The Omniscient One

“The Lord knows human thoughts…”
Psalm 94:11 (NASB)

“Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him,
‘Here is truly an Israelite, in whom there is no deceit!’
Nathanael said to Him, ‘How do You know me?’
Jesus answered and said to him,
‘Before Philip called you,
when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.’
Nathanael answered Him,
‘Rabbi, You are the Son of God;
You are the King of Israel!’”
John 1:47-49 (NASB)

“For He knew the one who was betraying Him…”
“Jesus replied, ‘Will you lay down your life for Me?
Truly, truly I say to you, 
a rooster will not crow
until you deny Me three times.’”
John 13:11, 38 (NASB)

The coming One is wonderfully described in the four biographies of Him that we call the Gospels i.e., Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John found in the Bible. In the Bible’s sacred pages we find the story of the God Man Who entered history and turned the world upside down.

Today’s glimpse at the Coming One shows how He knows everything about everybody. When Nathaniel saw Jesus for the first time, he was startled to hear this stranger tell him that He saw him under a fig tree only a little while earlier. Also, the stranger said that Nathaniel was not devious. Nathaniel knew he was not sly or deceptive, but how did this person know that? Nathaniel drew the correct deduction from these two remarkable comments by the Teacher and called Him the Son of God, the King of Israel, the Coming One.

So, very early in His career as a travelling teacher, Jesus demonstrates His omniscience. Performing such a miracle in the presence of godly people received an appropriate response. Later in His ministry His miracles, even resurrecting people, would light the fire of hatred, c.f. John 11 and the fallout from Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.

When we reflect on the reality that our Creator really knows our actions, where we came from and what we will do tomorrow, it can make some of us uncomfortable. Someone who can access our most private area of life—that is our thoughts—is truly omniscient! It is very uncomfortable to realize that Someone can read even the thoughts we want no one to ever know!

As we meditate on the Omniscient one, we feel like Adam and Eve in the garden after they ate the forbidden fruit. We want to hide from Him. But there is nowhere to effectively hide!! All we can do, all we need to do, is listen to His gracious invitation and run into His loving strong arms and receive from Him eternal life. He is willing and able to forgive the deepest darkest sins.

Come just as you are. Come to the Omniscient one and come today.

Come, you sinners, poor and needy,
weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
full of pity, love, and power.

Come, you thirsty, come and welcome,
God’s free bounty glorify;
true belief and true repentance,
ev’ry grace that brings you nigh.

Let not conscience make you linger,
nor of fitness fondly dream;
all the fitness he requires
is to feel your need of him.

Come, you weary, heavy laden,
lost and ruined by the fall;
if you tarry till you’re better,
you will never come at all.

I will rise and go to Jesus!
He will save me from my sin.
By the riches of his merit,
there is joy and life in him.

-Joseph Hart

The Eternal One

“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made;
without him nothing was made
that has been made.”
John 1:1-3 (NIV)

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will come forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His times of coming forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”
Micah 5:2 (NASB)

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable
to empathize with our weaknesses,
but we have one who has been tempted in every way,
just as we are—yet he did not sin.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace
to help us in our time of need.”
Hebrews 4:15-16 (NIV)

When we look at the Gospels Matthew, Luke and John, each begins their biography of our Lord at a different place in time. Matthew begins Jesus’ genealogy with Abraham. Luke starts his genealogy with Adam and John declares that the Saviour is an eternal Being.

So, from the commencement of the Gospels, the truth of the incarnation is affirmed. The coming One is both God and man. No one who encountered Jesus denied His humanity. However, many of the religious leaders in our Lord’s time among us demanded He die because He went around claiming to be God (c.f. John 5:18; 8:58).

The prophet Micah made the prophecy of the incarnation clear when he said the future ruler who would arise from Bethlehem would also be an eternal Being. Often in these devotionals the incarnation has been taught. Many Christmas carols we sing embody this truth. The theme of Jesus’ deity is enshrined in Scripture, in Christian writings and in the hymns and carols of the Lord’s people.

When we think of our Saviour being both God and man, comforting thoughts come to mind. First, we consider our Good Shepherd as a man because He came into His own creation the same way we all do through being born of a woman. He was able to experience all the temptations common to humanity. This means He can be sympathetic to our suffering and temptations of this life. Consider Hebrews 4:15-16 once more and see how compassionate our High Priest is because He has experienced great suffering when He walked among us.

Then, as the Eternal One, He controls the universe He created from calming the angry sea, to creating a meal for thousands from a poor boy’s bag lunch, to raising the dead. So then, your struggle is not beyond His ability to intervene with sovereign power supplying overcoming grace.

Come confidently today and receive the assistance that is more than adequate whatever your issue happens to be. You are His beloved child for whom He died and rose again. Hear Paul’s argument from the greater to the less when he wrote in Romans 8:32 (NASB)

“He who did not spare His own Son,
but delivered Him over for us all,
how will He not also with Him
freely give us all things?”

Come to the Eternal One and come today.

The Coming One

“And I will make enemies
Of you and the woman,
And of your offspring and her Descendant;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise Him on the heel.”
Genesis 3:15 (NASB)

“Father, I want those you have given me 
to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, 
the glory you have given me because you loved me
before the creation of the world.”
John 17:24 (NIV)

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world 
to be holy and blameless in his sight.
In love he predestined us for adoption
to sonship through Jesus Christ,
in accordance with his pleasure and will— “
Ephesians1:4-5 (NIV)

Our first parents, Adam and Eve, sinned by doing the one thing the Lord had forbidden. For the first time Adam and Eve hid from their Creator when He came to meet with them. They instinctively knew that they had sinned and the Lord was holy. The gulf their sin created caused them to retreat from the opportunity to draw near to the Lord.

