I Still Say My ABC’s, The ABC’s of God’s Character
By Steven J. Hogan
Over twenty years ago, I attended a church conference, and the speaker’s main message was about having a correct view of God, a Biblical understanding of God’s character. That message really struck me at that time, and has stuck with me ever since. Knowing God rightly is the most important thing in life. If you don’t have a true knowledge of God’s character, then you won’t have godly character, you will be unsteady, you will fall prey to error, your life will go off track, you will not grow properly, and you will not be able to do all that God desires. I cannot stress enough the importance of knowing God, of knowing the living, true, holy, and loving God.
I love to read the songs in the Bible, the song of Moses, the song of Hannah, the song of Mary, and the songs of David (the Psalms). They all are just filled with truth about the character of God, a clear evidence of the believer’s knowledge of God and close relationship with Him. I think of Enoch and how he walked with God. There’s no doubt that Enoch knew the Lord, and had a close relationship with Him. I love the passion in Paul’s prayer in Philippians 3:10 – “I want to know Christ.” Clearly this was the reason why Paul was such a godly man, for he knew the Lord in a very intimate way. Is this your heart cry, your desire, your pursuit, what you really want in life – to know the Lord?
In John 17:3, Jesus prays to the Father, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” What is eternal life? It’s knowing God and Jesus Christ – that’s it. And there’s nothing better and more essential than knowing God. You know people, you know family and friends, and people in your church. But knowing God and having a relationship with Him is by far what’s most important in your life. Psalm 9:10 says, “Those who know Thy name will put their trust in Thee.” If you want to have faith in the Lord, then you need to know the Lord, for your personal and experiential knowledge of God is the basis of your faith, and the energy behind your faith. If you want love, love for God and love for people, then you need to know the love of God. “I have come to know and have believed the love that God has for me.” 1 John 4:16.
In his 2nd epistle, Peter makes a sweeping statement, “Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory.” 2 Peter 1:3. Do you see that? Everything in your Christian life, “everything pertaining to life and godliness” relates directly to knowing God, to having a “true knowledge of Him.” Peter knew the extreme importance and worth of knowing God. And then at the end of his epistle, Peter exhorts us, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18. Do you have “knowledge of our Lord?” Do you know Him, do you love Him, do you trust Him, are you walking with Him?
Many people ask me about living for the Lord in the end times. What am I to do? How should I live? How can I keep going for the Lord when there’s great tribulation? What you need to do today, tomorrow and the next day, and for the rest of your life is this – know God and keep growing in your knowledge of God, your relationship with Him. It’s not complicated. Now I’m not saying it’s not a struggle at times, that you won’t be tested to believe Him for who He says He is. But you need to determine to know and believe the truth about God as you go through the day, as you go through life. You need to see His power, His mercy, His faithfulness, His sovereignty, His holiness, His goodness, and the many other facets of God’s character that make Him who He is. You need to rely on the character and life of God, and see it as a source of strength in your life. You need to be like Moses, “for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.” Hebrews 11:27. Make this your chief aim in life, to know God. And from your knowledge of Him, you will grow in your relationship with Him, you will have more faith, more love, more joy, more peace, more wisdom. And you will be more obedient, and you will be more blessed.
Not long after that conference of 20 years ago, I wrote up my ABC’s of God’s character. I immediately memorized them, and I must say, that I’ve recited them and thought about them hundreds of times over the years. I can’t tell you how much the truth of God’s character has brought refreshment to my soul, has stirred me, strengthened me, and encouraged me to keep on going for the Lord.
