With These 13 Attributes of God’s Unending Love for You
Looking for a fresh start, clean break or a new and better you?
Maybe the excitement of the new year wore off just days after the crystal ball dropped in Times Square—and you’ve been looking for the RESET button ever since.
Consider how Jesus must have felt when—after 30 years of life, plus a little more than three years of ministry—He found Himself nailed to a criminal’s cross in total humiliation and abandonment. All His selfless work and obedience to God was reduced to nothing more than a gruesome spectacle for people see as He slowly and painfully died.
If there were ever a time for a do-over, that was it. Because just when it seemed everything was really taking off, it all came to a sudden and disappointing end.
An all-too-familiar story in our day, right?
Perhaps there’s something you’d like to do over, something you’d like to make a new attempt at doing, saying or being.
Well, you can.
We all know, now, that Jesus’ death only looked like a hopeless end. Turns out, it was an unexpected beginning!
The even better storyline is…
“When [God’s] glory raised Christ from the dead, we were also raised with him. We have been co-resurrected with him so that we could be empowered to walk in the freshness of new life” (Romans 6:4, TPT).
God’s plan all along was—and is—a “fresh and new” start for us all (2 Corinthians 5:17, AMPC). And that new beginning starts the moment we confess Jesus as our Savior and Lord. But even if we end up needing a fresh start each and every day of our lives until Jesus returns, God’s good with that. In fact, He’s already planned for it!
We, however, are the ones who usually can’t handle it when we mess up and miss the mark. We tend to camp out in guilt and condemnation. But take it from the prophet Jeremiah, who actually wrote a book of poetry, lamenting on what a mess-up the people of Israel were throughout history in their relationship with God, and his surprising response:
“The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:23).
Every day can be Resurrection Day—a day of walking in the freshness and newness of God’s goodness and grace, living in the fullness of the salvation Jesus offers us. But to do that, you need to learn, grow and become confident in some of the amazing attributes of God’s love for you.
Below is a list of 13 attributes of God that will help you become more and more secure in His unending love for you as you meditate on them.
The 13 Attributes of God’s Lovingkindness
“The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty.’” –(Exodus 34:6-7)
In a moment of intense pressure and personal frustration with the people of Israel—and even with God—Moses cried out to God, “Let me know Your ways so that I may know You” (Exodus 33:13, NASB). God responded to Moses by meeting with him personally and proclaiming to him different facets of Himself, different expressions of His mercy and love.
Ever since that divine encounter on Mount Sinai, the people of Israel have referred to those “ways” God listed out for Moses in Exodus 34:6-7 as The 13 Attributes of God*, adding their understanding (along with Moses’) as to the significance God was revealing about His lovingkindness and mercy.
Attribute No. 1: Yahweh—The LORD!
God spoke this name twice. The first time, He was referring to the mercy He shows us even before we sin.
Attribute No. 2: Yahweh—The LORD!
God spoke His name a second time, referring to the mercy he shows us after we sin and repent.
Attribute No. 3: God
As if two times weren’t enough, God proclaimed His Name a third time. This time, however, He used another name, El (Hebrew), meaning All-Powerful One, implying that God’s mercy is greater and far more expansive than we can comprehend.
Proclaiming His Name to Moses three times also points to the fact that He is Triune—Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Attribute No. 4: Compassionate
“If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is [compassionate]. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13).
Attribute No. 5: Merciful
“I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion to whom I will show compassion” (Exodus 33:19, NASB; Romans 9:18, NASB).
Attribute No. 6: Slow To Anger
While Scripture often recounts how God’s anger “burned” against Israel (and even Moses in Exodus 4:14), He gave them a 40-year window of opportunity to cross over into their Promised Land. Today, He gives us an entire lifetime to repent and open our lives to Him. He still waits patiently.
Attribute No. 7: Abundant in Lovingkindness
“Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever” (Psalm 23:6).
Attribute No. 8: Abundant in Faithfulness
“Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant [Word] for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands” (Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 105:8).
Attribute No. 9: Preserver of Lovingkindness for Thousands of Generations
“I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations” (Exodus 34:6-7, 20:6). God remembers—keeps an ongoing account of—the kindness we show others.
Attribute No. 10: Forgiver of Iniquity
God forgives intentional sin, if we repent.
Attribute No. 11: Forgiver of Willful Sin (Rebellion)
God even forgives sin intended to anger or rebel against Him, if we repent.
Attribute No. 12: Forgiver of Error (Sin)
God forgives careless sin, if we repent.
Attribute No. 13: Who Cleanses
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, NASB).
God excuses (cleanses) us from sin, if we repent.
In declaring these 13 expressions of His mercy to Moses, God intended for the people of Israel to take His words and literally pray them as a prayer to Him in those times when they needed to invoke His mercy and grace, when they needed assurance of His lovingkindness and forgiveness. In other words, He expected them to pray His words.
We see throughout Scripture how Israel used this prayer God taught them in times of personal and national crisis, times of intercession, and times of worship and revival:
- Numbers 14:18-19
- Nehemiah 9:17
- Psalm 86:15
- Psalm 103:8
- Psalm 145:8
- Joel 2:13
- Jonah 4:2
- Micah 7:18
- Nahum 1:3.
And it worked! God forgave them, over and over—proving His great mercy and love.
To this day, Jews pray these 13 attributes of God in their everyday prayers, on special days of fasting, as well as on holy days such as Yom Kippur. They continue to remind themselves of God’s unfailing love.
Long before God met with Moses and revealed these 13 attributes of His mercy, He knew He’d have to make a completely new covenant, a new agreement, one that would offer a do-over, a fresh start, a new beginning once and for all—and not just one for the people of Israel, but for all humanity. (Israel was just the template, the prototype for all of us to model so we could experience the goodness and grace of God.)
Today, as believers under that new and better covenant (Hebrews 8:6), the Apostle Paul reminds us…
“God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much…. he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4,6).
As far as God is concerned, we are “seated” with Him, in Jesus.
That means, we are literally in the presence of the ONE who is—The Lord (and Merciful), The Lord (and Merciful), God (and Merciful), Compassionate, Merciful, Slow To Anger, Abundant in Lovingkindness, Abundant in Faithfulness, Preserver of Lovingkindness for Thousands of Generations, Forgiver of Iniquity, Forgiver of Willful Sin, Forgiver of Error, Cleanser!
Think about it: The difference between us and Moses is that he got to stand beside all those qualities of God for a few moments—we’re seated in them for the rest of our lives!
So, the next time you mess up or everything seems to be falling apart—and you need a fresh start—take a good look around and see yourself where God (and Jesus) sees you. See yourself SEATED (comfortable, relaxed, at peace, not about to get up any time soon) in the presence of unfailing love.
Then, remind yourself: Today’s Resurrection Day—and it’s a fresh, new day in Mercy!
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