Adam and Eve needed a way to renew fellowship with the Lord but lacked the resources needed to bridge the gulf their sin had created. All of us are or were in the same state as our first parents. We have all sinned and in great need of divine intervention.

The very first promise of a Deliverer was given immediately after sin entered the world. As we read Genesis 3:15 we learn that the Redeemer promised was a man descended from Adam and Eve, He would do battle with Satan, be wounded, but ultimately victorious on behalf of His people. This is the Gospel in condensed form.

The Old Testament, written over hundreds of years, gives more and more detail concerning the Coming One. We call it “progressive revelation”. There are many wonderful names attributed to the Lord Jesus Christ. Each name depicts some glorious aspect of His person and work. It would take a lifetime to thoroughly research every name and we as believers have eternity to study and learn more and more about our beloved Good Shepherd.

As we journey to Bethlehem this month may we delight in the carols that celebrate our great Redeemer. Try to see how glorious the descriptions are of the blessed Messiah Who loved you eternally (Ephesians 1:4-5) and longs to have you join Him in His Father’s home (John 17:24).

He came to die for you and is coming again to embrace you forever. Celebrate this month the glorious truth of your placement in the family of God. The Coming One will not rest until He has gathered every one of His precious people home.

The Faithful Teacher

“You are the salt of the earth”
Matthew 5:13

It was many years ago that a faithful Sunday School teacher had a group of young teenagers to serve every Lord’s Day. The teacher was a very gentle man who loved his Lord and took great interest in all the boys in his class.

In fact, one of the class members was his own beloved son. Another scholar was his son’s close friend. That fact worried the teacher because his son’s friend was an actively evil person and the teacher feared for the spiritual safety of his boy. Also, most of the parents in the church were concerned about the bad influence of the young fellow on the others in the church.

The rebellious young teenager never knew of his Sunday School teacher’s concern about his friendship with the teacher’s son.

The teacher took a very genuine interest in the deviant boy and spoke to him kindly every opportunity he had. The young fellow gained the very accurate notion that his teacher truly cared for him.

For a few years the young man drifted from church and the training he had from his teacher. One day when he was with some other like minded fellows they were planning the robbery of a local store. As the various ideas were put forward concerning the best way to get the cash from the store owner the former Sunday School scholar recalled the kind and concerned teacher he once had at church.

The thought came to him in that planning meeting that if ever the teacher found out he had been arrested and charged with a crime it would be too embarrassing. He quickly got up, excused himself from the home of his partner in crime and never returned to the evil friends he once enjoyed so much.

It was years before the young man became a Christian but the influence of a quiet, faithful Sunday School teacher had spoken with conviction to his heart that warm summer day.

The young man went on to become a preacher and teacher who served the Lord in numerous countries. His friend became a world renowned biblical scholar. The two are friends to this day.

Do you wonder what influence your life could possibly have on others? Do you imagine that you are not significant nor is there any great contribution for you to make to the world of your time?

That Sunday School teacher never became the CEO of some large company but his son and his son’s friend have touched people around the world for the Gospel. Without a godly father or Sunday School teacher who knows what would have become of either young man.

Just be faithful with what the Lord gives you to do. Love the unlovely and work patiently with the rebels of this world. God is able to raise up spiritual giants who have had their lives shaped profoundly by an unknown faithful disciple of Jesus. God has no little people.

A Day At A Time

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

Everyone should have an aunt like my aunt Bertha. All of her nieces and nephews loved her and her husband Lorrie my mom’s older brother. I recall one day following her into another aunt’s home as we went to a birthday celebration. As we walked along I said, “Aunt Bertha how are you doing?” Her spontaneous reply was, “Gordon me and the Lord are taking things one day at a time.”

Now I should tell you a bit about Aunt Bertha’s history. First her beloved husband had died of leukemia. Before that her youngest son Walter died in a boating accident. Then her son Graham died of cancer. Finally her last son died tragically in a hunting accident. So when she said she and the Lord were taking things one day at a time it was a profound comment coming from one so wrapped up in tragedy.

In 51 years of Christian ministry I have had to witness much suffering by people and I have never grown casual or flippant as I see the suffering of others. I have wept with those who weep and witnessed the amazing grace of God in the lives of people in intense pain. Frankly I do not know how people who do not know the Lord manage in times of trouble.

When I wrote this devotional I had just gotten off the phone with a dear saint of the Lord who had gone through surgery after surgery for reconstruction of various skeletal deformities caused by arthritis. This wonderful person has developed an amazing ministry to others who also have suffered much in life. As we talked it became evident this person was living life one day at a time. Their suffering was not wasted as they reached out to others and had a very active prayer life helping people in pain.

Are you learning to take life a day at a time? Or do you find yourself trying to see a long way down the road and imagining what the alternatives might be for you in a year or so? Do you sit brooding over your difficulties and trying to figure out how you will ever cope with possible problems ?

It is time for you to get up and start dealing with life head on. Find ways to help others with similar problems as yours. Perhaps there is a community support group you could attend and support. You might enlist the help of others in your church to organize a community program for people with special needs such as single moms. Seek the mind of the Lord as to how you can help others and be a strong witness to God’s grace for those who suffer, but do not waste your suffering!