The Lord’s Hands

Posted by Jerry White on Dec 7, 2014

Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray.
Matthew 19:13 (ESV)
~~~

He who existed as the eternal Son of God from eternity past and spoke galaxies into existence became a fetus in Mary’s womb with hands like any other baby’s hands. When this infant was born, His hands—-so tiny, so soft, so precious—-would have been closed in a fist, and He would have instinctively sucked His thumb. As He grew, those tiny hands would have closed around His mother’s finger and reached up to her face, and grasped her hair to Mary’s delight. His young parents held those little hands as their small child learned to walk.When His schooling began those boyish hands learned to hold the writing tool correctly to form the Hebrew letters. In His earthly dad’s carpenter shop Jesus learned to use the tools of the trade so he also could be a carpenter in Nazareth. Naturally, as a carpenter, His hands would become calloused and rugged from the tools and rough wood. Until He was thirty years old His hands earned a living to support His widowed mother and His siblings.

At His baptism by John the Baptist, His cousin, He learned from His Heavenly Father that His time had come to begin His ministry. Those well trained carpenter’s hands would now become instruments for God to use to relieve the suffering of many. His hands would touch the blind so they could receive their sight. His hands would touch the unclean lepers so their diseased skin would be made clean and normal once again. His hands would braid a whip in disgust because His Father’s house of prayer had been made a den of thieves, and with anger He would drive the violators away. His hands would touch many to comfort them like a shepherd’s staff. He would lay His hands on the children ever so tenderly and pray for them one by one. His hands would wash His disciple’s dirty feet, even the feet of His betrayer.

The appointed time arrived when those hands, the ones that had never been wrongly used, would clench in tight fists with wrenching pain because of a ruthless beating with a nine leather thonged whip embedded with iron balls and sheep bones. Those hands, which as an infant grasped His mother’s finger, would carry a cross to Golgotha to be nailed with 5-7 inch spikes—-and bleed. The fingers of His hands would curl with searing pain as the nails were hammered through His flesh.

Those hands in His resurrection body still bore the scars of His crucifixion, and Thomas could see that this was truly Jesus of Nazareth in bodily form, resurrected. Those serving hands prepared and served breakfast to His disciples who had gone fishing. Those same hands will one day serve His bride at the wedding feast in heaven.

His hands are the very hands of God revealing His exuberant and lavish love for us—-forever.

Blessed Lord Jesus, I am a mere child. Please lay Your loving hand upon me and pray for me. Keep your hand upon my head because there is no touch like Yours. Amen!
JRW




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The Humble One Exalted

Posted by Jerry White on Dec 19, 2013

“See the different state of Christ on earth and in heaven. Oh how is the scene altered!

When he was on earth, he lay in a manger; now he sits on a throne.

Then he was hated and scorned of men; now he is adored by angels.

Then his name was reproached; now ‘God hath given him a name above every name.’

Then he came in the form of a servant, and as a servant, stood with his basin and towel, and washed his disciples’ feet; now he is clad in his princes’ robe, and kings of the earth cast their crowns before him.

On earth he was a man of sorrows; now he is anointed with the oil of gladness.

On earth was his crucifixion; now his coronation.

Then his Father frowned upon him in desertion; now he has set him at His right hand.

Before, he seemed to have no form or beauty in him; now he is in the brightness of his Father’s glory.

Oh what a change is here! ‘Him hath God highly exalted.’”

Thomas Watson (1620 – 1686)

Body of Divinity

~~~

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:8-11 (ESV)

~~~

Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory, and honor and power.

Revelation 4:11, ESV




Humiliation

Posted by Jerry White on Dec 16, 2013

“The word became flesh! God became human! The invisible became visible! The untouchable became touchable! Eternal life experienced temporal death! The transcendent one descended and drew near! The unlimited became limited! The infinite became finite! The immutable became mutable! The unbreakable became fragile! Spirit became matter! Eternity entered time! The independent became dependent! The almighty became weak! The loved became the hated! The exalted was humbled! Glory was subjected to shame! Fame turned into obscurity! From inexpressible joy to tears of unimaginable grief! From a throne to a cross! From ruler to being ruled! From power to weakness!”

Sam Storms

Pleasures Evermore, 154

