Joy of the Gospel

The Good News of Jesus Christ

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His and Ours

In the beginning, God promised us He would be our God as long as our hearts were toward Him (1). Our changed hearts are signs that we repented from evil deeds. Changing our hearts shows that we want to be God’s. This desire for a relationship, between God and humans, goes two ways: 1) The promise is that we can be God’s and 2) That we should show that we want to be God’s by a changed heart.

A Caring God

When people are God’s people, God takes care of them. Being God’s means that God takes possession of us. He, like a mother, nurtures, protects, and encourages us. He is like the mother watching her daughter play a basketball game; the mother cares for her daughter’s safety, helped the daughter get ready for the game by washing her daughter’s jersey, and shouts during the game to encourage her daughter. The daughter takes comfort in her knowing that she has a mother like this. We can take similar comfort in God because God tells us “Fear not, for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my right hand of righteousness” (2).

No Other God

When we have God and God has us, we don’t need another God because God is enough “God” for us. If we look at the example of the caring mother and the nurtured daughter, we should see that the nurtured daughter has no reason to want another mother. Her mother is enough because the mother gives the daughter what the daughter needs. If I have a God who cares, protects, and strengthens me, why do I need another god? I don’t. When I have a God who loves me so much to “be merciful to my unrighteousness and forget my iniquities,” what other god do I need? If I have a God who gives me eternal life, what other god should I seek? None.

When we belong to God, we show that we are His from our behavior. He takes care of us, and we have no desire for another god. When God is ours, “we have everything” (3).

(1) Genesis 17:10-14, In Romans 2:25-29, Paul explains that a heart towards God is the circumcision that God talks about in Genesis.
(2) Isaiah 41:10.
(3) 1 Corinthians 3:21.

Unlimited and Infinite

Knowing Our Limitations

Part of understanding who God is comes from understanding who we are. As humans, we are limited and finite. By limited, I mean that we cannot do anything, be everywhere, or know everything. By finite, I refer to how we live in such limitations. When we understand ourselves as finite and limited beings and God as an unlimited and infinite being, we see the human-God relationship more clearly. We can summarize such a relationship like this: God can and we cannot. Accepting this relationship and that God can do things we cannot is vital to have a proper conception of our existence before God.

Once we come to this knowledge, of knowing that God is infinitely more than us, we can see how God could help us in our lives. If a person could complete a task I couldn’t but I needed that task completed, wouldn’t it be natural for me to ask this person for help? Say, for instance, I am sick to the point I cannot move; I need my kitchen sink and pipes replaced, and I am not a plumber. Wouldn’t it be natural for me to contact a plumber? I could look on YouTube and figure out how to do the job. But remember. I am sick and cannot move. Such a scenario describes how humans’ relationship to God.

Help With Our Finitude and Limitations

God helps us with our finitude and limitations because He overcomes our finitude and limitations. He well knows that we are “sick” and limited and need His help. However, it is our job to realize this. A story from the Gospel of Mark makes this point clearer. One day, a father brought his son to Jesus’ disciples so they could heal him. However, the disciples couldn’t heal him. Later, Jesus’ disciples wanted to know why they couldn’t heal the boy. Jesus answered, “This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” (1) 

Not a Formula

Jesus appears to give His disciples a formula for difficult cases of sicknesses and mental illnesses. However, when Jesus tells His disciples that some cases require prayer and fasting, He expresses that His disciples must rely not on their power but God’s power. Prayer and fasting is a formula that asks God to intervene. Such prayer and fasting, which seeks God, shows that a person understands that he or she is limited and finite and needs God’s help. God gives us much power. Yet sometimes we need to rely on a being who is unlimited and infinitely more powerful than us: God Almighty, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(1) Mark 9:14-29.

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Dwight A. Lucas II. All rights reserved.