Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 7, 2017
His steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 136:1
A funny thing happens between people when they start to distrust one another. . . they attribute motives, attitudes, and character traits to each other that may—or may not—be accurate.
For example, if a woman imagines her neighbor to be unfriendly, even though they have never spoken, she may be unfriendly in response. If a man perceives that the man who sits next to him at the office is closed-minded and judgmental, he will respond by not sharing personal information. How we perceive others affects how we respond to others.
The same can be true in our relationship with God. How we perceive God affects how we respond to God. If we perceive—or believe—that He is a hateful bully, we may become fearful, angry, or we’ll hate Him in return. If we perceive that He is passive or uninvolved, we may become performance driven or prone to striving. Just as our perceptions of others can affect how we respond to them, our perceptions of God can affect how we respond to Him, too.
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:16).
Our perceptions of God can be shaped by many things: the media, our childhood experiences, our parents, church leaders, our denied desires, our joys, heartaches, and a million other things. But we must be careful lest we respond to God out of faulty perceptions of Him.
I recently encountered a woman on Facebook I have never met. She responded to the quote on a beautiful picture that declared God’s love. “That’s not the God I came to know through church. He’s hateful and angry.” My heart went out to this woman. She is missing out on the amazing love of God because of her faulty perceptions of Him! The lies she believes about Him are keeping her from receiving His love. My prayer is that the believers she encounters in the future show will show her the true God through their love and patience.
Thankfully, even though many of our experiences may have painted a bad picture of God, or Satan would have us think that God is not good because of the things that have happened in our lives, we can trust what He says about Himself in His Word. He is exactly who He says He is. “God is not a man that He should lie” (Numbers 23:19). When we choose to believe what He says about Himself and His love for us, it enables us to respond to Him with right hearts—and this makes all the difference.
“We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
Will you choose to believe what God says about Himself and His love for you today?
PrayerLord, help me so that I always live by Your Word. Help me to trust You, not my feelings, not my circumstances, and not what others say about You. Amen.
ApplicationTake a few moments to quietly reflect on what you learned today. Ask the Lord to reveal to you if you have any perceptions of Him that aren’t correct. Then, go to the Word and find the truth about Him.
Related Reading1 John 4:10; Psalm 118:1; Luke 1:50
Post/Tweet todayWhat we believe about God shapes how we perceive God, which affects how we worship God. #WisdomHunters #HeLovedUsFirst
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Beautifully stated! Thank you for the prayer guidance, Shana.
Thank you for your enthusiastic response for Shana and her devotional, “God May Not Be Who You Think He Is”. Please know I will gladly pass your message along to her. We are so thankful that you are a fellow wisdom hunter and look forward to hearing from you again.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
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