Good Monday morning to you. We pray God is keeping you well and hope these devotionals can be some encouragement to you with the changes we’re all facing. May the word of God and time spent with Him bring hope and help to you each day no matter what you’re dealing with.
The Word became flesh. Already established in the beginning of John 1, the Word, Jesus Christ existed eternally prior to the creation of all things. It is significant that the Gospel of John starts off with establishing Jesus Christ as the Word. Consider what words are: extensions of who we are; expressions of thought and emotion; indicators of our intentions and exposure of what is within us (and we could certainly go on and on). Words are like windows of the soul. Let’s briefly look at a few passages to shed light on words:
Matthew 12:35-37 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.37 “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
James 3:2 ”For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.”
In John 3:31-34, John the Baptist would be recorded saying these words concerning Christ:
“He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.”
The BDAG Greek lexicon, in referring to “the Word,” clarifies this identification of Christ as “the independent personified expression of God.” (BDAG, Bibleworks). Perhaps the running idea throughout the Gospel of John is that not only is Jesus the Son of God (a primary emphasis of the book), but also that He is the expression of the invisible God. How does the Father feel about sin, and how does He react to it? Look at Christ. Is God arrogant or humble? Look at Christ. Does the Father love people, and is He kind and generous? Look at Christ. How much does He love you and me? Look at Christ on the cross. John 3:16 begins with the words , “For God so loved…” When it speaks of Jesus coming, the verse indicates to us that there is no greater way for God to have shown His love for us than by sending Christ. Being human, we all tend to struggle at times with questions of God’s nearness, His concern over what we’re going through, and even the question of whether He really does love us. Go back to the Bible when you’ve hit that point; it doesn’t always emotionally console us in the moment, but truth hidden in the heart can hit us at those times God chooses to employ it. Thank God for those times, right!?
For all that people surmise about what God is “like”, there is no need to look any further than the recorded history of Jesus Christ. He is not distant and uncaring; He dwelt among us. Going further, we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father. What is this glory John refers to? D.A. Carson says this regarding Christ’s glory:
“Jesus’ glory was displayed in His ‘signs’…He was supremely ‘glorified’ in His death and exaltation. This does not mean He had no glory before He began His public ministry, for in fact He enjoyed glory with the Father before the incarnation, and returned to take up that glory again after His resurrection…(Referencing Ex. 33:19, additionally,) God’s glory, then, is supremely His goodness.” (Carson,D.A. The Gospel of John, Pillar New Testament Commentary: Leicester, Eerdmans Publishing Company), 128,129.
John 1:14 is actually a tie between glory and being full of grace and truth. The glory of Jesus is shown most in the fullness of grace and truth. Jesus is exemplifying the beauty of the Father. He came and wasn’t fairly gracious or mostly truthful; He was completely gracious and completely truthful. Those two qualities alone create an incredible model for every believer to seek conformity to: to be gracious and given to truth like our Savior. Jesus is the perfect example of both grace and truth, as He is the source of grace and truth.
Grace, simply put, is unmerited favor. It’s the crux of the Gospel message: Christ died the death we should have and offered us life freely at no merit of our own. We simply believe in Him. Tim Keller says this: “The gospel is this: we are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” An old acronym for grace is “God’s riches at Christ’s expense.” Unearned, undeserved but given freely and immensely. Romans 5:20 says, “Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.”
In Jesus, we realize the fullness of God’s grace and truth, His love and willingness to forgive and to bless. We have great hope because of Jesus Christ and only because of Him. Give Him honor and glory today by doing your best where He’s placed you today, by ruminating on the truths of the Bible, by showing grace to others as grace has been lavished upon you by God, and by living in the truth.
Father, help us to give our attention to our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Help us to give you priority again today, grant us mercy where we fail you and grace to follow you. Humble our hearts before you and make us lights in the darkness. Help us to be firm in your truth and to stand fast. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Questions for today to consider:
What is the difference between grace and mercy?
Where is God calling you to show grace to someone else today?
Keep Looking up!