Tuesday, October 2, 2018

What We Behold Is What We Become

I've been preaching it for years, "what you behold is what you become."  It has always proven true in my life and I've seen it always prove true in others'. That's precisely why I preach it.   

In John chapter 1, when John saw Jesus he said, "Behold the Lamb of God."

In Mark 4 Jesus tells the parable of the Sower and the Seed.  He carefully lays out the scene, explaining the fate of each sowing.  Then in verse 9 he says, "He who has ears, let him hear."  I recall praying one day, well into my walk with the Lord, and asking him to give me ears to hear.  He promptly and kindly spoke to my heart...."I've already given you ears to hear. Now hear."


Has he given you ears to hear?  Has he given you eyes to see?  Are you hearing and seeing?   You won't hear, see, or understand anything clearly unless your focus is on what it should be. 



"What you behold is what you become."  Are you beholding the cares of this world...money, health, politics, wars and rumors of wars?  Jesus spoke of these things too, in Matthew 24:6. He said, "when you see these things, don't let your heart be troubled, for all these things must come to pass."

We look at what is currently happening in our United States of America and shake our heads.  The Democrats and the Republicans might as well be called the Hatfields and McCoys.  We are astonished that some we thought would never fall for such foolishness have fallen, some we thought would never be deceived are deceived.  But regarding these very things, Jesus said in Matthew 24:10-12, "And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."

Why is it that we are surprised and astonished?  Why is it that we are shaking our heads and exclaiming, "I thought I'd never see something like this in my own country."  Jesus asked Peter and the others in Luke 8:25, "where is your faith?"  Where is our faith?  Is it in our President?  Our pollical party?  The leaders of our country?  If it is, (even a little bit) we are bound to be astonished by the things that are happening all around us. 



As far back as 1863, William B. Bradbury recognized the need to keep our focus on Christ and not on the cares of this world when he wrote the beloved hymn, "On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand."   "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ, my righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus' name."  In the 2nd verse he said, "His oath, His covenant, His blood, Support me in the whelming flood; When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay."  I think he might have been on to something there.

Jesus goes on to make a point in Matthew 24, verses 16-21.  Paraphrasing, he says "when you see these things happening around you act quickly.  Don't dawdle.  Don't fear.  These things must happen.  But keep your focus on me and run to me."  He says in verse 24 "if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.  Behold, I have told you before."  

He has given us ears.  Let us hear.  Paraphrasing again, Jesus said, "I have told you before. Now I'm telling you again.  Please...hear me."  

"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."  He wants us to understand that we are not suppose to be focusing on other things.  But he said, "when you see these things, look up, because your redemption draweth near."  We must keep our eyes on him.



What we behold is what we become.  If we behold the cares of the world we become perplexed, concerned, afraid, but most of all focused on the wrong thing, therefore headed in the wrong direction.  If we behold Jesus Christ we become strong, at peace, at rest, unmoved, and secure; headed in the right direction. Up.  And he said, if I be lifted up I will draw all men to me."  These are just small examples of what we will experience in either state.  

The prophetic book of Isaiah clearly states in chapter 60 verse 2:  "For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee."   This is if, and only if, our focus is on Him.  

What we behold is what we become.