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God’s eternity goes beyond any human imagining or dreams

January 27, 2022
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Daily Scripture

Isaiah 64:1-4; 1 Corinthians 2:4-9

Isaiah 64:1-4

1 If only you would tear open the heavens and come down!
Mountains would quake before you
2 like fire igniting brushwood or making water boil.
If you would make your name known to your enemies,
the nations would tremble in your presence.
3 When you accomplished wonders beyond all our expectations;
when you came down, mountains quaked before you.
4 From ancient times,
no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any god but you
who acts on behalf of those who wait for him!

1 Corinthians 2:4-9

4 My message and my preaching weren’t presented with convincing wise words but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power. 5 I did this so that your faith might not depend on the wisdom of people but on the power of God.

6 What we say is wisdom to people who are mature. It isn’t a wisdom that comes from the present day or from today’s leaders who are being reduced to nothing. 7 We talk about God’s wisdom, which has been hidden as a secret. God determined this wisdom in advance, before time began, for our glory. 8 It is a wisdom that none of the present-day rulers have understood, because if they did understand it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory! 9 But this is precisely what is written: God has prepared things for those who love him that no eye has seen, or ear has heard, or that haven’t crossed the mind of any human being.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Scholar William Barclay wrote, “When John said [John 1:18] that no [one] has ever seen God, everyone in the ancient world would fully agree with him.” * Mark 1:10’s phrasing indicated Jesus had fulfilled Isaiah’s prayer in Isaiah 64:1-2. And in 1 Corinthians, Paul used the words of Isaiah 64 to indicate “how unimaginably [God’s past actions] would be transcended” ** by the wonders to come through the salvation that Jesus offered.

  • Our human curiosity wants to know lots of exact details about how God’s gift of life after death works. Scholar N. T. Wright explained why the Bible couldn’t satisfy that kind of curiosity: “‘Heaven’ in the Bible often means God’s dimension behind ordinary reality….A good deal of Christian faith is a matter of learning to live by this different reality even when we can’t see it.” *** What helps you choose to live day-to-day by trust in God’s dimension behind the ordinary?
  • Do you ever think something like, “If only God would part the clouds and show me the reality of his person and rule, I wouldn’t have to doubt”? The prophet had that idea long before you in Isaiah 64:1. Yet Mark 1:10 said that in Jesus God gave us the clearest view of divine reality we could process, yet many who saw Jesus still wouldn’t believe. What makes trust, rather than “proof,” an important element of your personal spiritual journey?
Prayer

Lord Jesus, you came from eternal dimensions that go beyond all I can imagine. And you promise that I can be with you in those unimaginable dimensions for eternity. I trust you, and thank you. Amen.

GPS Insights

Mikiala Tennie

Mikiala Tennie

Mikiala Tennie serves as the Student Discipleship Program Director with Resurrection Students. She has nearly 20 years of volunteer and professional ministry experience and loves walking alongside and encouraging others in their spiritual journey. Mikiala is blessed to be an adoptive aunt and godmother to many kiddos and lives with her 10-pound Yorkie, KiKi Okoye Tennie.

I love stories and imagination. When I was little, my dad used to tell me bedtime stories about a little girl named “Afro-Puff” (so named because she had incredible puffy hair like myself). She would go on various adventures. My dad is a designer for tech companies, so he’s very good with meticulously designing things that I am incapable of understanding.

One night, my dad took a blank sheet of paper and began folding it as he told a story about our beloved Afro-Puff off on an adventure that took her out to sea. I don’t remember the exact details, but little Afro-Puff found herself in great danger out on the water. As my dad told the story the piece of paper he was folding slowly took the shape of a sailboat that our adventurer was sailing on…but something happened to the boat! Afro-Puff needed rescuing! The boat was sinking, the waves were crashing–what would our little hero do??? Well, it turns out if you keep folding that sailboat and tear it at just the right places…it becomes a much-needed life-vest for our hero in peril! With her trusty lifejacket, Afro-Puff is able to float to safety and live to tell of another adventure! Phew!

With great imagination and fantastic paper folding skills, my dad was able to take me on adventures using our God-given imagination. In our real-life adventures, however, Scripture tells us that our imagination falls short of being able to dream, think, and perceive the eternal future God promises us. Much like little Afro-Puff, we often feel as if we are out to sea and in need of rescue. Thankfully, we serve a God who sent Jesus to scoop us up in the nick of time and give us glimpses of the incredible adventures that await us on the other side of eternity.

Buckle up your life-vest and hold tight, little adventurer, because…”No eye has seen, no ear had heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him!”

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* William Barclay, Daily Study Bible Series: The Gospel of John—Volume 1 Chapters 1–7 (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1975, pp. 73.

** Derek Kidner comment on Isaiah 64:1-4 in The New Bible Commentary, 21st Century Edition. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, p. 669.

*** Wright, N.T., Mark for Everyone (New Testament for Everyone) (p. 5). SPCK. Kindle Edition.