Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Much can be learned about the character of a man by listening to his children. Offspring are great imitators. A child’s reactions to circumstances is a good indicator of how dad reacts when things go right or wrong. Interactions with other children may reveal how dad treats people. Speech patterns are certainly a reflection of how dad talks in the home. If you really want to know who a man is, just observe and listen to his young children.
People who seek to know God can do the same thing – observe His children. But there is one huge difference. As children of the flesh we only imitate our fathers, giving only a partial representation of who he is. But as children of God we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and live according to His nature, giving others a clear view of who God is. Yet even that is not a perfect representation because we are not God. However, there is one who is.
“Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” John 14:8-9
There are two challenges for us today. First, we must stop forming our belief system about God around the behavior of people. I consistently hear people say that the reason they don’t believe in God is because of what some “so called Christian” did to them. Let me be the first to confess that even though the Spirit of God dwells in me by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, I fail daily at being a true representation of who God is. There is no chance anyone will ever fully believe in the Father and be saved by simply observing my life. I mess up. So do you. We do not perfectly display the glory of God.
Second, we must daily participate with the Holy Spirit in our own sanctification. To be sanctified is to be fully set apart for a singular purpose. When we were saved from our sin by faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit was given to us by Jesus to bring the very life of Jesus into ours. The work of the Holy Spirit is to set us apart for the singular purpose of God’s glory. God is glorified in our obedience. God is glorified in our service. God is glorified in our behavior, our attitudes, our relationships, and our choices. We must daily participate with the Holy Spirit as He sets us apart, for when we do, we will become more accurate representations of Jesus Christ, who is he perfect representation of the Father.
Jesus is one with the Father. He is the exact representation of the Father’s nature and character. If you desire to know God, look to Jesus. He is fully revealed in the Bible, and you can know Him. And if you need a touchable example, look at His children. We are not perfect examples, but daily we are becoming more like Him and can point you to Him.