~~~

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

1 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)

~~~

Someone has said that man aspires but God condescends. The eternal Son of God could have come in any way He chose, but He chose the lowest way, which expresses His pure humble character. Who were the first to be told about the Savior’s birth? Angels announced the Christ child’s birth to lowly shepherds, not proud aristocracy, world leaders, or even religious leaders. Shepherds were the first ones directed to go see the baby who was the Savior. God reveals Himself and His truth to those who are like “little children,” not to the wise and understanding. This is His gracious will (Matthew 11:25-26). If we want to experience the Lord Jesus and His truth revealed to our heart, He has made known the way. The way is to come before the Humble One with all humility. To the humble He dispenses grace.





The Person of Christ

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 29, 2013

The one known as Jesus Christ lived in eternity past as the Son of God before He was born as a human being and given an earthly name. He, like God the Father, was sovereign, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable. In His pre-conception state He, like His Father, was all-knowing, all-present, and all-powerful. He and His Father were equal in essence, power, and glory. Again, like the truth of the trinity, this infinite truth cannot be fully grasped by finite human minds — one God but three distinct persons in perfect union. A pastor said that he did not understand electricity, but he didn’t plan to it in the dark until he did. Even though this truth cannot be explained, illustrated, defined or fully understood, it can be believed through faith and have a profound impact on you.

The eternal Word of God, which refers to God’s Son, became flesh and lived among us exactly like we have to live as human beings (John 1:1-3; 14). This incarnation of God’s eternal Son through a young virgin, who became impregnated by the Holy Spirit, is profound beyond words (Matthew 1:21-23; Luke 1:30-35). His humiliation by natural birth into our sinful, evil world as a helpless baby is an incomprehensible display of God’s love. He gave up His infinite bliss with His Father in glory to dwell in this world where Satan rules (John 12:31; 13:30; 16:11). Jesus lived fully as a human being wholly dependent on His Father—by choice and self-denial with no rights of His own (Philippians 2:6-8). Someone said that He was the most helpless man who ever lived (John 5:19). He was completely human just like us, except without a sin nature. He lived without sin, even though tempted severely, by trusting His Father and obeying Him.

All the fullness of God dwelt in Him bodily (Colossians 2:9). This means that nothing in Jesus was unlike God’s character and nothing in God’s character was lacking in Jesus. Jesus was the exact image of the invisible God (Hebrews 1:3). To see Jesus Christ is to see the Heavenly Father (John 14:9).

When God saw mankind’s wickedness was great in the earth He was grieved to His heart (Genesis 6:5-6). Jesus also grieved over sin. He showed tender compassion to repentant ones, but to the unrepentant, hard-hearted ones he became grieved and angered (Mark 3:5). “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him” (John 1:11). One day when Jesus approached Jerusalem, because they had rejected God’s visitation and truth through Him, He wept. It was not a cry of silent tears trickling down His cheeks and beard. The Greek word “wept” means He sobbed and wailed out loud, so deep was His grief over their condition and what was going to happen to them because His own people had rejected His Father’s offer of salvation (Luke 19:41-44).

Jesus was the full expression of the Father’s heart. Sin and unbelief grieves God to His heart.

JRW




Even Winds And Water Obey Him

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 7, 2013

They marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”

Luke 8:25 (ESV)

~~~

Even.

Is there something you are facing—whether in your outer circumstances or in your inner character—that seems impossible to command? Something that has baffled you and outwitted you a thousand times, and appears that it will win over you in the end? Something as deaf to your command as the wind, or wild waters?

Don’t despair. Don’t shrug and give up.

Our Lord—your Lord and mine—can command even the most difficult, unruly thing that seems as if it will never be commanded.

Let His word ‘even’ be a comfort to you. He who commands even the winds and water (and they must obey Him)—He can say to that ‘even’ of yours, ‘Peace, be still….’

And there will come for you ‘a great calm’ (Mark 4:39).

