Who is God?

       The important part in any relationship is getting to know the other person, it’s the same way with our relationship with God. In order to increase our relationship with God and feel His presence and blessings in our lives more we need to know Him better. So who is God? There are many images of who God is. Many people see Him as a distant, impersonal God, the judge, the discipliner the “man upstairs” watching us, waiting for us to make a mistake. This isn’t God. God is a loving God, Jesus called him “our Father”. God is a loving Father to us, but to truly understand this we can’t look at him as father in earthly terms. Some people have good relationships with their father others don’t. All fathers we know, no matter how good they may be, are human, they are imperfect. I recently heard a description of God that I liked, it went something like this. Imagine what the ultimate perfect father would be. Really use your imagination here and go overboard, more than you could imagine as a father. Now multiply this about ten million times and you may just start to scratch the surface of how good God is. Jesus told us a story of how God is with us and how He is when we mess up. It’s the parable of the prodigal son. The story is in Luke 15 starting in verse 11-12.
And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.

Now this might not seem as much, but the younger son just extremely disrespected his father. What he is saying here is I wish you were dead so I could claim my inheritance and get on with my life. Why don’t you just give me my inheritance now and I will get out of your hair! Instead of getting angry and disowning his son and kicking him out, the father gave him what he wanted and the son leaves. Next we read.

 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs.  And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. (v.13-16)

 So the son went out to eat, drink and be merry, and when the money ran out hard times hit. The son was reduced to doing one of the worst jobs imaginable for a Jew, working with and feeding pigs! Things got so bad for him, he wanted to go down and eat with the pigs! When his life hit bottom, he started thinking about things. 

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” ’ (v.17-19)

When he came to his senses, he realized that his father paid servants better than he was getting paid so he decided to go back, apologize to his father and ask to be hired as a servant. When he returned, he got a surprise. 

  And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. (v.20-24)
First, we find the father was searching for his son because he saw him from a far way off. Then he ran to him. This may not seem as much, but back then wealthy people didn’t run. It was undignified. This probably shocked the son, seeing his father running! And coming at him! He was probably expecting to be berated and sent away but his father hugs him and kisses him and welcomes him back. The father notices the rags his son is wearing and tells the servants to bring the best clothes for him and calls for a celebration because his son has returned!
This is the type of God He is, a loving father. No matter how bad we may disrespect Him, He doesn’t get angry and punish us. We, like the son in the story, may have to deal with the consequences of our decisions and our actions. But God allows this so we may learn from it. And when we return to Him, there’s no berating, no punishment, not even an “I told you so”. When we come back to God, all we get is love! That’s the kind of God we serve! If you don’t know God I urge you to go to Him in prayer and ask him for forgiveness and to get to know Him and His love.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 . Standard Bible Society: Wheaton