Romans 1:19-20 God and His invisible attributes

Before we check out Romans 1:19-20, sit with God a moment and pray that He speaks to you tonight. Pray that He reveals Himself to you in a new way.


Thank you! If you read the title of this blog you may have noticed the idea of God’s “invisible attributes.” I just love this phrase. Ponder that for a moment with me. What does it mean to you? What comes to mind when you think of God’s invisible attributes? Being a visual person myself, I think of things of the heart – literally, things you cannot see, like God’s character, his love, mercy, kindness, etc… But…. This is not what Paul meant in Romans 1:19-20. Please check these verses out and sit with them and God for a moment.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.


Did you notice what Paul declares God’s invisible attributes to be?

His Eternal Power

God is eternally powerful; He has eternal dynamis: inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth, power to perform miracles. The term dynamis speaks to the dynamic view of all life in the cosmos; it is a cosmic principle (TDNT 187). God’s essence is power. He has all authority and all power of all the cosmos and everything in it. Did you catch the last part of that definition? God has the power to perform miracles. The implications blow my mind. In the Old Testament, people did not have the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, so God showed His hand through outward miracles: the parting of the Red Sea, manna from heaven, stopping the sun, tearing down the walls of Jericho, and on and on… In the New Testament, however, disciples of Christ now have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which means that God’s focus is now internal. Instead of working outward miracles (which He still does on occasion), His focus is inside – instead of feeding you manna from heaven, He is feeding you peace, joy, and power in the Holy Spirit. Instead of parting the waters, He is raising you up in a life of righteousness after being dead in sin. In Christ, YOU are the miracle. He takes your temper and gives you long-suffering patience, He takes your judgments and gives you compassion, He takes your apathy and gives you empathy, He takes your chaos and gives you peace.

Fill in the blank:

He takes my  ____ and gives me _____.

His power is limitless and you are the most miraculous part of His creation. ❤


His Divine Nature

Do not miss this: the Greek word for “divine,” is theiotēs; it means that this God is God in the absolute. He is Sovereign, creative, and self-revealing. I love that first word: absolute. Truly, to we His children, isn’t He everything? Our strength, our hope, our future, our life. Beautiful One, not only is He everything, but He is KING over everything: He is SOVEREIGN. In our darkest times, we need to know to the depths of our being that there is a God in heaven and…

HE IS SOVEREIGN.


Did you notice what speaks of God’s invisible attributes?

the Things that Have Been Made

He’s creative. As one who isn’t, I am astounded by creativity. I am in awe of those who can create beauty. The most genius of artists in the history of the world are but mere shadows of the Master Creator.

Psalm 19:1-6 ESV

The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.

Job 12:7-10 ESV

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
    the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
    and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every living thing
    and the breath of all mankind.

To whom has God revealed Himself?

Every. Living. Being.

How can you look at creation, the wonder of it, the magnitude, the ingenious, the beauty, and not see it’s Creator?! God is SHOUTING His being, His character, His love, His eternal power, His divine nature. God is eternally powerful over all creation, over you, over the kings and powers of this world, over your life, your family, your boss, your children, your church. HE. IS. SOVEREIGN. Not even the sparrow falls without His knowing… How much more does He care for you? Open your eyes to see your Creator and allow Him to reveal Himself anew to you and speak His essence into your heart.

Romans 1:1 Introducing….

I just love Paul and his convoluted sentences 😛 I have decided to work my way through Romans because I have been steeped in the Old Testament (OT) for far too long. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE the OT; like, I LOVE it. I might actually prefer it to the New Testament (NT) because I am constantly discovering something new, something that blows my mind; the constant plan of God that looks forward to Christ from the beginning of the time until Jesus’ arrival, and through until his second coming is mind-boggling to me. To me, the OT just shows the extent of God’s faithfulness, love, grace and mercy that is ultimately fulfilled through Jesus in the NT. It’s incredible. However… I am feeling a distinct longing to be back in the NT and renew the glory of Jesus the Messiah – to refresh it in my mind and in my heart. And there are few NT books that I love more than Romans. So, to Romans, and Paul’s convoluted sentences, I return.

