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“Limiting God To Our Own Expectations”

Acts 17:29

Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone -- an image made by man's design and skill.

Thoughts for Today:

Not long ago I was talking with a young woman about family problems. As she described various events that had occurred over the years involving her parents, one of the phrases she kept repeating was, "That is just not the way a father (or mother) should act (say or do)." I thought it was interesting that she had such a clear idea of appropriate parental behavior despite having no children of her own. As I listened, the more I realized that it would be difficult for any parent to measure up to her expectations.

In our passage today, Paul is saying something similar: first, we should not define God by one of His creations (gold, silver, or stone), just as one child's opinion is not proof of parenting skills; and second, it is not up to God to fit into our image of what we think He should be like ("an image made by man's design and skill"). One of the best ways to be greatly disappointed in anyone is to have a rigid idea of the way we think they should behave. When it comes to God, this attitude can have a severely limiting effect on our relationship with Him. We will miss so much of the blessings that God wants us to experience if we define Him solely by our own expectations.

Questions to Ponder:

God could ______, God should ______, if God would ______.

Fill in the blanks and you will know the image of God you have designed. Those words (could, should, and would) are expectation words and therefore have a tendency to limit God based upon our own flawed thinking. As Paul points out, God is the creator of man, not man the creator of God. What expectations have you placed upon God ("God should do ....)?

What limits have place around God ("God couldn't or wouldn't do that because....)? Have you, the creation, defined God the Creator? What steps do you need to take today to unravel your false picture of God and create a new one based upon His Word, His Revelation?

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About the author

Pocket Devotions are written by Mike Brooks. A retired businessman, he is Moderator of South Shores church, leads the Deacon Board, serves on the finance committee, and he teaches a Men's Bible study and the Men's Ministry. Mike has a passion for evangelical missions. He is the husband of Sherry; the father of Ryan, Natalie, Krissy, Rebecca, and Amanda; the father-in-law of Ariel; and the grandfather of Conner and Christian.