- John 12
“To be occupied with Christ…” Miles Stanford uses that phrase often in his writings. Here’s a few notable quotes from his devotional “None But the Hungry Heart.”
4-18 “To be occupied with self is to be defeated and to have failure and live in sin; but to be occupied with the Lord Jesus will mean victory. He must be the center, He must be everything to me. In Him is liberation; apart from abiding in Him is defeat and failure.
5-22 “It is an easy thing to set sail and get fairly out into the ocean; but when many days have passed and no land is in sight, one is apt to weary. If the heart is not fully occupied with the Lord in the Word, something is taken on board to fill up the void.”
10-16 “It is one thing to renounce or to drop off certain old things, and quite another to be occupied with new things. Nuns renounce the world, but they are not engrossed with the risen Lord Jesus Christ. It must be not only forgetting the things that are behind, but also reaching out unto the things that are before.
“It is what I give myself to that colors me and imparts character to me, not the fact of having abandoned other things. People often dwell unduly on what they have renounced, and are too indifferent to that which they should press toward, forgetting that it is the latter that will form them (2 Cor. 3:18).”
In today’s reading, Jesus said in John 12:24-28, Unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death produces many new kernels, a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me….
Jesus lived this out! He was our perfect example to follow. He lived completely un-selfish, completely focused on what His Father wanted, he was completely occupied with His Father.
In John 12:49-50 He said, “I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life: so i say whatever the Father tells me to say.”
Today I read in these thoughts in Stanfords devotional (12-23 Personal Privilege); “It is by occupation with, and contemplating the Lord Jesus, that we are brought, by enablement of the Holy Spirit, into fellowship with our Father; enabled to enter into His own thoughts concerning and even to share His own affections for Jesus.”
Jesus said, “Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me….” Follow His example. He was occupied with His Father and as He was occupied with His Father, He found Himself doing HIs Father’s will. The same will be true of us. As we become more occupied with Christ, it will enable us to operating more and more according to His will. Our mind and thoughts will become occupied with His thoughts. Our desires and affections will become what He wants! As we are occupied with Him, he will change our thoughts and desires to align with His