And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent- Jesus
What Jacob left behind after his death brings a measure of comfort to me in his absence. I open the door to his bedroom, I see his things, I smell his clothes and remember his spirit, his words of kindness, compassion and love. I occasionally will wear his Detroit Lions cap, it has a deep and well worn thumb and index finger groove on the left side of the bill. His nervous habit was to place his elbow on the car door while driving, he would reach up for the bill of the hat and rub a groove in it with his fingernails. When I wear it I place my fingers in the same place as I think of him. This hat sits on his dirty and stained favorite sweatshirt atop Stacey’s dresser. The shirt smells of my son, I occasionally pick it up and place it over my face and smell it to be reminded of him.
These longings for my son and family are natural. But lately it has caused me to stop and consider the longings for my heavenly Father. The question I ask myself today is this, “Do I desire the presence of God the same way that I long for my family? Can I say with the psalmist, “As the deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before him?” (Psalm 42:1-2 ESV) Jacob’s sweatshirt and hat, photos and videos are the physical things that remind me of his life and existence. But those things, though comforting as they are, can by no means bring me back into fellowship with my boy; they only bear witness of his life.
Imagine a total stranger asking me about the life of my deceased son. I go through his life story, I show him pictures and tell him of his accomplishments. I walk him trough the house and show him Jake’s room, his clothing, his guitar, I show him everything that testifies of his life. When I am finished the stranger looks at me and plainly says, “I don’t believe you, he is a figment of your imagination, he is not real.” Of course that sounds very unlikely and bazaar yet does the world treat God any different? The life of God is as plain as the nose on our faces, the creation testifies of his power and Godhead. Yet with all the evidence of natural revelation and the bible with all its special revelation to man, the world scoffs and says, “I don’t believe you, he’s a figment of your imagination, he’s not real.”
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.” (Psalm 19:1-3) Day and night God is speaking to mankind through his parchment in the heavens. The creation is a signpost that points to the God we cannot see. In bold print is screams GLORY, beauty and knowledge of the creator to the entire world who enjoys a sunny day and a clear starlit night. Yet, these words in the heavens have no message that can save us out of our lost condition. This is the drought that makes our soul thirsty for the living God. The words of our Creator in his creation, as wonderful they are, leave us wanting; we need more.
The natural revelation of God in creation has a voice but its message is incomplete. It is the special revelation of God that has the power to redeem us back to our creator from our fallen state, back to his presence once again. Nature has no message of hope in regards to me ever seeing or talking to my loved ones again. I need God to bring me a message of hope, and that’s exactly what God did. He gave us a message, he gave us his word. He gives us great and precious promises of hope in the risen Lord Jesus Christ. He is is the Word of God made flesh, he dwelt among us, he lived a perfect life, he died in our place, he was raised, and has ascended to the heavens to the right hand of God. All this came to pass as the scriptures declared it would- the speech of creation cannot deliver us from sin and death, but the gospel can! Peter proclaims, “You have been born again, not of perishable seed, but imperishable, through the living abiding word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23 ESV)
God has given us all things richly to enjoy. I enjoy his creation, it speaks of his power, his wisdom, might and his deity. I will someday be restored in full fellowship with my God and my son. This hope is built on truth; God’s words that were breathed out through his prophets to us. Nature points us to God, the word points us to Jesus and the Lord has the last word on what real worship is. He said, “The hour is coming and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24) We live in a world that refuses to retain God in their thinking and are worshiping and serving the creature and not the creator. (Romans 1:18-32) Worship of creatures leads away from God; do you know anybody who loves the creature but hates the creator? We have a message written in the heavens and a book that completes God’s message to us. Now we know the rest of the story- lets share it Christian