Tag Archives: Creator

Your Maker

Have you seen the T-shirt that says, “There is a God” on the front?  On the back it reads, “You’re not Him!”  Good reminder.  But the Apostle John would give Jesus a T-shirt that read, “There is a God and I Am Him.”  Imagine how awkward it was for John to tell people he knew a guy who actually was Almighty God.  If you were accosted in the airport by someone telling you that, you’d immediately take your leave. Running.

But John was dead serious.  Jesus, he said, is God!”  The God.  Think of the implications.  One, in John’s words, is this:

All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.  (John 1:3 (NASB95))

Where I live, 14,000 foot mountains dominate the western horizon.  They pulsate with dawn’s first luminescence, sparkle with ice and snow throughout the day and, at dusk, are silhouetted by astonishingly beautiful sunsets.  If John was right, Jesus designed all that beauty.  Look down at your hand: Consider the intricate workings of each of your fingers.  Jesus did that.  Think about your what makes you unique, your likes and dislikes, the sound of your voice and your special skills.  Ponder the fact that you can hear and see.  “Nothing came into being apart from Him.”  That means He made you.  Jesus.

I know adoptees who yearn to one day meet their natural parents.  What if you could actually meet the One Who designed you and created you; would that interest you?

You can, you know…


Down in the back roads of West Virginia, I met a man who had once known an old guy who fought in the Civil War.  He showed me the house where that guy had been born and had died in the same bed, with his Sharps rifle hanging on the wall.  Although it is unlikely, that guy could have met Abraham Lincoln.  Think about it: Who is your closest connection to antiquity, the person you know who goes back the furthest?

When John “sings his song” to the ones who have followed Jesus the longest, he calls them “fathers” and says this:

I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning.  (1 John 2:13a )

When John “sings” to the newest Christians, he has a couple of different things to say.  Same thing with the “adolescent” believers.  But to the “fathers,” to the mature believers, John repeats this same reminder, word for word:

I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning.  (1 John 2:14a )

What does he mean?  Jesus is the One “who is from the beginning.”   In his Gospel, John opens with these words about Jesus:

In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.  (John 1:1-2)

If you could go back in time and meet just one person, who would it be?  Can you imagine having a chat with one of the Wright brothers, about what it was like to be there for the beginning of flight?   It would be cool to meet Ben Franklin, because he was there at the beginning of this country.  But how about getting to meet Someone Who was “there” at the beginning of everything?  He was not just an observer, but the Creator!

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:3)

John says that He was, that He existed, from the beginning!  He is eternal – timeless.  He is the One, Who “became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” (John 1:14b)

Try to wrap your mind around the enormity of what John is asserting here.  John doesn’t say, “You got to meet him.”  He says, “You fathers have known Him.”   Chances are pretty good that you have met someone famous.  There is a big difference between meeting someone and knowing him.   Knowing means having a deep and intimate relationship with someone.

John reminds those who have followed Jesus for a long time, “Don’t forget, don’t lose touch with this amazing reality, this great privilege.  Since the moment you surrendered by faith to Jesus, He has welcomed you into an authentic relationship.  And He is the One Who has always been.   Imagine!”

Talk about connections…

The Gift

A friend told me of an elderly woman who spoke a brief but powerful message at his church.  She stood at the pulpit and said, “I would like to read a verse in the Bible you have probably never heard –  It’s John 3:16.”  Everyone laughed, since that verse is one of the most well known verses in Scripture.  Sunday school children can rattle it off by memory with lighting speed.   The people thought, “She’s joking; John 3:16 is the verse held up behind the goalposts, for heaven’s sake; of course we’ve heard it.”  Undeterred, the woman began to read: “For God so loved the world, that He gave…”  But at that point in her reading, her throat became constricted, there was a catch in her voice, and she had to stop to pull herself together.  She inhaled that jerky breath of intense sorrow.  Her eyes rimmed red.  She started again: “For God so loved the world that He….  (sob)…   that He gave…   (silent pause, clearing of throat)…  He gave His one and only Son…”   At that point she could not go on.  Her chest was heaving as she tried to take control of her emotions.  A tear snaked its way down her cheek.  She leaned over and fiercely glared at the text in the Bible, unsuccessfully willing herself to stop weeping.  And then, one by one, people in the congregation began to weep with her.  They began to “hear” this verse and to understand the profound generosity and the horrible cost represented by those simple words: “He gave His one and only Son.”  Soon the whole congregation was gripped by the shocking enormity  conveyed in that verse.  Tears flowed, noses were blown.   The old woman just waited.  And then, she closed her Bible and sat back down.  They had “heard” it.

How can God be loving and forgiving and at the same time be perfectly just?  How can He forgive our sins without also demanding the just punishment for them?  He gradually revealed to Isaiah what He would do to reconcile the apparent conflict between perfect love and perfect justice.  He told Isaiah:

“…For unto us a child is born, to us a Son is given…” (Isaiah 9:6a)

The word, given, means given over.  Like a mother who stands by the bus and gives her son over to basic training.   In the marriage ceremony, the pastor asks, “Who gives this woman…”   The parents let go of their child and give her over.   Young women make the heroic choice to bear a child, and then, knowing their own inability to provide for that child, give him over for adoption.   Gifts, in the truest sense, have no strings.  They are given over, forever.  In giving His Son, God takes His hands off, removes His shield of protection.  He gives Jesus – to us.  

God gave Jesus over to whatever would happen to Him in this world.  You know what happened.  In that Gift, God accomplished love and justice.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.  (Isaiah 53:5-6)

Oh My God!!!

“Papa, wake up!  You have to see this!”

I fought my way out of a dream and gradually put the world back together.  We were in a small cabin on the northern shores of Lake Michigan.  The last few embers of the evening’s fire were winking in the fireplace.  Must have been after midnight.  My daughter pulled at my sleeve and whispered, “Get Mom and come down to the lake, quickly!”

We stumbled down the darkened steps, gripping the handrail by the path and emerged out onto the rocky beach.  Stretched out above us were vast curtains of emerald green, flashing brightly and undulating as though moved by an unseen, powerful hand.  The stars were so vivid they glittered on the surface of the lake and yet they paled behind this spectacular display of Northern Lights.  My heart ached as I tried to absorb such incredible beauty.  It was so grand, so beyond explanation or description.  We hugged ourselves against the chill breeze and gaped, spellbound.  Just that day we had reveled in our mighty plans – swimming, sailing, hiking, cooking.  Now we knew we were impossibly small and powerless, irrelevant.

Maybe you remember the first time you saw pictures from the Hubble telescope of the vast expanses of space, the purplish clouds of stuff that turn out to be uncountable galaxies, each one of which would dwarf our Milky Way.  If you have never seen these, click this: http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/galaxy/magellanic_cloud/pr2006055a/large_web/

Try to imagine how much bigger the universe is than the small slice of it you are seeing.  If our solar system was superimposed on that picture it would only be a tiny speck.  Stand on a midnight shore and look up into that picture.  Let your heart be still and stretch your imagination.  Try to “see” that deep, that far.

Now, read this:

Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
Isaiah 40:21-22