What Is God Like?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1 ESV

The “Word” John writes about is three things:

  1. Eternal;
  2. A distinct personality who is God’s companion;
  3. God himself.

Later in John 1, we discover that this “Word” also “became flesh and dwelt among us…the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

This Word is none other than Jesus himself. But isn’t that a funny way to introduce Jesus, as the “Word”?

Why would God be described this way?

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God’s Favor Isn’t Always Easy, But It’s Good

It’s easy to love Joseph’s story from the book of Genesis. Here we have a kid with big dreams and a God-sized call on his life who has to go through every trial imaginable, yet experiences favor. He’s human-trafficked by his own brothers and even falsely imprisoned. However, we all know the ending: he ends up the number two man in all of Egypt, saving millions from a devastating famine, and even his own family.

It’s a wonderful picture of God’s blessing on Joseph, right?  Well, kind of. What if we think about it from a more “moment-by-moment” perspective? How good do you think God’s favor and call upon Joseph’s life felt? It probably felt terrible when he was in the pit, betrayed by his brothers. I bet it wasn’t very fun when Potiphar’s wife lied about him making an advance on her, and he was thrown in jail.

The point is this: we should not equate God’s favor with a trouble-free life. God’s call often requires discomfort—and lots of it. It is not first about our comfort, but about Christ’s mission to save people of every tribe, nation, and tongue.

Biblical stories of favor

For more case studies, consider the Apostle John, the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 13:23). They boiled him alive in oil (but didn’t die), then exiled to a barren island called Patmos and forced to live alone in a cave. However, the greatest revelation of the future in the history of mankind was entrusted to him in the book of Revelation, itself.

The Apostle Paul was stoned, shipwrecked, bitten by a snake, mocked, beaten, imprisoned, and all kinds of persecuted for his radical conversion. Not to mention the Old Testament prophets. Ezekiel had to lay on his sides for over a year (Ezekiel 4). According to tradition, Jeremiah was stoned to death by his own countrymen.

God’s favor on us doesn’t mean our lives will be trouble-free. In fact, if the biblical figures are any sign, we can probably expect more trouble! Our final victory is already signed, sealed, and secured by Jesus’ atoning death and powerful resurrection.

We are messengers of the Great King, once crucified, now glorified. Our King calls us onto the front lines of a battle with eternal stakes. While we face the gates of Hell themselves, they will not prevail against us (Matthew 16:18).

God’s call and favor aren’t always easy, but they’re good.

Today’s devotion by Jordan Loftis, author of The Men With Bare Feet, host of The Bible Better Podcast, Bible Teacher at Valor Global Online School, and teaching pastor.

Post originally published  here at GodTV.com

How Would You Spend Your Last Night Alive?

Imagine learning that you will die tomorrow.

If you knew this, how would you spend your last night on earth? You have a brand new year stretched out before you, but you only get today.

…who would you gather around yourself?

…what would you spend your time doing?

…what would you be thinking about?

This may sound morbid, and even farfetched, but this is exactly the situation Jesus was in in today’s devotional verse:

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