Grace For The Journey
Jesus Christ made an amazing statement in John 17:20-21. He was praying to the heavenly Father in the most intimate of ways, revealing a communion and oneness with Him that is difficult for us to soak in. Amazingly, Jesus begins to speak in this prayer of those who would carry on the advancement of the Kingdom of God after His death. He prays for His disciples and then He prays a captivating statement concerning us who would believe on Him down through the ages when He says, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word …”
Jesus prayed for us in that statement. It is important to know from the construction of this phrase in the Greek, that His infinite mind was not thinking about some great mass of humanity, but rather each specific person who would be His own. If you are one who has admitted to yourself and God that you are a sinner, that you cannot save yourself, trust in Christ’s redeeming work on the cross and through His resurrection, and you asked Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sin and be your Savior and Lord then you can know He prayed for you that day and that it is recorded in Scripture.
When I study the life of Jesus Christ I am continually awestruck at His character, deeds, and words. If I’m am honest, there are days when I am convinced that I barely know Him at all. It is my opinion that we will be, as one person has said, “so mind-blowingly astounded,” at who He is when we arrive in glory, that the first thing that may enter into our fully renewed minds will be something like, “If I had only known…” If it turns out that we did not know much about Him at all, then we will not be alone in our lack of intimate understanding. You see, even one of His original followers, one of the twelve, once heard Jesus say, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know Me, Philip?” John 14:9
My friends, please be honest and admit with me that you and I are not merely lacking a few blanks which will need to be filled in when we enter paradise. By the way some of us might be led to believe that we think that we have God nearly figured out. Surely He has been gracious to show us so much through His Word and His Spirit, but He certainly has revealed more to us than we are able or willing to perceive.
No, when we get to glory … we will not receive God’s answers to a dozen or so curiosities that dwell in our minds … we will receive an eye-awakening, mind-blowing revelation of Him which has never entered into our minds or hearts. When there is no need for faith, and the eternal God then presents Himself to us with nothing limiting our comprehension of Him … there exist no adequate words to describe what that will be like.
Let me leave you with some things that I am rather certain that I still do not yet really know of Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord:
- I really don’t know how much He loves me. Theologically I am convinced, but I struggle to completely internalize that His love for me is titanic and full, never increasing, never diminishing. I’m grateful that this love of His is not dependent upon my confidence in it.
- I really don’t fathom how forgiving He is. Again, my theology tells me that you and I are fully forgiven but…fully accepted and welcome? All the time? Could it really be?
- I really don’t understand that God loves to bless. He’s a Giver of the first order. He never fears running out of blessings and He doesn’t lose anything when He gives. His desire is to bless you and me with His best. I cannot earn His blessing and I never deserve it. He may bless me in spite of my unworthiness, He may bless me through my faithfulness … but He never blesses me because of anything other than that He is good and loves to demonstrate that goodness. I am quite certain that I really don’t understand how true this is.
- There is absolutely no reason for me to fear His growing weary of me. Do you ever wonder when He is going to reach His “That’s enough!” moment with you? Are you ever worried that this compassionate, merciful, gracious, and loving God will look at you in your 8 millionth failure and say, “This one has exhausted My resources. I’m though with him/her.” If we knew Him like He deserves to be known we would never even consider this heresy. His mercies really are new every morning. That includes today.
- I really don’t understand how sufficient His grace really is. I’m really not convinced that it’s a good thing for His power to be perfected in my weakness. I’m really not confident that He will be there to catch me in the eleventh hour, two inches from me hitting a life-imploding rock-bottom. If I really knew Him as He is, I wouldn’t try so hard to remain strong all the time. If I really knew Him as He is, I wouldn’t be so afraid of my own weaknesses.
- I really don’t grasp how certain my eternity is in His love and grace. I really don’t believe how soon His return is. I really don’t fathom how blissfully close I am to seeing my King. He really is real, the ultimate reality. He is the final word – Christ is my starting gun and my finish line. I really am safe. If I knew Him as He wants to be known I wouldn’t fret so much about things down here. I must not really know Him enough to be absorbed with His coming Kingdom. If I really knew Him as I should, I would sense a deeper joy than I’ve ever allowed myself. So would you, don’t you think?
So how about you? To know Him initially is to move from death to life. To know Him continually is to move from fear to hope. To know Him fully is to move from earth to heaven. Knowing Jesus as He is worthy to be known … That’s what I’m thinking about today.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”