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Pictures of God

Hello Church Family,

I recently received a picture a child drew for me.  It was a picture of God.  It got me to thinking.  How do you picture God?  I think the picture you have of God determines how you perceive yourself and others.  Matter of fact, A.W. Tozer once said, “what comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

Some people picture a God of wrath and vengeance.  Jesus, however, reveals God as a loving father who comes into the world not to condemn but to save sinners and bring life.

Other people view God as an ancient white male and all kinds of horrible things have emerged from this:  racism and the injustices committed in the name of ethnic superiority, as well as sexist discrimination.  The early followers of Jesus, however, found that “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

Others picture God as a kind of a tribal God who is “for us and against the people we are against.”  This can lead to a kind of nationalist sentiment where it is believed one nation is favored above all the rest instead of remembering “that God so loved the world.” As the author, Anne Lamott says, “you can safely assume that you created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you hate.”

As we follow Jesus, we see the picture of what God is really like.  In Jesus, we get a picture of a God of love who values human relationships over doctrines and people over ideologies and political viewpoints.  As we are seeing in our small group studies, the Bible is authoritative and inspired for faith and practice, but we interpret scripture through the lens of Jesus.  We must never idolize the scriptures (the written word) over Jesus’ authority (He is the Living Word).

Our picture of God as revealed to us in Jesus effects everything in our lives, and in the midst of our diversity, our picture of Jesus can be the one thing that unifies us.

So, how do you picture God?

Serving Jesus with you,