Contributor: Mike Sanders
Our Father is a family man! “In the beginning God…” (Genesis 1:1), and God is love (1 John 4:8), and love cannot exist without someone to share it with; so, in the beginning wasn’t just God. It wasn’t just one single, lonely being floating out in the nothingness that was before the universe. It was and is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit eternally. You weren’t created because God was lonely. God wasn’t lonely! He was a Family from the beginning and this Family had fellowship with each other. They talked, hung out, laughed and loved. The reason you were created was to partake in this divine fellowship; to be in unity with God; to be grafted into Him and a part of His Family. So, one day God said “Let’s have kids!” Not only that, but “let’s have kids and place the universe and all the creatures that We’ve co-created under their authority just as it is under Ours.” And so it was until, of course, we “fell.” The fall didn’t necessarily occur at the partaking of the fruit but the partaking of a lie. The split second that we believed the do-it-yourself theology that satan presented was when we fell. He presents that same theology in believers and non-believers alike today. After they ate of the fruit and believed the lie our good Daddy came looking for His children but the damage had already been done and they were too ashamed to just embrace Him. This shame grew humanity farther and farther away from its Creator.
Now, when we read the scriptures without a true revelation of God’s goodness which is found in Jesus Christ we might see a very angry, malicious Daddy. Christ made it clear that when you’ve seen Him you’ve seen the Father (John 14:9). Not if you’ve read the Old Testament and studied it all your life, but if you’ve seen Him. When you see Him He’s not out whipping people or destroying cities; He was out loving on everyone He came across. That was one of the long list of reasons the Pharisees had such an issue with Him. Therefore, the true character of God is found in the person of Jesus Christ, not the actions of the early prophets/men of God and how they perceived Him. The Israelites saw God as somewhat of a masochist; as if He was taking some form of sick pleasure in seeing His people wither away in the desert. God is not out to spank His kids all the time. Under this glorious new covenant, He’s actually not out to spank anyone (2 Corinthians 5:19) and especially not His children (Romans 8:1). That’s not saying that there is not a day a judgment; but when is that judgment coming about? On that day!
It was the love of the Father that sent the Son; not the love of the Son that knows that His Daddy sometimes has too much to drink and likes to beat on people. Sometimes I here this analogy, “When God looks at us all He sees is Jesus.” One might say this to explain Gods goodness towards you and I. That’s like saying that whenever we screw up, Daddy gets all mad and He starts looking for somebody to beat on. So, Jesus throws us a Jesus costume and He wears our costume and when Daddy comes looking He beats on Him instead of us and thru Christ’s busted face He gives us and wink and thumbs up assuring us that everything is okay… That’s the most ridiculous idea ever. He doesn’t just see Jesus! He sees you! He didn’t pay for a bunch of carbon copies; He paid for you, and wants you!
Sickness, death and destruction are far from the will of God. God does not inflict pain or loss upon anyone to teach them a lesson or flex His muscle. God flexing His muscle doesn’t look like a major flood or some great disaster. God flexing His muscle looks like a Man on a cross. It looks like Love incarnate crucified for all humanity. Sometimes we diminish the loving will of God by saying things like “God works in mysterious ways” after a 3-year-old walks in the middle of the road and gets hit by an 18 wheeler. Trust me, hurricane Katrina was not the judgment or will of God. Now you might ask, “Well, isn’t God sovereign?” Yes, but sovereignty doesn’t mean He’s controlling all things – that would make God out to be some sick, twisted puppet master. True sovereignty is being all-powerful, not all-controlling.
Have you ever heard the line, “God is good BUT He’s also just”? Maybe you have used that line once or twice. I know I have! That statement is a complete ‘cop-out’ of His goodness. Saying, “God is good, but [anything]” is ultimately diminishing the goodness of God. You cannot separate God’s goodness and His justice as if they exist in two separate realms. God’s justice is an extension of His extreme goodness. God’s form of justice is much different from society’s. Take this example from John 18, Luke 22, and Mark 14: when the men came to arrest Jesus, Peter pulled out a sword and cut Malchus’, a servant of the chief priests, ear off in retaliation. That sounds like justice, right? Wrong! How did Jesus react to this “justice?” He commanded them to stop the violence and what He did after that command truly reflected the justice of God. He healed the man’s ear. This man was coming to treat Jesus like a criminal and what did Jesus do? He exacted swift justice upon him by healing him. That’s the justice of God: healing, reconciliation, etc…
Now, one might say, “Well, isn’t Jesus coming back with a mighty sword?” The answer is yes, of course He is, BUT it’s a sword of authority. If you think He’s coming back to start chopping people’s heads off, you’re quite confused. That would be like Jesus saying, “Lazarus, raising you from the dead was cool and all, but now I think I’m just going to chop you up into little pieces.” That sounds pretty schizophrenic, doesn’t it? Well, luckily that’s not our God.
I write this not to cause confusion but to end it. God is good! I’ll conclude with the most known but also the most watered down scripture of all time.
“For God so LOVED the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
I love you all and hope that you are extremely blessed by this!!!!!!
P.S. – SMILE!!! God loves to see you smile!