“The Running God”
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
What is God really like? Some people think the most important question of life is “Do you believe in God?” In my humble opinion, the most important question is “What kind of God do you believe in?” There is something worse than being an atheist - it is believing in God, but having an erroneous concept of God. There are many religions in the world that present many differing pictures of God and they all may contain a little truth. A stopped clock is right twice a day, but actually, a broken clock is worse than no clock at all because it gives you misleading information. You can believe in God, but if you have a false conception of God, you are no better off than an atheist is.
What is God really like? Is He the God of the terrorists? Does He want all the infidels killed, even if it means strapping a bomb to your body and killing yourself? Is God like the impersonal god of the Deists? Deism teaches God created the world like a watchmaker, and then he wound it up and started it. Now, He sits by uncaring or unable to get involved in what is happening in lives of individuals. Is that what God is like? Is He a watchmaker God? Is He the good side of the Force in the Star Wars movies?
Jesus Christ came to planet Earth to show us exactly what God is like. Although this is often called the parable of the Prodigal Son, the key figure in the parable is the Father. I prefer to call it the Parable of the Loving Father. Jesus is teaching us the God of the Universe is like the father in this story. It is not enough to believe in God; you must understand the nature of the God Jesus came to introduce.
He is loving Father and nothing can ever change that. If you choose to rebel and disobey the Father, He will allow it. He will never leave you, but if you walk out of fellowship with Him–He will let you go. The God of the Universe is saying to us, “I love you, so you are free to go.” God loves you so much He will never force you to stay in fellowship with Him. Therefore, if you are determined to do something as foolish as walking out on God, He will not stop you. That is how some of us have gotten into the mess we are in right now. God does not coerce obedience and loyalty from us; He wants us to freely love and serve Him.
What is God really like? The Good News is the God that Jesus described is full of love and mercy. He is a loving, compassionate God who deeply cares about you. We read that the father RAN! The compassion of God is followed by swift movements. He is slow to anger, but He is quick to bless. God comes flying in with the greatness of His compassion to help every poor soul that returns to Him.
That is what God is really like. Therefore, we worship God who regrets our rebellion and runs to us when we return. This is a wonderful picture of what God is like.
Dr. SAMUEL SAWITSKI,
Sundays at 9:30am
Desert Garden United Church of Christ
18818 North 128th Avenue
Sun City West, AZ 85375
April 18 at 5pm
Join us Easter Sunday,
at 9:30am to worship the
risen Savior !