The movies do it so well. It amazes me how film can express the awkward, emotional moments that portray the stress of discord in a relationship so vividly that I sit there with a knot in my stomach. A long lost brother coming home for a special occasion, either a funeral or a wedding, puts one on the edge of the seat, feeling the pain of uncertainty and wasted years.
We are children of God. Jesus is God’s son. He is our eldest brother through whom our world came into being. John writes of the grief of being made unwelcome in His great homecoming mission.
1:10-11 He was in the world, and, although the world came into being through him, the world did not recognize him. It was into his own home that he came, and his own people did not welcome him.
If men had only had the sense to see him, the Logos was always recognizable in the universe.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse… (Romans 1:20)
The world has been made to lead men to God. Creation and circumstances are so orchestrated to make men feel the void in their souls for the love that is calling out to them.
Theology has always made a distinction between natural theology and revealed theology. Revealed theology deals with the truth that comes directly from God through the prophets, the Bible, and through Jesus Christ. Natural theology deals with the truth that man could discover by the exercise of his own mind and intellect on the world in which he lives. How can we see God’s word, God’s reason, God’s mind (logos) in the world in which we live?
Revelation knowledge is the wonder of hearing our Saviour speaks through the written Word. It is the voice of conviction in our mind that directs our decisions and establishes our thoughts on the right path for our lives.
Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established. (Proverbs 16:3)
For this, the greatest blessing on our earthly living, we study and pray.
We pray for insight into our world. We can only truly see when we see with Holy Spirit eyes. We look at the universe outwards. Basic Greek thought dictated that where there is order there must be a mind. The world has amazing order. The planets keep to their appointed courses. The tides observe their appointed times. Seed times and harvest, summer and winter, day and night come according to their appointed times (Genesis 11:22). Clearly there is order in nature, and, therefore, equally clearly there must be a mind behind it all. It is a superior mind, far beyond the mind of man.
We look at the universe upwards: Astronomers tell us that there are as many stars as there are grains of sand upon the seashore. Man can calculate precisely when and where an eclipse of the sun will happen hundreds of years from now, and to the second how long it will last. It has been said, “no astronomer can be an atheist.” When we look upwards we see God.
We look at our world inwards: Where did we get the power to think, to reason and to know? Where did we get our knowledge of right and of wrong? Where do remorse and regret and the sense of guilt come from? Why can we never do what we like and be at peace? No man can explain himself apart from God.
We look at our universe backwards: our whole of history is a demonstration of the moral law in action. Empires rise and collapse according to the pattern of moral degeneration.
Israel was specially God’s land and the Jews were specially God’s people. The Jewish nation is called God’s peculiar treasure (Exodus 19:5; Psalms 135:4). The door should have been wide open for Jesus, but he was rejected. The people were being prepared for a task over centuries and then they refused the task.
Today, so many people refuse the task God has for them. It is one of the reasons for discord in our lives.
What is God’s task for you now? Are you unhappy with your circumstances? Think carefully. God has a task for you. Are you refusing it?
The fact remains that God is preparing us by all the experiences of life for something; and many refuse the task when it comes and never even realize that they are refusing it.
1:12-13: To all those who did receive him, to those who believe in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God. These were born not of blood, nor of any human impulse, nor of any man’s will, but their birth was of God.
A man is not naturally a child of God. He has to become a child of God. You could be in the classroom, even attending lectures, but it doesn’t make you a student. As one preacher said: sitting in a garage doesn’t make you a car, sitting in a church doesn’t make you a Christian.
Man can only enter into friendship with God when God himself opens the way. We accept the life God offers through believing in the name of Jesus Christ.
Life is tough and we often do not feel full of faith, victoriously conquering evil and pushing back the power of darkness. We need to constantly surrender our feeling of weakness and defeat. In Jesus we can never be defeated. We will triumph over the most destructive circumstances imaginable, when we fully rely on the promised strength of Jesus.
We are promised so much in the powerful name of Jesus. Jewish thought named a person to portray his nature.
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. (Psalm 9:10).
We will put our trust in God because we know what he is like. We see in Jesus what God is like. We become children of God by what Jesus is and that opens up the possibility of becoming children of God. Maybe it is good that you feel weak and not able to do anything by yourself…go ahead – ask.