The Man Upstairs — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

The Man Upstairs — Morning Devotions

Do you think of God as the 'man upstairs' - with white hair, beard and robe, sitting on a throne judging you? Thankfully that's not who He is.

By Chris WittsTuesday 10 Jan 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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It was the great John Wayne, who once said, “When the road looks rough ahead, remember the man upstairs and the word hope. Hang onto hope and tough it out.” Quite an interesting quote, and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people refer to God as the old man upstairs. I’m not really sure if it’s said in jest or a sign of affection. I just don’t know. But I’m not too happy about it because God is not really an old gentleman sitting on a grand thrown in the sky, dispensing justice of some kind.

It’s like the Garth Brooks song called ‘Unanswered Prayers’, where he refers to God as the man upstairs. I’ve watched and heard a few athletes when they were interviewed on TV after a win, and they’ve said ‘I thank the big man upstairs.’ What do you imagine God to be like? I think over a lifetime we’ve put together some picture of God with a bunch of emotions and experiences that go with it.

Did you know that there are more than 100 names for God in the Bible each name of God tells us something about him. What He’s like, what He does. God is more than a title. He is sacred, eternal. He’s a supreme being and deserves our respect. It was the psalmist who said in Psalm 8 – ‘Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.’

And when we make reference to God, we really do need to consider His name. For example, when Moses was commissioned by God to lead his people out of slavery in Egypt, he was paralysed by fear. It was a mammoth and frightening task. What would he tell those people in the Egyptian authority? And then, God said to Moses, tell them, I am who I am.

I am the Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is my name forever, and I will be remembered throughout all generations. You can read that for yourself in Exodus 3. God’s name is different to ours. He is sovereign. He rules and reigns over the entire universe. The holy, eternal God of all creation.

It’s a sacred name that should be treated with respect. Many older people in our society as children used to attend Sunday school. They might have gone to church each Sunday, and there they learned about the attributes of God and sang about His name. But memories fade and many don’t think about God today. But the amazing truth from the Bible is that this God of the universe wants to have a relationship with you and me.

He is a personal, loving God who wants to be part of our lives. And does this all really matter? Yes, it does. Who God is makes all the difference. If you believe that God is angry with you, you’ll avoid him. Or is he up there as the big judge giving judgement on everyone or the boss who wants to send everyone to hell? Psalm 100:5 has a wonderful description of what God is like – For the Lord is always good. He is always loving, and his faithfulness goes on and on to each succeeding generation. The only reason there’s any good in the world is because God is the creator of the world. He is a good God. His goodness is in the universe. You can’t spell good without God. If there’s no God. Then there’s no right or wrong, good or bad, and God is all powerful or omnipotent. If he wants to do something or anything, He can do it. He’s also ever-present. His knowledge and power are without limit, and even better, God’s nature can be counted on. It doesn’t change. We can trust that he will be forever constant, firm and secure. And there’s the word omniscient, Psalm 139:1 – He knows everything about the past, present in the future. It’s hard to get our head around that one. God has revealed himself fully in his son, Jesus Christ, who lived on Earth for 33 years.

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And Jesus showed us what God the Father was like. The Book of John in the New Testament says that when God came to Earth as the God man named Jesus, we got a fully accurate picture of who He really is. The word became flesh the Bible says, made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. That’s from 1 John 1.

Let’s Pray

Dear God, sometimes it is mind blowing to understand who you really are. Thank you, that we’re not left to wonder about this for Jesus showed us exactly what God is like. Thank you for that. And that helps me today, Lord, as I move forward, Amen.