What Kind of Savior?

image

What does your idea of God look like? How does it shape the way you have built your relationship with Jesus?

It all depends on where you think you are right now.

  • Are you sinking in a leaky boat?
  • Are you sailing around the bright blue sea in cruise ship?

Our perspective – definition of the situation – will always shape the way we approach God. Recent research revealed that Americans can be divided into four different broad categories based on their description of the God they believe:

  1. A benevolent God who is active in our lives in a positive way
  2. An authoritarian God is active in the world and our lives and is angry, handing out punishment
  3. A critical God who is not really active in the world but will in the afterlife hand out punishments
  4. A distant God who is a cosmic force and does not really hold opinions about human actions

All living in the same country, reading the same Bible, yet having developed very different ideas about who God is. Hard to imagine, huh?

“You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” ― Anne Lamott

How do your current circumstances shape your perspective about God? What kind of Savior are you praying to each day? Someone who needs to help you with your dinner reservation on that cruise ship?  Or maybe you are in desperate need of someone to help you plug up all the holes in your life raft?

Is God here for you? Or are you here for God?

When you are trying to figure out who God is – the best place to look is at Jesus. Go to the Gospels and read what he said and look at what he did.  I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me. If you have trouble believing based on My words, believe because of the things I have done. – John 14:11 (The Voice)

When you are trying to figure out who God is…

  1. Don’t let your personal circumstances dominate your definition of God
  2. Think about how the society around you has shaped your perspective about God
  3. Listen to the way people you trust talk about God, really listen
  4. It never hurts to open your heart and mind and learn more about God – He’s too much to easily explain

For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life.  Here’s the point. God didn’t send His Son into the world to judge it; instead, He is here to rescue a world headed toward certain destruction. (John 3:16-17, The Voice)

Walking to Emmaus Part 6

road-to-emmaus

 

 

 

 

 

By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!  – Luke 24:28-31

Have you ever been somewhere familiar and felt like you were seeing it for the first time? What about when you see someone that you know but they are in a different setting? It’s difficult to recognize them at first. I try to go to the grocery store incognito, wearing a different costume than the one I wear at the university. But every now and then someone picks me out and recognizes me. We look at one another and are uncertain at first. Our brains are trying in a split second to put each other in this new context.

These two disciples had been following Jesus during his ministry, one may even have been there at his death. Yet they couldn’t recognize him. He was a stranger to them now. Who really knows why? Maybe it was because they had built a preconception in their minds of who Jesus was supposed to be, what kind of savior he was meant to become, what role he was to fulfill. Maybe they, like so many others, had built him into an idol. Then something went wrong. Their savior was powerless at the hands of the Romans, suffered torment and was executed.

Now it was all over with.

Then this stranger came along and started to explain things in a different way.

He was a stranger to them because their expectations weren’t big enough for what God was actually planning to do. In the end, my own disappointment and discouragement with God’s plan always ends up coming home to rest at the smallness of my own faith. A faith that is too little for the greatness of God’s mercy, love and providence.

He and his works are a stranger to me because I expect so little.

 

 

 “If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.”

― C.S. Lewis