Thursday, August 4, 2011

Looking to Jesus

There is an old, familiar hymn that many of us know that says:

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.”

It’s a great hymn, and as I can hear the song in my memory, it brings a feeling of comfort and assurance.  I was reading a passage in Hebrews today that reminded me of this hymn.  Hebrews 12:1-2 says “ … let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of  faith …” (NASV)  I’ve read or heard that passage many times, and I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve sung that hymn in church.  But today I wondered, “What does it mean to look to Jesus?”

I took out my Ryrie Study Bible and looked for a note on verse 2, and didn’t find one.  I decided to Google, “What does it mean to look to Jesus?”  The first link I opened took me to a paper written by J. C. Ryle titled “Looking Unto Jesus”.  Not knowing what to expect, I read an amazing explanation of what it means to look to Jesus, or to fix our eyes on Jesus.  I’ve inserted a hyperlink so you can read it when you want to make the time, but here are his four main points of what it means to look to Jesus:

1.  “First, and foremost (yes! by far first), if we would look rightly to Jesus, we must look daily at His death, as the only source of inward peace.”
2. “In the second place, if we would look rightly to Jesus, we must look daily to His life of intercession in heaven, as our principal provision of strength and help.”
3. “In the third place, if we would look rightly to Jesus, we must look daily at His example, as our chief standard of holy living.”
4. “Fourthly and lastly, if we would "look" to Jesus rightly, we must look forward to His second Advent, as the truest fountain of hope and consolation.”

I encourage you to read his paper in its entirety, as he provides very clear explanations of these four statements.  I believe that knowing what it means to fix our eyes upon Jesus will enable us to actually do it.  And if we actually do it, how can we help but grow in a deeper love relationship with Him?

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