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Day 31 / 31.07.23 / Joseph Chean, Strategic Coordinator, Antioch 21

Day 31: His dwelling among us

Isaiah 65:1-2 “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’ All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations—”John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Isaiah’s revelation of God is that He’s a proactive God. A God who does not wait for a nation, a people, a family or an individual to call on His name. 

God is someone who, if there are 1,000 steps between God and us, God will take the 999 steps to close the gap. And He invites humanity to choose Him and to take that one step towards Him. God will make everything possible for humanity to see Him, to experience Him, to know Him and, ultimately, to choose Him.

So how does God do that? “And the Word became flesh and made His dwelling amongst us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

John’s definition of the glory of God is beyond just a cloud of fire. To John, the glory of God is a person. It has flesh that you can touch, that you can relate to. In fact, the glory of God is the character of God. He came in a form of full grace and truth. 

Now what does it mean when Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:3 that we are letters from Christ? Paul is saying that we are now representations of Jesus and of God to humanity. And God’s invitation to all of us is to know Him, His character and His ways. And out of knowing Him, that the Word of God becomes so real in our lives. And this transformation between God and us will result in us carrying the Word and becoming flesh. 

Now The Message Bible has this translation: “And the word became flesh and blood and moved into our neighbourhood. The neighbourhood has seen His glory, the glory of the one and only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” 

Now that’s God’s invitation to us – that we who behold Him, who understand who He is, who experience Him, will let this Word transform us and that we become that Word that steps into the neighbourhood – our offices, our classrooms, our streets – so that all will see the character of God in and through us. Full of grace and truth. 

Now missions is an extension of this discipleship. Missions is not just a task. Missions is a relationship with God, where discipleship is translated into action, and that discipleship transforms us, and as we step out into the nations and as we dwell amongst the community, as we dwell amongst the unreached people groups (UPGs), they will see the character of God in and through us. That is what it means, the Word became flesh and moved into the nation and moved into the neighbourhood. Let us pray:

May the Word of God dwell in our hearts richly. May the Word of God, the character and the ways of God transform you richly and deeply as you take hold of that Word and as you step into your offices, your classrooms, your neighbourhoods and streets. 

May God reveal who He is in and through you. And as you take this further into the nations, may the nations see God in and through you.

May the blessings of God rest upon us all, Amen.

Download the PDF version of today’s devotional here.

/ Reflect
  • Recall how you have seen God take the initiative to pursue you in your life.
  • How do you see your communities with the new perspective that Christ is actively present in them?
  • What is one way the Holy Spirit wants to transform you to be a representation of Jesus Christ to others in your community? 
/ Pray
  • Thank God for the depth of His love for us despite our distraction, our detachment and our delusions of self-sufficiency. Pray for submission to His Fatherhood, satisfaction in His friendship and reverence for His Kingship.
  • Ask God to remove worldly distractions and mindsets that hinder the manifestation of His Presence.There are seasons when we become neglectful of God and give him no thought and do not put trust in him and we find him ‘unmanifested’ — that is, unperceived as great and beautiful and valuable by the eyes of our hearts. His face — the brightness of his personal character — is hidden behind the curtain of our carnal desires.” (John Piper) 
  • Pray that God’s Word transforms us to such a degree that we become living letters of Christ, embodying His grace, love and humility. Ask God to manifest His character in our daily lives, that we may become His voice, His hands and feet in our neighbourhoods, work places, and homes.