Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Our View of God

What shapes our view of God? Does it have more to do with your experiences of faith or perhaps your own relationship with your father? Maybe it is a mixture of both. I've never really given a lot of thought to where my view of God comes from, it has always just sort of been there, much like the clouds. I do not think a whole lot about how they are formed or what purpose they serve, but I see them and know they are there.
My view of God is constantly changing as I mature and as my relationship with God grows deeper. He is the one who provides me with what I need to live and also the one who knows best what I truly need in my life. I also have some fear of God, maybe not enough, but I have a hard time comprehending God's wrath. I know it is there and as I read through the Old Testament I am often left in amazement as I see God pour our his wrath on those who turn there backs on him.
God is often described as our Father in Heaven, which naturally gives way to attributing to God the characteristics our earthly father possesses. For some these characteristics may be distant, fear and punishment, protection, safety, love and care, and many other attributes. For me I believe that at times I had a little fear, but mostly I was blessed to receive love, care, provisions, and protection from my father. These characteristics are also a lot of the same ones I use to view God. I believe that my dad did a great job of raising me and helping me become the man I am. I do find it fascinating though how at least for me my view of my earthly father is also the basis for a lot of my views on God and his role as my Father.
I would encourage everyone to take the time to think through how they view God. Where do your views of God come from and do they adequately represent our Father in Heaven?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thoughts on Grace

I've been thinking a lot about grace lately and how powerful it really is. The fact that God extends to us his grace, which covers up our sins is truly astonishing. Often when people talk about God's grace they speak to how they have "received" God's grace, however sometimes I believe we sell ourselves short when experiencing this grace.
The cycle of grace is usually one where we sin by doing something that goes against God or his commandments, we feel guilt, we turn to God in repentance, God offers us his grace, and we receive our pardon from our sins. I believe that we often neglect the final step of the cycle and do not really accept God's grace. There can be many facts as to why this is, sometimes we may not feel we really deserve it (which we don't), or perhaps it feels good to still beat yourself up for what you have done. We at times think we have accepted the grace offered to us, but my question is this, by continuing to live in the sins we have already committed have we really received Gods transformative grace or have we already cheated the process?
So my challenge is this, after repenting, fully accept God's transforming grace and fully live into this by moving forward closer to God than you were before.
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