And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Lord, yesterday I started writing my devotion with You on this verse. And three fourths of the way through, my computer glitched and all was lost. Disappointing! Because who can ever come up with the same words? But I know that all things happen for a purpose and You are even in control of my computer glitches. So, I waited to see what would come the next time.
So here we are again, Lord, still on John 1:14, still in the same spot meditating on Your same words. Only this time, with a slightly added perspective. Because as I was in bed this morning, I started thinking about the Philippines and the mission teams and myself. I thought about the members on the team who keep returning because it’s a time of rejuvenation for them, it’s their time of being refilled. And nothing is wrong with that; we all have times when we need to be refilled, continually. But then I thought of the changes I’ve seen in those who return because You have given them hearts for the people and the culture. These team members come because they are investing their lives in people. It’s a whole different focus. And as you watch them, you see them noticing things about others more and reaching out more. And their heart for You, Lord, is growing in leaps and bounds, and You are giving them greater responsibilities every year.
I’ve seen it in seasoned doctors. And this year, I got to see it in a seventeen year old young lady. I knew it was there, Lord, when I got a message saying she wanted to stay longer than the two week mission so she could get to know the culture and the people. My heart sang with You. Here was a kindred spirit. It wasn’t just about being a part of a good thing. It was about the people and getting to know them, really know them. It’s about investing your life in people. And this takes me back to our verse this morning.
This morning’s verse is an awesome truth about You. It’s all about You totally investing all of You in people, like me, and like them. This is the story about the greatest mission trip ever. I mean, people think it’s a lot for me to raise funds and leave my family and home and minister in the Philippines for six weeks. But it is nothing compared to the price You paid to leave Your Heavenly home and family to dwell in the mission field of mankind.
Perfect God, living in a perfect place, without pain or suffering or sin. Perfect Glory. You invested everything in us. You left Heaven and glory and angels serving You and became flesh, like me. You came to my land. You walked with me. You became like me. You took on my culture, the culture of man, only without sin. You dwelt with me. You ate what I ate with me. You slept with me. You spoke and listened to me. You understood what my life was like because You experienced it with me. My friends became Your friends. My world became Your world. And You understood.
You understood the good and the bad. You knew exactly where I was coming from. And because of this You have every right to be my Advocate. But You have every right to hold me responsible for my actions, because You lived it too. And You lived it to the glory of God, to Your own glory.
Sometimes people don’t understand why I go to the Philippines. All I know is that You have called me and laid them on my heart and I must go. To not go would be to hold back Your love for them, and to hold back my own love. I suppose it’s the same explanation as to why You would leave Heaven to come to earth. It was for the greatness of Your love for each one of us. How can one explain the strength of love? You don’t explain it, you just do it. And that’s what You do.
You didn’t just give us a Book that explains Your love. You did love. You showed love. You demonstrated Your love for us. It’s just overwhelming to realize what You chose to leave to show Your love for us. It’s just overwhelming to realize what You chose to bear for the love of us. You left glory to take on shame. You left perfect peace to take on pain. The list goes on and on. And You would do it again. Only praise God (You!) that once is all it took. Your sacrifice is sufficient to pay the price for every one of us.
And so, when I look at Your mission work, I see the glory of the Son of God, the glory of You Jesus. This is grace; this is truth. This is the power of You to change me from the inside out. This is the power of You to supernaturally make me Yours. This is the supernatural power that can cause a man to be born again, not of flesh but of the Spirit. This is Truth. This is what we’ve all been seeking. This is the ultimate investment. This is investing in people. And this is the example You set for us.
Lord, I want to invest my life in other people as You invested Your life in me and for me. I need You to supernaturally bring to pass the things in my life I need and the things they need. I need to love like You love, self sacrificially. I need to serve like You serve, truly humbly. I need to see like You see, beyond the superficial and into the heart. I need to touch like You touch, to be able to bring Your healing into lives and Spirits. I need to live in Your power, grace, and truth so that I can share it with others. I need to live in You and as I allow You to continually invest Yourself in me and through me, then I can share that investment in the lives of others.
I can’t thank You enough for becoming flesh and dwelling among us. Really. It means everything. This is the heart of the Gospel, the Good News. Emmanuel. God with us. You became flesh and dwelt among us. And now, because You died and are risen, You are not confined to flesh, but by Your Spirit, You forever dwell among us. Thank You for investing in me. Thank You for seeing me as someone worth investing Your life in. It means everything to me. You mean everything.