News and Articles
15 June 2017
This is the first of a three-part series on how the internet changes the way we communicate with one another. In this first post, we’ll explore what it means to communicate — by looking first to God.
God communicates. From Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, the existence and content of the Bible shows us that God’s desire is to communicate with the world and the people he has made.
When God communicates, he does so with power and authority. In Genesis 1, God creates every element of the world by speaking it into existence, and there is no resistance to the power of his word. Indeed, Psalm 19:1 links God’s act of creation to the purpose of creation: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands”. One of God’s purposes in creating – in putting his hands to work – is to communicate his glory in a way which can’t be ignored.
God communicates through his creation. He also communicates through his love for his people and the action he takes enables them to love him. In Genesis 3, human beings rejected God’s love by doubting his words. Through the rest of the Bible, God communicates with people to show them what he is really like, and to show why our hearts should desire him above everything else.
God communicates through living words. Put another way, when God speaks, his words have the power to bring life and command change. The writer to the Hebrews expresses this by introducing us to the one who is the ultimate word of God:
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” (Hebrews 1:1–3, NIV UK)
Above Bar Church exists to glorify God by making and maturing disciples of his Son – the Lord Jesus Christ (see our vision and values page). He has “provided purification for sins” through his death on the cross. And by his Holy Spirit he gives us a new life. This new life is of the same kind as his new life: eternal and inextinguishable.
What is the goal of this new life? It is to be among those in Revelation 21:3 who live with God as his people. To communicate our praise and worship perfectly to him, even as we are flooded with the experience of his love and glory.
God communicates, and therefore Above Bar Church exists to communicate him. We are a community of Christians loving God, following Jesus, sharing hope. Do you see yourself as someone who communicates Jesus to the world? That’s the goal of our lives, to communicate God’s glory by worshipping and enjoying him. And that’s the challenge for us: we’re always communicating something, so what is my message?
Each of us has the opportunity, unparalleled in history, for communicating. The internet, social media, messaging apps — all give us ways to express what we want to say. God calls us to be his witnesses everywhere. Even on social media.
At the end of each post in this series, there’ll be some questions to think about our own communications. Use them as an opportunity to pause and reflect, and, maybe, to start to do something differently.
- How can we use every means of communication we have to show what God is like?
- Do you have a social media account?
- What do your friends post on social media?
- What can we learn from the way God communicates to us?
If you want, post your comments on the Above Bar Church Facebook page, or mention @abovebar on Twitter. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with the team.
Photo credits (from top):
© Highways England. Used under a Creative Commons (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0) licence.
© Tony Watkins. Used under a Creative Commons (CC-BY-NC-SA-4.0) licence.
© Shinichi Higashi. Used under a Creative Commons (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0) licence.