Have you ever had to step outside of your comfort zone? Have you ever felt so excited that you didn’t know what to do? That described me when I realized Jesus was inviting me to follow Him!
I traveled to Richmond, VA for a weekend conference with a group of Amway distributors (network marketing). Who hears about Jesus at such a place? Jesus was not on my radar but thank God, I was on His! A nervous excitement gripped my soul as I surveyed the room for what was happening. Honestly, I was afraid. I had no point of reference for what was happening. I had never heard an altar call. It was all so unfamiliar to me. People were walking down to the front of the room in response to a lady minister’s invitation. Okay, maybe I did not get out very much, but I had never heard a lady preacher before. I did not understand what was happening. I still needed to be … safe. Sad, but true.
I said, “Yes” to Jesus that day! I asked Him to forgive me of my sins and come live in my heart with tears running down my face. And I know He did! But go down front with those other folks? Nope.
It is amusing when I think about it now. At the next convention, I quickly made my way down to the front of the conference arena to say Yes to Jesus. And I grabbed the hand of a friend to go down as well. Sheer joy!
John the Baptist got to see Jesus in the flesh. We get to experience him in the spirit.
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
Take a moment and reflect on your first encounter with the Lord. Nothing can compare with that new sense of acceptance and belonging. You, too, got to behold the Lamb of God.
I, for one, rejoice that John’s own testimony says in verse 31,
“I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.”
John could not have known that his simple act of obedience would reach all the way to the other side of the world centuries later, where God chose to plant me!
Later, in John 1:43 we read:
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Phillip and said to him, “Follow me.”
I do not know about you, but I could run around the block on that charge. Those words have literally leapt off the page and into my heart. That Jesus would accept a sinner, such as I, is still incomprehensible.
God’s Only Son
SCRIPTURE READING — JOHN 1:14-18
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
Can you imagine having an argument at the supermarket about whether Jesus Christ is God? Today, Christians everywhere accept the fact that Jesus, God’s Son, is fully God. But in the early church, Christians argued vehemently about whether Jesus could be God if he was God’s only Son.
When we call someone a son, we naturally conclude that the father came first and the son came second. So when we refer to Jesus in the Apostles’ Creed as God’s “only Son,” are we somehow putting him in second place?
No. Since the fourth century the church has officially upheld what the Holy Spirit inspired John to write in our passage for today: “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.”
We can’t fully comprehend the mysterious relationship of God the Father and his only Son. But by faith we believe that Jesus is God’s Son. By faith we believe, with John, that through God’s only Son all of creation was made (John 1:1-3). By faith we also believe that only God’s own Son, through his death, could bring us into a new life filled with everlasting peace and joy.
As we live in the love of God and his Son each day, we can look for ways, wherever we are, to share that love with others.
Jesus, we believe you are God’s only Son. Help us to share your love wherever we are. Amen.
Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle: 365 Sermons
Comfort to seekers from what the Lord has not said
‘I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain.’ Isaiah 45:19
Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 65:1–5
For the Lord to hear prayer is consistent with his nature. Whatever is consistent with God’s nature, we believe is true. Now, we cannot perceive any attribute of God which would stand in the way of his hearing prayer. It might be supposed that his justice would; but that has been so satisfied by the atonement of Christ, that it rather pleads the other way. Since Christ has ‘put away sin,’ since he has purchased the blessing, it seems but just that God should accept those for whom Jesus died, and give the blessing which Christ has bought. All the attributes of God say to a sinner, ‘Come, come; come to the throne of grace, and you shall have what you want.’ Power puts out his strong arm and cries, ‘I will help thee; fear not.’ Love smiles through her bright eyes, and cries, ‘I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.’ Truth speaks in her clear, plain language, saying, ‘He that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ Immutability says, ‘I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.’ Every single attribute of the divine character—but you can think of these as well as I can—pleads for the man who prays; and I do not know—I never dreamed of a single attribute of Deity which could enter an objection. Therefore, I think, if the thing really will glorify God, and not dishonour him, he will certainly do it. ‘But,’ you say, ‘I am such a great sinner.’ That gives me another argument. Would it not greatly extol the love and the grace of God for him to give his grace to those that deserve it least?
For meditation: The God whom we have all offended is not further offended, but pleased, when we admit that we deserve to be punished for our sin but ask him to save us for Jesus’ sake (Luke 18:13–14; 2 Peter 3:9). The people who continue to offend him are those who by their refusal to seek him say ‘Pay me that thou owest’ (Matthew 18:28); that is extremely foolish, ‘for the wages of sin is death’ (Romans 6:23).
Streams in the Desert – May 10
- 202210 May
I had fainted unless… (Ps. 27:13).
How great is the temptation at this point! How the soul sinks, the heart grows sick, and the faith staggers under the keen trials and testings which come into our lives in times of special bereavement and suffering. “I cannot bear up any longer, I am fainting under this providence. What shall I do? God tells me not to faint. But what can one do when he is fainting?”
What do you do when you are about to faint physically? You cannot do anything. You cease from your own doings. In your faintness, you fall upon the shoulder of some strong loved one. You lean hard. You rest. You lie still and trust.
It is so when we are tempted to faint under affliction. God’s message to us is not, “Be strong and of good courage,” for He knows our strength and courage have fled away. But it is that sweet word, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Hudson Taylor was so feeble in the closing months of his life that he wrote a dear friend: “I am so weak I cannot write; I cannot read my Bible; I cannot even pray. I can only lie still in God’s arms like a little child, and trust.” This wondrous man of God with all his spiritual power came to a place of physical suffering and weakness where he could only lie still and trust.
And that is all God asks of you, His dear child, when you grow faint in the fierce fires of affliction. Do not try to be strong. Just be still and know that He is God, and will sustain you, and bring you through.