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WHAT DOES GOD LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
Have you ever seen THE WIZARD OF OZ? That movie was produced in 1939, and it still captivates viewers of all ages as they travel with Dorothy and company down the Yellow Brick Road to see the great and powerful Oz. When they finally get a meeting with the Wizard, they find him to be very ill-tempered, mean and cruel. He is a being full of fire and rage. He insults them, yells at them, bullies them and scares them half to death, especially the Cowardly Lion who literally faints from terror before Oz. Do you see it? In that movie, Oz is a representation of God. The negative way Oz is depicted in that initial encounter with Dorothy and the gang is the same way so many people understand God. The picture they have hanging in their minds about God looks like this:
God: He is mean, angry, and always upset with me. He thinks I am a burden and a loser. He is not someone I can get close to, share with, or really have a personal relationship with. I must walk on eggshells whenever I am around God. He is someone I need to be afraid of and stay away from. WHAT A LIE!!!God is not the angry Wizard from Oz. He is the Father in the story of the Prodigal Son. When the foul-smelling, father-disgracing prodigal finally returns home in humility and brokenness, the true God does not berate him and heap guilt and condemnation on his head. He does not spit on him and cast him out as the Wizard of Oz would surely do. The true God runs to him, embraces him, kisses him, forgives him, and receives him with great joy! He puts a robe on his back, a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And if that were not enough, he then throws a party for his returning son! He kills the fattened calf (not the scrawny chicken) because there is to be a BIG CELEBRATION as the Father rejoices in the return of His son. DO YOU NEED TO HANG A NEW PICTURE?Who does God look more like to you: the angry Wizard of Oz or the loving Father of the Prodigal? Could it be that one of the big reasons you find it so hard to share your heart and life with God is because of your negative, warped view of God? Don't you think it is time to hang the real picture of God in the halls of your mind? Jesus said, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (Jn. 8:32). Without a doubt, the greatest truth you could ever learn is the truth about the person of God. As A. W. Tozer once said, "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." Remember God's own words to Moses concerning Himself:
Then the Lord passed by in front of him [Moses] and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations. And Moses made haste to bow low toward the earth and worship. Exodus 34:5-8WOW!! What a friend we have in Jesus! Don't believe the devil's lies concerning God. He is the best friend a person could ever have, and He wants to be your best friend and wrap His strong arms of love, forgiveness and grace around you today!Love,
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.