Introduction

Introduction

Devotional

Worthy of Affection

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. (Hebrews 1:3)

Have you ever stopped to think about what it means that you exist?

Have you ever found the fact incredible that you are alive? The fact that your heart beats, that your brain tells it to, that blood circulates all throughout your body in tandem with this thing called oxygen that is — in cooperation with our lungs — pumped into us through these holes in our faces.

Sheer existence is amazing. Inevitably, it should cause us to think about its source.

Behind It All

“Ponder the absoluteness of reality,” writes John Piper in Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ. “There had to be something that never came into being. . . . Someone has the honor of being there first and always. He never became or developed. He simply was” (21). Someone is behind this all, from first to last and every moment in between.

His name is Jesus.

And yes, most everyone has heard something about Jesus. He’s one of the most polarizing figures in human history. Some places in the world throw his name around so commonly that people are inoculated to its grandeur, his grandeur. Other places in the world forbid any mention. Some people water down his message in the attempt to make him palatable to everyone. Others have no idea who he actually is or what he actually did.

We Know Him

But rising above all the confusion, all the political correctness and controversy, there he is — his identity unscathed, his wonder never diminished. And there is his church — the people of Jesus who have been rescued by his grace and commissioned to make him known in a world desperate for his love. Broken down or beaten up, we know Jesus. We know, by his Book — despite what anyone else might say or think — who he really is. We know, as Hebrews 1:3 tells us, that Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God, that he is the exact imprint of his nature.

All that God is — the glorious, eternal, true God — all of him is seen in the person of Jesus. Every beam that shines forth from God’s character, every trace of his splendor, every shimmer of his majesty, it all is seen in Jesus. That is why Jesus told Philip that whoever has seen him has seen the Father (John 14:9). Jesus is the revelation of God. When we behold him through the message of his gospel, we are gazing into the center of God’s heart. We know this. The Bible says so, and so we know it to be true.

He Is Worthy

And we know that our hearts beat and our brains work and our lungs breathe because Jesus speaks. We know that this Jesus, the radiance of God’s glory, is the one that upholds the universe by the word of his power. We know it’s by Jesus — and only Jesus — that we exist.

Therefore, we do stop. We can think about what all this means. And we are compelled to worship. We lift our eyes beyond ourselves, back to the beginning and forward to the end and right now in this moment — and we see Jesus. We see him who is worthy — worthy of power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing, forever! We see the one who fills our souls with adoration, the one to whom we sing our songs of praise.

We see Jesus, the one worthy of affection.