Who Is God Anyway?

Description

As our Father, what is God really like?

A statement of Christian belief, the Apostles' Creed is a brief catalog of the teachings the Apostles put forth. Breaking apart the creed segment by segment, the writers at Ignite Your Faith expound on the beliefs presented.  

I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth (from the Apostles' Creed).

I've seen it a zillion times. I sit down in front of the TV, flip from channel to channel and there they are: goofy dads, stupid dads, dads who don't have a clue. And then I read in the paper or hear about it from friends: A dad does something horrible to his child. Hurts him. Abandons her. Or refuses to pay child support. Deadbeat dads. Mean dads. Just plain bad dads.

Dads all too often get a pretty terrible reputation, don't they?

But then we meet someone who's a great and loving and wonderful father. Maybe that describes your own dad. If so, great. That's the kind of dad who gives us a tiny glimpse of "God the Father"—a phrase in the very first line of the Apostles' Creed. That little phrase alone tells us that God is both personal and relational. Our Creator—the Maker of Heaven and Earth—IS a loving Father.

Even those who have not-so-great dads have a great heavenly father they can always turn to. For two thousand years, Christians have agreed: God is a lot like a good father. He loves us and is interested in every part of our lives: the disappointments and the joys; the stuff that challenges us and the stuff that encourages us; the stuff that confuses and that stuff that's bright and clear. He has never missed showing up for the big moments of our lives and he has been present for the seemingly unimportant ones as well. Everything about us is important to our loving heavenly dad.

Of course, Christians believe this truth about God through faith. We believe God is a perfect Father who is always there, whether or not we feel like he is there. Even when we don't always see and even experience God's love, our belief—supported by God's Word and the historical experiences of God's people—tells us that God is a loving, caring Father (see Psalm 118 and John 3:16).

This is no weak, wimpy father, either. Christians also claim that God is Almighty, or all powerful. What does this mean? First, let's figure out what it doesn't mean. It does not mean that God can do anything. If he is good, he cannot do evil. If he is just and fair, he cannot be unjust and unfair. If he is unchangeable, he cannot constantly change his mind and his actions.

When Christians claim God is Almighty, they mean he can do anything that is consistent with his character and his nature. Some people are really confused about this truth and ask questions like, "If God is all powerful, can he make a rock so big he cannot move it?" Quick answer: No. God simply can't do something that would contradict his nature.

Another fact about our all-powerful God: We'll never, ever (at least this side of heaven) begin to understand just how infinitely powerful God is. If God suddenly and miraculously created a mountain range in your backyard (similar to the Himalayas), you would be amazed by his power (and by his ability to fit such a huge mountain in such a small space!). But that little mountain miracle doesn't begin to touch on God's power. No matter how much we see of God's power, most of his power is still hidden from us (Habakkuk 3:4). There is so much more we don't see. He's more powerful than we can ever imagine.

Think about what it means that God is your heavenly Father. He loves you no matter what. He is there for you no matter what. He knows you and knows all about you and wants to guide you, comfort you and help you learn to live like a true child of God. Not only that, but this father is All-Powerful. Write "All Powerful" on a sheet of paper. Then write down five ways your Father Almighty shows his power to you.

Thank God for his power. Thank him for being an all-loving Father, too. And never forget that he really is interested in every single detail of your life. No wonder Christians call him "God the Father Almighty."

Written by Jerry Root and Chris Lutes

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