But I've also been spending some time on the topic, because I believe the Gospel is the clearest character sketch of God that we have: we have seen His holiness, His heart, and His love for us in the Gospel. As I spend time thinking and meditating on the Gospel, I find myself with a fresh appreciation for the Person He is.
Having said that, I wanted to bring up a favourite Bible verse of mine:
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them (Revelation 21:3, NASB)I find this verse interesting, because it presents us with a wonderful thought: that God's purpose is to be among men. That's what He wants. He's not content to be in Heaven with men (and women) on earth; His desire is to have men with Him. Consider God's words to Moses: "They shall know that I am the LORD their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them; I am the LORD their God." (Exodus 29:46, NASB). God's purpose in bringing the children of Israel from Egypt was "that I might dwell among them".
We tend to lose sight of what motivated God to hunt down sinners. It wasn't that He needed us, it wasn't that He has a job for us to do: it was because He wanted to have us with Him. We have a tendency to think God wants something from us: the opposite is true, He wants to be everything for us.
I made the statement earlier that I have a real problem with any sort of teaching that attributes an ulterior motive to God in salvation. I really want to emphasize this point. It's a terrible thing for us to slander God: When we present the Gospel as some sort of contract between God and man, we do exactly that. We cast aspersion on God's character, saying that He's the sort of Person who only acts in His own interest.
God is overwhelmingly kind. He is love. We need to be oh-so-careful that we don't have low thoughts of Him; of the One who pursued us to bring us to Heaven.