Oh, the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! Romans 11:33
Mary Lee is a sixteen-foot, 3,500-pound great white shark tagged by oceanographers off the east coast of the US in 2012. The transmitter attached to her dorsal fin would be tracked by satellite when she surfaced. For the next five years Mary Lee’s movements were observed online by everyone from researchers to surfers, up and down the coast. She was tracked for nearly 40,000 miles until one day her signal stopped—probably because the battery on her transmitter expired.
Human knowledge and technology reach only so far. Those “following” Mary Lee lost track of her, but you and I can never evade God’s awareness throughout every moment of our lives. David prayed, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there” (Psalm 139:7–8). “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,” he exclaims gratefully (v. 6).
God chooses to know us because He loves us. He cares enough not only to observe our lives but also to enter into them and make them new. He drew near through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, so we could know Him in return and love Him for eternity. We can never go beyond the reach of God’s love.
Reflect & Pray
How does the thought that God knows and loves us completely encourage you? How will you reach out to others with His love today?
Thank You for always seeing me, Father! Help me to live today with a growing awareness of Your presence and perfect love.
2 Corinthians 9:6-15
Have you ever tried to count your blessings? No matter how long a list you could compile, it would barely scratch the surface. Only the Lord can reveal to us all the ways He has provided, guided, and blessed us. But Scripture helps us recognize amazing blessings that are ours in Christ.
For example, today’s passage teaches that we don’t lose anything by being generous. God calls us to give cheerfully, not grudgingly; bountifully, not sparingly; and voluntarily, not under compulsion. When we do, He responds with abounding grace that overflows in our life (2 Corinthians 9:6-8).
God’s grace …
Flows to us. Our Father promises us sufficiency in everything as He supplies our needs, provides more for us to give, and increases our righteousness. In fact, He says we will be enriched in everything for our generosity (2 Corinthians 9:11).
Reaches out to others. When needs around us are met through our generosity, some people will begin to correlate our giving with obedience to God. As a bond of fellowship is formed, they may respond by praying for us (2 Corinthians 9:13-14).
Brings glory to Him. We are not the heroes in the story; the Lord is. Our obedience and dependence on Him demonstrate that He alone is the one who provides us with the means to give. And those who receive our gift will glorify God, who is the ultimate source of their provision (2 Corinthians 9:13).
Don’t allow human reasoning or the fear of not having enough prevent you from experiencing God’s abounding grace, which He showers on those who obey Him.
“And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” (1 John 4:14)
This unique title of the Lord Jesus Christ assures us that when the Father sent His Son away from the glories of heaven down to a world lost in sin, it was not just to be the Messiah of the Jews, or to assume David’s throne as King of Israel, or to punish the wicked Gentile nations.
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17).
In fact, this special title is used only one other time in the Bible, and it was used by Samaritans rather than Jews when they came to know Jesus as He ministered among them for two days. These people were mostly of Gentile background with a mixture of Israeli blood who had become adherents of a quasi-Jewish religion that was also part pagan.
But they were actually looking for a Savior, and their testimony after meeting Jesus was: “Now we believe . . . and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world” (John 4:42). They perceived that He had come to bring salvation to lost sinners in every nation, not just to Israel or Samaria. As He said later, “I came not to judge the world, but to save the world” (John 12:47).
And so He commanded His disciples “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations” (Luke 24:47). He became to the Father “the propitiation . . . for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2) when He offered up His life as a sacrifice for sins, then died and rose again. We who have believed on Him as our personal Savior are now to be His witnesses “in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). HMM
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. —Psalm 103:13-14
For some of us last year was one in which we did not acquit ourselves very nobly as Christians, considering the infinite power available to us through the indwelling Spirit. But through the goodness of God we may go to school to our failures. The man of illuminated mind will learn from his mistakes, yes even from his sins. If his heart is trusting and penitent, he can be a better man next year for last year’s fault—but let him not return again to folly. Repentance should be radical and thorough, and the best repentance for a wrong act, as Fenelon said, is not to do it again….
Brother Lawrence expressed the highest moral wisdom when he testified that if he stumbled and fell he turned at once to God and said, “O Lord, this is what You may expect of me if You leave me to myself.” He then accepted forgiveness, thanked God and gave himself no further concern about the matter. WOS102-104
Oh Lord, some of us have graduate degrees from this school! Help us to learn well from our failures, to accept Christ’s forgiveness and to move on. Give victory for today, I pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.—John 16:33.
Thee will I love, my Crown of gladness,
Thee will I love, my God and Lord,
Amid the darkest depths of sadness;
Not for the hope of high reward,
For Thine own sake, O Light Divine,
So long as life is mine.
What is the secret of serenity? We all want to know it. Indeed, we do know it already. There is no secret about it. St. Paul speaks it out plainly enough. Everybody can see what it is. All things work; together for good to them that love God. We must love God that is the heart of it. Happiness, content, and right satisfaction, all doubts, answered, all dark places lighted up, heaven begun here, this is the reward of loving God. In this world, tribulation, yes, but good cheer in spite of that, for the Son of God, whom we love, has overcome the world.
Man’s happiness consists in present peace, even in the midst of the greatest trials, and in more than hope of a glorious future.
“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” Ps. 17:15
The portion of other men fills their bodies, and enriches their children, but the portion of the believer is of another sort. Men of the world have their treasure in this world, but men of the world to come look higher and further.
Our possession is twofold. We have God’s presence here and His likeness hereafter. Here we behold the face of the Lord in righteousness, for we are justified in Christ Jesus. Oh, the joy of beholding the face of a reconciled God! The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ yields us Heaven below, and it will be to us the Heaven of Heaven above.
But seeing does not end it: we are to be changed into that which we gaze upon. We shall sleep a while and then wake up to find ourselves as mirrors which reflect the beauties of our Lord. Faith sees God with a transforming look. The heart receives the image of Jesus into its own depths, till the character of Jesus is imprinted on the soul. This is satisfaction. To see God and to be like Him — what more can I desire? David’s assured confidence is here by the Holy Ghost made to be the Lord’s promise. I believe it. I expect it. Lord, vouchsafe it. Amen.