Welcome back for part two of the GNM series! If you haven’t seen part one, check it out here.
When you first meet a person, you start with their name. You might find out their age and where they’re from. After the base level stuff, the more you hang out with the person and develop a relationship, the more you get to know their character. You discover their likes and dislikes. You know what makes them laugh and cry.
This is the same deal with God. You have to get to know who he is; this is part of a relationship with him. Remember, there’s a difference between knowing about someone and getting to know them.
You might know a few things about God, but try and get a fuller understanding (not full, we can’t comprehend everything). Everything in this post is something I once knew about God, but as I continue getting to know him, it becomes real and strengthens my relationship with him.
One of my favourite parts of the Bible is at Jesus’ baptism in Matthew 3. Heaven opened, the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove, and God said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased’. This demonstrates the beautiful and perfect relationship of the Trinity; they’re united, but distinct.
Other Names of God
An important name for God is LORD. You’ll see this in small caps in your Bible. This is because through transliterations in Hebrew and Greek, it comes from the tetragrammaton ‘YHWH’, pronounced ‘Yahweh’. This name refers to God as the One who always was, always is, and who always will be. This was the name that the Israelites knew God the Father by. God revealed it to Moses when he said ‘I Am Who I Am’ (Exodus 3:13-15).
As for Jesus, Christ wasn’t his last name. It’s the Greek translation of the Hebrew word Messiah. It is a description meaning ‘the anointed one’, hence the phrase ‘Jesus, the Christ’. This title confirms Jesus as the one who was prophesied about in the Old Testament, who God sent to save us.
Characteristics of God
There are so many characteristics of God we could explore, but I’m just going to list my favourites.
“But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
1 John 4:8
All the other attributes of God come under love and are a result of his love. Love is most important when you are getting to know who God is (check out 1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your Heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:31-33
“He causes us to remember his wonderful works. How gracious and merciful is our Lord!” Psalms 111:4
“Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” Psalms 34:8
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3
Knowing who God is allows us to have a relationship with him. There is so much meaning in his name alone, and his characteristics add to our understanding.
Once, a lady at church said that if you figuratively paint a picture of all the characteristics of God, adding things like his love and peace, you get a beautiful image. So start praying and reading your Bible to see a wonderful image of who God is!