Long before the stars were hung in the inky velvet of our night sky, God was there. Long before the planets of our universe were assembled in their places and the earth and sky and sun of our very own planet appeared, God was there. Before there was anything, God was there. God has always been there.
It takes a leap of faith to believe such a thing. But imagine, for a moment, you take that leap. You step out into the unknown and you ask:
Who Is God? And Why?
God Is The Subject Of Life. The Centre Of Everything.
The Bible makes the bold claim that God is the creator of all things. That He is the source of all life and the intelligent designer of everything we see around us. It unapologetically declares that He is all powerful and there is no one like Him.
We’re told that the creation of humanity was not accidental or incidental, but purposeful. We were created to “be like” God – made in His image and after His likeness and with the potential to be a true reflection of Him in every way.
We only have to look around us to see that humanity, as we see it, isn’t doing a great job of reflecting God. He is entirely perfect with unerring wisdom, justice and goodness. What we see is a broken world. A world full of social injustice, violence, selfishness and greed. Many people have no hope for the future and certainly no happiness in the present. The earth, God’s paradise, is unloved and uncared for by many. And while there are many examples of noble, charitable people who have lived and died, the history books overflow with the names and deeds of evil men and women. This is not ‘heaven on earth’ as God had intended.
What Has Gone Wrong? Did God Make A Mistake?
Nothing God does is ever a mistake. Yet something did go wrong.
God’s purpose – to fill earth with people He could call His family, who were like him in every way – wasn’t to be achieved by coercion. From the very beginning, God established the principle of free choice. He wanted us to choose Him, to want to be like Him. He gave humanity the choice, and we chose wrong. We acted in a way completely foreign to God’s character. Motivated by pride and selfishness and driven by impatience, we grasped at equality with God, hoping to “make ourselves like God” on our terms, not His. This choice, the first act of sin in the world, brought about its awful consequence for humanity – mortality, and being sent from God’s presence in shame and disappointment.
God is loving and very patient, but He can’t tolerate sin. Neither can He ignore it. It goes against everything that He is. Humanity’s sinful condition is like a deep ravine gouging its way through the landscape of our life and it separates us from Him. Yet God’s desire to be at one with us, to complete His purpose with humanity, was so intrinsic that He immediately put in place a plan to bridge that ravine, to heal the breach between Himself and His creation. He did not allow His purpose to be compromised by our choice. This extraordinary plan was revealed in His son, Jesus.
“To us, the greatest demonstration of God’s love for us has been His sending His only Son into the world to give us life through him. We see real love, not in that fact that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to make personal atonement for our sins.” – 1 John 4: 9-10, J B Phillips
Because God Is Love.
The greatest expression of His love was in “giving His son so that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”. Before we even knew about God, His plan to reach out to the world, in reconciliation and love, was already in place. Love is the grand summary of His profound and inspiring character; and love becomes the superior defining characteristic of anyone who wants to be like Him.