Theology Tuesday – The Sovereignty of God

As humans can be described by their personal character tracts, so can God be defined (although in our limited understanding) by His personal characteristics. What Makes God, God? His divine attributes. Ronald Nash says: “A divine attribute is an essential property of God. A property is essential to some being if and only if the loss of that property entails that that being ceases to exist. A divine attribute is a property which God could not lose and continue to be God…If the being called God lost just one of His essential properties, He would no longer be God. ” (Concept of God, 16-17.)

So what are these essential properties that make God, God? These essential properties God possesses are eternal, not temporary.

There are many characterristics or attributes that can be used to define who God is. These attributes can be divided into two categories: incommunicable and communicable. *Incommunicable means those attributes which are true of God alone; no human can have these attributes. The incommunicable attributes are: sovereignty, infinity, immutability, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotent, aseity (self-existence), eternality, and immateriality.

The other set of attributes are known as communicable attributes. Communicable means those which are shared by humans to some degree. The communicable attributes include: holiness, justice, love, truth, mercy and grace. All humans can possess holiness (not apart from Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit), justice, truth, mercy and grace. Our sharing of these communicable attributes is only to a degree. We cannot fully possess any of them in our own power and might.

Today we’ll look take a brief glance at the Sovereignty of God.

He is completely holy and is completely sovereign over all things. Ronald Nash says: “A divine attribute is an essential property of God. A property is essential to some being if and only if the loss of that property entails that that being ceases to exist. A divine attribute is a property which God could not lose and continue to be God…If the being called God lost just one of His essential properties, He would no longer be God. ” (Concept of God, 16-17.)

Sovereignty means absolute rule. (Psalm. 115:3; 135:6; Ephesians 1:11).

We can rest assured that God’s purposes will be accomplished; this is the essence of God’s sovereignty. He has absolute control over everything. (See Isaiah 46:8-10, Job 42:2)

“What do we mean by [the sovereignty of God]? We mean the supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the god-hood of God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that God is God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Most High, doing according to His will in the army of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can stay His hand or say unto Him what doest Thou? (Dan. 4:35). To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in Heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist His will (Psa. 115:3). To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is “The Governor among the nations” (Psa. 22:28), setting up kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleaseth Him best. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the “Only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:15). Such is the God of the Bible.” A. W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God, chapter 1

God is Adonai or Lord over all of Creation. Every finite and minute detail is absolutely under His control and rule. No matter what man tries to do to gain control, he/she cannot have full and total control, because God will fulfill His purposes.

He is God and man is not.

*Each attribute of God will eventually be covered in a Theology Tuesday installment. Stay tuned.

Come by tomorrow to receive encouragement from God’s Word in this month’s Wednesday Wisdom.

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Monday Musings: We Are Not In Control

We often believe we need to control our lives and wrongly believe we have control. The more we attempt to control our lives, the more we learn we do not have complete control of our lives; far from it.

Probably the clearest clue we have that complete control is unobtainable is: we are not the one and only human being walking on the face of the earth right this minute. There is always someone else (or something) in our lives fighting for control of our lives.

The quickest way to know you have no control is to become a parent.

Imagine you are sleeping. Soundly. What a great night’s sleep you are experiencing, and suddenly you’re robbed, robbed of your great shut eye by the ear-piercing wail of your precious, sweet-smelling newborn. You’re NOT in control mom and dad. For that span of time little Ella or David is in control, and in order to go back to your peaceful, and formerly uninterrupted sleep, you’ve got to feed your wee one. AND they are not going to wait for one fraction of a second for you to get a warm bottle or for a comforting nuzzle against mom. Can you relate?

Or perhaps relate now…


Lose a job, or your home to fire, perhaps you experience a sudden onslaught of sickness, or cancer. Not yet? Your child is painfully bullied, or maybe even you, as an adult are being bullied by those you assumed were your friends. Maybe you’re in a car or plane crash, or there’s a gut-wrenching loss of a loved one. These are all examples of not being in control.

When you are at your bottom the knowledge of not having control is all too real.