I read Romans 1:1-6 and actually had to do a sentence diagram in order to understand it 😛 Please go read it for yourself and either laugh at my lack of understanding or have empathy because of your own 🙂

I love how Paul describes himself: first and foremost a servant. In Greek, this word is doulos, meaning to be “devoted to another’s will in complete disregard of your own.” To be a servant of God is to be completely devoted to His will – no matter how hard, how painful, how scary it may be; completely devoted. Can you say, without a doubt, that you are completely devoted to God’s will for your life? In every single thing, that you are a slave to His purpose over you? Complete devotion to Him does not mean that you are called to a different job, or moving to a different country – it can be as small as making a phone call when He directs you or saying one simple word of encouragement, or just acknowledging someone you’ve never spoken to before.

I had a friend who I thought of like a grandpa; he was the cutest 80 yr old man and I absolutely adored him. He was my client for more than 2 years – I saw him 2-3 xs a week, every week. We had dinner dates (with his wife, of course), and would hang out every once in a while. He was not a believer because he had a homosexual son and the church kicked them out (that is a whole sermon in itself), but he didn’t mind to listen to me talk about God and all the things He was doing in my life and I loved hearing the stories of his life. After I had stopped working due to an injury we kept in touch and continued to do our dinner dates. But one day, I called him to ask him to dinner and he told me that his wife didn’t think it was a good idea that we hang out anymore. Just like that. I was completely heartbroken – I still am. But I tried to respect it and only called him once every couple of months to check up on him, but it felt like his wife didn’t really feel comfortable that he was talking to me either (I still have no idea why) and so I stopped calling. About a year later, God started nudging me to call him and I kept stopping myself from doing it because I knew the man didn’t want me to. I ignored God’s nudging and wrote it off as sentimentality or just plain old missing him. I found out about 6 months later that the time God started nudging me to call him was about the time his wife passed away. By the time I found this out, the man had also passed away about a month earlier. God specifically wanted me to call this man because of what was going on in this man’s life; it could have been one last chance for me to talk to him about God’s unimaginable love for him (and his son), to offer God’s comfort in the midst of his loneliness and pain, but I didn’t listen and missed my chance. When God nudges us to do something- no matter how small it might seem – there is a very important reason why. You could be someone’s last chance to hear to gospel, you could offer the encouraging words that keep someone striving for life, you could simply be the one person who notices another’s presence and lights up their day. We do not have any clue the impact we can have on another. Be a servant, put God’s will above your own – every. single. time. Don’t be like me and miss your chance at helping God change another’s day, life, or eternity.

On a lighter note… Paul continues to introduce himself, saying that he was called to be an apostle. This word “called,” klētos, means to be “divinely selected and appointed.” I just LOVE that. Just a few verses later, Paul tells us that “you [too] are called to belong to Jesus Christ (1:6).” You and I are divinely selected by God. I don’t know if you are like me or not, but it doesn’t matter what I’m being selected to do – I just love that I am purposefully chosen for something 🙂 Beloved, God has purposefully selected you! He chose you before earth’s foundation was laid to be His (Eph 1:4-6)! He loved you so much that He chose you specifically for a purpose: to play an incredible, important and unique role in His plan for the glory of His kingdom! Is there anything more humbling, more beautiful to your spirit than to know that God called you, He purposefully selected you to be His child? ❤

Lastly, Paul tells us that he was set apart for the gospel of God. I love saying this word in Greek: aphorizō! You may chuckle, but you should try it. I swear I feel Greek just saying it 😛 aphorizō! It means to be divinely separated for service, to be divinely commissioned and appointed, separated for special tasks. Check out 2 Tim 2:21: to be set apart as a holy vessel, ready for every good work according to the master.  In the OT, it means to be consecrated, to be kept apart from the unholy. I love the implications of this – in the OT, one had to be kept apart to remain holy; by contrast however, in the NT, it is because you are holy in Christ that you are to go into the unholy world to spread God’s cleansing Word. We may be set apart for the task to which God has called us within the world, but hear this: we are NOT set apart from the world. Each of us are special, are divinely appointed for specific tasks that God lays before us but more often than not, those tasks for which we are divinely appointed are in the world, shining the love of Christ into the darkness.

