The God I Wish You Knew (Intro)
Since tomorrow is St. Patrick’s day and the start of the NCAA basketball tourney, I thought today would be a better time to post. I will be sticking with the Thursday evening posting time going forward though.
Now that I have given you guys an intro of what my blog will be about and a little regarding my personal situation, it’s time to get into the “meat” of my messages which ironically will start with what’s called the “milk” of the Word in the Bible. This post will serve as an intro for a 5 part series I will start next week entitled “The God I Wish You Knew”.
Being that this blog is called God Needs New PR, it only makes sense that there is a certain perception about God that I feel needs to be overcome and that addressing this topic would be a good place to start. So, the first series will consist of what I believe to be the 5 most common misconceptions about God based on a teaching from one of my favorites Arthur Meintjes:
- Distant God (far away, not interested)
- Grandfather God (nice but old and out of touch)
- Schoolteacher God (someone you need to please and avoid punishment from)
- Angry/Judgmental God (all about right and wrong)
- Mystical God (weird, works in mysterious ways, etc.)
I feel it’s important to start here because you’re whole Christian life and relationship with God will flow out of the image you have of Him. For example, if you feel He is an angry God then you will not want to hang out with Him and that will obviously affect the time you spend with Him. But if you know Him to be a kind, loving and forgiving God, then will you be more apt to come to Him.
If you are not established in the milk then you will choke on the meat. Another way of saying this would be that I am attempting to lay a strong foundation that can be built upon. Some people in my audience have no Christian foundation at all, which is perfectly fine because then we don’t have to tear down an already existing foundation. My blog will move on to address what I feel is the meat of the word, but I do have many new Christians and those who don’t know anything about the Bible at all in my audience.
So what is the milk and what is the meat? The writer of Hebrews states in Hebrews 5:12, Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness (NIV). Righteousness meaning our right standing with God based upon what Jesus has done for us, not our own works. Once we know of our righteousness, then God can speak to us about who we really are from the proper context. As Greg Henry stated: “Once you stop battling back and forth with God’s feelings towards you, now He starts to be able to communicate to you about your identity and that you are the Godkind.” (paraphrased)
Here are some scriptures which talk about our right standing with God:
- “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” Romans 5:1 NLT
- “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.” Romans 3:22 NLT
- “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” 2 Cor. 5:21 NLT
Let’s think about the analogy of feeding further to understand the meat of the Word. What does eating do for us? It gives us strength, energizes us, and invigorates us. Where do we get our strength from in the Christian life? Nehemiah 8:10 says the joy of the Lord is my strength. Also, Jesus was born in a manger. Contrary to how manger’s are portrayed today, they were actually big stones structures that animals ate out of in Jesus’ day. I believe that was symbolizing to us that this Jesus is who who we are to feed on. Feeding is not a one-time event, but something that is continuous and ongoing. This coincides with what Romans 10:17 says that “faith comes by hearing the message and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
I believe the scriptures in Ephesians 6 about the armor of God can give us further insight into the milk and meat of the Word as well. The foundation in this analogy is putting on the Gospel of Peace for your shoes (Eph. 6:15). The Gospel of Peace refers to the peace you have with God. He is saying make yourself ready for life by understanding you have peace with God. It also mentions the breastplate of righteousness (Eph. 6:14), which we previously stated was the milk of the word. This protects your heart and the core of your being. It also talks about the sword of the spirit (Eph. 6:17) and the belt of truth (Eph. 6:14) in Ephesians 6. This in my opinion would be equivalent to how we live the Christian life. Jesus said he is the way the truth and the life. The sword of the spirit is mentioned as the word of God, which John says Jesus was the word of God made flesh (John 1:14).
Remember what Paul said:
“Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.” Phillipians 3:7-9 MSG.
So, the meat of the word in my opinion is Jesus. Learning of Him, His love, His character, etc. It’s all about Jesus. He is simultaneously the perfect representation of the Father and of us. To think that Biblical teaching has to be so technical and complicated in order for it to be considered meat is ridiculous in my opinion. The gift of a teacher is that they are able to take something that is complex and make it easy for everybody to understand. Don’t let the simplicity fool you. Just because it sounds simple doesn’t mean the concepts behind it are or that the teacher is a simpleton.
I hope this blog post encourages you to learn more about Jesus and makes you comfortable that this is a place where you will be able to do that whether you are a beginner or advanced Christian. I also hope that this series helps you to get to know God better and in doing so, I trust that it will establish you in your right standing with God along with strengthen you in your walk with Him.
Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to let me know any questions or comments you have in the section below.