Saturday, May 28
Reader: “The unique One, who is himself God”
Response: “He has revealed God to us.”
Scripture: John 1:14-18
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’”
From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.
These words of John are the application of Moses’ interaction with God some 1500 years later. If you missed yesterday’s devotional, go back and read it. It will give today’s Scripture an even deeper understanding and appreciation. Moses’ desire was to have God go with him as he led the people. He wanted God to be very personally present. It’s insightful to know that God chose the name Emmanuel, “God with us,” to be one of his names. Moses wanted God to be close to him and God wanted to be close to Moses. You would think it to be natural that people made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26) and for the praise of his glory (Ephesans 1:11-12), would want to be with the One who created them. Some people do and some people don’t.
This human longing to be close to God is answered by God in human terms. The truly astounding thing, which I think is far too often brushed off with little wonder, is that the only Uncreated Being in existence, God, condescended to take on human flesh in becoming a fully human being with all the human limitations. God the Son was hungry; he got tired; he got angry; he laughed; he cried; and he died. At the same time, he gave up none of his divinity. In his humanity he revealed the divine God among us in a way we could grasp. He loved, he taught, and he forgave sins. While no one has ever seen the face of God or ever will, Jesus, who is God and near the Father’s heart, shows us the Father. In his words, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9-10)
Whereas in Moses’ day, God dwelt above the Ark of the Covenant, now God dwelt in the presence of his disciples. Their concern was again like Moses’. God, are you going to leave us? Their response was much like a little child who was afraid that their daddy might leave them. And Jesus’ answer was, I won’t abandon you, God the Holy Spirit will take my place and always be with you. Further, he tells them that both the Father and the Son will make their home in the person who loves and obeys God. In other words, the believer is indwelt by the Trinity. The promise to Moses was that God would go with him and give him rest―peace. (Genesis 33:14) To the disciples Jesus gave the same, I am leaving you with a gift―peace of mind and heart. (John 14:27)
My question is simple: how aware are we in the continuous indwelling presence of the Trinity? God is aware of everything your eyes see, every thought that passes through your head, every thought you stop to dwell on, every word that comes out of your mouth, every word you write, every place your feet take you, everything your hands do.
He is aware because he lives in you. In Moses’ words, “Let me know your ways so I can understand you more fully.” God’s answer? “I’ll go one better. I’ll come and live within you and we can go from there. Let’s talk. Now about the other day you were asking about what it means to be holy . . .”
Music: “Take Time to Be Holy” (Slane: nice tune) Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Glorious God, give me grace to amend my life and to have an eye to my end without begrudging death, which to those who die in you, good Lord, is the gate of a wealthy life. And give me, good Lord, a humble, lowly, quiet, peaceable, patient, charitable, kind, tender and pitiful mind, in all my works and all my words and all my thoughts, to have a taste of your holy, blessed Spirit. Give me, good Lord, a full faith, a firm hope, and a fervent charity, a love of you incomparably above the love of myself. Give me, good Lord, a longing to be with you, not to avoid the calamities of this world, nor so much to attain the joys of heaven, as simply for love of you. And give me, good Lord, your love and favor, which my love of you, however great it might be, could not deserve were it not for your great goodness. These things, good Lord, that I pray for, give me your grace to labor for. In the name of Jesus, my Savior. Amen.
―Thomas More 1478-1535, from Eerdmans’ Book of Famous Prayers, p.41