How Do You View God?
John McArthur tells of a student who said to his pastor, “I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t believe in God.” The pastor replied: “Please tell me about the God you don’t believe in.”
That student began to describe a God who is vengeful, unfair, arbitrary, a cosmic ogre who delighted in watching people stumble through life in search of meaning and direction. After listening to that students’ portrayal of God, the pastor said,” I don’t believe in that God either.” It is so easy to develop a warped view of our God based on our circumstances. We can wind up with a pretty jaded view of God when we define Him by our circumstances.
It seems to me we will have a much more accurate view of Him when we consider our benefits from Him. For example, let’s look at Psalm 103 for a few moments. The writer begins with these words –
“Bless the LORD, O my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name.”
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:
1. Who forgives all our iniquities (sins).
2. Who heals all your diseases.
3. Who redeems your life from destruction.
4. Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies.
5. Who satisfies your mouth with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.”
I hope you will read that entire Psalm because the writer lists many more benefits from a life of intimacy with God. Listen to what the Apostle Peter wrote (1 Peter 2: 4-10) –
“Coming to Him as a living stone, rejected by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also as living stones are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is also contained in the scripture, ‘Behold I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame! Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious, but to those who are disobedient, the stone which the builders rejected, has become the chief cornerstone, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense. They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light, who were once not a people, but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”
Note: Along with privileges come responsibilities. Peter was writing to people who were experiencing the fires of persecution. Rather than just focus on their problems and pain, the Apostle reminded them of their privileges and he challenged them to praise God for His abundant grace. Because of God’s grace, they were:
1. A chosen generation
2. A royal priesthood
3. A holy nation
4. God’s own special people
The devil wants us to lose sight of who we are. God wants us to remember who we are – “the people of God.”
What a privilege! (1 Peter 2: 10). We are to proclaim/declare, who we are in God and what we have in Christ.
The devil wants us to focus on our problems. The LORD wants us to praise Him for our privileges. As the Psalmist declared – “Do not forget all your benefits.”
My brothers and sisters – we have been accepted in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:6). We have been adopted into God’s family through Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1: 5). We are God’s children. John 1: 12.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those
who believe in His name.”
We are justified by faith in Christ. (Romans 5: 1).
We have peace with God through Christ. (Romans 5: 1)
We have access to the throne of God. (Romans 5: 2)
We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5: 2)
We are saved through faith in Christ. (Eph. 2:8)
• All of this because of God’s amazing grace.
Well, brothers and sisters, this is enough to meditate on for today. Dwell on these blessings and privileges we have through Christ.
As your comprehension of these graces takes place, give generous time to praising our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
For His glory,