- God doesn’t merely have love -- God IS love. (1 John 4:8)
- Jesus doesn’t merely gives us a ticket to heaven -- He IS our ticket to heaven.
- God doesn’t merely provide us refuge and strength -- God IS our refuge and our strength. (see Psalm 46:1, 2 Samuel 22:3, Isaiah 25:4 and many other references)
- Jesus came not merely to show us the right way -- He IS the right way.
- Jesus doesn’t merely show us what Truth is -- He personifies Truth.
- Jesus didn’t come to merely give us Life -- He IS Life (John 14:6, John 11:25)
“So what’s the difference?” you may ask. “What do the scriptures mean that He actually personifies all these benefits?”
Here’s a few thoughts:
We are not robots, God created us with a personality, just like Him. A computer might benefit from a good set of instructions (“Truth”) and obey it to the last byte. The human heart is way too complex for that. God’s instructions always benefit in the long run, but what we are crying out for is relationship. We are made in His image for that very purpose.The more we get to know Him, not just the instructions He gives, the more benefit we get out of the instructions. Truth always originates in His beautiful character, warming our hearts, not just informing our minds. Then Truth and all the information that is incorporated starts to make sense. We can see the reason why He told us to do, or not to do stuff. We begin to appreciate His goodness, generosity, care etc -- especially if we learn the hard way!
Love, for example, is more than just a gooey feeling. No matter how good it feels, a gooey feeling cannot be relied upon in real life, in real living. It might help, but sooner or later we have to make loving choices when the gooey feeling is not there. God is like that. He first chose to love us no matter how horrible we made Him feel. Why? That’s just His nature.
Love is not love unless there is a giver and (hopefully) a receiver, or at least an object of that love. Ultimate love takes on a God-like personality -- it’s an expression of Him.
God wants to be fully involved in the whole process. More than that, God initiates and IS the whole process.
Imagine a father giving his little boy a ball for his birthday and then saying “Go out and play now, I’m busy.” Whereas a good father would not only find (or make) the right kind of ball the boy needs, he would go out and show him how to throw and catch, and play with him often. That’s what our Heavenly Father is like, but on a much larger scale, of course!
A good trainer or business mentor doesn’t just drop a set of instructions on the trainee, he personalizes the process, stays with him until he “gets” it. Not as a slave-driver, a father-figure. The trainee then takes on the characteristics of the trainer in his new competence.
Don’t just ask God for a gift, seek Him as the Giver.
So much more could be said. Any thoughts on that?