‘God was manifest in the flesh’ (1 Timothy 3:16)
The manifestation of God is in the person and work of Christ, and we are therefore to learn what our God is, and what we may expect Him to do for us. What Jesus was to those about Him, such is God Almighty; what Jesus did and was willing to do, so God is willing to do for us.
In Jesus we see tender love, melting compassion and gracious forbearance; mercy and power, righteousness and pity, holiness and long-suffering, justice and harmlessness, all united. Such is our God. Fury is not in Him. Love is His name and His nature. And can you slavishly fear such a God? Can you wilfully sin against and grieve such a being? Therefore, cannot you believe His word, depend upon His veracity, rejoice in His name, and expect from Him every promised good?
For this purpose His word was written, His name is published, and Jesus died. Always look at God in Christ; do not attempt to learn God from nature. “No-one has ever seen God, but the One and Only begotten Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known” [John 1:18]. “I HAVE MANIFESTED THY NAME”.
Till God in human flesh I see,
My thoughts no comfort find;
The holy, just and sacred THREE,
Are terrors to my mind.
But if IMMANUEL’S face appear,
My soul surmounts each slavish fear.
THE DAILY REMEMBRANCER by James Smith (1802-1862)
‘The thoughts of my bereavement [the death of James Smith’s young child] are very painful, may I be enabled to improve it. It cries aloud, you too must die!
Yes, Lord, and when my faith is strong, when my evidences are bright, and when thy presence is enjoyed, I feel glad that I must, for then I can say from my heart, “I would not live always.” And then I have “a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better.”’