The first five verses of John’s Gospel may very well be my favourite verses in all of scripture. One could study them for a whole year and still not grasp the full weight and complexity of their meaning. Previously, I’ve been focused on the Light, but today, the Word jumped out at me.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:1 (NIV)
Revelation 19:13 speaks of Jesus and his name is the Word of God. So, one could read the first verse of John like this:
In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God.
If Jesus is the Word of God, what does the Bible have to say about the Word?
…so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:11 (NIV)
In this context, Jesus had to give himself up as a sacrifice for our sins because that is what he was sent to do. And if God’s Word, Jesus, will accomplish what God desires, Jesus had to achieve the purpose for which he was sent.
For me, this is another one of those big revelations that needs time to roll around and fully form. Read these verses again for yourself and see what God is speaking to you through His Word.
Read: 1 Kings 14-15, John 1:1-28
Read: Genesis 41, Matthew 13:1-32
I cannot do it. To most, these words are a signal of great weakness, but they can be the most empowering in the English language.
Having spent years in an Egyptian prison for a crime he did not commit, Joseph was called before Pharaoh because of his skill in interpreting dreams. When Pharaoh asks him to demonstrate his ability, Joseph immediately announces that he cannot.
Now, the man who had brought Joseph to Pharaoh’s attention knew what Joseph was capable of, having received an interpretation for his own dream. Imagine how he felt having vouched for the man who says, “I cannot.”
What would the outcome have been had Joseph taken credit for the ability God had given him as a boy? Would he have been able to tell Pharaoh what the dreams meant? Would the omission of the statement “I cannot” have changed the course of history?
What more could we accomplish with God on our side if we, like Joseph, would simply admit our shortcomings and allow God to work through us? How much more could God do on earth if we would only lay our egos aside?
Joseph’s humility landed him as second in command over an entire nation. Through him, not only Egypt was spared through famine, but many other peoples, including his own family were saved.
I cannot do it could very well be the most powerful phrase we could dare to utter because we have to set ourselves aside in order to do it. And, once we are out of the way, God has room to work.
Most days, I go through life as though I have no real purpose. I get through each day. I work. I watch the baseball or football game. I read a book. I go to bed. I get up and do it all over again and again. What did I accomplish aside from appeasing a few clients and my insatiable appetite for the CFL?
I will cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfils his purpose for me.
Psalm 57:2 (ESV)
Not only does God have a purpose and a plan for me beyond work and my favourite sports teams, He wants to fulfil it. And He will. If I allow Him to. If I act as though I have a purpose. His purpose.
Daily Bible reading: Psalm 56-58; Acts 28:1-15