What is God like?
If we believe from the evidence that the Bible is the Word of God, we go to the Bible to learn about who this God is. We don’t turn to any just any source to tell us about God. Different people have different, even contradictory views about God and we want to learn from God’s Word itself about who He is.
What does the Bible tell us about God?
A personal God
It's popular these days to think of God as some kind of force field that exists in all things. But the Bible tells us that God is a personal God, more like a parent, sibling, or friend? Someone you could talk to, share your problems with, receive guidance from, and experience life with. Thankfully, God is not impersonal, unknowable, or distant?
"This, then, is how you should pray: " 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…(Matt 6:9)
How did Jesus teach His followers to call God?
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12)
What does God call those who believe in Him?
In spite of his grandeur, the God of the Bible is knowable and wants to be known. Though God is not visible, we can talk with him, ask him questions and listen to him, and he will give us answers and guidance for life. He often gives those answers and guidance through his Word, the Bible, which many have called God's love letter to us.
A person can have the same kind of relationship with God that he or she has with a close family member. In fact, those that know him, he calls his children, bride, and friends.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15)
What does Jesus call His followers according to this verse?
So the God of the Bible is anything but impersonal. He gets angry and sad, shows mercy, kindness and forgiveness, and is a wholly emotional being. He is highly intellectual, having personality and wit.
Judges 10:16, "And they put away the foreign gods from among them, and served the Lord; and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel."
What emotion does God display according to this verse?
God grieved or hurt for the children of Israel. He is a God that hurts when we hurt. Indeed, He probably hurts for us when we don't have sense enough to hurt ourselves. In the case of sin we are at times suffering before we realize it and He is already grieving for us.
Rejoicing: Isa. 62:5, mentions that the Lord rejoices over us as a bridegroom over his bride.
What emotion does God display according to this verse?
We can know more than just merely facts about Him; we can actually know him intimately like a best friend. "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God." (John 17:3)
A God who understand us
The God of the Bible knows what it means to be one of us. Jesus Christ was God who had taken on a human form and a human nature.
"In the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word [Jesus] was with God, and the Word [Jesus] was God. The Word became flesh [human] and made his dwelling among us." (John 1:1, 14)
Though he was fully God, Jesus was also fully man. He hungered, slept, wept, ate. He endured every kind of difficulty we face.
Heb 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Why is Jesus able to sympathize with our weakness?
So the God of the Bible didn't remain aloof from the pain, suffering and evil in our world. He endured life as we must endure it. In fact, he had a very humble time while on this planet. He was born into a poor household, was not physically attractive, encountered prejudice and hatred, was misunderstood even by family and friends, and was wrongfully executed.
A God who cares
Most of us want to be accepted and loved. We want people to really care about us, and not just with superficial words. We want their care and concern to be proven by their actions. Wouldn't it be ideal if God really cared about us and then gave us tangible proof of that love?
The God of the Bible really cares. He has said so in words. In fact, the Bible says that "God is love." (1John 4:8, 16) But words don't communicate care and concern as much as actions do. That's where the God of the Bible is so unique and awesome. He really showed us how much he cares.
"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." (1John 4:9-10)
How did God show His love to us in a tangible way?
A powerful God
The Bible tells us of the marvelous power of God.
And looking upon [them] Jesus said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
Ah Lord GOD! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee. (Jeremiah 32:17).
What evidence is there that God is powerful?
God’s power was also evident in Jesus through the many miracles He performed.
(Mat 9:35 NIV) Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.
Turned water into wine (John 2:1-11)
Healed a nobleman’s son (John 4:46-54)
Cleansed a leper (Matt 8:1-4)
Raised a widow’s son from the dead (Luke 7:11-17)
Fed five thousand people (Matt 14:15-21)
In fact, there are at least 38 recorded miracles of Jesus in the New Testament.
The people were awe-struck by the evidences of His power:
And they were all amazed at the greatness of God (Luke 9:43a).
"Then He (Jesus) spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart," Luke 18:1 (NKJV)
If God is a powerful God, how do we tap on this power of God?
It has been said that "prayer moves the arm that moves the world". Prayer is the key that unlocks all the storehouses of God’s infinite grace and power.
How do we develop a relationship with God?
How do we develop a relationship with a God that:
- Is personal
- Understands us
- Cares for us
- Is powerful
If we wanted to find out whether a person is suitable to be our spouse, what do we do?
- Read all about this person in a book
- Find out everything about what others say about this person
- Start dating this person to see if he is suitable
If we want to make a decision whether or not to believe in the God of the Bible, what should we do?
If someone cooks us a meal, e.g. spaghetti and asks for our opinion whether it is good, what do we do?
- Send the spaghetti to the laboratory for testing whether it contains enough nutrients
- Read all about spaghetti from the Internet
- Eat it to see if we like it
Although it is important to find out all we can about God to see whether we want to believe in Him, that alone would not help us to make a decision. We never really know unless we start a relationship with God.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. (Ps 34:8)
Not just learn about Him, but TASTE and SEE whether the Lord is good.
[Holman Hunt's's painting 'The Light of the World' inspired by Rev 3:20's metaphor of Christ knocking at the door of the Laodicean Church.] Rev 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
The following is a suggested prayer:
"Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be."