God is a friend to those who love him do his will. He shares his knowledge and blessing with his friends. “He reveals his intimate counsel to the upright.” He makes us partners in his work of reconciliation. Glory to God for his friendship with man!
God helps the helpless. He reaches the unreachable. Those who face the impossible have a God with whom all things are possible. God can do all things and his people are enabled to serve and change. Glory to him who can and will help!
God executes his judgment against evil and against evildoers. The righteous desire justice in the world. They live according to God’s word. They want to see his salvation come to all. Evil is opposition to God. It must therefore be defeated. When God judges sinners, his people are vindicated. Glory to God for his righteous judgment!
He prayed, unsure his words would rise
To heaven. He sowed in doubt, no eyes
To see a harvest. He read the pages
Of Scripture, clouded the God of ages.
Surprised, he saw the walking dead,
The mute speak words, the poor find bread,
Despair embrace hope, the weak become strong —
And he was glad to be proved wrong.
What happens here today the world ignores,
At best, or upon our precious faith it pours
Its scorn and hate — the bread and wine we share,
The blessed Name we call upon in prayer.
This people of love whose holy kiss is true,
Were immersed and washed, in Christ were born anew,
’Tis not by sight they walk that righteous Way,
But hearing God’s faithful promise they obey.
Given a living hope, God’s children charge
Ahead, his power in humble hearts grown large,
The bracing news of Christ their only creed —
Against them, nothing in this world can succeed.
Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Isaiah 53.10 ESV
Isaiah speaks of the suffering servant in terms of the people of Israel, of the remnant, and finally of a single person. He narrows the identification of the servant until he arrives in chapter 53. In this chapter, he reveals details of how the servant would suffer for the sins of others. Continue reading “He shall see his offspring”
When I saw him I fell down at his feet as though I were dead, but he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid! I am the first and the last, and the one who lives! I was dead, but look, now I am alive—forever and ever—and I hold the keys of death and of Hades!” Revelation 1.17-18
These were some of the first words of the Lord Jesus to the apostle John when, on the Lord’s day, he found himself in the Spirit. John had already registered a word from God the Father, that he was the Alpha and the Omega, in verse 8. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet; omega, the last. Continue reading “First and Last”
Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory—the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father. John 1.14
Becoming flesh means that Jesus became a human being. He also was born according to the will of God and not by human means, John 1.13. He participated fully in human life. He lived among us and experienced all that people do—hunger, thirst, tiredness, emotions, suffering—minus one—sin. He was God and man at the same time. Continue reading “See his glory”
The gospel doesn’t just bring out the best in people—it produces in those who believe a new nature. God knows the worst of humanity and overcomes it to transform the willing into the image of Christ. Glory to God for producing this new nature!
But to all who have received him—those who believe in his name—he has given the right to become God’s children—children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God. John 1.12-13
Nobody is born, physically, as a child of God. It is not by human parents that someone is his child. We are not his children automatically. It’s a lie to say that we are all children of God.
This shocking truth ought to cause us to learn how to become children of God. If we are not, God gives us the right to become his children.
In order to become a son or daughter, it’s necessary to be born into the family. Jesus explained that birth into God’s family comes through immersion in water, John 3.3, 5. Since it is an act of faith, it is described in the above verses as being an act of receiving or believing in the name of Jesus. His name is confessed at the moment of immersion by the person being baptized. His name is pronounced over him during the act of immersion, Acts 2.38; 8.37.
We live in a world which rejects Jesus, John 1.10-11. The very word “world” means, in many biblical contexts, humanity in rebellion against God. Even the religions and denominations are a part of this rebellion, for they have invented their own system against God’s will.
The verse above begins with the word “but.” It means that although the world rejects Jesus, there will be some people who receive him.
Let us be certain that we are among the number of those who receive and obey him.
Creator God, I want you to be Father to me. I want to be an obedient child of yours. I want to be part of your family.