X – God is like an x-ray

And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Heb 4:13

The x-ray was discovered by accident in 1895 by a German physics professor Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen. The original x-ray machines took 90 minutes compared to the 20 milliseconds today. Could you imagine trying to stand still for 90 minutes?

Before the discovery of the x-ray people would just feel around and make their best guess as to where the bullet or tumor was.  He named the machine x-ray because in math x stands for unknown. What was unknown is now known.

The Unknown God

In Acts 17  Paul is in Athens where he sees among all the many idols they worship an idol for the unknown God. Paul gets excited about this because he knows who the unknown God is! He starts telling everyone around him:

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.  And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.”

You can read the rest of what Paul said here.  He goes on the share that this God – the one who created the world wants a relationship with them.

God can be known

Like an x-ray God is hidden from our physical eyes because He is a spirit. I sometimes try to imagine what it would be like to see God. If God is so beyond what I can think or imagine He is, How amazing is He? I mean, When I see a sunset, or waves crashing endlessly onto the shore, or Niagara Falls dumping 600,000 gallons of water a second, or the width and vastness of the Grand Canyon as far as my eye can see – I know something amazingly awesome is behind all that we see.

1 Timothy 6:15–17, “He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion.”

While we can’t see God in physical form He has provided a way for us to know Him with our hearts and minds this side of heaven through the Bible, the mediator Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit who indwells us.

The Bible

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Heb 4:11

Jesus Christ

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6

Now, this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3

The Holy Spirit

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

God wants a relationship with us

He created us and knows us. Often we can be afraid that if someone really knew us they wouldn’t accept or like us.  God’s not like that. He already knows all of our good and bad – and He still loves us. He, like an x-ray machine, can see through all the fake smiles and silent tears. He knows our hearts.  If it ended there, I would be hopeless.  But, not only does He know our hearts – He has the power and desire to help us if we let Him.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. Psalms 139:1

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” Rom 8:1

Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Can you count how many x-rays you have had in your life? While we can’t see God with our physical eyes, we do see Him working in and around us. How have you recently seen God work in your life?

Fun fact: X was a challenging letter! Did you know in modern English, x is the third least used letter, occurring in only about 0.15% of all words. The least used letters are q and z.


Father in Heaven, Thank you for your unending love for me.  I thank you for creation and the beauty in it. I can only imagine how amazing, glorious and majestic you are.  I want to know you more. “Search me,  God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” In Jesus name. Amen. (Psalms 139:23-24)

 

W – God is wise

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! Rom 11:33

As my 18-year-old son got behind the wheel of the car, I snuggled up in the backseat and fell sound asleep. Waking an hour later I felt refreshed and ready for the last leg of the trip. I was able to fall asleep because I was confident in his training, skills, and experience. I trusted he knew where we were going and he had the ability and desire to get us there.

Knowledge vs. Wisdom

Knowledge is having the information to accomplish a goal. Wisdom is taking the best steps to achieve it. Knowledge is in your head where wisdom is in your heart. To be wise you need to have knowledge. But just because you have knowledge doesn’t make you automatically wise. You can have knowledge and not apply it and be a fool.

If Jon knew the route home but didn’t get behind the wheel, or if he got behind the wheel and chose to drive in a different direction we wouldn’t have gotten home. He had to know both how to get home and then choose to do it.

God is wise

Because my God is wise He is not: careless, foolish, inexperienced, insensitive, ignorant, unaware, uninformed, thoughtless, unreasonable

He is trustworthy -He is competent. I don’t sit in the passenger seat second guessing God’s every move anxious He will fall asleep or run out of gas. I can hop in the back seat and sleep confidently knowing He knows the way and will get me to the destination.

He is respected – To respect someone is to have a feeling of deep admiration elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. God is worthy of my respect. I stand in awe of Him – who He is and how He acts. It is a privilege and honor to be called His child.  (John 1:12-13)

Can you think of a time when you trusted in God’s wisdom? Was it hard for you? How did things work out?


Father in heaven, how deep is your wisdom and knowledge. How unsearchable are your ways? You are the everlasting god, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth. You do not become weary or tired. Your understanding is inscrutable. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are your thoughts and ways higher than mine. To the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ. Amen.   (Rom 11:33, Romans 16:27, Is 40:28, Is 55:9)

V- Jesus is the vine

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me , ou can do nothing. John 15:5

About a year and a half ago I determined I wanted to have more fruit in my life. I knew the way to get more fruit was to spend time in the Word of God and praying. So each day I spent the first hour of my day doing just that. I prayed, I read my Bible, and I memorized the book of James.

Throughout that first year, my love for God grew, my faith grew but fruit was an effort. On the inside, I would be frustrated but I would force a smile. I couldn’t figure out how to get my inside heart and mind to match the outside actions.

Feeling stuck I decided to attend a Making Peace weekend. There I realized I had come to the end of myself and my efforts. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t make myself good on the inside.

Change – real fruit came when I surrendered control. Instead of trying to do life on my terms with me in charge, I decided to trust Jesus and follow His plans and path for my life. It seemed so counterintuitive to me, having a deeply ingrained philosophy that I can do anything by hard work and determination.

