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March 1 – Introduction to the characteristics of Christ

Although we might not know much about Richard of Chichester who was elected Bishop of Chichester in 1244 and died in 1253, we are probably familiar with a prayer written by him. It reads in part: “Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits thou hast given me, for all the pains and insults thou has borne for me. O most merciful redeemer, friend, and brother, may I know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, and follow thee more nearly, day by day.” That’s a good prayer and this month’s devotional is written to get us thinking more about our Lord Jesus so that we may increasingly know Him, love Him, and follow Him.

From ancient days 

“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.’” – John 8:58

Scripture reading: Micah 5:1-5a

We know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem just over 2000 years ago. But His conception did not mark the beginning of His existence. It marked the beginning of Jesus existing as a perfect man, but that’s not the whole truth of His being, as Micah’s prophecy reminds us.

Israel was in trouble because of their incessant sinning against God. God judges Israel through Assyria and Babylon. Micah already sees the siege laid against the city, but God promises deliverance that will come from someone out of Bethlehem. The deliverer is going to be a man, born on earth and of royal birth who will rule Israel.

But that’s not all that can be said about this ruler. His coming forth is from Bethlehem and His ‘coming forth is from of old, from ancient days’ (Micah 5:2). That tells us something significant about our Lord Jesus. He is from Bethlehem and from of old, from ancient days. He is from a point in time, and He is from eternity. He had a beginning as a man and He had no beginning as He is divine. John also tells us about the Lord Jesus. ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’ (John 1:1). Before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Jesus existed as God and with God. He is eternal. As Jesus Himself confessed, ‘Before Abraham was, I am.’ There never was a time when Jesus did not exist. He is eternal and He is God.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank God that when our trouble was severe, God Himself came to bring deliverance. Ask God to teach us throughout this month by the Holy Spirit so that we might understand our Lord Jesus better and worship Him.

Rev. John van Eyk began his ministry in Cambridge, Ontario as a Church Planter and Minister of the Riverside Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. After 13 years there, he served almost 10 years in the Tain/Fearn congregation of the Associated Presbyterian Churches in the Scottish Highlands. John has served as Senior Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church (United Reformed) in Lethbridge, Alberta since 2017. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.

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