Images of God

rainbow“‘For this is like the days of Noah to Me, when I swore that the waters of Noah would not flood the earth again; So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you nor will I rebuke you.'”                          Isaiah 54:9, NASB

Common mental image of God depicts Him as a harsh and unfeeling judge – always angry, and constantly ready to strike out in wrath against our wrongdoing. Psalm 145:8 paints a completely different picture. It tells of a gracious God – full of compassion – who is slow to anger, and posses an abounding love for His children. From where do we get the idea of God being continually exasperated with us?

All throughout the Old Testament, we encounter story after story of man’s disobedience towards God, and its dire consequences. How could He who, in the Old Testament, presented mankind with an abundance of rules and regulations concerning how they related to Him, freely forgive and welcome in all who come Him in New Testament times? The answer is found at the cross, where all of God’s wrath against sin and the punishment for it, which we deserved, was laid upon Jesus.

God loved us, but being holy, He had to punish sin. Thus, He sent His Son to be sin for us, to make us right with Him ( 2 Corinthians 5:21). Having been justified by the blood of Jesus, we are saved from God’s wrath through Him (Romans 5:9). God has sworn that He will no longer rebuke or be angry with us (Isaiah 54:9). His love for us will never be shaken, nor His covenant of peace be removed (Isaiah 54:10). Allow His affection for you, shown through His Son’s work at the cross, to redefine your image of God.

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”

God’s Blessings for You

God's Blessings for YouGod has abundant provision for your every need. Because you have been made righteous in Christ, blessings crown your head (Proverbs 10:6). God wants you to walk in those blessings on a daily basis.

 

 

Here are some of His good gifts that are yours in Christ:

  • Healing (Isaiah 53:5)
  • Prosperity (3 John 1:2)
  • Wealth (Isaiah 60:6)
  • Forgiveness (Psalm 103:2)
  • Wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30)
  • Joy (Isaiah 35:10)
  • Favor (Psalm 5:12)
  • Health (3 John 1:2)
  • Protection (Psalm 91:9-12)
  • Peace (John 14:27)
  • Right standing with God (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Savior in Every Area

saviorEverything we could ever need is found in Jesus. He wants to be Savior in every area of our lives. Nothing concerning us is too big or too small for Him.

Are you lacking financially? He’s your Provider. Are you suffering from sickness or disease? He’s your Healer. Do you feel like you’re trapped in sin? He’s your Redeemer. Are you filled with loneliness and sadness? He’s your Best Friend. Does it seem like you’re groping your way through darkness? He is your Light. Are you depressed or anxious about your circumstances? Joy and peace are found in Him. At the cross, Jesus paid the price for your right standing with God. You have been justified by His blood (Romans 5:9).  His sacrifice qualifies you to receive all of God’s blessings.

No problem in life is to big for Him to handle. No detail is too trivial to escape His notice. He wants us to come to Him and receive provision for our every need, be it great or small.

Why do we sometimes hesitate to do so? Typically, it’s not His ability to resolve our dilemma that we question, but rather His willingness to use that ability on our behalf, and in our particular situation. Once a leper came to Jesus for healing, stating that if He were willing, He could make him clean. To this Jesus replied “‘I am willing; be cleansed'” (Matthew 8:3, NASB). Immediately afterward, the man’s leprosy departed. Our Savior is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). As He was willing use His ability to reach out to someone in need back then, so He is today. Never doubt His willingness to save, deliver, heal, and restore in your life today.

What are you in need of? In what areas do you lack? Come to Jesus, fully assured that He has not only the ability, but also the willingness to provide for you. Welcome His saving power into every circumstance in which you find yourself.  Invite Him to be Savior in every area of your life.

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.” 

Reach Out and Receive

provisionWhat do you do when you are in need? Where do you turn for provision? Who do you place your trust in?

Think for a moment of a little child growing up with a loving mommy and daddy. Does such a child need to fret over the things they may lack? By no means! They have parents who take care of them. Those parents enjoy giving their son or daughter things that will give them pleasure. They rejoice over their child’s joy in receiving their provision.

In the same manner, God is our loving Heavenly Father. He is the best, most perfect daddy in existence. If our parents take care of us while we are growing up, how much more will our Daddy in Heaven provide for our every need?

1 Timothy 6:17 (NASB) informs us that God ” . . . richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” God will certainly give what is good to those who ask Him (Matthew 7:11). In fact, every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James 1:17). As with any caring parent, God delights in seeing His children enjoy His many gifts. The question to ask ourselves is not whether God is willing to bless us, but whether we are willing to receive those blessings. They are all gifts of His abundant grace. Reach out in faith and receive God’s provision for your every need!

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”

The Righteousness of God in Christ

The Righteousness of God in ChristYou are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). At the cross, Jesus took your place of sin so that you could receive His place of righteousness and right standing with God. He took all the punishment  for your sins upon Himself. The price for your wrong doing has been paid in full. Through His sacrifice, you have been made holy once for all (Hebrews 10:10). All of your sins have been forgiven. In fact, God remembers them no more (Hebrews 8:12). When He looks at you, He sees the righteousness of His perfect, blameless, spotless Son covering you.

This righteousness comes through faith in Jesus. It is for all who believe (Romans 3:22). It can’t be earned through our good works. There’s nothing we can do to merit it. It is a gift from our Heavenly Father (Romans 5:17). Because it is apart from our actions, we don’t fall in and out of righteousness depending on how well we perform. Our right standing with God isn’t based on what we do, but on what Jesus has already done for us. Believe this truth. Trust that Jesus’ perfect work at the cross makes you righteous in God’s eyes!