But, I now see that the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control come not by my plans but by me being willing to let God lead. That’s why they are called the fruit of the Spirit and not the fruit of Nancy.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have to work at life. My efforts just look different. Now, instead of gritting my teeth and doing the right thing I snuggle close to Jesus. Instead of reading my Bible being an item I check off my to-do list, it has become my flashlight for life. The words in the Bible are alive as they encourage, convict, strengthen and comfort me. The bubbling lava of anger inside me has been replaced with a well of grace and love.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing. John 15:5

 

A branch cut off from the tree dies. The source of life doesn’t come from me, but from outside of me. When I was just taping construction paper fruit to my branches I wasn’t fooling anyone. Genuine fruit comes from being connected to a healthy life-giving tree. To live and serve Him effectively we need to be connected to Jesus.

Is attending church, reading your Bible and prayer a duty you check off your to-do list? Are you connected to the vine? What does that mean to you?


Father in Heaven, I want to be connected to you. I trust You even when I don’t understand. I thank you that you see the big picture. When I reflect on who you are, I’m humbled at my silliness to want to do things my way. Of course, your ways are better, for you are God. Thank you for your patience with me. Thank you for the freedom and life you have given me. Hold me close, I don’t want to ever wander from the tree of life but I want to stay connected to you so you will produce fruit in me. In Jesus Name, Amen.

U – God is unchanging

”I the LORD do not change.” Malachi 3:6

As a parent, I have changed my mind many times. Sometimes it is because new information comes to light. Other times I realize I reacted impulsively or harshly. My kids learned at a young age that if they were persistent they could usually wear me down. I would give in because I either lost confidence in my reasoning process or I knew how much it meant to them.

God is Immutable 

I’m glad God isn’t human and He doesn’t lose confidence in His decisions.  He can not change because He is outside time. Change can only happen when you have a fixed point to measure against. I love the way these verses explain the vastness of God.

“YOU, LORD, IN THE BEGINNING, LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH,
AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS;
THEY WILL PERISH, BUT YOU REMAIN;
AND THEY ALL WILL BECOME OLD LIKE A GARMENT,

AND LIKE A MANTLE YOU WILL ROLL THEM UP;
LIKE A GARMENT THEY WILL ALSO BE CHANGED.
BUT YOU ARE THE SAME,
AND YOUR YEARS WILL NOT COME TO AN END.”
Hebrews 1:10-12

No part of God can change

1.  Nature – God is perfect. He doesn’t need anything. He is already the best of the best – He can’t improve. That means His mercy and love don’t change based on my efforts.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever! (1 Chronicles 16:34) 

2. Purposes – God is truth and has the power to accomplish what He says He will.  Which means, when we are surrendered, He does what is best for us, even if we don’t realize it.

But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,  the purposes of his heart through all generations.(Psalm 33:11) 

3.  Promises – God is the giver of good gifts.  So, I can trust in God’s promises because He is good all the time and all the time He is good.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

Was there a time you changed your mind? How did it work out? Leave a comment below.


God, You are immutable, constant, stable, unchanging and unwavering. I can put my hope in you knowing you are a good God who gives good gifts to His children. Help me to remember when trials come to put my eyes on your unending love and look beyond my circumstances. I trust that what seems bad at the moment can in the long term plan be good. Because you never change you are trustworthy and I hope in you, my Savior and my God. Amen.

T – God is truth

“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” Numbers 23:19

In 7th grade, a classmate loved to tease and annoy me. Unfortunately, we carpooled together, so I was stuck in a van each day with him. He would call me names and make fun of me for being tall. I didn’t realize then how difficult the junior high years can be, or that if I hadn’t gotten so upset he probably would have stopped teasing.

Instead, I devised a clever scheme to make him stop. In my best-forged handwriting, I wrote a letter to me from him. I outlined all the things he didn’t like about me and then signed his name and stuck it in my book bag.

Needless to say, when I showed my teacher,  it didn’t take her and the principal long to figure out who had actually written the letter. As a consequence, I spent the next half of the school day in a small room with nothing but a stack of books and my brown bagged lunch. As a shy student, I was mortified, humiliated, and embarrassed.

I wish I could say that was the end of my lying career. It took me through my high school years and a loss of a friendship before I finally realized the destruction, devastation, and pain lying brings. When I finally got to the end of myself, I ran to truth and have never looked back.

My husband finds my childhood stories hard to believe because by the time he met me truth was a core principle that I stood firmly on. I believe truth is so important, because if you don’t have honesty – you don’t have anything.

God is truth

He is trustworthy – if He were anything but truth I would not be able to depend on the promises in His word.  He keeps His word. My faith is in believing God is who he says he is and he will do what he says he will do.

He doesn’t change – before all time and history into all eternity God is the same. The same God that spoke to Moses in the burning bush, the same God that will come back on a white horse, that God is my God.  I can be confident in who He is.

As a kid, I was baffled at how the teacher knew I’d written the note. Now looking back having been a mom and teacher for many years, I chuckle at my childlike logic. Sometimes it’s easy to recognize when someone isn’t being completely honest.  Other times, we can end up feeling betrayed and hurt when we trusted someone who wasn’t telling us the truth.

How thankful I am I don’t have to doubt or question God’s unending, enduring love for me. I can set my feet on solid ground because I believe God is truth. I can rest my mind on the promises in the Bible because God is faithful.


God, Thank you for being truth. Thank you that I can trust you, that I can put my hope in you. You are so beyond humanness my mind is in awe of you.  Even when it’s hard or uncomfortable, you balance truth with love and grace. I pray you would work the same in me.  Give me the courage to speak truth with love and grace.  In Jesus name, Amen.