Word of Encouragement Worship Devotions

The image of the invisible God

"He is the image of the invisible God and the firstborn of every creature." ~Colossians 1:15

The world hates Jesus. (John 15:18-19) Why? Because Jesus represents something the world cannot understand – God. People are forever tangled up in issues like, “If God is so ‘good’ why do bad things happen?” and “How could a loving God send people to hell?” and “God hates homosexuals because He said in the Old Testament that they should be killed.” They look at Jesus and mock Him, take His name in vain and misrepresent who He was and what He came to do on earth. Even Christians misunderstand Jesus Christ on many levels because we try to compare Him to ourselves and feel we fall short, or we focus on one aspect of His character, like love or peace, and forget the rest.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the world, is the image of the invisible God and He doesn’t just “represent” God – Jesus is God. This is beyond our ability to fully comprehend and we won’t have all the answers until we see Him face to face, (1 John 3:2), but there isn’t anything Jesus did that God wouldn’t do – and there isn’t anything God did anywhere in the Bible that Jesus would take issue with. Jesus isn’t “love” and “acceptance” unless God is too. God isn’t wrathful and angry and jealous unless Jesus is too. The Old Testament God is the New Testament Jesus. You can’t separate out the three Persons of the Godhead – they are One, and every characteristic and action applies equally to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ came to reveal God. John 1:18 says, “No one has seen God at any time. The only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.”

You can’t separate out the three Persons of the Godhead – they are One, and every characteristic and action applies equally to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ came to reveal God.

However, the most fundamental piece of knowledge you must have and can grasp about the Lord is this: God’s character doesn’t ever, ever change – but – how He relates to His people does change when seen through the lens of the blood of His Son, Jesus. So, the wrath of God against sin is still just as violent, but because of Jesus, those who receive His Son as Lord no longer have their sin counted against them and it’s violent punishment is nullified because God’s wrath was “satisfied” at the cross. (Isaiah 53:11) And Jesus does accept and love everyone, however, the entry into heaven is an entirely different matter because the judgement of sin, and death in hell as its punishment is still in effect for those who have not received Jesus Christ as Savior and the Son of God. Who is God? Read your Bible and get to know Jesus. What is Jesus really like? Read your Bible and get to know God. Who is the the Holy Spirit? Jesus spoke of Him; God’s actions revealed Him; He moves within the perimeters of who He said He is. What a beautiful mystery!

Thought for today

Jesus isn’t “good cop” and God isn’t “bad cop” – they are the same Person. Jesus came to bridge the gap between sinful man and the holiness of God, because God loved His people so much that His desire to be close once again compelled Him to break off a part of His own Self (John 3:16-17) and send it to experience the fullness of the human condition, be tortured until death and overcome that death unto eternal life. We worship a complete God, who has never, ever changed in any way, shape or form (Malachi 3:6), but how He relates to us changed because of Jesus – another reason to worship! What we know of God, although it is a “dimly seen” image of Him (1 Corinthians 13:12), is enough to never stop worshipping Him for His great love toward us. Get alone somewhere today – in your car, at your office, in your bedroom, while you’re walking – and quiet your mind. Reflect back on God’s great love for you, the times when He heard you, when He saw you, when He answered you, when He showed His love, His mercy, His loving correction, His plan for you… it’s overwhelming!! Thank and praise Him for whatever comes into your mind in those moments and move forward in your day with a heart filled with gratitude to Him. ❤

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Colossians 1:15-20 “[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God and the firstborn of every creature. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they are thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers. All things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all fullness should dwell, and to reconcile all things to Himself by Him, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him, I say—whether they are things in earth, or things in heaven.”

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