“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional
Written by my friend Bill Sweeney, stricken with ALS 18 years ago. He now writes by use of an eye-tracking computer, with only his eye movements. Bill’s “Unshakable Hope” should give us all a reason to count our blessings !! (bruce)
Read more about Bill @ http://unshakablehope.wordpress.com/about/
The True Nature of God
It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a blog post or even been involved in the world of blogging. I needed to take a break, but I’ve missed communicating with my blogging friends.
Usually I write a blog post when a spiritual thought, a thought that I think might help or encourage others, keeps coming to my mind. This is the case with the following post.
A person could become really confused about the nature of God while watching TV and viewing social media, especially during political campaigning. I hear politicians on opposite sides of an issue quoting scripture (usually out of context) in an attempt to legitimize their positions.
Add to this news reports about terrorists slaughtering innocent people in the name of God (Allah), and you can understand why people are confused about this being we call God.
Even within churches there is confusion about the character of God. A man from a church we attended told me that he was dying of cancer. He went on to tell me that he believed God gave him terminal cancer for all the bad things he had done before becoming a Christian. I was shocked and saddened that this man believed that God was out to get him.
I wanted so much to change his confused view of God. I wanted to challenge him by asking why he thought that God waited until he was a Christian to take him out with a cruel disease; why didn’t God just strike him down with lightning when he was living an unrepentant life?
The worst aspect of ALS is not being completely paralyzed and wheelchair-bound. Nor is it having to be fed through a feeding tube (no Thanksgiving dinner for me). Not being able to speak, especially at times like this, is by far the worst aspect of this horrible disease. I really wanted to remind this good Christian man that it was when we were at our worst that Christ died for us.
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) (If God sent Jesus to die “for us,” than He is for us, not against us).
I was also once confused about the true nature of God. I suppose that I would have been classified as agnostic; I believed that there probably was a God, but I didn’t believe He was a personal God like Christianity teaches. But, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I was alone and bored in a hotel room one night when I opened the Gideon Bible on the nightstand and began reading the New Testament.
I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but after reading for a few hours, I really felt that my foggy thinking about God began to clear up. For the first time I realized that Jesus Christ defines the true character of God. Apart from Christ, one is free to redefine God into anything he or she desires Him to be.
After finally making a commitment to follow Christ, before even stepping one foot into a church, I made a commitment to myself that I would never allow popular culture, politicians or even priests and preachers to redefine the God I came to know from reading the New Testament.
That was over thirty years ago and that commitment is challenged virtually every day; but it is still the foundation of the hope and peace I feel when going through difficult trials.
I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, but one of the things I’m most thankful for is that, in this confusing and ever-changing world, “God never changes.”
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)