Daily Thought for: 5th December

THE FIRST AND THE LAST

Revelation 1. 17

In laying claim to this title, the Lord Jesus was declaring His deity, for this is one of the names of God in the Old Testament. ‘Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God’, Isa. 44. 6; see also 48.12.

This is one of a series of five compound titles of Christ that are inclusive, meaning not only the two ideas mentioned but everything in between. Our Lord is not only the author and finisher of faith, but our sustainer every step of the race, Heb. 12. 1-2. He is not only the Alpha and Omega, but all the other letters in God’s alphabet as well. He is not only the root and the offspring, but the life principle that sustains all true spirituality wherever it is found. He is not only the beginning, initiating the plan, but the finisher, perfecting it.

Similarly, He is not only the First and the Last; He is everything of value and purpose along the way. ‘For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever’, Rom. 11. 36. Since all things are ‘from him’, our Lord is the source, the first cause of all good. He is also the course, the chief object to which all history is moving. But, in between, all things are ‘through him’. He is the force, the prime mover to accomplish all the will of God.

There is much encouragement for the struggling saint in knowing that Christ is the first. He is the planner of the ages. In life’s difficulties, remember it was His idea. His will is best for us and in the end must succeed. Since ‘the Father . . . hath committed all judgment unto the Son’, John 5. 22, it is only His assessment that counts in the final analysis. That is the reason that we must ‘judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts’, 1 Cor. 4. 5. Of course, to many Christians such words grip their hearts with an icy chill. But how can I not fear when I read such words as found in 1 Corinthians 4 verse 5? The secret is in reading the rest of the verse! ‘And then shall every man have praise of God’.

 

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