“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14)
There is no greater wisdom, no greater love, no greater power than was revealed in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Whether we desire wisdom, whether love or power, our thoughts must be centred on Him. As we listen to Him and observe Him, we will learn all that we need to have peace, hope and joy. Come with me and meditate on Jesus for a while…
The human tendency towards organised religion is profound. It is simply because we like structure, we desire order, we need routines…we want facts and something tangible that we can hold on to and rest upon. So, when we learn a new truth, our inclination is to build a temple around it and not to go up higher to learn more… Let us dare to go up higher! Jesus taught us that we are to hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matt 5:6)… We must trust that He will fill us, and continue to fill us up for all eternity.
Consider this: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). Just meditate on that for a moment.
Can you imagine how much there is to know… That it would take an eternity to know Jesus? You can also see it this way; that knowing Him is what gives you life. It is what sustains you, in much the same way hope sustains the living. He is, after all, the Bread of Life (John 6:35). He is the Vine from which we must draw daily nourishment by abiding in Him (John 15:5). The Sun is known for its life-giving power. The Bible says in Revelation that He will be our Sun, giving light always to us (Rev 22:5).
By knowing Jesus already in this life, we have everlasting life! That is why Jesus boldly said: “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:25-26) Do you believe Jesus?
Do you believe our eternal life starts now, not after physical death? There are some who have crossed from this world to the next without tasting death (Gen 5:24) because they knew Jesus is a deep way that so many us don’t get to, because we are too engrossed in living here and now. Sure, we have a purpose to fulfill here on Earth, and we must abide in the flesh for that duration, being a witness to the world (John 17:15-18). But if people would just get a glimpse of Jesus in us… Oh, what great a multitude that would believe (Matt 5:16)!
Unfortunately, so many of us are still babies, depending on milk, when we should be digesting real spiritual meat (Heb 5:12-14)! We are still stuck on understanding the work of the Cross, rather than living the abundant life that Jesus said He came to give us (John 10:10). We are wrestling with sin, wrestling with demons, wrestling with condemnation, when all we have to do is walk in liberty and power! Don’t you know your chains to these things have been broken?
When you know what God has done for you, how great a victory He was won for you, how abundant a mercy He has shown to you and how amazing a grace He has bestowed upon you, you will be like Jesus. Full of grace and truth in your desire to liberate others from their chains. Jesus said that those who have been forgiven much, love much (Luke 7:47)! But those who do not realise how much they need forgiveness (or have been forgiven) are the most unmerciful and judgmental of all. We are called to be perfect, as our Father is perfect (Matt 5:48).
When we meditate on Jesus, we realise how much more we are yet to grow. However, we so easily take to comparing ourselves, thinking we are more righteous than we are. There is only one righteous standard, and that is Jesus Christ. When we seek always to emulate Him, we will know that the difference between us and our neighbour is but a speck, but between us and His righteousness is the plank we must bridge (Matt 7:5). This calls for sober reflection.
Fortunately, when God looks upon us, He sees the glory of Jesus Christ, the great treasure that is hid in us, which shines through (2 Cor 4:7). His righteousness is imparted to us, and we stand justified (2 Cor 5:21). But our joy is made complete in knowing Him, in growing into His likeness, in rising up to our glorious potential in Him. So, as we do not give room to selfishness, we will no longer find pleasure in the works of the flesh and will be led by the Spirit (Rom 8:14). We need not ask “what would Jesus do?” We have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16), so we only need to let Jesus work through us, speaking and ministering through us (1 Pet 4:11).
When we are mature, and sin has no more power over us and the world has no more sway on us, we can say like Paul: “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death”(Phil 3:8-10).
How much do we long for Jesus? Do we long for Him as the deer pants for the water (Psa 42:1)? Do we desire to sit at His feet, like Mary (Luke 10:42)? Do we have Paul’s attitude towards sharing in Christ’s sufferings, and being persecuted for righteousness? Can we truly say: “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21)? Or are we consumed with the world…relishing it and secretly wishing He wouldn’t come back soon? When we are divided in our loyalty to Christ, we treat as despised what we ought to cherish, and make the word of God of no effect in our lives. We are then like the double-minded man that James spoke about (Jam 1:8).
However, the wise know that at His feet is where the greatest discoveries are learnt. By His side is where the greatest battles are won. In His arms is where the greatest joy is found. He came so that you could have those precious moments of fellowship with Him. He endured all He suffered, gave up His glorious comforts, just so you would get the chance to know Him. The greatest gift He could give you, more than the glorious riches of Heaven or the powers to defeat the works of darkness, is the privilege to know Him (Luke 10:20).
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor 3:18).
We are not called to a stagnant religion, but to a flourishing relationship. As we behold Him, as we let Him reign in us, to will and to do according to His good pleasure (Phil 2:13), we will be transformed into His glorious image. True worship is to delight in our growing knowledge of Him…hungering and thirsting for more and being filled continually. This is eternal life.