Discuss: Who are You, God? — Shawn Hart

Who are You, God?

The word “God” gets used a lot in our culture, but do we all mean the same thing?

Who is the God of Christianity and what is He like?

Livestream Shawn Hart on Tuesday, June 18, 5:45–6:15 p.m. ET to hear more!

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I’m late joining in, but this talk is especially timely. I pulled a few quotes and would love to hear others’ thoughts.

Summary: We must know who God says He is, which both just and loving. This should inspire us to worship Him.

Point One: We must know who God is, so we can avoid worshiping a man-made idol.

  • “When talking about God, it is not safe to assume we are all meaning the same thing just because we are using the same word.”

  • “If we end up shaping God rather than Him shaping us, then He will end up looking a lot more like us than we looking like Him … We want to be conformed in His image.”

Isaiah 44:9-20 (NIRV) Excerpt of verses 9-11 below, with the full passage here. There is some beautiful imagery, and I encourage you to read it.

Those who make statues of gods don’t amount to anything.
And the statues they think so much of are worthless.
Those who would speak up for them are blind.
They don’t know anything.
So they will be put to shame.
People make statues of gods.
But those gods can’t do any good.
People who do that will be put to shame.
Those who make statues of gods are mere human beings.
Let all of them come together and state their case.
They will be terrified and put to shame.

Point Two: Okay, but who does God say He is?

Exodus 34:5-8 (NIRV),

Then the Lord came down in the cloud. He stood there with Moses and announced his name, the Lord. As he passed in front of Moses, he called out. He said, “I am the Lord, the Lord. I am the God who is tender and kind. I am gracious. I am slow to get angry. I am faithful and full of love. I continue to show my love to thousands of people. I forgive those who do evil. I forgive those who refuse to obey me. And I forgive those who sin. But I do not let guilty people go without punishing them. I cause the sins of the parents to affect their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
Moses bowed down to the ground at once and worshiped.

  • “He is abiding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands. The word love there is hesed and some translations will translate it to ‘loyal love.’ It means He is completely and utterly devoted to people regardless of how rebellious these people are.”

  • “God forgives wickedness, rebellion, and sin, yet He punishes the guilty. It’s all in the definition of who He is. There’s a tension there … When God comes down as the person of Christ, He reveals this whole passage more fully.”

  • How can a loving God forgive and yet judge? Because the judge will come and take it on for you. [God shows,] ‘The wages of sin is death, but I will give my life for you. In that, I will show myself as patient and forgiving and loving, but I will also show myself as so serious about sin that I will pay the price. Out of that, we have mercy and forgiveness given.’

Point Three: How should our lives respond to who God is?

  • “One of the biggest problems of Christian culture is that we are far too casual with God … Jesus didn’t mince words on this. He had people turn away because His words were difficult.”

  • “When God shows up to Moses and introduces Himself, Moses doesn’t just go up and give God a fist bump with ‘What’s up?!’ Moses falls on the ground and worships.”

What are your thoughts?

  1. How has knowing God more fully changed your life?
  2. What are common pitfalls we can fall into of fashioning God more into an idol of our own desires?
  3. How do you proclaim both God’s love and holiness to others, and are there Scripture passages and conversation starters that come to mind?
  4. What else stood out to you in the talk?
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Thanks Brittany! @Brittany_Bowman1
I’m gonna take a minute to think on your questions later on and get back to this… Great thoughts!

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This thought (below) resonates with much of what I observe people desire life to be like…and any Believer could potentially fall into this practice, as well. Selfish desires…wanting things our own way, not answering to anyone.

We need Him to be “the Potter”- and us the clay. Once we think we somehow know any better, then we’ve gone far down the wrong path.
Thankfully, He pursues us, and knows how we need that constant shepherding!

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