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Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Phillip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father, so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” John 14:9 (NKJV)
When people imagine God, there is a wide assortment of viewpoints. Some picture Him as an old, giving man, like Santa, ready to bless and give whatever is requested of Him. Others picture God as judgmental, ready to strike down anyone who strays from what they think He demands. Some people think of Him as indifferent, having wound up the world and walked away from it. The Lord God is described by Jesus as our Heavenly Father, but if one has a negative example of an earthly father, one can have a hard time relating to a loving Father God.
One thing I realized about myself is that I tend to put Almighty God in a box, and not anticipate Him to act beyond my expectations. He didn’t heal my parents of terminal cancer, so I’ve been reluctant to pray with the certainty that He will heal. Yet I personally know people who had been healed of stage-four cancers and other health issues. During my mission trips to Colombia, I saw people come to faith in Jesus during door-to-door evangelism. I didn’t expect the welcome the local believer, my translator, and I received. I didn’t expect so many to show interest in Jesus and give their lives to Him. God blasted out of my box. I’m learning that He will do much more than I imagine or pray for.
We can know who God is through studying His Word. Scripture teaches us about His character and attributes. Many of His names are listed. We can look at how He interacted with people in the Bible as well as with us. Because Jesus said that He and His Father are one, we can examine Jesus’ life. (John 10:30). No one has ever seen God; the Begotten Son who abides at the Father’s side has made Him known. (John 1:18 MLV)
Jesus showed us the Father through how He conducted His life on earth. Scriptures show the same character traits in the Heavenly Father. Here are just a few:
Truth. Jesus answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 NIV) Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. (John 17:17 NASB20) The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. (Psalm 119:160 NKJV)
Unity of God- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.”…”I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him for he dwells with you, and he will dwell in you.” (John 14:10, 16, 17 RSV)
How do you picture God?
The next devotional in this series will go deeper into the character of God.
In the meantime, let’s dig into God’s Word that we may know Him better. How many attributes of God can we find? Let’s write them down and post them on the refrigerator or another spot where we will see them daily.
Dear Heavenly Father, Help me to see You for who You are, and not with any misconceptions or limitations. Thank you for sending Jesus so I know You. Amen.
Thank you for joining me and for reading my devotional blogs. Blogs post every other Thursday. Past devotionals are archived for your convenience.