1998-05-29 - Our Personal God
Originally Published 1997-02-12Naturally, I believe we should always treat God with reverence and awe, because He is God, because He is holy:
Exo 3:5 (NIV) "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."
However, I think sometimes we have a wrong idea about God. Perhaps we think He is a far away being who is too busy to care about our "petty little concerns." Or maybe we believe that He cares about only our eternal destiny. But that is not the God that the Bible portrays. In both the Old and New Testament, God shows us that He cares about us, our feelings, our concerns.
Psa 62:8 (NIV) Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.
"Pour out your hearts … " This is evidence that God wants to hear what is on our hearts. He really does care about our feelings, and what is going on in our lives. Jesus, who is God Incarnate, showed God's empathy for us. Mat 9:36 (NIV) When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
"He had compassion on them." He longed for them to have a close relationship with Him. He felt with them. The Greek word compassion here is splanchnizomai, which means to be moved … to yearn with compassion. If you have someone(s) in your life that you love a lot - perhaps your children, think of how much you hurt when that person hurts. Then multiply that infinitely, for God's love for us is even stronger than the strongest love we have ever felt or received from a human. That is how much He loves and cares about us. Think of the words He uses to describe our relationship with Him:
Mat 5:16 (NIV) In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
His will for us, is a close father-child relationship. And even more:
Rom 8:15 (NIV) For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "ABBA, Father."
The word Abba translates as daddy. According to the Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, "It approximates to a personal name, in contrast with 'Father … Abba is the word framed by the lips of infants, and betokens unreasoning trust.'" So when you think of God, remember that our Lord is Someone who loves us so much that He wants to have that intimate relationship with us. He wants us to trust Him completely, with our hopes, our hurts, our worries, our everything. If you are hurting, remember that you are never alone. God is always there, and He truly cares. Take Him up on it. Pour your hearts out to Him. You might be surprised at the results. : )
Dear Lord, thank You for not being an aloof deity. Thank You for taking a personal interest in each of us. Help us to trust in that love of Yours, and to live lives of grateful service because You are God, but also because of that love You have given us. In Jesus' name, amen.