I had fully planned on talking about the whole introduction, but God simply took over and showed both me and you who we are in Him. Beloved, we are to be servants of the Sovereign King over all creation, we are divinely selected for His purposes, and we are set apart for every good work He planned for our lives. Are you humbled this morning? Excited to be called, to be chosen, to be set apart for specific tasks that only you can do? I know I am!

Thank you, Jehovah Raah, for leading us in Your way. Thank you for allowing us to be part of building your kingdom; for loving us so much that you chose us as your heirs. You are amazing, You are awesome, Sovereign God. Give us ears to hear your direction and the courage to take it. Your will be done. Amen!!

Genesis 16:7-13 the El Roi

Seeing.

How many people do you let see the real you – the “you” that is haggard with heartbreak, that is broken from bullying, from abuse, from being unwanted, or told you’re not good enough? The “you” with shattered dreams, failures, or feelings of inadequacy?

Hiding.

When we are at our most vulnerable, we both figuratively and literally hide – we hide the pain that cuts so deeply, we hide ourselves so that no one sees. We cover the pain with a smile and bury it so deep that no one finds it.

Invisible.

Maybe… you want to be seen… but no one is looking.

There is a God who SEES.

Go read Genesis 16. Hagar is Sarah’s servant who is forced to lay with Abraham to conceive an heir. She conceives, but Sarah is so jealous that she deals harshly with her and Hagar flees.

In Gen 16:7, it says that “the angel of the LORD found her (Hagar) by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur.” There is speculation that this “angel of the LORD” is actually a theophany – a preincarnation of Jesus Christ – because of her words in 16:13b. I don’t know if it is or not, but I LOVE the idea of it. Did you notice the word in bold? The angel found Hagar. Know this, God knew without a doubt exactly where Hagar was, but He intentionally sought her out. He went to find her; to meet her in her fear and abuse from Sarah. Hagar had no choice but to lay with Abraham, had no choice upon her pregnancy, of her mistress’ plan; but when she becomes pregnant, she is dealt with so harshly that she fears for her life enough to flee her masters. I can only imagine the kind of fear that an unmarried, pregnant, runaway servant girl would have to run from her master’s household and brave the desert alone. But there is a God who saw her in her fear, in her heartbreak, in her emotional and physical anguish and sought her out.

This in itself is so beautiful to my heart, and I hope, to yours. We serve a God that seeks us out in our times of need. He knows all our steps in life, but when we need Him, He seeks to draw near. O Beloved, hear this today. When you are at your most vulnerable, your most needy, know that He has sought you out; simply listen for His whisper, feel His presence, and allow His incredible peace and love wash over you.

The angel asks Hagar where she came from and where she is going and Hagar tells her story to him (v8)

Love, when you are hurting so deeply with no one to turn to – cry out your sorrows on the One who seeks you out. Tell Him all your hurts, cry upon His shoulder; you will find no better listener or comforter than the El Roi.

The angel then tells Hagar to return and submit to Sarah and that her offspring will be multiplied so that they cannot be numbered (16:10), and then prophesied over the life of her son (vv11-12). Hagar responds with the words of our hearts:

“so she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, ‘You are a God of seeing,’ for she said, ‘Truly here I have seen him who looks after me (v13).'”

Hagar is the only person in the Old Testament to give God a name; a lowly Egyptian servant girl is the only one to give God a name – and such a beautiful one it is: the El Roi: the God of Seeing. God is the one and only who truly sees us; He sees us for who we are – our joys, our hopes, our dreams, our loves, our passions, our failures, our shame, our guilt, our heartbreak, our betrayals, our abuse.

He Sees.

In the direct Hebrew translation, she asks, “Have I really seen the back of Him who sees me?” Can’t you hear the incredulous wonder in her voice? Hear the wonder that God of the universe, of all creation, would see her plight, seek her out, and bless her with peace and prophecy of her offspring. Her words indicate that she has seen the back of God himself (evidence of a possible theophany), and he is the one who looks after her.

We serve a God who sees when no one else cares to look; one who seeks us out when we are hurting or troubled; one who blesses us through our heartbreak. Like Hagar, sometimes we turn inward and run to hide our pain from the world, but we cannot hide it from the One who loves us most. Not only does He see it, but He draws near to comfort and replace the pain with peace and joy. Turn to Him, spill your sorrows on His shoulder and hear His whisper of comfort.He is the perfect healer and He sees you.