Over the last several years my husband and I have lived the world of not being in control. One of the first signs of this great reality was when I started having continual heart flutters. One night, in my kitchen while in the midst of cooking supper, I sat on the floor feeling extremely lightheaded. I thought if I was about to pass out the floor was the best place, I reasoned, to be. Between pleading with God to let me live and wrestling with whether or not I needed to grab the phone and dial 911, I wondered if I was taking my last breath, but also the thought of what if it wasn’t really anything and I made an unnecessary call which would, in turn, lead to a needless scare and unwanted medical bill. Yeah, maybe not that rational, but I started talking myself down from my state of panic between prayers to God. I was scared. Thankfully the heart monitor I was wearing was recording every little unusual beat of my heart, and yes, the frightening moment did pass. It wasn’t long after this episode my doctor determined I had PVC or Premature Ventricular Contractions. It’s when a heart makes extra beats it shouldn’t be making, but the good news, it isn’t life-threatening, just frightening and a bit of a nuisance, robbing a person of peace and rest. After going to a local heart doctor I learned my heart was very healthy; it just had an odd beat, which I’m hoping will go away on its own one day. (Not long after my diagnosis the extra beats did begin to lesson.) There’s something about knowing you’re not dying that can have an extremely calming effect, and a few, or a lot of extra heartbeats, are strange reassurances your heart does work, just a little differently than most. There are times these extra beats sneak up on me and bring with them very little sleep, like in recent weeks, but it’s just one of those things I have to submit complete control over to the One who has control over everything.

Along with this uncontrollable aspect of my life, a couple of years ago my husband lost his job of 28 years. He could have retired this year with benefits, but now we live by faith, more than we ever have before. We’re grateful his family had a business he could join them in. While some month’s the business is dry and getting by is a struggle, God shows us He is in control. We haven’t gone hungry. We’re still together. I’m still able to homeschool our children, and God has kept a roof over our heads. We are grateful—more than words worth.

I could go on and on with examples from these past few years detailing how I have no control over my life or the life of my family. I could have blamed God, become bitter and just given up. Although there have been plenty of times I wanted to, I didn’t, because I know who holds me in His hands: God. I don’t understand the whys of it all, but truthfully I don’t have to. I shouldn’t expect to understand something God is using to accomplish His purposes in me.

He cares for me with an unfailing love.


He cares for YOU with an unfailing love.

In our homeschool we memorize verses, and have been doing so for eight years. We’ve worked on memorizing the usual verses, a few out of the norm verses, and even a few chapters in the book of Psalm (19 & 24). The verses we are working on right now are found in Psalm 36. Verses 5 through 7 read: “Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord. How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings (NLT).”

I love these verses. That’s THE Sovereign LORD: absolute ruler of the universe working to care for us. His love is unfailing. He is faithful. He is righteous. He is just. He loves like no other. Isn’t it comforting? We can find shelter from everything that goes wrong in the shadow of His wings.

There’s not a better place to be.


Slip by tomorrow on St. Patrick’s Day to learn about the Sovereignty of God on this month’s Theology Tuesday. Can’t wait for you to sit with me!

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Friday Funday: Blueberry Coffee Cake

Okay, so I didn’t exactly choose a Valentine’s themed recipe or one with a red pretty ‘something’ on or in it. Hey, it’s after Valentine ’s Day, after all. BUT you’re family is going to LOVE this yummy, moist, and scrumptious blueberry coffee cake. Mine sure do!

Blueberry Coffee Cake

*This recipe is an adaptation to a recipe found on Taste of Home’s website (Crumbed-topped Blueberry Coffee Cake). You can see the original recipe by clicking here:

¼ cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup milk (I prefer to use non-sweetened vanilla flavored almond milk)
1 cup fresh or frozen (don’t thaw) blueberries
3 oz cream cheese, softened

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon


For batter, in a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.(Add vanilla, if you chose to include ingredient) Beat in egg. Combine 1 cup flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add into creamed mixture alternately with milk (almond milk).

Toss blueberries with remaining flour. Add cream cheese to batter and mix until incorporated. Fold blueberries lightly into batter. Pour batter into an 8×8 greased glass dish.

For topping, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon into a small bowl. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly. The coffeecake is best served warm and with a cup of coffee. Yield:6-8 servings.

Enjoy!!! (Be sure to let me know if your family liked the recipe.)

Come back on Monday, March 16 for a closer look at the sovereignty of God.

See you then,

(Please visit my Facebook page–Grace Beyond Measure-GBM Ministry <link is to the right>– to see a photo of the Blueberry Coffeecake later today. For some reason the photo upload will not work on WordPress today. I’ll try again at a later date!)

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Teaching Thursday—To Love as Christ Loves Us

~~Written by: Billy Wagner, Jr.

