Devotional Reading: I Colossians 1: 15-23
Text: He (Jesus Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in Him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers–all things have been created through Him and for Him. (vss. 15 & 16)
Look out look a window. What do you see? Whatever it is that you see, is it the totality of the world, the cosmos, the universe, let alone your neighborhood? No. But it is all that you can see at the moment.
When I read today’s text many years ago it was an “Ah-ha” experience. I began to see Jesus and read the Bible with a new, deeper and better understanding. It dawned on me that Jesus Christ is the visible manifestation of the invisible God. If we want to know Who God is, if we want to know what God is like, we simply need to look at Jesus. Jesus is the greatest understanding that we can have of God as long as we live in a temporal world. Jesus gives us the temporal insight into the Eternal God–the One who created all things whether they be visible or invisible.
So when someone asks me what God is like, I tell them to simply look at Jesus. Read the gospels for they give us the best understanding of the nature of God. If we want to know how to live as a follower of Jesus in our daily life and in our community of faith, read the epistles. The epistles are specific letters written to specific faith communities at a specific time regarding a specific problem or problems. Within their unique situation they reveal to followers of Jesus insights into how to live faithfully within the community of faith. Of the epistles, I advise new followers to read James first. It is what I call “Christianity 101”. Follow James with Philippians, then Ephesians and so on.
So, if you want to know Who God is, read the gospels. And if you want to know the basic teachings of Jesus, begin with the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount. After you read them all, live with each Beatitude for a week and then work your way through the rest of them. See how your life is changed…for the better.
Lord, You created us in Your Image and called us into communities of faith. Teach us Your Way as we seek to know Jesus more deeply. Use our faith communities to mold us into the people You intend us to be. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.