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Divine Service

Sermon drawn up and delivered
by Dr Heinrich Lottering sC
via the Divine Guidance of the

10th August 2014 AD: What if God was different?


Most of us have grown up in Christian homes and hence have been hearing about the wonderful qualities and characteristics of GOD. Sadly I think we have become almost desensitised regarding the wonder and also the privilege we have to serve a GOD as awesome as the HOLY TRINITY.

Many teachings in Church are often based on promoting a certain lifestyle among us as GOD's children based on imitating HIS qualities. Sometimes individuals find this to high an order to achieve or even 'annoying' and unrealistic to strive for. This has made me ponder on the fact of what if our LORD did not have these qualities...where would it leave us as HIS followers? I pray that after reading this sermon you might have a renewed deep spiritual appreciation for HIS divine Character!!


Isaiah 6:3 And they called back and forth one to the other, Holy, Holy, Holy is GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies.
His bright glory fills the whole earth.

Holy is defined as the absence of sinfulness. What if GOD was not holy, would you have wanted to serve a GOD Who is known for HIS sin and wrongful deeds....just such a thought send shivers down my spine. The ancient Greeks and Romans served a pantheon of gods famous for their sin and scandalous deeds. Bacchus the god of extacy and wine was forbidden in many Greek states because of the debauchery of his followers. We serve a GOD Who is sinless, it is impossible to tempt HIM into deeds of iniquity.

James 1:13 Let no one being tempted say, I am tempted from God. For God is not tempted by evil, and He tempts no one.

The god pan in ancient Rome was renown for his pranks on his followers, some of them to their downfall and detriment. Our precious LORD never tempts us!! Sometimes HE permits testing by allowing life's difficulties and others people' wrong deeds to cross our path – but it is always to help us grow...never to make us fall! Also together with this remember then HE never permits testing above our abilities!

James 1:2-3 My brothers count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the proving of your faith works patience. But let patience have its perfective work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
1Corinthians 10:13 No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it.

So the next time a minister reminds you to strive and live holy for your GOD is Holy, do not roll your eyes but be thankful your serve a holy GOD and truly endeavour to follow in HIS divine footsteps.


1John 1:5 This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there's not a trace of darkness in him.

When we read that GOD is Light what does that mean practically? It means HE enlightens, HE enables us to see clearly, HE removes darkness, confusion and fear. He helps us to orientate us to a situation, HE also helps us to be careful where we set our feet and enable us to see danger.

What if HE was the author of confusion, darkness, fear and disorientation – how horrid that would have been! So next time you read HE is Light, sigh a sigh of relieve and thank HIM for it!!


1John 4:8 The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love--so you can't know him if you don't love.

By far the most prominent quality of our awesome GOD is love. Yes HE is almighty, powerful, strong and invincible....but more so HE is pure love!! What if HE was hate...ever thought about that? The god of Islam states in quran 5:33 that all who is against him should be killed, crucified and mutilated. Yet our GOD promotes love to all, in Matthew 5 HE instructs us to love all even our enemies.

So next time you hear GOD whispering to you to love those you do not even like, go that extra mile and rejoice that the divine ONE is pure love and not hate!


Romans 11:33 Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It's way over our heads. We'll never figure it out.

Imagine the disaster if our LORD was stingy and not generous! What if HE was only prepared to give us either health or protection or guidance or love – you could have only one! After all you should not be greedy....thank GOD HE is generous! When the HOLY SPIRIT urges you to be generous, do not resist.....for you serve a GOD of generosity!

John 10:10b I came that they may have life and may have it abundantly.

What if HE was not wise, if HE made wrong and foolish decision on your behalf from time to time. Is “oops...sorry” words we want to hear from GOD when HE guards over your loved-ones. HE is perfect wisdom, HIS decision and actions is perfect for you, even if you due to subjectiveness in your own perspective only come to realise it years later!

So when HIS Word encourages you to live in wisdom, empower yourself by Scriptural teaching to do so, trust HIS SPIRIT for guidance....come on, do the effort in appreciation of HIS Wisdom!


Romans 11:34 Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do?

Sadly so often the fact that GOD can not be explained or there are many aspects of GOD hidden to us, grants non-believers the ammunition to try and discredit HIM. If HE is almighty and infinite, can we as finite creatures possibly be able to comprehend HIM. Would you want to serve a GOD you could figure out? Is the sheer fact that HE is beyond our definition, explanation and comprehension not exactly the reason HE is GOD.

Remind yourself that due to the fact that limited fallible human science cannot proof there is a GOD, makes it possible for HIM to be there! For if a lab or man with a white overcoat could capture HIS essence in a experiment.....HE would not be much of a GOD!


Romans 11:35 Anyone who has done him such a huge favour that God has to ask his advice?

Can you imagine this scenario....GOD has to ask advice? Would any prayer your pray have value, would your trust and hope in HIM be secure....could you sit back and say: “I do not understand, but find peace in the fact that YOU know best”. We would be lost if GOD had to ask advice before helping us.

Hence....listen to HIS advice from time to time!


