God delights in us, just how we are.
At the risk of reducing Divinity down to a top ten list (not to mention the risk of being a little too narcissistic) here are the top ten things I love about God:
10. God gives us a new identity and worth.
I’m always chasing after answers to the questions: “Who am I?” and “Am I worthy?” God says, “You’re mine!” and “Yes, you’re worth the price of my Son on the cross.” Unconditional love is such a relief! At the end of each day, I can go to sleep knowing that I’m a “wanted man.” God wants me more than I can imagine; and it makes all the difference in the world to know that you are wanted.
9. God gives us his words in the words of humans (the Bible).
This is a huge one for me: I am a Bible FREAK! I love reading the Bible, meditating on it, and learning about God from it. Reading the Bible is my favorite part of the day! I know that seems a little cheesy and a lot nerdish, but hey, I’m okay with that (see #10!)
8. God keeps hope alive, no matter what.
When Jesus stood up after death, he introduced a new economy of hope into this hopeless world. Death no longer has the last word; life has the last word. Hope is alive because hope is resurrected. It reminds me of when Martin Luther (the 16th Century German Reformer) came home in a sullen mood, only to find his wife (Katy) dressed in black mourning clothes, complete with a head veil. Martin asked his wife, “Who died?” Katy responded something like this: “Well, since the great and holy doctor of faith and theology, Martin Luther, walks around so sad and defeated these days, I assumed that God himself had died!” Ha! Katy knew that so long as Jesus is alive, we always have hope.
7. God loves the way he made each person.
Each person is remarkable! It seems like God accepts that fact way before we accept that fact. Perhaps the best advice we could follow is “Be Yourself!” We’re so unsure of ourselves, always asking ourselves if we’re “doing it right.” God hand-crafted each person and loves to see each personality blossom. God delights in us, just how we are.
6. God’s Spirit gives me power when I need it the most.
Apart from God, I am completely not “sticky.” God’s Spirit makes me sticky. This means that a whole bunch of God’s benefits stick to me through the bond of the Spirit. Before, I had little joy or peace, but the Spirit causes God’s joy and peace to stick to me. Before, I had no goodness, but the Spirit causes God’s own goodness to stick to me. The same can be said of my life when I am weak. Apart from the Spirit, I am weak, but with the Spirit, God causes his power to stick to me. Just when I’m at my wit’s end, the Spirit keeps me going. The Spirit is the superglue that bonds me to God, the only source of life.
5. God not only forgives, but he also transforms.
I can’t think of two greater things that I want (need!) for my life. I want to be forgiven: I have so many sins that it’s overwhelming. I need God to deal with my sins, once and for all, and now! It’s not fun living in sin’s prison! But I just don’t want to be forgiven, I also want to be transformed. I want to become better and better. I want to make progress and become all that I can be. God not only forgives, but also he transforms. He loves me right where I am at, but he doesn’t leave me there.
4. God knows what it is like to walk in my shoes.
God decided to clothe himself in humanity and come live among us. Jesus is “God with us.” God wasn’t afraid to get dirty, in other words. He loved us too much to stay away. So he put on the flesh of Jesus and experienced real life. This means that God is very personal: he knows what it’s like to walk in our shoes. He suffered, hungered, cried, laughed, dreamed, and wet the bed! He completely contextualized to human life (with the exception of sin). I don’t follow a God who cannot relate to me, but one who knows what it’s like to be me.
3. God is relentless…he keeps pursuing me, even when I run away and hide.
The great man of faith and suffering, Job, once said to God, “God, would you just leave me alone long enough so that I can at least swallow my own spit!” (Job 7:19, my translation). God wouldn’t leave Job alone for one second. God chases after us, like a loving father chases after his children. And even when we are faithless, he remains faithful (2 Tim 2:13). God can be quite a stalker!
2. God does not play favorites, but loves everyone equally and has a big dream for the world.
All kinds of people are welcome to God’s home and around God’s table. He’s got a place for everyone, no matter their age, gender, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, family background, maturity, training, accomplishments, etc., etc. All are welcome to come home to God through his Son Jesus. God does not just dream for a certain minority group, but for the whole world. His lap is large! He especially has a place for those who realize that they are not worthy and have nothing good to offer.
1. God found a way to call me a friend and be with me forever.
Yes, me! And if you know me, you know what a miracle this is! God wants to be in a relationship with me not just here and now (though that’s still pretty awesome), but forever. He gave all of him to get all of me. Friends do that: they find a way to make important relationships happen and they don’t bail on you. My translation of the title “Lord” is “The One who does not bail!” (It’s funnier if you know Hebrew…). God loves us and he’ll never leave us.
So there they are, the top ten things I love about God.
© Samuel Kee, 2011