Here's the talk I gave during halftime today at the CrossPoint Upward soccer games, if you're interested.
What kind of God do you believe in?
I know a lot of people who don’t believe in God, or at least don’t want to be a part of a group of people who believe in God, because they turn on the TV and see a God that doesn’t make sense. They see a God of hate; a God who is primarily angry; a God who is mostly concerned with telling people how bad they are; or just maybe a God who wants their money.
If I believed in those kinds of gods, I wouldn’t even be here today.
I believe in a God of love and of mercy – like his students thought of Him when Jesus walked the earth and wrote about Him after He left. I believe in a God of power and of wisdom, like the ancient writers wrote about. As a matter of fact, I find that most people, in an attempt to explain who God is, try to make him very small, whose nature we can prove with science; or someone who we can carry with us in our pocket, to justify our personal views on morality; or someone who agrees with our political beliefs.
If you don’t like that God – the God you’ve seen on TV, that’s probably not even the real God.
I like what the writer Donald Miller said about this whole thing. He said, “it makes me wonder if God created us in His image, or we created Him in ours.”
Miller talks about how so many people during the time of Jesus thought they had God figured out, but that Jesus was always going around saying things like, You thought it was this way, but I tell you this different thing. Miller says that if you thought you knew everything about God, Jesus would have been completely annoying.
I think part of the reason Jesus came was so that we could get a better picture of who God is. When we see Jesus, we don’t see a God of hate, or a God of anger. We see His love and compassion. We see who He spent his time with – and it wasn’t with the religious people. It was the people who truly needed Him. I’m not trying to say that God doesn’t get angry, or that Jesus didn’t angry – as a matter of fact those times are recorded, too. But you know who he got angry with? Not the people that were living lives that some of us would call immoral. No – he saved his anger for the religious folks. It was the people who thought they knew who God was – who thought they could explain Him to everyone else or use Him to justify their lives.
I definitely need to do a better job of showing people who God really is. Jesus said that people will know we follow Him by how much we love. Is that how we're showing we follow Jesus? I think that a lot of what I learned about God, that I learned by being at a church like we have here. A group of ordinary people who follow an extraordinary God. If you're looking for a church home, CrossPoint is a great place to be.
So, if you know somebody that doesn’t believe in God, find out what God they don’t believe in. It may not be who God really is.