My Grace-Full Life

6.7.20 Praise & Prayer Prompt: The Hard Questions – Is God Very Different From What We Were Taught?

TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 ESV)

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Day 12. Today we’re asking, “Is God very different from what we were taught?” And I’m going to counter today’s question with something to consider…

Have you ever made an assumption about someone you don’t know very well? We do it all the time. We make assumptions about celebrities…  people we went to school with… people we work with… people in our neighborhood… even people we’re social media friends with… We assume that with just a few details, we know who they are. We have established a perception. But are our perceptions right just because we think it? 

Maybe it’s a bit more personal than that. Have you ever had anyone make an assumption about YOU? They decided ahead of time what you must be like and then, word got back to you. Maybe you laughed. Maybe you were horrified. This situation has happened to me a handful of times through the years I’ve worked as a writer. People have told me that they feel like they know me because they read my work. I’m grateful that my writing has given a connection, but I know their knowledge of me is limited. They don’t have the inside scoop to my quirks and habits that only those who are the closest to me can possibly know. For instance, I’ll share one not-very-well-known detail about myself — I can do the entire Marissa Tomei biological clock scene from “My Cousin Vinny” in a full-on Brooklyn accent. It’s a PG version, of course, but only those who are the closest to me have ever seen me do it because I feel stupid and silly when I start doing the scene. Is the ability to do re-enact that movie scene a part of my personality? No, of course not. But the self-conscious and awkward part is… I don’t let my guard down unless I feel very, very, very comfortable with you.

So my point to all of this is that it takes time to know who someone is. We can’t have a few details and think we have someone pegged. And when it comes to God — is God very different from what we were taught? I think it depends on 1) what you were taught and 2) your willingness to seek Him and know Him.

Just a couple of days ago, we talked about the authenticity of the Bible. It’s God’s love letter to us. And who He is can be discovered right in the pages of our Holy Bible! When we read it and study it, then we find the answer to who He is. It’s not enough to take someone else’s word about who God is…. He tells us about who He is and details about His character in Scripture. Here are just 10 things we learn about God in the Bible:

  1. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
  2. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. (Revelation 22:13)
  3. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
  4. In hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began. (Titus 1:2)
  5. For the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them. (Deuteronomy 4:31)
  6. The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he. (Deuteronomy 32:4)
  7. God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (Numbers 23:19)
  8. For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face. (Psalm 11:7)
  9. Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. (Isaiah 40:28-29)
  10. “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6)

This is just the start of who God is! We know from this short list that God is never changing, He is constant, He is loving, merciful, forgiving, and patient. He doesn’t get tired. He loves righteousness and He never lies. He is eternal. That’s a nutshell and there’s so much more to be discovered about who God is! By studying what the Bible says about Him and through prayer, He reveals Himself to us.

Now, let’s go back to the topic of perception. What have your perceptions been about God? Do you think He’s loving to the point that He’s unwilling to ever punish us? In that case, you need to familiarize yourself with the passages that speak to His demands for (and love of) justice. Do you think God is full of fury and wrath? Then you need to familiarize yourself with the passages that speak to His love. Do you think God is impersonal and distant? Then you need to familiarize yourself with the passages that speak of Him being our loving Father. And throughout your perceptions, we must understand and appreciate that God is multifaceted. He’s got the side that gets angry, yes. He’s got the side that is loving and kind, also yes. We’ve got to stop putting God in one box and denying all of His traits that make us uncomfortable or that we don’t like/understand. We also have to concede that He has not fully revealed Himself to us. When we have those unanswerable questions and the things He does that we simply can’t understand — then we have to acknowledge that He is God and His ways and thoughts are different than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).

So is God who you think He is? Open your Bible and find out for yourself. He promises to be found by all who seek Him with their whole heart (Deuteronomy 4:29)

Today, as you pray, thank God for being a personal, loving God who wants us to know Him! Ask the Holy Spirit to feed your curiosity and help you seek with intention. Ask Him to guide you and let you know the layers of God’s beautiful and consistent character.

SHARING ••• Please share with others! Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.

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