Joel 2:23 Children of Zion, celebrate! Be glad in your GOD. He's giving you a teacher to train you how to live right-- Teaching, like rain out of heaven, showers of words to refresh and nourish your soul, just as he used to do.

It is irrelevant whether GOD has a list of divine qualities if HE could not convey it to us in a powerful way. Like a Nobel-winning scientists may not be able to teach grade 8 science...simply because he does not know how to teach/convey his knowledge in a comprehendable and interesting fashion.

Ecclesiastes 12:11 The words of the wise prod us to live well. They're like nails hammered home, holding life together. They are given by God, the one Shepherd.

GOD never in the Old Testament or in the New Testament vis HIS SON taught in a fashion that was beyond the people's comprehension. JESUS being the almighty HIMSELF could have screamed out lectures that would have left PhD-scholars awestruck, yet HE taught in parables....stories. HE did this so the illiterate masses could comprehend and make the teachings their own.

Thus do not discard the parables of CHRIST as Sunday School stories, they are incredible divine truths taught in an interesting and simplistic fashion. Stop overlooking the simplest teachings in the WORD, instead treasure the most basic instructions....and be thankful that GOD is such an awesome Teacher!


Psalm 145:9-10 Jehovah is good to all; and His tender mercies are over all His works. All Your works shall thank You, O Jehovah; and Your saints shall bless You.

Our sense of awe is so dulled by life-long preaching about GOD's goodness to all. What if HE randomly decided not to be good to certain day just decide to withdraw HIS mercy (undeserved favour) to blacks or whites, gay or straight people, maybe all Cape Townians or those voting for the IFP? You might think the point I am attempting to make is ridiculous – but don't you and I do this? There is definitely groups of people that we do not like, it is part of being human. What if GOD was more 'human'.

Hence the next time you simply discard a group for their skin colour, sexual orientation, political affiliation, nationality or culture......try and be less 'human' and more like GOD. Be thankful HIS mercy is abundant for all!


Numbers 23:19 God is not a man that He should lie, or a son of man that He should repent. Has He said, and shall He not do it? And has He spoken, and shall He not make it good?

Oh goodness! Just imagine that......GOD not keeping HIS WORD! If that was the case you could throw the BIBLE out the would have no value!! Thank the LORD that HIS WORD is never is untrue and HE never lies!! Do you a man that you could say never lies?? Instead of lending your ears out to stories and demonic speculation about whether the BIBLE is trustworthy or genuine...rather in awe and thankfulness praise GOD that HE is TRUTH and true to HIS WORD!


Lamentations 3:22-23 It is by Jehovah's kindnesses that we are not destroyed, because His mercies never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

This is one of my favourite verses......GOD's mercy is fresh each morning!! Wow!! Have you ever said to someone who drove you up the wall that they have exhausted your patience and kindness? Do you think if GOD's mercy was not freshly topped-up for us each morning you and I would have run out of divine mercy by now? Verses like this one should inspire you to stand in amazement and awe of your LORD!


Psalm 140:12 I know that you, GOD, are on the side of victims, that you care for the rights of the poor.

In ancient cultures they deemed poverty as a sign of displeasure of the gods, they were the 'cursed' by the gods. Even in ancient Israel, the poor were called 'amba-arets' meaning the 'perpetually unclean' implying that because they could not read and did not have money to bring the required offerings of Moses' Law – they never stand in right relationship with GOD.

Thankfully 1 John 5:20 states that JESUS came so we can come to know the true GOD, the Old Testament was a partial revelation of Who GOD is. In JESUS GOD showed us that HIS passion is for the poor and the dirty and the outcasts.....this always leave me lost for words! So maybe you and I must have more time for the poor, dirty and the outcasts??


Isaiah 40:13-14 Who could ever have told GOD what to do or taught him his business?

What expert would he have gone to for advice, what school would he attend to learn justice? What god do you suppose might have taught him what he knows, showed him how things work?

Here we would have been on shaky ground.....for if GOD was not just HE would have been influencable and subject to 'bribes'. Maybe if I made a bigger offer or sacrifice HE would decide in my favour against you? If I went to Church more often then you, I could be promoted even if you deserved the job more then I did.....

Thanks be to GOD - HE is just!! Is it not a comforting thought? So in response to HIS just are you....or do your favour the junior employee sucking up the most at work, or give extra favours to the beautiful girl in the next office while scoffing at the 'unattractive' one working twice as hard? Are your deeds and decisions just?


Psalm 139:7-8 Is there any place I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you're there! If I go underground, you're there!

If our precious LORD was not omnipresent, present everywhere in the universe at the same time and aware of everything....our prayers would not have been answered if HE went to New York. If HE decided to visit Australia, who would protect you? But because HE is the ONE Who is makes HIM incredibly awesome.....when last did you take time to just tell HIM that? Maybe from tomorrow morning on your way to work listen to your favourite CD all the way until you are two or three blocks away from work, put the CD off and just tell HIM how awesome HE is and how much you appreciate it to be HIS!


