Friday, July 6, 2012

Consider Jesus

I was reading Hebrews earlier this week, and I was struck by Hebrews 3:1. (To read the full context, look at Hebrews 3:1-6).

Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,
(Hebrews 3:1 ESV)

The phrase "consider Jesus" resonated with me in a way it really hasn't in the past. What does it mean to consider Jesus? What does that look like in the Christian life? Surely it means more than just knowing facts about Jesus. Surely it has something to do with being in right-relationship with Christ--a saving union with Christ. It led me to asking some questions. (I'm using the pronoun you--simply because it's easier for me to write in--but I include myself in the questioning. I'm not interrogating my readers!!!) Do you consider Jesus in your day to day life? Do you consider Jesus when you're making decisions on how to spend your time and money? Do you consider Jesus when you're making your priorities? Do you consider Jesus as being present with you in your day-to-day-week-to-week existence? Do you think of Jesus as a person? Or do you think of Jesus merely in the abstract? How would your life change if you took time to consider Jesus? To live as if he was always with you. Would you welcome His presence? Or run from it?

I'd like to share a few things with you. First, I'd like to share with you what the word consider means. The Greek word is: katanoeō. It means "to observe fully, behold, consider, discover, perceive." Of course, we can't observe Jesus Christ fully on earth--we can only read of Him in the gospels. We will not behold him as he really is--in his full majesty and splendor--until Heaven. But we can keep on discovering and beholding him here and now. We can seek a relationship, we can seek to know him now, we can come to love him more and more. The more we behold him, the more satisfied we become in Him. The more we value Him over the world.

Second, I'd like to share this J.C. Ryle quote with you. Yes, I know it's a couple of paragraphs. But, trust me. It is WORTH attention.
 Keep before your mind, as an ever-present truth, that the Lord Jesus is an actual living Person, and deal with Him as such. I am afraid that many who profess Christ in our day have lost sight of our Lord's person. They talk more about salvation — than about their only Savior, and more about redemption — than the one true Redeemer, and more about Christ's work — than Christ Himself. This is a great fault — one that accounts for the dry and shriveled spirit that infuses the religious lives of many who profess faith.As ever you would grow in grace, and have joy and peace in believing — beware of falling into this error. Cease to regard the Gospel as a mere collection of dry doctrines. Look at it rather as the revelation of a mighty living Being in whose sight you are daily to live. Cease to regard it as a mere set of abstract propositions and abstruse principles and rules. Look at it as the introduction to a glorious personal Friend. This is the kind of Gospel that the apostles preached. They did not go about the world telling men of love and mercy and pardon in the abstract. The leading subject of all their sermons, was the loving heart of an actual living Christ. This is the kind of Gospel which is most calculated to promote sanctification and fitness for glory. Nothing, surely, is so likely to prepare us for that Heaven where Christ's personal presence will be all, and that glory where we shall meet Christ face to face, as to realize communion with Christ, as an actual living Person here on earth. There is all the difference in the world, between an idea and a person.
Did you catch that? Many who profess Christ in our day have lost sight of our Lord's person. They talk more about salvation--than about their only Savior, and more about redemption--than the one true Redeemer, and more about Christ's work--than Christ himself. That's a sobering thought, isn't it? Do you find yourself numbered in that many? I have been pondering these paragraphs for days now--and I'm still haunted by these words. Do I live and act as if the Lord Jesus is an actual living Person? And do I treat him that way?  Do I consider Jesus enough? Do any of us?

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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