Summary: Bill Cosby says, "Grandparents are the biggest hypocrites in the world. There is just no way that the grandparents of my children could be the same parents who raised me, because they are so very different."
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX
ILL. "Mommy, what does God look like?" asked 5-year-old Timmy. He put down his peanut butter sandwich & took a big swallow of milk.
"Well, God is a Spirit & we can’t see Him in the same way that we see people," his mother began, not knowing quite where to go from there.
"But if we can’t see Him, how do we know what He’s like?" he persisted.
"Well, suppose you were blind," she suggested to Timmy. "Would you be able to see Daddy, for instance?" He shook his head. "But would you know what Daddy is like?" He thought for a moment, then vigorously nodded his head.
"You’d know what Daddy is like by the things he says, wouldn’t you?" He nodded again. "And we know what God is like, too, by the things He says in His Word. And you’d know that Daddy loves you, because he would tell you so & do everything he could for you."
"That’s how we know God loves us, too. He tells us so, & He has given us so much to help us have a wonderful life. But most of all, He gave us Jesus to take away our sins & to show us what God is really like."
"And even though you couldn’t see Daddy - if you were blind - you could hear his voice & feel when he is near. And in the same way, through Jesus we can hear God’s voice & feel Him near, too. That’s why, even though we can’t see God, we can be very certain what He is like."
Little Timmy picked up his sandwich. "I know," he exclaimed, "We don’t see God outside. We see Him inside." Timmy’s right, isn’t he?
A. In the 4th chapter of the Gospel of John, vs. 24, Jesus says, "God is spirit, & His worshipers must worship in spirit & in truth."
You have heard that verse many times, haven’t you? But have you ever stopped to think what it means? It means that God is not a created physical being. We inhabit a fleshly body. We are fixed to a specific location. But God is spirit, & He is not limited to the restrictions of a fleshly body.
God is omnipotent, omniscient, & omnipresent. That means He is all powerful, He knows everything, & that He can be everywhere at once.
On our side that creates a bit of a problem. Because God is spirit & we are flesh we have a difficult time reaching out to Him. I can’t touch Him because He is spirit. I can’t hear His voice audibly because He is spirit.
But Scripture says that I can be ministered to & lived in by His Holy Spirit. I can know His will for me & I can feel the gentle tug of His Spirit.
B. In 1 John 1:5, John tells of another characteristic of God. He says, "This is the message we have heard from Him & declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all."
That sounds like good news. "God is light." We like light. We like the sunshine. Scripture draws a contrast between light & darkness - between holiness & evil - between purity & sin. So when Scripture says, "God is light." It means that God is pure & God is holy.
ILL. I’m sure that we have all had the experience of going into a dimly lit restaurant. The waitress leads us to a table & we sit down & try to look at the menu, but in the dim light we have a difficult time until our eyes adjust & we become accustomed to the darkness.
Tragically, that is exactly what has happened to us in this world. We have grown accustomed to the darkness. We have grown accustomed to sin & evil. So it not necessarily good news that "God is light" because God’s light exposes our sin, & we come face to face with the fact that outside of God we’re lost & without hope in this world.
C. That is what makes John 3:16-17 the most beautiful & best-known passage in all the Bible. Listen to it again, "For God so loved the world that He gave his one & only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him."
"God loves us." Those may be some of the sweetest words ever to greet the ears of humankind. To know that God loves us is a very special thing.
But not just us. God loves everybody - regardless of the color of their skin or where they are socially or economically - regardless of race or sex. God’s love is for everybody & it is important for us to realize that.