1John 3:20 It's also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.

If our LORD was not all knowing, can you imagine how many hours a day you would have had to take just informing HIM about the problems, crisis and issue in your life and heart.....fortunately now HE already knows it better then you do. So why spend so much time telling others your problems....spend more time discussing what HE already know with HIM for solutions.

If GOD was not the expert on all fields of science and study, who would have been left out....maybe doctors or lawyers or architects would not have been able to talk to HIM about their work....but because HE is the Expert of experts....irrelevant of who you are....listen to the true expert!


Luke 1:37 Nothing, you see, is impossible with God."

Now here would would have been in serious trouble....if GOD was not allpowerful. As small children, we often deem our father or mother as the superhero in our lives, he or she can sort anything out.......then when we grow up we have to learn that their abilities are mere human and often they cannot protect us or do for us what we need. This disappointment will never be experienced with GOD....HE is the ONE Who's power is without end. So when circumstances are at its bleakest....await the is eminent!!

2Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness. Therefore, I will rather gladly boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me.


Romans 1:20 By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse.

We have the incredible privilege that our GOD is also the CREATOR of all. We only have to walk into our gardens to see HIS amazing handiwork. So many people say they feel close to GOD when they are out in nature. Whether they are at the sea or when last did you walk in your garden or received a bunch of flower and just told your LORD how splendid HIS creation is.

Because JESUS as SON of GOD is the Creator, HE could recreate, remember the man born blind written about in the Gospels, when JESUS touched him HE re-created his abnormal eyes he was born with, not simply heal them. You can truly trust HIM with your own health and body!

Imagine GOD did not create the world and universe, then He would be exposed to its power and fury (storms, hurricanes, earthquakes) as much as we are....where would our protection have come from then?

Albert Einstein, one of the most acclaimed scientist who ever lived said that the most wonderful things on earth are mysterious. In Koine Greek, the language the New Testament is written in the word 'mysterious' (mysterion) implies something so incredibly awesome and beyond wonder that it cannot be comprehended. Never permit mysteries about GOD, those unanswered questions the faithless try and use to make you doubt your own believes....become stumbling stones. Treasure the mysteries, is part of the awesomeness of GOD.

Proverbs 25:2 God delights in concealing things; scientists delight in discovering things.

How boring GOD would have been (said with respect) if we could explain HIM and there were no mystery!


Romans 11:29 God's gifts and God's call are under full warranty--never cancelled, never rescinded.

Our KING has bestowed so many endless Gifts on us, the Gifts of the HOLY SPIRIT (1 Corinthians 12), the Ministries of CHRIST (Ephesians 4), the Fruit of the SPIRIT (Galatians 5)....if you truly live in extacy of thankfulness you would employ these Gifts to bless those you love and those you encounter. All these Gifts are Godly power working through us and in our lives. Imagine we we had no divine power bestowed on us, how pitiful and poor would our spiritual life have often do you thank HIM for these Gifts? Obviously the best way to be thankful is to use these Gifts to its fullest!


Acts 17:30 "God overlooks it as long as you don't know any better--but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he's calling for a radical life-change.

There was no reason for our LORD to overlook ignorance in is utter Grace! Romans 2:14-16 informs us that the Law of GOD, hence the sense of right and wrong was created into man....the fact that we have conscience is proof of that. Still GOD is prepared to excuse 'ignorance' for those who never had the Law in black and incredible!

Where would you and I be if God had no pity on ignorance!! Hence be more gracious to others who are ignorant....


John 3:36 The one believing into the Son has everlasting life; but the one disobeying the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

What a joke this life would have been if everything ends at physical death. When you stand next to the grave of a loved-one and there were no eternity....never again will you meet. How would one be consoled? If we truly have such endless appreciation for Eternal Life, why do we spend so little time on that which will have value in eternity...GOD's values of love, care and compassion.


Genesis 1:26 And God said, let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creepers creeping on the earth.

We so often would like to look like this movie star or that celebrity. Have we not all said, if only I could have her hair or his muscles I would be so thankful......irrelevant what colour eyes or hair you have or body type you were born are made in the image of the Divine. Have your ever thanked HIM for it?

We as human beings are at the top of the proverbial 'food-chain'....this simply implies we rule the earth. What if we were not at the top, if this world was ruled by another form of could have lived being scared that you could be eaten on your way to work every morning? So as humans were rule the earth, how do we execute this incredible pollutions and exploitation?

It is our Christian duty to support conservation and oppose pollution. Do you recycle?


Malachi 3:6b* "I am GOD--yes, I AM. I haven't changed.

Finally thank HIS glorious Name that HE is not temperamental and 'get out of bed' in the morning on a wrong to speak. Think of the level of insecurity and desperateness we would spend our spirituality in if we never knew what mood or attitude GOD was in today!! No quality of GOD in this sermon would have had any practical value to us if we were not able to trust HIM for it every hour of every day!! Since GOD is the same always.....should you and I not try a bit harder to live in constant love to others, irrelevant what foot we get out of bed tomorrow?