The Personality of God as found in Christ

Luke 2 - Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father

During his time on earth Jesus claimed that anyone who had seen him had seen the father. The Pharisees accused Jesus of blasphemy and such a charge would be true and punishable by death if Jesus were nothing more than a man. But what if he was not? What if his claims to be the Son of God were true?

How often do friends comment that a son looks and acts like his dad? Or a nephew, his uncle? Family genes and traits are passed down. It requires a leap of faith to accept that Christ was and is the only son of God, but if he is then we can learn much about the personality of God by studying the man called Jesus.

We first see the traits of Jesus in Luke 2:46. “After three days his parents found him in the temple courts …”

God’s Personality: If Jesus is anything like his dad, then sometimes God hides and we must seek him. To seek passionately after God is a recurring theme throughout the Bible. So, too, is God’s presence. But too often we look for God where we expect to find him: where we  last left him. It should not surprise us that God wanders, walks, and surprises us with a sudden appearance. The story of the Garden of Eden confirms God’s desire to stroll about and startle us.

Jesus’ parents found him in the temple built for him. If we are to find God, we must go to his place of worship, too.

“… sitting among the teachers, listening to them…”

God’s Personality: God sits and listens. Yes he’s God, almighty, and all knowing, but he takes time to sit and listen to our thoughts, opinions. He does not demand an audience. He is the audience.

“… asking them questions …”

God’s Personality: God asks questions. He desires to know what we think. He probes our heart and mind. Like any active audience participant God asks us what we think, feel, believe … and often his questions leave us uncomfortable.

” … everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers …”

God’s Personality: The more time we spend with God the more we are amazed at his understanding, wisdom and solutions to our problems. It is only in knowing God that we gain true knowledge and understanding of ourselves and the world in which we live.

“… and Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52)

God’s Personality: As we grow closer to God we too will grow in wisdom and gain his favor.

This is the nature of God and the man called Jesus.

I Shall Not Be In Want

Psalm 23

I Shall Not Be In Want“He leads me …” Lord, lead me into ways to be a better leader, father, husband, and friend. Lead me into a life of right-standing before you.

“He restores …” Lord, restore those areas in my life where I’ve incurred loss. You know those areas. We discuss these things daily.

“He guides …” Lord, guide me in my job and my relationships. You know what lies ahead; I can only see a few feet in front of me and what I see scares the be-Jesus out of me.

“He is with me …” Lord, thanks for sticking by my side when others flee, when I am gripped with fear: when I want to cower and cry.

“He comforts me …” Lord, you know those worries that dog me, that awake me at 5 am. Please comfort and care for me as you have promised.

“He anoints me …” Lord, anoint me with your Spirit. Place your truth within my heart. May I have your courage to speak up for those who are persecuted because they accept you as their savior and advocate. May I speak out against those who lie about you and your sacrifice on the cross. May I stand with you even if it costs me my friends, family, and life.

“Goodness and love will follow me …” Lord, may I dwell with you in your Father’s house forever. May it be so.

Out of Gas

Go until you can't go anymore

There is a scene in the movie Patton that haunts me. It shows an overcast morning with small fires burning in and around American tanks. Bodies lay sprawled on the ground and slumped on gun turrets. Patton surveys the scene. His offensive has come to a screeching halt as the Third Army literally runs out of fuel near the Moselle River, just outside of Metz, France. In the dark, out of gas, his men fought to the death.

I’m sure Moses felt that way as he stood with his back to the Nile. Before him lay the Egyptian army. Behind water. All around, men, women, and children looked to him for a way out of the mess. I feel that way, today. Egypt is gone. We can’t go back to the way things were. What worked for LPC over these past seven years … doesn’t.

For the past several months I have noticed a steady decline in Amazon’s Kindle ebook sales. Kindle ebook sales are the majority of our fiction royalties and half our income. Kindle ebooks are easily consumable items. Instant buys you can read immediately. On the Kindle forums, other authors have noticed a similar dip in Kindle sales and royalties. Maybe it’s a function of ebooks. There are rumors that consumers are developing screen-fatigue. Of course if all books decline in sales we should still hold our market share in the sales ranking and categories, but that seems to slipping, too.

I ask that you plead with our Lord and Leader to:

  • Redeem our lost sales
  • Renew our hope
  • Restablish our position in the marketplace
  • Revive our spirit of courage
  • Restore my vision

The last time something like this happened was two years ago. I asked for prayers and guidance. We recovered and went on to have the best two years of the company. I pray that will happen again, but if not I need to know how to lead as we advance into this new normal.

EJ