What Sets Us FreeDo you ever try to earn points with God?
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What God Looks Like
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God (v.15).
In March of 2012, Americans listened with regret and repulsion as we heard reports of an American soldier in Afghanistan who went on a killing spree in a rural Afghan village. This rogue soldier massacred 16 civilian Afghanis.
This is an absolute horror. The aftermath compounds our grief because these evil actions (and several other travesties) will, for some, define American ideals to our Afghani neighbors. Because of the actions of one violent man, many will believe that Americans are filled with hatred and are to be feared. Who can blame them? When someone acts in our name or on our behalf, we’re represented by their actions.
In a way, we could say that God represented Himself (and His reputation) in Jesus—the Son of God who has been part of God’s work in the world from the beginning. Through Jesus, God “created everything” (Colossians 1:16). Through Jesus, God rules over “thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities” (v.16). In Jesus, we see God in action.
Jesus, however, does more than represent God. Rather, Jesus actually embodies Him. Jesus Christ shows us what God looks like. Jesus is the visibility of Him—God with skin on.As Paul says, “God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Christ” (v.19).
If we want to know what God is like, we look first at Jesus Christ. We can’t know all there is to know of God, not by a long shot. But we can know a lot. We know that He is full of love. We know that He cares for justice and rebukes hypocrisy. We know that He loves the outcasts and misfits. We know that He heals the sick and forgives the sinner and longs for us to experience life to the full.
We know that Goddoes all these things because Jesus does all these things.
Pick any story in one of the four gospels. Read the story slowly with this question in mind: What does Jesus’ action and heart reveal to me about God?
What is your biggest question about God’s will or God’s love for you? What does Jesus’ life and teaching say to your question?
- What Sets Us Free - Do you ever try to earn points with God?...read more
- Washed - In what ways is God calling you to visibly represent Him to someone else?...read more
- Sweet Music - What things have you been trying to handle without prayer?...read more
- Laughter - How do joy and laughter reveal the heart of God?...read more
- Powerful Patience - How can you trust God more even as you wait on Him?...read more
- Overwhelmed - What has sunk your spirits today?...read more
- Greater - How does the knowledge that God is greater than our storms impact the way you feel?...read more
- Voice of Reason - How do you respond to the rage of others?...read more
- Source of Truth - What does Scripture reveal about the issues on your mind today?...read more
- Little Things - Do you measure yourself and others according to God’s standards or the world’s?...read more
- Jesus the Reconciler - What does it add to your understanding of the cross to recognize that Jesus was enacting your reconciliation with God?...read more
- Tasting Heaven - How can you echo God’s future banquet by inviting diverse guests to your dinner parties?...read more
- Possible - What does it mean for you to know that Jesus is your Shepherd?...read more
- "Follow Me!" - Why are you following Jesus?...read more
- Here’s Hope - Why do we sometimes keep our struggles to ourselves?...read more
- Is Jesus Enough? - How do you react when you see injustice in the world, or when circumstances are against you and God seems to be silent?...read more