Today’s post is written by my husband, Billy Wagner, Jr. He is a graduate of Wingate University in Communications and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity in Christian Education. He is our family’s awesome provider, and he is a fantastic dad to Morressa, Mattie, and Luke. I’m excited to share him with my readers today. I’m ‘kinda’ partial to him. 😉

Jesus knew that relationships are the most valuable asset that we have, but at times the most difficult to maintain. That’s why in John 13:34 Jesus taught, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Then He added, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (verse 35).

Those who love will always “believe” in the other person. There is no second-guessing or questioning of whether the person should be loved. Love is simply given. It is unconditional. The loved one does not need to perform anything or achieve a certain goal in order to be loved. Just as Christ loves His children unconditionally, He calls us to love others. Love is based on who He is, not on what others do.

A person with God’s type of love will “always trust.” That is, he will not be suspicious of the one he loves. He will be slow to believe any damaging news concerning the loved one and will always give the benefit of the doubt. Whatever the situation, love is ready to trust. To trust someone means you are “ever ready to believe the best.

If brothers and sisters in Christ would believe in one another, setting suspicion aside and extending unconditional love, what a difference it would make in the church! When our focus is on Christ, we can show His love to meet the needs of others. 1 Corinthians 13 lists three things that will always remain: faith (pistis), hope, and love. The Christian need never be without these gifts. His nature is to believe and love.

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Wednesday Wisdom—Love in Scripture

Our topic for this week is love, so let’s look at a few verses on the topic of love. (All verses are taken from the English Standard Version.)

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”                                                                                                                                      John 3:16

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.                                                                                                                                1 John 4: 7-10

We love because He first loved us.                                                                                                         1 John 4:19

I love those who love me,
   and those who seek me diligently find me.                                                                                     Proverbs 8:17

The Lord preserves all who love him,
   but all the wicked he will destroy.                                                                                                       Psalm 145:20

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.                                                                                                    Ephesians 2:4-7

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.  
1 John 3:18

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.                                                                                                                              Romans 12:9-10

And finally…

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.   
1 Corinthians 13

Come back tomorrow when my husband, Billy Wagner, Jr., guest blogs on Teaching Thursday!

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Theology Tuesday—Three Types of Love: Koine Greek style

Love isn’t just some human concept, but is sourced in the one true God.

This Greek term is the term used to describe God’s love for us. It is also used to describe the kind of love we are to have for others. First, let’s look at agape in terms of how God loves us.

God’s love for us is not based on us, but is instead based on Him. From God’s perspective there is nothing loveable about us. On the surface it seems harsh and unkind, but wrapped up in His agape love there is a love more pure than any love we could ever find anywhere on this earth. God loved us while we were still sinners, and because of His love He sent His Son to do what we could not, redeem us. Agape is sacrificial, and not based on feelings.

 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4: 10

God commands us to love one another with an agape love. We see this fully in 1 John 4: 7-21.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Loving others, especially those who have hurt us through hate spewed words of slander, 1 John 4 7-21 is hard to swallow. But God loves us with that kind of love, and who are we to say that we can’t love others with an agape kind of love. Did we do anything to deserve God’s love? NO! Not a single thing. When we can forgive people for hurts, we are no longer bound by those hurts, but instead exchange those hurts for love that can only come from God. It’s a struggle. I know. I’m in that battle now. It’s much easier to want God to pay people back from the vile things people do to us. It hurts even deeper when it’s a fellow Christian. Remember friend, God doesn’t hurt us, satan, who is the great deceiver, wants nothing more than to hurt us, and he’ll use whoever he can to cast false accusations against us, even other Christians, even ourselves. How do we overcome those hurts driven into our very souls? LOVE: a pure, undefiled love. It can only come from the perfect source of love: God.

I know it’s hard. I’m in the same place right now. Here is a prayer for you, from me. And will you pray for me too? Thank you.

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for my friend. Help him or her to release all the feelings of hurt at the base of the Cross of Christ. Help him or her to do this, not for the other person, but for them, in order that any bitterness can and will not stand between them and You. Help them to love the unloveable, as You have loved us; unconditionally. Help them to throw off all that which encumbers them from receiving complete Freedom in Christ. Walk with them daily. Break the chains of bitterness and hurt. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Ah, brotherly love.

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10

We are supposed to love one another with a friendly love. Do you love your friends truly that way?

