From the beginning of human history, the Eternal One has been identified as the creator of the natural realm and all its life forms. (a) [see endnotes for Scriptures] While people visualize and worship Him in different ways, many honor Him as the Most High God, Lord of lords, and King of kings.
Those who only knew ‘of’ God and ignored His revealed guidance were generally fearful of His displeasure. (b) To those who sought to heed His guidance and follow His revealed instruction, He was held in respectful reverence and worshiped as the Most High of all gods, lords and kings.
More than any of these acknowledgements, God desires for us to know and experience Him in a deeper and more personal way. One very righteous man asked, “Can you discover the depths of God…the limits of the Almighty?” (c) To what degree can we know what He is really like? Just who is this Eternal God?
Light & Love
The disciple who was recognized as being closest to Jesus described The Eternal in his first Epistle in a two pronged way. John said, “God is light” and “God is love.” (d) This intimate disciple identified the essence of who God is as light and love. We want to understand that this God radiates light and expresses love. These immeasurable qualities are central to His very essence. (e)
John blends the light and love factors in God by saying: “The one who loves…abides in the light.” (f) With first-hand experience, John began his writing with: “This is the message we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” (g) Darkness does not exist in this God. Even His appearing to turn aside or away does not produce the hint of a shadow. (h)
We want to realize that darkness is a created factor of this natural universe. The only appearance of power in darkness is its ability to stay away from light. Light is so powerful it always disperses darkness. Scripture uses darkness to speak of our ignorance and lack of understanding. Without light, we “sit and walk in darkness,” (i) we even tend to “love the darkness rather than the light.” (j) As we receive more light we become children of light; “You were formerly darkness, but now you are light.” (k)
When God’s voice spoke from a burning bush and directed Moses to be His saving representative, Moses asked, who shall I say sent me? The voice responded, “I Am Who I Am” (l) acknowledging He is timeless, not restrained or limited to time and space. This is echoed in the phrase repeated several times in Scripture, “I am the first and the last.” (m) In the last book of our Bible, His voice puts it this way: “Who is and who was and who is to come.” (n) This amplifies the present tense over any past or future. God is The Eternal who is always present during our natural life.
Darkness does not exist in this God.
Two thousand years ago The Eternal spoke and His “word” (Greek logos – expression) came into the womb of a woman to be conceived and birthed as a man. (o) While the life and expressions of Jesus Christ illustrated to the world God’s forgiving nature (p) he also revealed God’s desire to be our primary guiding influence; The best of all fathers.
Although God is generally perceived today as our heavenly Father, the realization was beyond belief during the time of Jesus. The insight was a fresh revelation for that day. God is recognized as Father only a few times in the Old Testament because His love and care for us as children was not understood.
Jesus always referred to himself as “a son” of God. The concept that men were children-sons of God challenged the religious view of that day. Leaders considered the thought to be blasphemy, wrongly assuming a son is equal to the Father. This is what led to the crucifixion of Jesus. (q) Unfazed, Jesus continued to promote the revealing insight that his intimacy with God was as “a son” who sought to say and do what he sensed God was saying and doing. (r)
We are encouraged as men and women to become more than withdrawn offspring who only know about The Eternal or relate to Him as our ruling King, Lord and Master. The New Testament speaks of God as “Father” over 250 times. Jesus was clear when saying we can come to God as adoring children, who get to know and relate to Him as our Father. (s) This relational truth was/is illustrated in Jesus Christ who encouraged us to adore and relate to God as our heavenly Father, as he did. (t)
Jesus directed his disciples to “pray to the Father…for the Father himself loves you” (u) and directed everyone to pray to “Our Father who art in heaven.” (v) God wants us to know Him as more than a ruling King or as our Lord and Master, He is our loving and enlightening heavenly Father.
Jesus Christ encouraged us to adore and relate to God as our heavenly Father, as he did.
Understanding The Eternal
Contrary to a common idea, ignorance is not bliss! It is, however, a condition in us that can receive light and understanding. We all have the capacity to receive light and become better expressions of God’s heart. The complication some have is thinking they already know and are not open to additional insight. God wants us to know and interact with Him as our Father, to learn of Him and mature as cherished children into the unique expression He has created us to be. (w)
“Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious…because He delights in unchanging love.” (x)
“Beloved, if God so loves us (to forgive our errors), we also ought to love one another…If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected (Greek-matures) in us.” (y)
God’s love is immeasurable, inexhaustible, unlimited, and unfailing. God’s light ensures His abundant love for us cannot and will not ever fail. We can easily say God’s forgiving grace is immeasurable and His mercy is inexhaustible. The word immeasurable means “extensive and extreme to measure” while inexhaustible means “unable to be used up due to existing abundance.”
Love and light originate with our heavenly Father. Since The Eternal ‘is’ light and love, He can only lovingly care and enlighten us. The love of God is not blind; as our exceptional Father He chooses to forgive and not focus on our faults. When we approach God as children who adore Him as our Father, like Jesus did, (z) we become better receptors of His love. He “especially” cares for responsive children. (aa)
When we respond to His guiding influence we are better equipped to mature as children and become more enlightening expressions of The Eternal. The portions of His light and love we absorb from His presence helps us mature and become “As he is, so also are we in this world.” (bb) As we interact and catch glimpses of God’s enlightening love in one another, let’s understand more clearly who God is and what He is really like.
God’s love is immeasurable, inexhaustible, unlimited, and unfailing.
a) Genesis 1:31-2:1; b) See the blog How the Fear Factor Twists Perceptions of God; c) Job 11:7; d) 1 John 1:5; 4:8; e) Lamentations 3:22-23; f) 1 John 2:10; g) 1 John 1:5; h) James 1:17; i) Luke 1:79; Isiah 9:2; Acts 26:18; j) John 3:19-21; k) Ephesians 5:8; l) Exodus 3:13-14; m) Isaiah 44:6; 41:4; 48:12; n) Revelation 1:4; o) John 1:1, 14; p) 1 John 2:1-3; q) John 5:17-18; Luke 22:70-71; r) John 5:18-19; Matthew 26:39; s) Matthew 5:16, 43-45; 6:4-15; t) Mathew 11:25-28; John 14:6; u) John 16:23-27; v) Matthew 6:6, 8-9; w) John 1:12; Genesis 1:26; x) Micah 7:18; y) 1 John 4:11-12; z) John 14:6; aa) 1 Timothy 4:10; bb) 1 John 4:17