I encourage you to get to know the Lord. Go over these ABC’s. Read the songs in the Bible. Read books on the attributes, on the character of God. Pray to God that He would reveal Himself to you (Ephesians 1:17 – “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.”) As you do these things, I have no doubt that God will enlarge your heart for Him, increase your love for Him, and strengthen your faith in Him. And you will bring more glory to God. “To Him be the glory, both now and in the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18
ALMIGHTY GOD – Exodus 15:1-18, Job 42:1-5, Psalm 77:14, Ephesians 1:19-22, 1 Peter 5:6
BEAUTIFUL SAVIOR – Psalm 18:19, Psalm 34:17; Isaiah 43:3-7, Daniel 3:17, Jonah 2:1-2, Acts 4:12, Romans 10:13, Titus 3:5
COMPASSIONATE FATHER – Nehemiah 9:28-29, Psalm 102:13, Lamentations 3:22-23, Matthew 9:36-38, Mark 1:40-42
DIVINE DIRECTOR – Psalm 33:10-11, Isaiah 46:8-11, Jeremiah 29:11-13, Romans 8:28, Acts 2:23, Acts 4:27-28, Ephesians 1:4-5
ETERNAL GOD – Deuteronomy 33:27, Psalm 90:2, Psalm 102:27, Jeremiah 10:10, Micah 5:2, 1 Timothy 6:15-16
FAITHFUL FATHER – Psalm 89:1-2, 1 Corinthians 1:8-9, 2 Corinthians 1:18-20, 1 Thessalonians 5:24, 2 Timothy 2:13, Revelation 19:11
GOOD SHEPHERD – Psalm 23:6, Psalm 31:19, Ezekiel 34:1-16, Nahum 1:7, John 10:11, 1 Peter 2:25
HOLY GOD – Exodus 15:11, Leviticus 11:44, 1 Samuel 2:2, Isaiah 6:3, Habakkuk 2:18-20, Acts 3:14, Revelation 4:8, Revelation 15:4
IMMUTABLE GOD – Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, Job 26:5, Psalm 33:11, Malachi 3:6, James 1:17
JUST GOD – Psalm 33:5, Psalm 98:9, 2 Chronicles 19:7, Daniel 9:14, Romans 1:17, Romans 3:21-26, Revelation 15-16
KINSMAN REDEEMER – Ruth 3:9-13, Job 19:25, Ephesians 1:7, Hebrews 2:14, 1 Peter 1:18-19
LOVING LORD – Psalm 103:8,11; Isaiah 54:10; Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:16; Romans 5:8, 8:38-39; Ephesians 2:4-5; 1 John 3:16
MERCIFUL FATHER – Psalm 32:1-2, Psalm 103:10-12, Mark 2:1-12, Colossians 2:13, Hebrews 8:12, 1 John 1:9
NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES – Psalm 92:1, Psalm 145:1-2, Luke 1:31-33, Matthew 1:21-23, Philippians 2:9, Hebrews 1:2-5
OMNISCIENT GOD – Job 23:10, Psalm 33:14, Psalm 139:1-6, Proverbs 15:3, Jeremiah 16:17, Matthew 24:3-31, John 21:17
PATIENT FATHER – Nehemiah 9:17, Psalm 145:8, Romans 2:4, 1 Corinthians 13:4, 1 Timothy 1:15, 2 Peter 3:9
QUINTESSENTIAL KING – 1 Chronicles 29:11-12, Psalm 47, Proverbs 21:30, Isaiah 9:6-7, Isaiah 33:22, Philippians 2:5-11, Revelation 19:16
RIGHTEOUS GOD – Genesis 18:25, Psalm 75:2, Psalm 85:10, Acts 10:34-35, Romans 1:17, Romans 3:9-26, Revelation 15-16
SOVEREIGN LORD – Genesis 50:20, Job 1:9-12, Daniel 2:20-21, Acts 17:26, Romans 8:28-29, Romans 9:18, 1 Timothy 6:14-15
TRUTHFUL GOD – Psalm 33:4, Psalm 119:142, Isaiah 40:8, Luke 21:33, John 1:14-17, John 8:32, Hebrews 4:12
UNCHANGING GOD – Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, Psalm 33:11, Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 1:10-12, Hebrews 13:8, James 1:17
VICTORIOUS LORD – Joshua 10:10-12, Psalm 18:50, Romans 8:31, 2 Corinthians 2:14, Colossians 2:15, Revelation 19:1-3
WISE GOD – Job 12:13, Proverbs 2:1-6, Jeremiah 10:12, Daniel 2:20, Romans 11:33, Ephesians 1:8, Colossians 2:3, 1 Timothy 1:17
XTRA PROTECTING GOD – Deuteronomy 33:27, Psalm 91, Psalm 121, Proverbs 18:10, Isaiah 25:4, John 10:27-29
YOUR PERSONAL FRIEND – Exodus 33:11, Proverbs 17:17, Proverbs 18:24, John 15:13-15, James 2:23, Hebrews 13:5
ZEALOUS WARRIOR – Exodus 15:13, 2 Kings 19:30-31, Isaiah 37:32, John 2:17