IN THE JETSTREAM – November 2022

    A.W. Tozer once wrote, “What comes to mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” I have always found this to be true! If we think of God as vindictive and judging, we will be reluctant to come into close fellowship with Him. If we think of God as absent, permissive, and unlikely to interact with His creation, this will also affect how we interact with God. If we think God is either of these things, we are very unlikely to want to share God with the world.

So the question becomes, “How should we think about God?” Fortunately for us, God actually tells us in Exodus 34:6 what kind of God He is and, therefore, how we should think about Him. In this passage, God tells Moses that He is “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”  There is a lot in this verse, so let’s break it down bit by bit!

Compassionate and Gracious

      The very first thing that God says about Himself is that He is “compassionate and gracious.” These words in Hebrew are the same words that the Bible uses to describe the love and care that parents have for their children. And just like a parent, He shows empathy toward His children. That is part of why Jesus came as a human. He came as the suffering servant who is able to empathize with us as one who actually lived through the worst kind of suffering imaginable. Our God cares for us in a way that can only be described as parental, self-sacrificing love. This clearly shows us that the first thing God wants us to know about Him is that He cares for us with the love and care of a parent.

Loving and Faithful

     God then says that He is “slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”  What is God trying to communicate here? God is saying that He is a God that is stable. He is consistent. He is safe. He is a refuge of unfailing love. He isn’t a vindictive God that harshly judges people. However, this does not mean He is never angry. He says that He is “slow to anger.”  If God was never angry at the many evils in the world, how could He truly be a good God? God’s anger is directed at the evil done against His children. He is a God who defaults to patience and love and care but will defend His children against the evil one that seeks to destroy them. God wants us to know that He is a God who wants to be a safe place for His children, safe from judgment and safe from evil.

Throughout this verse, we have seen how God describes Himself: as a parent who loves and cares for His children, and is faithful and consistent. As John says later in the New Testament, God is Love. He is the ultimate representation of love in a world that so often chooses to pursue anything but Him. But He is also a God who rises up in defense of the vulnerable when His anger is kindled against evil.

Worth Knowing and Sharing

     All of these characteristics are a part of what it means to think rightly about God, and thinking rightly about Him can change everything. It changes how we live, work, and have relationships with other people. This is the kind of God whom we worship, and this is a God who is worth knowing. This is a God that is worth sharing with the world, especially for those working in the airline industry! You have the opportunity to engage with people from all over the world just by going to work! You can make sure the people you come across are able to hear about who God really is! JRM

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James R. Maasen is the newest addition to our FCAP staff, serving in the role of Ministry Manager.  He comes to us with a passionate heart for the Lord and many gifts and abilities God has nurtured in him through his education and previous vocational experiences. 

James loves seeing normal people take part in the mission of God. This has been a passion of his whether he was working as a Director at Chick-fil-A, a pastor, or an administrator for a counseling company. He believes that God is able to take our work and make it a part of how He intends to redeem the whole world through Jesus. James is excited to see how God will continue to work through the lives of airline people as a means of moving the Kingdom of God forward. 

 James has been married to Leah for 6 years, and they have a two-year-old son named Ezra. They live just outside of St Louis and love exploring their city together.

 Please feel free to contact our new Ministry Manager so you can be blessed in getting to know him as we have. 

Email:  james@fcap.org

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