“Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides him.” Deuteronomy 4:33-35
These words emphasize to my heart how unique, how incomparable, our God is. Who else knows a god like ours? When I think on the characteristics of this God that we worship, this God to whom we pledge our lives, I’m left in awe that the one true, living God is He who “practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:24).
What other god would leave his throne to become like creation, would walk among us, show us such compassion and kindness, and willingly give himself over to the most agonizing and shameful death, in order to save us? Jesus shows us such astounding grace here. To an extent we can’t fathom. And even now, His mighty hand and outstretched arm reaches out to us, seeking to save us from our own sin and the punishment we deserve as a result of our own choices.
“By his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24). We have been healed. Healed from the sickness deep in our soul. Healed from the unrighteousness that we couldn’t hope to shake, the sin that roots down deep so we can’t seem to help but give in to the temptations around us. The wounds of Christ heal us from this. Because He has overcome the world. And when we surrender to Him, His Spirit floods our soul and begins the amazing work of transformation, bringing about the character and beauty of Jesus within us. The wounds of Christ connect us with the only One who can heal us wholly. Everything else is a bandaid on our gaping wounds, our brokenness, and the emptiness in the depths of our heart. Jesus, in grace and perfect love, fills that emptiness, binds our broken heart, cleanses our unrighteousness, breaks all chains that hold us captive, and heals us forever. What other god promises this complete healing and restoration, asking simply for our love and trust in return?
“For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:25). Our God is the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls. The Author and Perfecter of our faith. He takes ownership and responsibility here. He is the One who restores our soul and leads us in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. His Spirit sanctifies us, purifying us and making us like Him—it isn’t a great work that we are to accomplish in our own strength. It isn’t a level of righteousness we’re seeking to attain on our own, something we hope to acheive so that our god will look on us with favor. We serve a God who shows us favor because He loves us…not because we’ve earned it.
“If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). What other god loves us so steadfastly, is so unquestionably faithful, that even when we begin to lose faith in him, he helps us to maintain hope and still upholds his promises? Nothing in us makes Him love us or inspires His great faithfulness—it is all owing to His grace, His boundless love, and His unchanging character. Other (false) gods may shift loyalties or be subject to mood swings, but not our God. He is greater than that. He is holy, He is real, and there is none besides Him.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 2 Peter 2:9-10
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” Ephesians 2:4-5
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly…God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6, 8