- Miles Stanford 12-24 Only Jesus
- John 13
As we start a new year, I have determined to actually finish the Life of Christ study I have started and stopped so many times through the years. I was really challenged by Miles Stanford’s devotional “Only Jesus” on Christmas Eve. I shared some of these thoughts in my devo with my kids, (Transformed by Beholding) but, it really describes well what I would like to ask the Lord to grow me in through this study this year.
“You will ONLY be transformed by looking upon the glory of the Lord Jesus; for they who live looking and beholding, though they know it not, are being changed.” As the disciples looked and beheld Jesus. As they experienced Jesus love for them, it changed them! As they followed him and watched him, they began acting like him and became more like him. Interesting that this is what we want to see happen with our Orientee families when they start a church. We want their lives to be living examples to follow and a model for the church and its leaders to be shaped by.
Jesus himself said this is what will happen, if we continue to follow him. “just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this people will know that you are my disciples…” (John 13:34-35) By this… by acting like I do… by doing the things I first did to you… washing your feet, loving in practical ways.. people will see the way you live and recognize my characteristics in your life (Acts 4:13). 1 John 4:12 comes back to this idea when it says, “No one has ever seen God; if you love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected (seen practically here on earth) in us.
The more time His disciples spent with him, the more they talked like, acted like, looked like and even began to think like Him. That will be true for us as well. God promises to finish the work He has begun (Phil 1:6), the work of conforming us to the image of His son (Rom 8:29). But, one of the biggest things that will speed in that process is when we behold him (2 Cor 3:18), abide in him (John 15:5), look, watch and listen to how He lived, loved, walked and worked. As we do that, we will be transformed, we will begin to talk like him, act like him… and Lord willing, we will begin thinking like Him also. (Rom 12:2)
So, as I study the Life of Christ, I will be looking for and seeking to behold Him. As I study Jesus’ life through the Harmony of the Gospels, here’s some things I am going to be looking for:
- What events occured? Where did Jesus go? What did Jesus do? How did he interact with people?
- What evidence do we see of God Himself at work through Him (God’s glory revealed)?
- What evidence do we see of a life of faith in those Jesus interacts with?
- How did Jesus submit to the Father? What did that lead Him to do?
- What can we learn about God through how Jesus interacted with others? (Both what He did, and what He DID NOT do.. He didn’t heal everyone.. He didn’t correct social injustices… He gave instruction, but it was not always followed. How did he handle that?
- How was Jesus God’s Words in the flesh? How did He display (turn the light on) what God is like?
I will also be reading and studying 2 resources as I work through the Life of Christ.
- Arnold Fruchenbaum: Yeshua The Life of the Messiah-Abridged.
- Dwight Pentecost: The Words and Works of Jesus the Messiah
I will seek to share insights through devotionals as the Lord teaches me through this study. Jesus is our example of living as God intended. We were created in God’s image. From the very beginning His plan was that we would display Him by how we live. That is living like God intended!
I look forward to learning and growing through beholding Him this year. I am excited to be able to bring you along with me on this journey.