…Remember that there is nothing you are asked to do in your own strength. Not the least thing, nor the greatest:

God, who is all the while supplying the impulse [to obey and to overcome], giving you the power of inner resolve [to see it through to victory], is also giving you the strength to perform [under pressure] and to carry out His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13, Way’s translation)

All the tremendous forces of nature—weather and politics and human nature too—are at the beck and call of God. Each has only a faint shadow of the spiritual power that is His, and that He is ready to send forth for us.

Isn’t that amazing?”

Amy Carmichael

You Are My Hiding Place, 69-70 (from Thou Givest—They Gather, 19-20)

Devotional Readings Arranged by David Hazard




The Lord’s Faithful Love

Posted by Jerry White on May 2, 2013

If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.

2 Timothy 2:13

~~~

“Many influences separate Christ and His people; we, alas, allow many walls to intervene and cause Him to stand behind them. What are infidelity, coldness, and many sins of our hearts, other than obstructions to Christ’s full and frequent manifestations of Himself to our souls? But if we were to specify one obstruction in particular, we would mention unbelief as the great separating wall between Christ and His people…. Nothing more effectually separates us from, or rather, obscures our view of, Christ than the sin of unbelief. Not fully believing His word, not simply and implicitly relying on His work, not trusting His faithfulness and love, not receiving Him wholly and following Him fully, only believing and receiving half that He says and commands, not fixing the eye upon Jesus as risen and alive, as ascended and enthroned, having all fullness, all power, all love—oh, this unbelief is a dead, towering wall between our Beloved and our souls!

And yet, does He stand behind it? Does it not compel Him to depart and leave us forever? No, He is there! Oh, wondrous grace, matchless love, infinite patience! Wearied with forbearing, and yet there! Doubted, distrusted, grieved, and yet standing there, waiting to be gracious, longing to manifest Himself. Nothing prevailed to compel His withdrawal. When our coldness, our old nature, our neglect, our ingratitude, and our backslidings might have prevailed, He has never entirely and forever withdrawn. His post is to watch the purchase of His dying agonies with a sleepless eye of love, and to guard His vineyard night and day, lest anything hurt it. Who can adequately picture the care, the tenderness, the love, with which the Son of God keeps His special treasure?”

Octavius Winslow

Evening Thoughts, 218-219




Jesus As A Man

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 14, 2013

How do you view Jesus? Do you see Him as completely human? Oh, yes, He was fully divine, but He was fully human and He lived as any human must live. If we see Him as only Divine and lose sight of His genuine humanity then we lose sight of the significance of what He did for us. He became a human, suffered as a human, was tempted as a human, defeated the devil as a human, and died as a human. He was as human as you and I are, yet without a sin nature. Severest temptation does not require a sin nature. Before his transgression Adam did not have a sin nature.

As a human, Jesus had meaningful relationships. He loved His mother and she loved him. He had close friends like Mary, Martha and Lazarus, and the disciples. He experienced the full range of human emotions like sorrow and grief, anger and joy, disappointment and distress. This is why He can sympathize with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15).

When you see Him for who He really is as a human as well as the Lord, you will love Him more than you ever knew was possible.

~~~

“’There stood by the cross of Jesus his mother’ (John 19:25).

Where else would one expect to find such a mother? It was her very own Son who was suffering. The outstretched arms and nail-torn hands once had clung around her neck. The head now tortured with a crown of thorns was once pillowed on her breast. The mouth on which she had once lavished her kisses of love was now parched and swollen. Though powerless to help, she could at least be beside Him in loyalty and love.

Sympathetically she entered into all His sufferings. The spear pierced her heart as it rent His flesh. With joy she had followed His career, had feared and preyed for Him, had rejoiced in His successes and wept over His disappointments. But now He was dying as a criminal, not as a hero! What an end to the life of such a Son! Lest she add to His sufferings, she did not give way to uncontrolled weeping, but repressed her grief as the sword pierced her soul. She did not faint or swoon, she ‘stood.’ He had enough suffering of His own without her adding to his overflowing cup of sorrow.”

