The ABC’s of SDA (4)

God the Father.

          I have hindered myself in writing this post because I just could not get it exactly right. I just let it sit incomplete. Well, I guess God wants me to get on with it because the 1st lesson in our Adult Sabbath School Lesson was “Our Loving Heavenly Father”, which has helped me get my thoughts together. Amen to that!

          “God is.” That is a pretty accurate assessment of God if I do say so myself but I cannot deny that my image of God’s physical form has been influenced by how He is portrayed in media. You know what I mean, the booming disembodied voice of Morgan Freeman accompanied by rays from heaven, an old man with long gray hair and beard wearing flowing robes complete with glowing halo, or even Michelangelo’s depiction. For some reason my go-to image of God resembles mythological Greek god Zeus, a guy in a toga hurling lightning bolts. Of course, I know that no one knows what God looks like but for some reason those images stick.

          I am not concerned about what God looks like. He said we were made in his image and that is fine with me (Genesis 1:26, 27; 5:1) 1. God very well could have two eyes, two ears, one nose, one mouth, and all that jazz but “image”, in the context of scripture at least, seems to be beyond the physical. It makes sense to me that “image” refers more so to God’s character than His physical form. According to E. G. White, “A character formed according to the divine likeness is the only treasure that we can take from this world to the next.”2 That is amazing. Consider Adam, for him to be created in God’s image meant that he was granted the character (but not divine nature) of God and by extension, we have the same capacity. Just like God, we have the ability to love unconditionally, we can be kind, patient, holy, merciful, compassionate, just, fair, and keep our promises.

         Yeah yeah, that is all good but who is God? The Bible says God is our Creator, he is our refuge and our strength, a shelter in the time of storm, God is love and so much more. What else? He is all these big, lofty, far away things but He is also our Father, our loving Heavenly Father! Many think of God as some angry, sin-zapping, people-smiting, callous, divine entity and contrast him with Jesus who is seen as meek, mild, compassionate and just more friendly in general (hmph! Remember when he cleared out the temple in John 2:13-17?). Jesus said, “ Whoever has seen me, has seen the Father (John 14: 8-9)yet the perceived disparity remains.

          I know about God but do I know Him personally? Well, yes. He is my Heavenly Father but I can call Him Abba, my Father, as a sign of our intimate closeness if I please. We are all His children but He cares for us all as if we were the only one. Only my Heavenly Father can be completely devoted to countless children simultaneously and have a special relationship with each one. The things my earthly father cannot do, my Heavenly Father can. I got to know God, my Heavenly Father, the same way I got to know Pooky (yes, I call him that), my earthly father. I spend time with Him and talk to Him; when there is something I do not know o understand about him, I ask someone who does (mom says he used to dress like a cowboy…not God but my dad).

          A verse that stuck with me from the Sabbath School lesson was 1 John 3:1 which says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God…” There is no doubt that God loves me so much that He would refer to me as His child. Psalm 116 shows me that God is close. He hears me and walks beside me. He is compassionate and sympathetic. He is waiting for me to call on Him when I am distressed but of course, not only when I am distressed (2 Samuel 22:7; Isaiah 63:9). Sometimes I feel so alone but I know God is always there. Even if everyone around me should abandon me, God has got my back. I will never again feel the type of despair I felt before I knew God because I have confidence in His love for me!

 

 

[1] Also see Romans 8:29, Corinthians 15:49, Colossians 3:10.

[2] White, E.G. “Character a Quality of the Soul, August 3.” Maranatha (1976): 223. Web.  6 July 2014.

[3] Also see John 10:30, John 12:45, John 15:24, Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 1:3

 

 

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