Day 1: A Gift That Keeps On Giving
In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God. He was in the beginning with God. He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn’t make. Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone….The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was going to come into the world.…We have all benefited from the rich blessings he brought to us–one gracious blessing after another.
(John 1:1—4, 9, 16)WANTED: SAVIOR OF THEWORLD
• be able to transcend space and time,
• intimately know God and represent Him perfectly,
• be willing to leave paradise and live as a homeless person,
• dwell among people who doubt your credentials and question your sanity,
• be willing to tirelessly heal the sick, encourage the poor, and love the unlovely,
• serve as a light in a dark world and overcome all forms of evil, and
• single-handedly bear the weight of the world’s iniquities.
Only the sinless need apply. Send résumé directly to God.
If you are thinking that no one could have filled God’s job description for a savior besides Jesus, you are absolutely right. Even before humankind fell into sin, God had a perfect plan to restore us into right relationship and sweet fellowship with Him. His restoration plan didn’t come in the form of a prescription or an extreme makeover. It came in the form of a person–a timeless, sinless, and matchless person by the name of Jesus Christ.
Admittedly, the gospel of John’s opening lines can be confusing for the person who doesn’t recognize the incredible credentials our Savior holds. I recall as a teenager hearing my pastor read the following:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1, NIV).
The verse sounded to me like an unsolvable riddle. But now I know that Jesus (the Word) was God made flesh, sent to earth to dwell among us. Jesus’ origins go back much further than Mary’s womb. He existed with God before the beginning of time and will continue to exist when time has ended. But Jesus hadn’t just been with
God, like two people can be with each other in a room. As part of the Trinity–God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit–He actually is
In other words, God Himself came to the earth He created. Why? To demonstrate His lavish love. He desired to be with us for a time and to leave an indelible mark on the history of humanity–indeed, to save us from ourselves and our folly. God came down from heaven in the form of a human being so that we could recognize and relate with Him in an intimate way and learn from Him how we are to live. Can you imagine a more extraordinary and personal gift?
God’s gifts to us are as timeless as He is. Just because we’re living two thousand years after Jesus walked this earth doesn’t mean we have missed out on having a personal relationship with Him. Does Jesus still transcend time and space? You bet. He is both omniscient (knowing all things throughout time) and omnipresent (everywhere at once). Not only that, the gospel accounts of His life teach us how to intimately know Him. Can Jesus still heal the sick, encourage the poor, and love the unlovely? Yes, He can, and He does so countless times per day. Is He still our light in a dark world? Does He overcome evil still to this day? Does He gladly bear the weight of every sin we commit? Yes, yes, and yes.
God didn’t just send a postcard from heaven or a mere memento or token of His love. He gave us a precious gift that keeps on giving. He gave us a living, breathing, walking, talking, loving, healing, teaching, preaching example of His extraordinary love by coming near to us in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ.HOLDING HIS HAND
It boggles our minds to try to think of a more perfect plan than the one You devised and executed. Thank You for coming near to us in the form of Your Son, Jesus, to bring light to our world, to save us from our sins, and to show us how to live in obedience and sweet fellowship with You.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Excerpted from Completely Blessed by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright © 2007 by Shannon Ethridge. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.