Our Aggressively Friendly God

David Wilkinson is a professor in the theology and religion department at St. John’s College, Durham University in the United Kingdom. He also holds a PhD in astrophysics. Then too, he’s a Methodist minister. The man’s got to be brilliant!

In an article of his I recently read he addresses the age-old question of just how we humans are made in God’s image. Is it our intelligence, our moral awareness, our creativity, or what? More and more we realize that none of these areas, or others like them, are only the domain of humans. What, then, is it that defines us as being in God’s image?

Wilkinson writes, “Bearing God’s image is about relationship with God more than any specific human attribute or pattern of behavior.” He concludes his article by stating, “To be human is to receive the gift of relationship, to love and be loved by the God who created you.” (Christianity Today Magazine, March 2013, p. 29)

Amazing! It was God’s original idea to have a relationship with us; that’s why He made us! He took the initiative to have a relationship with us by creating us in such a way that we could have a relationship with Him. The Gospel message of God coming to us in human form and going to a cross for us in the ultimate sacrificial, redemptive act is His going the second mile to establish all over again that connection!

This should turn topsy turvy how we think about God. We’re not the spiritual seeker, God is! He yearns to have a relationship with us far more than we could ever yearn to have one with Him. The prophet Jeremiah declared, “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.'” (Jeremiah 31:3)

Ours is not to be primarily an intellectual belief in His existence but an embracing of Him in a relationship. It’s allowing our experience of God to move from the head to the heart. This is ultimately a friendly universe because the creator of it all seeks to be our Ultimate Friend! It seems to me that this provides a most wonderful perspective with which to face each day!

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