January 4, 2016

Read: John 3:1-21

Can you see the face of Jesus in the clouds? Does the Aurora Borealis appear to be the hem of His garment? Or, perhaps, the beams of light filtering through storm clouds look like the glory of the Lord is shining through. “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” On a beautiful cloudless spring day, I recall observing that the sky was almost periwinkle from horizon to horizon. With limited experience and human perception, one could emphatically state the sky is blue. And this conclusion would serve one quite well until storm clouds roll in.  Despite common complaint, meteorologists often accurately predict the condition of sky; however, none can predict a silhouetted profile of Jesus.
This problem is similar to what happens when perception and experience are relied upon to know God. It is, at best, partial and very flawed. Which God do you believe in? The one you have authored for yourself based upon your own experience and understanding, or the One who authored Scripture? Nicodemus sought out Jesus in order to ask Him a few questions; but, it is the questions Jesus asked Nicodemus which we need to answer as well.  “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?” “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” Jesus assures Nicodemus and us that He was not sent to condemn the world.  It is through Him that the world may be saved. He wants us to come to Him. He has invited us to know Him. “Whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” He has provided us with a Teacher and His word. 
A new year is a new chance for a new beginning.  This is a great time to resolve to increase our understanding and knowledge of our Creator, Savior, and Teacher through Scripture.  In this new year, resolve to be His student who studies His word, His disciple who follows His way, and His child who marvels His creation.

Beginning 2016 with Prayer

Pray for Your Influence

Thank You for the influence You have given me in ________’s life. Use me to affirm him (or her), his purpose in Your kingdom, and the gifts You have given him. When he looks into my eyes, I want him to experience Your love and compassion. When he hears my voice calling his name, let him hear Your voice delighting in him. When he hears me talk about him, confirm for him the value of his life as Your creation.

1 Peter 3:1; Ephesians 5:1,33; Zephaniah 3:17