The new you… a new view of God
“No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.” (John 1:18 BSB)
To repent means to change our thinking. And to change our thinking means to adopt a new mindset – a new way of HOW we think about, and live, our lives.
For the Christian, this means to adopt God’s viewpoint about life and living – to “seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness.” (Matt. 6:33) God has given us the Bible to reveal HOW He thinks about things. And God sent His Son to show us HOW God really is.
When we see Jesus, in pages of the Bible, we are quite surprised. According to most people’s view of God, we should see a Jesus that is mad at us – always angry at our weakness and failures. We should see a Jesus that is only concerned with right and wrong – and about keeping all the rules. We should see contempt – at all the ways that people are NOT like God. We should see a Jesus who is eager to punish those who fail him (which is pretty much all the time).
But this is not what we see. Jesus came to reveal God as He really is – and He was tender, kind, merciful, compassionate, forgiving, gracious. All the things we thought that God was NOT.
I guess that explains why the Bible describes Jesus’ encounter with the world in this way: “He came into the very world He created, but the world didn’t recognize Him.” (John 1:10 NLT) God showed up into the world He created – and we couldn’t tell it was Him!
This points out something really important. The first thing that needs to change, in our thinking, is how we view God. How we see God, effects how we react to Him. And for most people, their view of God is pretty messed up. There are reasons for this (maybe we’ll discuss these reasons at a later time) – but for now, we just need to know that the first significant hurdle to our relationship with God is our perception of Him.
Not surprisingly, the Bible tells us that this was one of the main reasons Jesus came to live among us. “We know that the Son of God has come, and He has given us understanding so that we can know the true God.” (1 John 5:20 NLT [ by the way, “understanding” means to bring thorough knowledge to our minds!]) Jesus revealed God, as He really is, by living among us, by loving among us – and by showing us the fullness of His heart towards us.
If we want a true picture of God – all we need to do is look to Jesus.
In fact, that’s exactly what Jesus said: “…Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)
For so many people, the whole concept of “God” can often get bent and twisted. Our past experiences, our upbringing, our church affiliations – even our relationships, can press and pull on our vision of God until He bears little resemblance to His actual Self (at least in our minds).
That’s why one of the first things that must change, within our minds, is how we see God.
What a wonderful blessing to simply be able to open the pages of the gospels and drink in the true vision that we need of Him.
We see Jesus. Full of grace and truth. In love with humanity. Willing to give everything for us. Willing to die for us. Willing to, unashamedly, call us His Own.
This is the Jesus we need.
Lucky for us, that is exactly Who He is.
Prayer focus: God, help me to address my misperceptions of You – and to set my mind on Jesus, Who revealed You as You really are!