I was glad when, a few days before Christmas, I arrived at the Book of John in my daily Bible reading and journaling. This is what I do: I read one book from the OT Beginning at Genesis, then one book from NT, beginning at the Book of Matthew, back and forth. What preceded John was Deuteronomy, so it was law to grace. Unlike Luke, John doesn’t retell the birth of Jesus, but it is equally rich in powerful promises. Walking through the Book of John is like walking through a diamond mine.
Full of bright expectations, I was on the lookout for God’s riches in the form of words and promises. And they came, like precious gems sparkling in a dark cave.
And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:16-17)
Of Christ’s fullness we have all received.
His truth. His grace. His forgiveness. His salvation. His healing. His life.
…As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God… (John 1:12)
children of God
As the Lord Jesus is, so are we in this world (part of 1 John 4:17). . Heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (part of Romans 8:17).
But sometimes, it just doesn’t seem that way. We fall ill. We suffer. We become destitute – of food, of strength and courage, of healing, of deliverance from problems. Dreams are not fulfilled. Longings are not satisfied. We groan. Tears fall.
But all these don’t change the truth: To those who have received the Lord Jesus Christ and who believe on His name, they are the children and heirs of God. We have that unseen treasure, treasure that neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal (part of Mat. 6:20)…
neither death nor life
nor angels nor principalities nor powers
nor things present nor things to come
nor height nor depth…
Nothing and no one shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom.8:38-39).
So we suffer tribulation, but in essence, in truth, in reality – we are good. We will be fine.
It is well with our soul.
We are not left behind. We are not forsaken. We are not poverty-stricken. The Lord Jesus said in Rev. 2:9: “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich)…” Yes, heirs-of-the-kingdom-of-God rich.
A beloved preacher in our church and his wife came from a wake an hour after Christmas Eve. They were going home to their place knowing that they didn’t have any food prepared for noche buena. So, when they passed by Mini Stop, they realized they were hungry, so they entered and had each a siopao (Chinese steamed bun). The beloved preacher told his wife cheerfully, “So, this is our noche buena.”
While the rest of the Philippines celebrated Christmas Eve with tables laden with food, gifts piled up under the Christmas trees, and carols and laughters ringing out, the beloved preacher and his wife enjoyed their siopao. And they were perfectly fine.
And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. (John 6:35)
When we maintain a “kingdom of God” perspective, we wouldn’t know or see lack. We only know what we have in Christ.
It would have seemed in my last post that all I desire is to go to places I’ve never been and fill up my senses with the things I would see and experience. But that is not what is foremost in my mind. My desire is to do the will of God. I already have a plan set in place: When I’m already well, I will go wherever the Lord sends me to – to testify and win souls.
At the beginning of 2016, I set my life’s theme based on Isaiah 6:8: “Here am I! Send me.” Throughout the year, every prayer I prayed for my healing, I ended it with, “Here am I, Lord, send me!”
I wasn’t sent anywhere except to my painting table or the patio. Still, it is well with my soul.
A MOST BLESSED, PROSPEROUS, VERY NEW YEAR TO US ALL!
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