Here are verses on the righteousness that we have been given:

  • The righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel – a righteousness by faith (Romans 1:17).
  • Through Jesus’ obedience, we are made righteous (Romans 5:19).
  • Our righteousness is through faith in Christ (Philippians 3:9).
  • We can’t be made righteous by the works of the law (Romans 3:20).
  • If we could have been made righteous through the law, there would have been no need for Christ to die for us (Galatians 2:21).
  • We are saved by God’s mercy, not our own righteous acts (Titus 3:5).
  • We have been arrayed in a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10).
  • The ministry of condemnation was glorious, but the ministry of righteousness is even more glorious (2 Corinthians 3:9).

What God Says About You

bibleAmidst all the voices in this world that try to define us, it’s essential for us to know who God says we are, and what His Word has to say about us.

Here are some verses that address this topic:

 

  • We are kings and priests unto God (Revelation 1:6).
  • We are God’s chosen people (Colossians 3:12).
  • We have been perfected forever (Hebrews 10:14).
  • We are Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20).
  • We are oaks of righteousness (Isaiah 61:3).
  • With singing, God rejoices over us (Zephaniah 3:17)
  • We have been crowned by God with glory and honor (Psalm 8:5).
  • We are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27).

Instead of focusing on the opinion of others, listen to what God says about you. See yourself as He sees you. Trust in the words of your Heavenly Father!

(For more verses on what God’s Word has to say about us, see Let Freedom Reign.)

Overcome Condemnation with His Truth

Overcome Condemnation with His TruthMany voices of accusation assail us every day. They reinforce the idea that we don’t measure up. “You’re always this way.” “You never do that.” “You fail at everything.” “You’ll never amount to anything.” Such are the words that we are constantly exposed to.

In addition to this outward criticism, we are often riddled with inner guilt and shame. Our own minds condemn us for our failings – past and present. Maybe it’s something you forgot to do yesterday. Maybe it’s a situation in which you messed up last week. Maybe one mistake sticks out in your mind above all the rest, coloring your life and filling you with a constant sense of regret.

John 3:18 tells us that if we believe in Jesus, we are NOT condemned. How can that be true? Those around us speak condemning words. Our own minds may condemn us. How can we not be condemned? The answer is found in Jesus’ work at the cross, where He took our sin upon Himself. Because of His sacrifice, when God looks at you, He no longer sees your sins. In fact, He remembers them no more (Hebrews 8:12). When He beholds you, He sees you as covered with a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). You have been made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22). The better question to ask is, in light of what Jesus has done, is what reason is there for you to be condemned?

Isaiah 54:17 tells us that we shall condemn every tongue that rises against us in accusation and judgement. Don’t listen to the lies you’ve been fed. Remember that you are a new creation in Christ. The old has past. All has been made new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Consider these things when guilt and shame try to attach themselves to you. Don’t fall for their deception. Instead, listen to God’s voice over the Satan’s lies. Speak out what God’s Word says about you. Overcome condemnation with His truth.

Your New Identity

Your New IdentityHow do you view yourself?  What, in your mind, defines you? What’s the first thing you see when you look in the mirror?

Maybe it’s your hair, which you wish was a different color. Maybe it’s that blemish on your face that you feel stands out so strongly. Maybe it’s those few extra pounds you wish you could lose. Or maybe it’s something deeper than that.

Maybe you see someone with a fault they can’t seem to overcome. Maybe you see a person with a past that appears bound to dictate their future. Maybe you see someone who’s made mistakes that still fill them with regret. Maybe you see in the reflection staring back at you an individual whom you deem unworthy and unlovable. Is this who you really are?

What if there’s another layer to you altogether? What if there’s a part of you that you tend to overlook? What if deeper than any outer camouflage or inner struggle, right at the core of who you are, lies someone whom God cares about deeply – a person He gave His life to redeem?

Your true identity goes beyond just your looks. It’s reaches past your emotions. If you are in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), you are a new creation. Jesus has become your new identity, for ” . . . as He is, so also are we in this world” (1 John 4:17, NASB). As Jesus is accepted by God, so are you.  As He is perfectly righteous in God’s eyes, so are you. As He is dearly loved by the Heavenly Father, so are you. God no longer looks at you and your failings to determine who you are. Because you are in Christ, He looks at His spotless, glorious Son to define you. Rejoice in the knowledge that Jesus is your new identity!

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.” 

Taste and See

taste and see“O taste and see that the Lord is good . . .” Psalm 34:8, NASB

Our God is a good God. He has many blessings available to us, His children. He wants us to walk in and receive them.

Psalm 103:2 tells us to praise the Lord, and to not forget all of His benefits. All throughout His Word, God speaks of the blessings that are ours in Christ. As our wonderful Heavenly Father, He knows how to give good gifts to those who ask (Matthew 7:11). In fact, every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James 1:17). Therefore, the question to ask ourselves in determining whether something is from God if the thing in question is good and perfect. If it is not, it’s probably not from Him.

God is not the one who steals, kills, and destroys. Rather, He sent His Son that we might live an abundant life (John 10:10). He gave Him for us while we were completely undeserving. He accepted us into His family. He cares for us as any loving parent cares for their children. He continues to lavish unmerited favor and love upon us each day of our lives. Such a God truly is amazing. What are you waiting for? Taste and see His goodness today!

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.” 

God’s Love For You

God's Love For You 1 John 3:1 speaks of the love God has lavished upon us in calling us His children. Ephesians 3:18 tells of the width and length, the height and depth of the love Christ has for us. Romans 8:39 declares that nothing shall separate us from the love of God. Never doubt God’s love for you, which He showed by sending His Son to die for you at the cross (Romans 5:8). Open your heart to His love. Ask Him to reveal the vastness of  His affection to you. He stands ready and waiting to do so.