Saturday, January 21, 2012

Looking Unto Jesus

The other day I decided to tackle the boxes of piano/violin/viola/ocarina/harmonica music that have been hiding behind the couch since the day we moved in.  All that stuff belongs downstairs with the piano, but there really isn't a place to store it other than in the cardboard boxes it was all moved in.  Over the weeks and months since we moved, the music has been rifled though and mixed with the contents of other boxes that have also been hiding back there, open boxes of audio recordings, new Bibles, good reads for Christians and lost people, ancient sermon notes, and an inch of dust.  The paper stuff seemed to be multiplying, and, fearing it would gradually take over this end of the house, I reached way down into my reserves of motivation and initiative.  Summoning all that was necessary to do a one-hour organizing chore, I dived in.  

And I was rewarded!  A piece of paper that had been lost between Leila Fletcher Piano Course, Level 1 (with cover missing) and Babylon Mystery Religion fluttered to the ground.  An ancient, yellowed grocery list, with a few unidentifiable phone numbers scratched in, and the word "surgery".  Something caused me to turn it over.  (Who would check the back side of a grocery list?  Why didn't I get the gene that says, "Trash.  Throw It Out?")  A sharp intake of breath.  Lo!  It was my dearly beloved, and lost (but not irreplaceable) copy of Charles Spurgeon's devotional from his Morning and Evening, "Looking unto Jesus", from Hebrews 12:2.  It is now taped inside my Bible for safe-keeping. These words on the sufficiency of Christ speaks volumes to me:

It is ever the Holy Spirit's work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan's work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, "Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of his children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus." All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: he tells us that we are nothing, but that "Christ is all in all." Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee-it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee-it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument-it is Christ's blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by "looking unto Jesus." Keep thine eye simply on him; let his death, his sufferings, his merits, his glories, his intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to him; when thou liest down at night look to him. Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after him, and he will never fail thee.
"My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness:
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name." 


Looking unto Jesus...
Hebrew 12:2


6 comments:

  1. Very nice devotional Sally...and after that side-track, did you get the organizing done??? You left me with a cliff-hanger. haha.

    It was good to read that as I've been feeling like such a worm lately.

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  2. Sally, what beautiful words and truth!
    In a time where the deceptive message of the "prosperity gospel" has become popular and the seeker friendly churches serve up "Chicken Soup for the Soul" messages to their thousands, Truth still reigns! It's ALL about Him...Praise the Lord Jesus Christ!
    I'm hoping this comment makes it, I've tried several times. I think our computer is about to
    crash...again :-(.
    I pray all of you are doing wonderfully well!
    We're continuing to be stretched spiritually, praise the Lord...He's so good...He desires that we GROW UP, LOL. Spurgeon pegged it :-)! "Self" is what keeps us from giving our all to our King.
    Blessings, Julie

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  3. Yay! My comment made it! So while I know my comments can make it, I'm going to go ahead and add another one.
    Recently, it seems that I've been hearing more and more of this movement to "receive Christ's unmerited favor." This truly concerns me as we know a couple that has fallen for this tripe! They quote scripture out of context and believe that it isn't God's will that we suffer or are sick and die (Isaiah 53:5). I find all of this so alarming because God the Father chose His Son to suffer and die for us...what arrogance to think we won't be called to do the same for the sake of the gospel. There are so many examples of those in scripture that did so...Stephen, Paul, and we know that many were martyred for the sake of the gospel then, down through time, and even present day (Nate Saint comes to mind immediately). It really is my belief that these dangerous teachings are what will aid in pulling many from the Lord's churches in the last days.
    (And yes, I know, that many times sickness and premature death are not due to God's will but our making bad choices and also that we live in a sin-tainted world. I Cor 11:30)
    Anyway, I just wanted your thoughts on this whole "seeking favor from the Lord" message that is being taught,((sigh)). I also believe it plays into the fears of many and the need for self-preservation.

    Okay, I've rambled enough :-)...I need to go get kids up and about!
    Blessings (again), Julie

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  4. What a wonderful post - I needed to hear/read that. I might print that out and put it in my Bible too. Things get so tough sometimes and I try to get everything organized and done right, and try to make life better. I know He is there... but I need to rely on Him more fully. Thank you.

    I appreciate your posts.... I need to visit more consistently.

    on a different note.... I don't know what it is about wheat lately. I started reading the wheatbellyblog and it is interesting. I haven't gone fanatical about it - but I wonder if I did if it would help. I know it has helped Blondie - but she hasn't gone nuts about it - she just avoids anything "whole grain" - white bread (the stuff they say isn't healthy) she does fine with.

    I haven't tried taking away wheat/grain from Red - I don't know if it would matter. And if I denied him his daily Ritz crackers (I should have bought stock in THAT) the tears would fill the tub.

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  5. I love Spurgeon! He has such a great way with words, and that devotion was wonderful (I may just print out a copy and tack that into my Bible as well) ;-)

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  6. So glad you found your lost copy! How true and how wise it is! :-)

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