Thursday, 28 December 2017

One Year Bible: Day 344 - Zechariah 12:1-14:21; Revelation 2:1-17: Proverbs 30:1-10

God "pours out ... a spirit of supplication" upon His people. As a result of this, they look on Him, "the One they have pierced." In doing so, they come to "a fountain ... to cleanse them from sin and impurity" (Zechariah 12:10; Zechariah 13:1). Mourning for the One they pierced and receiving cleansing from sin, we enter into a new relationship in which God says, "They are My people" and we say, "The Lord is our God" (Zechariah 13:9). This new life is to be characterized by "worship." "Holy to the Lord" is to be the central feature of our new life (Zechariah 14:16,20). This is "the new name" (Revelation 2:17) of God's people - "Holy to the Lord." It is inscribed upon us, written over our lives. It is "known only to him who receives it" (Revelation 2:17). Only those who are beginning to experience what it means to be "holy to the Lord" will understand its meaning. Experience and understanding belong together. They are united in the act of receiving. Faith is the tie which binds together experience and understanding. By faith, we hold out our empty hands that they might be filled with God's gift of grace. There is no way to "a man's understanding", no way to "wisdom", no way to "knowledge of the Holy One", no way which begins with "I". Concerning ourselves, we must make this confession: "I am the most ignorant of men" (Proverbs 30:2-3). The question is asked: "Who has gone up to heaven and come down? ... What is his name ...? Tell me if you know!" (Proverbs 30:4). There is no answer to this question. The Gospel does not begin with man, reaching up to heaven. It begins with God, reaching down to earth - "Who came down from heaven to earth? Jesus Christ our Saviour". It is God who pours out His grace. This is the foundation on which our life of faith is based.