Take a moment.
I know, it’s a busy world. There are lots of distractions.
But, how’s your relationship with Jesus?
You expect me to ask that, I suppose. After all, I am a pastor. But the truth is, this is actually urgent. What are you learning about Him this week? What are you enjoying? What amazes you?
I once heard someone say the problem without a lot of people’s Christianity is that it is missing Christ.
That definitely hurts. But if you think about it, sometimes it is a little true. We can make Christianity so complicated. Our lives get so full. We are doing this. We are going here. But are we spending time studying God’s Word for the purpose of seeing the glory of Jesus?
Now, I know it’s easy to hear this as duty. And it is. Of course, it’s a duty.
But it’s also such a joy and privilege.
Isaac Ambrose writes, “Inward experimental knowing, considering, desiring, hoping, believing, loving, joying, calling on Jesus and conforming to Jesus.... [It is] a choice, a high gospel" privilege and command.
Do you believe that?
First of all because there is no one like Jesus.
I can’t think of a way to put it better than Ambrose does. You are going to have read it slowly, but it’s so good.
“Oh! what variety of sweet matter is in Jesus! He hath in him all the powders of the merchants. A holy soul cannot tire itself in viewing Jesus. We know one thing tires quickly unless that one be all: Christ is so, and none else; he is all, and in all; all belonging to being, and all belonging to well-being. In things below Jesus, some have this excellency, and some have that, but none have all. Oh! what variety is in Jesus! variety of time, he is Alpha and Omega; variety of beauty, he is white and ruddy; variety of quality, he is a lion and lamb, a servant and a son; variety of excellency, he is man and God.”
Looking to Jesus is such a privilege.
First of all because of who He is, but second of all, because most of the world can’t see Him. Most of the world is blind to Jesus. They don’t have the Spirit of God. The words of Scripture seem just like words to them. Think of all they are missing! Without Jesus the world is dark, their minds are filled with emptiness, they are enemies of God, dead men walking.
But not you! Not you!
If you are a believer, God has poured out His grace on you.
And you can see Jesus through the eyes of faith. Not as much as you would like, and not as often as you wish, but you do get very true and real glimpses. Because you have the Spirit of God. And so, as you are reading or listening to His Word the Spirit is working, and the Spirit can take those words on a page, and open your mind and your heart so that something only God can do happens. Jesus gives light to you, he gives grace to you, he satisfies you, he gives peace to you, he enables you to taste his good and gives you a sense of His love for you.
There are lots of things to do every week. But, there’s nothing more important you can do than pursuing a greater knowledge and appreciation of Jesus! And that’s exactly what we want to do once again this Sunday. We’re looking at Luke 2:39-52 and we’re praying God helps us see how truly great Jesus is.
“Let the proud man boast in his honor, and the mighty man in his valor, and the rich man in his wealth, but let the Christian pronounce himself happy, only happy, fully happy in beholding Christ, enjoying Christ, having Christ, in looking unto Jesus.”
I’ve included some things in the sermon brief document that I think will help you and your children benefit from the message this Sunday. Check them out. Print out what’s helpful. Or perhaps you can come up with a better plan yourself. For the younger children this Sunday, you can have them listen for the words, Mary and temple. To encourage them, my wife Marda will have some treats afterward.
Welcome, Announcements and Call to Worship
Scripture Reading (Luke 2:39-52) and Pastoral Prayer
Preaching of God’s Word: Luke 2:39-52, “Looking to Jesus: Son of God”