I was reading to my kids about creation one morning when it struck me how present God was when he created the world. He was there. He was hovering over the waters.
God didn’t create the world from a distance, and the world isn’t distant from him now. He is with us. He is among us. He is Emmanuel.
John 1 says that, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God” (vs 1). Jesus is the Word, and he was with God. But then man sinned and created a gap, a distance between us and God. So Jesus “became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).
Jesus was with God but then became flesh so he could be with us.
That is how much he loves us.
He came to us. And he took our place.
He died so we could have life. He was punished so we could go free.
“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
When I was in student ministry, part of our training reminded us that the only thing that will matter in 100 years is our relationship with God.
I would often act this out with the kids by letting a volunteer walk in front of me a few steps as I followed. While I talked about our decision to let Jesus lead our lives, I would turn the volunteer around and have him follow me a few steps instead. We have to turn. We can’t both lead and follow. If we want to receive Jesus, then we have to believe in him. Trust him. Follow him.
And in Him, there is life (John 1:4, John 10:10). There is life abundant and life eternal, just like he originally created us for.
The Jesus Storybook Bible paraphrases it this way:
“For anyone who says yes to Jesus
For anyone who believes what Jesus said
For anyone who will just reach out to take it
Then God will give them this wonderful gift:
To be born into
A whole new Life
To be who they really are
Who God always made them to be –
Their own true selves –
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God…” Revelation 21:1-8
Read: John 1