Devotional Readings

What God Is Like

Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father. John 14:9.

An inscription on an early-American grave reads: “Here lies Lem S. Frame, who killed 89 Indians in his lifetime. He was hoping to have killed 100 by the end of the year, when he fell asleep in Jesus in his house at Hawk’s Ferry.” Do you think this gives a true picture of God or does it show that someone has misunderstood His character?

The proper blend of God’s love and justice has often been debated. The cheap brand of Christianity pictures Him as being a God who never harms anyone, and eventually lets everyone into heaven. The other extreme views God as looking for every chance He can get to destroy His creatures.

This misunderstanding of God’s character has caused some people to stay away from religion. If many had accepted what they have been mistakenly taught to believe about God, perhaps God Himself would have been unhappy.

Philip said, “Show us the Father.” Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, and yet you haven’t known Me? If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father.” Jesus came to a world that was in complete misapprehension of God, in order to demonstrate what the Father is really like–what He always has been like and always will be like.

You see a man coming to the edge of a large crowd down by a lake. He has leprosy. As he comes, the people fall back. But Jesus invites him into His presence and touches him. And He says, “They consider you under the curse of God? I will make you clean.” Who was this talking? This was God talking!

You see a woman being dragged through the dust into the presence of Jesus. Her accusers stand ready to heave huge rocks at her to crush her skull. Jesus says, “I don’t condemn you. Go, and sin no more.” Who was that? It was God–His love and justice perfectly blended.

You see a man hanging on a cross. He turns his head and manages to speak a few words, “Lord, remember me.” And Jesus says, “I will. You’ll be with Me in heaven.” Who is that? That’s God. That’s God–the same yesterday, today, and forever.

from Faith that Works
Morris Venden | Review & Herald (2000)
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