skin to make her skin darker, dressing up as an Indian woman, and going and buying these young girls' freedom, but it was very, very expensive. But she saved, and God did it, and then as people began to ask her what she did, she began to tell them. People began to invest. Eventually, even the Queen of England invested in her ministry. And they built an orphanage, and over her 55 years, she saved over 1.000 girls. She bought their freedom, over 1.000. Now, here's what's amazing. Every girl she rescued accepted Christ, and most of them went back in and would buy girls' freedom, and the ministry is still going on.
Now, India has outlawed this to this day, but this ministry is still involved in stopping sex trafficking around the world. But, here's what I want you to remember. Remember every morning she would look in the mirror to see if God had changed her brown eyes to blue. And one morning, she'd already spread the coffee grounds on her skin to make it dark. She dressed up. She had her Indian garb on. Just her eyes could be seen. She looked in the mirror, and an all knowing, all wise, all loving and all good God said to her, "This is why I never changed your brown eyes to blue, so that you could rescue these girls. This is why". So, even when you don't understand, God is still good. And when you know God's good, you can enjoy the ride.
God is such is such a good God. I mean think about it. Even the things that we don't like about ourselves, God can take those and use them for His glory. God is the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present God of the universe, and it's wonderful to study about His attributes but I want you to take this attributes and apply them to your lives. And the first thing I want you to know and understand is that God is good, and I want you to relax and enjoy the ride.