Who is God For You Today?

Posted on Updated on

by Linda Rex

There is a way of reading and meditating on scripture that informs our knowledge of God. It also informs our relationship with God by bringing to our minds the attributes and will of God in relation to each of us as his children.

For example, when I read a particular passage, I first ask myself this question: Who is God in this passage?

If I were reading Hebrews 2, the answer would include the following:

  • God speaks and his Word is unalterable
  • He exacts judgment
  • He provides salvation
  • He testifies to us through signs, wonders, various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • He made humans lower than the angels but destined them to be crowned with glory and honor

Included in our observations about who God is in this passage would be these (abundant) truths about Jesus:

  • He was made lower than the angels just as we are
  • He suffered and died for everyone
  • He was crowned with glory and honor just as we as humans are destined by God to be glorified
  • All things are for him
  • All things are through him
  • He is the perfected Author of Salvation through whom many sons will be brought to glory
  • He sanctified all those who are being sanctified
  • His Father is our Father
  • He is brother to all humanity
  • He proclaims his Father’s name
  • He trusts in his Father
  • He shares all this with humanity
  • He partook of flesh and blood along with God’s children
  • Through death he rendered the evil one powerless and freed all who were enslaved
  • He was made like us as humans in everything
  • He became a merciful and faithful high priest or mediator in things that pertain to God and to us as humans
  • He was tempted in suffering, and so came to the aid of all who are tempted

If we stop now and give some thought to what we’ve learned about God so far in this passage, we’ll find that God is deeply involved with us as humans. He cares about us so much that he actually came to share in our human existence with the expectation that one day we will share in Christ’s glory. In Jesus we have an intimate brother and friend who is for us and with us in every situation.

So going on with our reading and meditation of this passage we can ask: Who is God for me today in this passage? Here are some thoughts that came to my mind in answer to this question:

  • God speaks to me through his Son and his Word is unalterable and just
  • God witnesses to me through signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of his Spirit
  • Even though I am lower than angels, in Christ God has raised me up and crowned me with glory
  • God is working to sanctify me and has perfected my salvation
  • God in Jesus has shared my humanity and purified it
  • God has set me free from Satan’s grip and the chains of sin
  • Jesus speaks God’s Word to me and stands in my place to offer my perfected praise and service to God
  • God in Jesus has gone through everything I’ve gone through and upholds me in the midst of it all

As we approach the scriptures beginning first with God, and God in Christ at the center, we find that there is much that we can learn. With God at the center, we learn how much we are loved and cared for, and the tremendous significance of our God taking on our humanity and providing for us in Christ all we need for life and godliness.

There are many ways to read and study the scriptures. My prayer is that as you read the written Word of God you will encounter the Living Word in a real way that is healing and life-transforming. May God bless you in your studies.

Lord, as we read your Word each day, open our eyes to see you, and our ears to hear you. May we come to fully understand who you are, and who you are for each one of us at every moment of each day. Thank you for being for us, with us and in us by your Spirit, through Jesus our Lord. Amen.

The Out Loud Word

Posted on

by Linda Rex

It’s come to my mind quite often lately how much I have taken for granted the gift of being able to read, and to read quickly and with comprehension.

I go places and find that I have to be able to read the signs to know where to go and where not to go, how fast to go, what street I need to turn at, and so on. I walk into the store and find I have to be able to read the labels to make sure I’m buying the right thing.

The blessing of reading, by necessity, includes the blessing of sight, unless a person learns to read Braille. Someone was telling me the other day about a man who was more or less blind and who, because he couldn’t see to read the labels on the cans at the store, had eaten dog food for years. That seems like a stretch to me, but who am I to say any different? I just realized, though, what a blessing it was to be able to see and to read.

I have been finding also when leading worship in my congregations, that I must never take it for granted that the people who come to church have a Bible, or if they have one, that they are able to read it. We want all people to participate with us in the learning and understanding of God’s Word as they grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. So the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to Timothy to not neglect the public reading of scripture is just as relevant to us today as it was then. This is why we read the Scriptures out loud during our worship services and in our study groups.

It is easy to ignore or neglect the reading of Scripture. It can be a chore we’d rather avoid. But if we feel we’ve read the Scriptures and we know everything that’s in the Bible, then we most likely are merely reading the Scriptures for information. It is no wonder that it is meaningless, boring and empty reading to us. But if and when we have entered into a personal relationship with God in Jesus Christ, we are able to read the Scriptures in a whole new way.

We are able to read them as God’s Word to us both collectively and personally. We can begin to seek Jesus Christ in the midst of them. Before we begin to read, we say, “Lord, what do you have to say to me today?” We invite the Holy Spirit to open our minds and hearts to receive whatever it is God would like to say to us in that moment. We ask Jesus by his Spirit to live out in us what we hear in his Word.

It is often in the hearing as well as reading of the Word of God that conviction occurs and life-change begins. The Spirit of God goes to work when the Word of God is read, whether silently, or out loud. We continue in the reading of the Word of God day by day for God’s Word to us is made new to us moment by moment in our relationship with Jesus Christ in the Spirit.

Thank you, Father, for giving us the Living Word, Jesus Christ, who came for us in our place to live out our perfect life in his human flesh and who comes to us in the written Word by your Holy Spirit. Give us a holy hunger for your Word and may your Word transform us as we read and hear it each and every day. In Jesus name by your Holy Spirit we pray. Amen.

“Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.” 1 Timothy 4:13 (NLT)