You are just like your Father!

I heard that or ‘You look just like your dad’ growing up. As I’ve gotten older, I embrace it and treasure it more and more, but it’s true, I’m a lot like my dad. I didn’t have to try, I just am made that way. I can relate to him on a few levels because of this.

I used to have a passion for Christian apologetics and follow the archeological findings that supported biblical stories. I thought that if my atheist and agnostic friends saw enough proof, they would eventually believe in God. This approach didn’t have the results I wanted and it felt more like a tug of war with me in the middle trying to force them to shake hands. I got frustrated and basically said to God ‘Don’t you care that they find you? Why are you being so elusive? Are you stubborn?’

The answer that I felt came to me, was something like ‘What do you want for them?’ My answer was (and still is), ‘To know you, and to know you are good’. I felt like that was a shifting point for my faith because I realized God doesn’t want to be found by way of physical proof (not that some doesn’t exist, but you get my point). He is much more personal, and that’s how He is found. ‘You will find me when you seek me with your whole heart.’ (Jeremiah 29:13) Since we are made in His image and likeness, it became clearer to me that the most tangible proof of the biblical God is within us humans.

When someone selflessly and sacrificially loves someone else, that is what the Greek call Agape love. It is the highest form of love there is. Have you seen someone display that kind of love? I am fortunate enough to say I have. It kind of leaves you speechless and it almost seems like you’re witnessing something miraculous. That’s a reflection of God and how He loves. Do the words ‘For God so loved that He gave’ (John 3:16) sound familiar? It’s probably the most popular scripture because it sums up the gospel. Of course, there is another conflicting nature within us humans, but that’s another blog.

Another trait I see as proof of God in people is the ability to create. It’s one of my favorite things to see how my artistic friends can create, paint, sculpt, & design something so amazing and bring it to life. I don’t know one of them who isn’t passionate about it either!

I also think of the things that hurt us the most and what we desire the most-relationships. When someone doesn’t believe you or trust you when you’re trying to help them, that feeling of rejection, frustration and pain is real and He’s familiar with those emotions too. On the other hand, the majority of humans I know desire real, genuine relationships. That desire to know someone, whether it’s friendship, romance or spending time with your child, that’s what’s at the core of God’s heart too.

I’m realizing over and over again, that God is not religious! He is all about the heart. Our free will is a gift and we aren’t robots!  So the next time you seek proof, don’t think about the Ark of Noah being discovered, think about how your heart and mind function, realize you are made in the image of a good God and consider seeking Him with your heart instead.


Cover Up

It’s human reaction to cover up when we have been exposed for doing something wrong. It’s not ironic that the reason Jesus died innocently on the cross was to cover our sin by being penalized for it. It was the ultimate ‘I covered for you’ scenario.

As I pursue God, and contemplate His work and will in my life, I am thankful for something the Gospel of Jesus contains, and that is conviction. That word might sound harsh but it’s actually merciful. Like that friend who will let you know if you have spinach in your teeth or the one who loves you too much to let you pass by without pointing out your undone zipper, the Gospel illuminates my need for forgiveness and wholeness.

“Wounds of a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 27:6

God is for us, and He loves us too much to lie to us. The whole point of the Gospel is to communicate that God wants to be reconciled to us & He paid the ticket for that to happen. We choose whether or not to gain access and redemption to Him. Like a father whose child ran away, He reached out, bought a ticket and said ‘Come home, it’s on me. I miss you and want to see you again.’

The Bible says that believing Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior of mankind, and confessing it, is the way to receive salvation (Romans 10:9). It has everything to do with your heart, no particular formula of words. If you’re reading this and want to accept His love, mercy forgiveness and redemption, just tell Him. Ask Him to show you what it means. I had that turning point when I was younger and I’ve been enjoying His presence in my life ever since. Struggles still come, pain still comes, but it’s a whole different situation when a personal God helps you and loves you through it all.