“What comes into our minds when you think about God is the most important thing about you.” – A.W. Tozer
Do you remember the first time you really thought about God? Maybe it was in elementary school, or middle school, high school, college, or later in life. What did you think of God when you first thought of Him?
Did you think of God as a grandfather type in that He’s been around forever, and is kind, but doesn’t understand kids today: after all, my grandfather doesn’t understand the cloud concept or how to stream music on his phone. Or maybe you thought of God as a heavenly scorekeeper. He is tracking everything you do, the good, the bad, and the ugly. And someday you will have to hope the good outweighs the bad and the ugly. Or maybe when you think of God you think He’s a cosmic Siri or Alexa: somebody that is always in the room, always listening and showing up in your news feed the next day, but you don’t actually think about them until you need them.
Our view of God is critical. In the Old Testament, God used judges, prophets, and kings, to try and communicate His truth to humanity. They failed more than they succeeded. Fortunately, even while we were in sin and separation from God, He loved us enough to pay the highest price for us. So great was His depth of love for us that Jesus laid down His own life as the atonement for our mistakes, failures, weaknesses, and sin. God sent His Son Jesus to earth to help show us and teach us more about who God is. Jesus teaches us that God is a judge, a provider, and a creator. In addition to that, Jesus shows us 189 times in the 4 gospels that God is a Father. Just two examples are: “And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.’ (Deuteronomy 1:31) And Psalm 103:13 adds, “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.” God as loving father is mentioned more than any of God’s attributes.
The image of an earthly father, as a way of understanding God, is a good picture but it is still just a partial glimpse at something much bigger. Our awesome God is gloriously incomprehensible. If we’re going to center our lives around meeting with God, we must understand the nature of His love for us. We must begin to relate to Him as our good and loving Father above all else. We must cast aside any notion that He is angry with us, far from us or void of affection or desire for us. We will only be drawn to our heavenly Father to the degree that we take him at His word and trust in His love for us.
Take time today to be grateful for the overwhelming, unconditional love of God for you. Allow His love to reestablish or rejuvenate your perspectives and beliefs. Respond to His great love by opening your heart and having fellowship with your Creator, Sustainer, and all-loving heavenly Father.
- What was your image of God growing up? How did you picture Him? How about now?
- What can we do this week to recognize God’s love in our life?