Thursday, February 02, 2006

Our View of God

In our family "devotions" we are going through Scot McKnight's book: The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others. This evening we were reading about "Hosea's Open Secret: God is a Lover" (p 44).

There is surely nothing more important for us than our view of God (Tozer). How we see life, how we look at ourselves, how we view people are related to what kind of god we think God is.

Is God a wrathful god? Is he a god that is ever angry at sin? Is he a god whose anger could flare up any moment because of sin? This view of God could belong to those who selectively take passages out of the Old Testament that by themselves could cause one to misconstrue God in this way.

Yes. God does judge sin. And this judgment is his wrath against sin. But this is not the heart of who he is. Wrath properly understood involves a righteous jealousy which involves love. God is at heart a Lover.

Hosea (in the Old Testament) was a prophet whose message and life prescribed by God, made clear that he jealously loves his wayward, "adulterous" people. God's love, as Scot points out, is in terms of alluring or romancing his people. He wants their heart; he wants to win their love.

How does that view of God compare with your own view? And how does your view of God affect you? On his blog Jesus Creed, Scot, in his review of the book, Gracious Christianity: Living the Love We Profess (Baker, 2006) by Douglas Jacobsen and Rodney J. Sawatsky writes:
...what both believe is the final statement is that God is love. And, though they do not quote Augustine here, they could have: “views about God that encourage us to love others are more likely on target than those that cause us to hate others or to hold them in disdain” (32).
To get the best view of God we need to go back to the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. To begin to "see" Jesus is to begin to "see" God. Our human language can't plumb the depths of all that means. But one thing is for sure: clearly God is love and loves every human being he has made.

God is a god of love. He demonstrated that love by taking on himself in his Son the ultimate sacrifice of dying for everyone.

If we really begin to believe that, it will affect how we look at God, how we look at ourselves and how we look at others.

Thank you Father for your rich, never failing love to us in your Son Jesus. May we begin to receive and know that living, overflowing love in our lives. Flowing by your Spirit into our hearts and out from them into the hearts and lives of others. Amen.

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