Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
The intention of God toward His children is always a kind one – filled with grace and peace. He is looking for a people He can bless, even one person He can bless. “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro,” we are told, “throughout the whole earth to show himself strong on behalf of the man whose heart is perfect toward Him” (2 Chron. 16:9).
His intention, however, does not stand alone in this pronouncement. It is supported by His own identity. The use of forms of “to be” recalls for us the name which God gave to Moses. He is the great I Am. He is the only being in the universe that exists in the truest sense of the word. He created all that we see, He predates it, exists concurrent with it, and will last long after it is gone. And He is no absent deity, as the “seven spirits before his throne” bear testimony to His constant activity amid His creation.
Jesus is identified in three concepts, three concepts that correlate to the verbs, who is, who was, and who is to come. He is the faithful witness to the Father’s love. This is who He is and who He will always be. We never see the Father. He is always working behind the scenes, planning, organizing, moving mysteriously. But the Son is God who we see, who we know personally and intimately. The second trait is what He became for us, both in terms of the cross and in terms of the resurrection. He is the One with whom we identify in both ways. Because He lives, we also live. And He is the coming ruler over all the earth, every authority will one day fall to His authority.
As the psalmist wrote, God hems us in behind and before. Our salvation was not an afterthought to God, nor something that worked contrary to His truest desires. Just the opposite! He planned it before the world was created and it came from His heart. He truly loves us and wants us to know it. He is constantly reaching out to us and coming to dwell within all those – whoever they may be – who will turn to Him in repentance and faith.
This great I Am is an intimate and caring God who is seeking to embrace you right now. Open up your heart and He will come in.