Emmanuel (with The First Noel) Devotional
Relationships are often determined by perception. We perceive someone to be harsh, so we avoid conversation with them. We perceive someone to be a good listener, so we make a point to talk with them. Likewise, much of our relationship with God is impacted by our perception of God.
I love that the bible both defines Jesus as our Shepherd and our King. Kings didn’t have time to deal with everyone’s problem or travel their kingdom having dinner with every family, but kings had power. Kings could overthrow nations, break down strongholds, and create economies of abundance. Through the perception of a king, we can see Jesus as all-powerful. A lot of us stop there. We understand that God could intervene in our lives, but we don’t know if he will.
If we only understand Jesus as King, we lose sight of the “Emmanuel”: God with us. Jesus is also my Shepherd. He is close by, He watches over me while I sleep, He fights off attackers that would come to harm me, He is in the details. Now we are beginning to see the fullness of our Christ. He is as powerful as a King, and as close as a Shepherd.
What I Perceive Is What I Believe – Sermon Outline
- Perception of a Proper God (Romans 3:20-24) – I perceive God to rule with an iron fist
- Perception of a Passive God (Matthew 6:25-34) – I perceive God to be indifferent to my situation
- Perception of an Impersonal God (Psalm 145:18) – I perceive God to be distant