Driving one day, and my daughter made a comment about Jesus being in Heaven. I jumped on her statement right away: “Yes!” I affirmed. “And where else is he?”
“In our hearts.”
“You bet, girly. Now listen up,” I said, trying to capture the attention of both my 3 and 5 year old through the rear-view mirror. “His body went up to Heaven, and he lives in our hearts, and he is all around us! Jesus is with us all the time, even though you can’t see him. I know this can be confusing, but hear me: Jesus is not far away.”
It’s so important to me that my kids have a right view of God. It’s so important to me that I have a right view of God, that we all have a right view, because how we view God affects every part of our lives.
As referenced in my last post, our view of God affects how we serve him. It affects our approach to him, our worship, our prayers, how we read the Bible, our obedience, our time, our money management… everything.
And it matters. Tremendously. Because if God actually is everything he claims to be, then He is so infinitely worth knowing.
He’s our Constant when everything else in this world shifts. He’s our King who deserves all our praise.
He is able to cover every single one of our fears, and he is able to exceed every single one of our needs.
He is in control of all things, and he has power over all things. And he is with us. Always. Because he wants to be. Because he loves us.
The love of God is so much more than just a general love for all people. It’s a specific, intimate love for each of us. And so, his character counts, individually, for each of us. And no longer is God just a God who provides, but if he loves us, then he is a God who provides for each of us. He’s not just a God who sees, but a God who sees each of us with affection. He is not just a God who creates, but a God who precisely formed us with careful attention and detail.
He is a God who loves us the way the ultimate father loves his children. He loves us the way the ultimate brother loves his sibling, the way the ultimate friend loves his neighbor. And he loves us the way the ultimate groom loves his bride.
And he saved his bride. He ran after her and rescued her when he saw her headed towards eternal darkness. He stood in her place when she was declared guilty. He hung on her cross and gave up his life for hers.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8).
Maybe I can get a bit carried away sometimes when my kids make comments about God, or I see a verse that seems out of context on a mug at Hobby Lobby, or a post on social media is misapplied. But like shooting an arrow at a target just one degree off leaves you much further than one degree from the bullseye, I think a slightly skewed view of God will ultimately leave us greatly off course in our understanding and worship of Him if we continue in that slightly skewed path.
Our view of God affects everything, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ affects everything. He stood in our place, so that we could know him, so that we could be with him. He is not distant. His name is Emmanuel, and he is with us.
Read: Psalm 23
What do these verses teach you about God’s character? His nearness? Spend some time in prayer over them.
I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
– Psalm 18:1-2
Over the next several weeks, I’ll be going through a study on the names of God and sharing posts about his character. While I love teaching and sharing what I have learned, the best teacher is God himself. Join me!