One of the best examples in Scripture of phileo love is found in the Old Testament (Okay, I know the OT’s original language is not Greek, but this is the best example of phileo love in Scripture.) David and Jonathan were best friends. They were affectionate toward another, but not is a sexual way, but in a brotherly way (1 Samuel 18:1-3). David wasn’t jealous of Jonathan, and Jonathan certainly wasn’t jealous of David, although Jonathan knew he would never become king, because God’s plan was for David to be king.

Passionate love. This is the type of love a married couple, one man, one woman, is should have for one another. Eros is where we get the term erotic.

Eros can be abused when sexual immorality is the problem. Sexual Immorality is a sin and doesn’t please God.

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18

A recently released movie, Fifty Shades of Grey, is causing extreme controversy and it rightly should. This is a perfect example of the wrong type of eros. I haven’t read the book, nor will I go see the movie. It’s not what I want imprinted in my thoughts or mind’s eye. It is the wrong picture of what God intended between a man and a woman.

If you’re interested in reading what eros love should be within a marriage go read Song of Solomon.

I’ll leave you with a prayer from Scripture:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.                                 Ephesians 3:14-21

*Another love in the Koine Greek language is: Storge. It is the love between relatives. I chose not to mention it in more detail.

Come back tomorrow to read a little on wisdom from God’s Word on the topic of LOVE for this month’s edition of Wednesday Wisdom.

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Monday Musings—Being Vulnerable

Love. When we think of love we think romance—flowers, candy, and sweet words of adoration.

Coincidentally, my favorite books are romances; the good, clean kind. It’s ironic I like them so much, because I don’t consider myself to be a romantic.

I like a good story, and most romances—well, they’re good stories.

Back in the waning months of the summer of 2011, I decided I would write a book. This book wouldn’t be my first. I had written a children’s book when my (now) thirteen year old son was a baby. My children’s book was accepted by a publishing rep AND an agent at the She Speaks Conference in July of 2011. I was ecstatic!

My children’s book was one of the few children’s books accepted that weekend. This writing newbie felt accomplished. Unfortunately, weeks later, both entities ultimately rejected my creation. I still have hope there will be a day when the timing will be right for it to be published. I have to believe. In the meantime, the book waits—patiently—on my computer for when I decide to be vulnerable again.

Vulnerability. What a scary place to be. Even with the rejection, I decided to embark on writing that other book I mentioned. And the book? It was a romance. It may seem silly, but it was based off a dream I had, I’m sure inspired by my love of watching the Hallmark Channel—of course.

The crazy thing was, I discovered I loved writing romance books. The good, clean, inspirational kind I wouldn’t mind my daughters reading.

I wrote a whole book! Me!!! I did that! All 163 pages and 53,453 words.

I had no idea I could do it!

The girl, who out of seminary, dreamed of writing a non-fiction book about the history of the Hebrew people and connect it to Christ, found out she could weave a story together filled with interesting characters. Who knew?

(God did!)

And then I did something terrifying, I allowed other women to read it. I found a few, brave ladies on Facebook who actually wanted to read my book. My book?

And they loved it!

I couldn’t believe it.

The vulnerable side of me breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Being vulnerable didn’t hurt me after all, but gave me the courage to upload the book to Amazon. I still haven’t mastered the art of marketing, but I haven’t let it stop me.

Know what? I kept writing more books.

Three at the same time!!!

What was I thinking?

Okay, I had to get the stories swirling in my head onto paper…i.e., computer.

I was quite ambitious and made the romance book a trilogy. Book 2 is nearly ready to be sent out to the same group of ladies. I’m anxious, because the vulnerability monster is creeping in—again. But I will push on, because if I don’t, I’ll never know what could happen.

And the other two books?

Well, this summer I plan to complete them both, and hopefully get them into the hands of brick and mortar publishers by the end of the summer or early fall. My summer will be crazy busy writing query letters, editing, and writing book proposals, along with taking a break from our homeschool studies. But I’m not beyond squeezing in a little (shhh… a lot of) math review with my 10 and 13 year old children. It makes starting school back up in the fall, oh, so much easier.

Perhaps by the summer of 2016 I can announce: “Woo hoo! My books are now available at your local Christian bookstore.”

Here’s hoping!

And there it is…being vulnerable.

You never know, until you take your first step.

<< How are you being vulnerable?>>

Hope you’ll join me tomorrow for Theology Tuesday. The topic point is LOVE.


If you want to read a good book, I would love for you to read: Mending Hearts. You can find it on Amazon at: 

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