J. Oswald Sanders

The Incomparable Christ, 172-173




The Humble One Exalted

Posted by Jerry White on Dec 24, 2012

“See the different state of Christ on earth and in heaven. Oh how is the scene altered!

When he was on earth, he lay in a manger; now he sits on a throne.

Then he was hated and scorned of men; now he is adored by angels.

Then his name was reproached; now ‘God hath given him a name above every name.’

Then he came in the form of a servant, and as a servant, stood with his basin and towel, and washed his disciples’ feet; now he is clad in his princes’ robe, and kings of the earth cast their crowns before him.

On earth he was a man of sorrows; now he is anointed with the oil of gladness.

On earth was his crucifixion; now his coronation.

Then his Father frowned upon him in desertion; now he has set him at His right hand.

Before, he seemed to have no form or beauty in him; now he is in the brightness of his Father’s glory.

Oh what a change is here! ‘Him hath God highly exalted.’”

Thomas Watson (1620 – 1686)

Body of Divinity

~~~

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:8-11 (ESV)

~~~

Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory, and honor and power.

Revelation 4:11, ESV




The Supreme Mystery

Posted by Jerry White on Dec 10, 2012

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

John 1:14 (ESV)

~~~

“It [the supreme mystery of the Gospel] lies, not in the Good Friday message of atonement, nor in the Easter message of resurrection, but in the Christmas message of incarnation. The really staggering Christian claim is that Jesus of Nazareth was God made man—that the second person of the Godhead became the ‘second man’ (1 Cor. 15:47), determining human destiny, the second representative head of the race, and that He took humanity without loss of deity, so that Jesus of Nazareth was as truly and fully divine as He was human. Here are two mysteries for the price of one—the plurality of persons within the unity of God, and the union of Godhead and manhood in the person of Jesus. It is here, in the thing that happened at the first Christmas, that the profoundest and most unfathomable depths of the Christian revelation lie. ‘The Word was made flesh’ (John 1:14); God became man; the divine son became a Jew; the Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, unable to do more than lie and stare and wriggle and make noises, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. And there was no illusion or deception in this: the babyhood of the Son of God was a reality. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as is this truth of the incarnation.”

J. I. Packer

Knowing God, 45-46 (1973 edition)

~~~

Dear reader,

In this technological age when most of us are overloaded with information, it is quite easy for us to read over some Biblical truth and not take time to ponder its implication and application. Mere acquaintance with Bible truth changes no one. The Bible speaks repeatedly about meditation on God’s Word. God designed us to be changed by meditation on His truth, which allows the Holy Spirit to make it vivid in our hearts.

Without time for quiet meditation the truth remains only mental. The incarnation truth of God’s Son made real in your heart will lead you to wonder, reverence, and worship.




Mary’s Prayer

Posted by Jerry White on Dec 6, 2012

“You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:12 (ESV)

~~~

“God, O infant-God. Heaven’s fairest child. Conceived by the union of divine grace with our disgrace. Sleep well.

Sleep well. Bask in the coolness of this night bright with diamonds. Sleep well, for the heat of anger simmers nearby. Enjoy the silence of the crib, for the noise of confusion rumbles in your future. Savor the sweet safety of my arms, for a day is soon coming when I cannot protect you.

Rest well, tiny hands. For though you belong to a king, you will touch no satin, own no gold. You will grasp no pen, guide no brush. No, your tiny hands are reserved for works more precious:

To touch a leper’s open wound,

To wipe a widow’s weary tear,

To claw the ground of Gethsemane.

Your hands, so tiny tender, so white—clutched tonight in an infant’s fist. They aren’t destined to hold a scepter nor wave from a palace balcony. They are reserved instead for a Roman spike that will staple them to a Roman cross.

Sleep deeply, tiny eyes. Sleep while you can. For soon the blurriness will clear and you will see the mess we have made of your world.

You will see our nakedness, for we cannot hide.

You will see our selfishness, for we cannot give.

You will see our pain, for we cannot heal.

O eyes that will see hell’s darkest pit and witness her ugly prince…sleep, please sleep; while sleep you can….”

Max Lucado

God Came Near, 35-36