I have found that the way people view God will greatly impact their relationship with Him. If we see Him as a harsh taskmaster who is ready to judge our every mistake, this will affect how we approach Him.
Many people struggle with their Christian lives because they have been taught a God who is harsh and angry. Can you even begin to imagine being able to develop a close, intimate, relationship with someone who you believe is always angry with you?
I have met people who believe that God is only able to move in their lives according to how they live. If our lives were able to make a difference in whether or not God loves us would He have sent Jesus to redeem us? Jesus came because there is not a single man or woman who will ever live that could measure up to His standards!
Let’s take a moment and think about what we believe about God. I am sure that every one of us fundamentally believes that He exists even if not serving Him.
So what do you believe about Him? Do you believe that He is a loving God or that He is out to judge your every move? These are important questions that every Christian should think about.
I have found that most of our struggles are not with whether God exists or not. It seems that the struggle is with how we, as mere humans are able to relate directly with Him on a personal level.
One source of our struggle with our view of God is the Word of God. The Old Testament paints a picture of His wrath and judgments being poured out. The New Testament paints an entirely different picture of a loving God who cares deeply for His people.
It almost appears that there is one God in the Old Testament and another one in the New. Obviously this is not true but we can see why people become confused. So how do we settle the differences in how He is depicted?
Let me answer that question by taking you back to my early years in Church. I accepted Jesus in a denominational church that portrayed God as being harsh and ready to judge my every mistake. There were ministers in our denomination who talked about God putting this terrible sick or that one on people to “teach” them a lesson.
I tried to serve God but failed over and over. Whenever I made a mistake I would close my Bible and wait expectantly for judgment to fall. The teaching I was receiving produced a works mentality that did not allow me to experience the true freedom that can only be found in Christ.
There is no doubt in my mind that my Christian walk would have ended up in the gutter if I had not been taught the true nature of God.
He sent Jesus because our works would never satisfy His justice.
He poured out His wrath and judgment on Jesus to free mankind from the guilt of sin.
He draws men and women to Himself by His Spirit through His Word with a desire to release us from the bonds of sin.
We will see in the upcoming posts what a wonderful and merciful God we serve. For now though I am going to hit the pause button and leave you with the following Scripture to meditate on:
Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. (Psalms 85:10).
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