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Fixing our Eyes upon Jesus, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
December 4, 2023 10:00 am

Fixing our Eyes upon Jesus, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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December 4, 2023 10:00 am

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.

These lines from Helen Lemel's famous hymn couple well with our text for today.  Hebrews 12:2 says, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”  In this message, Pastor Rich challenges us to follow closely behind our leader and our trail-blazer.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. 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. These lines from Helen Lemel's famous hymn couple well with our text for today.

Hebrews 12, too. It says, Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. In this message, Pastor Rich challenges us to follow closely behind our leader and our trailblazer, Jesus. Let's listen in. This is the third part of a sermon titled Fixing Our Eyes on Jesus.

It was first preached on December 9, 2012. In everything that I do, I am a student of Jesus Christ, and I see the glory of God. I see His handiwork. I see what aligns with His character and purpose. I see what detracts from His character and purpose in everything that I do, because I am a student of Jesus Christ. What we have here is some very practical Christology. Christology, theology isn't just for our knowing. It's for our transformation. And in this command to look unto Jesus, to follow the leader, there's some very practical Christology, meaning that I will live in the outflow of what I believe. How does that look?

How does that work out? Well, first of all, it's two questions very simply. And the first question is this, what did Jesus do? It's not up to me in my conjecture to try to imagine what would Jesus do if He were in my shoes doing this.

It is up to me, however, to know the revelation of God and to look at what Jesus actually did. What did Jesus do? Because He said, for example, in John chapter 13, happy are you when you do what I have done.

He says, I have given you this to you that you should do, that you should follow my example. What exactly did He do in John chapter 13? He got down and did the work of a slave and He washed His disciples feet. What did Jesus do?

Let's consider three sub points under that. What did Jesus do when He was tempted? You see, it's the temptation itself is not sin. Even Jesus was tempted. But what did Jesus do when He was tempted? Are you tempted?

Yes, you are on a very regular basis. You are tempted to be distracted away from what God has for you. You are tempted to be distracted and lured toward things that want, they want to be your satisfaction instead of God. Just as Eve was tempted in the garden, away from God, away from His character and His purpose.

You and I are tempted regularly on a daily basis. What did Jesus do when He was tempted? Or how about what did Jesus do when He was mistreated? Have you ever been mistreated? Yes, you have.

If you haven't been, you will be, so just wait. What did Jesus do when He was mistreated? He was humble. He was meek.

Meek does not mean weak. I mean, think about it. Who was Jesus, right? The very one who created all that is and those that were mistreated.

If you were mistreating Him at any moment of time, He could have gone, okay, I'm done with you, and they were gone. Now, in His humanity, in His willingness to follow the Father and do the Father's will, that never entered His mind. But did Jesus have the power to do that? I mean, is He not the one who calmed the waves and the wind?

He is sovereign over creation, and yet He never used that sovereignty, He never used that omnipotence for His own protection. That's the definition of meekness. What did Jesus do when He had a very hard thing to do? Something like enduring the cross? Pretty hard thing to do.

You know what? The writer of Hebrews is not referring to the pain and the anguish, the physical pain and anguish of being hung on a cross and dying of suffocation. That's not what he was referring to. He was referring to the fact that the second person of the Trinity had to be abandoned by the first person of the Trinity, a suffering that you and I will never comprehend. Jesus had to endure that, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame.

He had a very hard thing to do. Why did Jesus do that? Because it was in the Father's will and purpose. It was according to the Father's character of love and grace. That's why He did it. And it was in the Father's purpose, and it pleased the Father. And Isaiah 53 says, He saw the travail of His soul and He was satisfied.

That's why He did it. What did Jesus do when He was tempted, when He was mistreated, when He had a very hard thing to do? As we are students of Jesus, then we will translate in that to, what then should I do? What then do I do when I am tempted? What do I do when I am mistreated?

What do I do when I have a very hard thing to do? I trust God as Jesus did, the trailblazer of personal faith. Jesus didn't need to be saved, obviously. He is salvation, but He still had to trust His Father.

You see? So that's a very practical Christology for us. A second point under that, a second question you could ask is, how does this align with His character and purpose?

How does this align with His character and purpose? This, I mean, any endeavor, any motive, any attitude, the attitudes of my heart. An attitude is a habit of thought. And when I am being mistreated and I'm tempted to get into a rut, you know, what is my mood?

Do you have any control over your moods? You have control over the habits of thought. You have control over the things that go through your mind.

Else, Philippians 4-8 would be an invalid command in Scripture, wouldn't it? Whatever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, excellent, praiseworthy, do what? Meditate on these things.

What is that? That's an attitude. It is a habit of thought. You, as created in the image of God, have the capacity to control what's going on in your mind.

You can't empty your mind, but you can replace it with something good, something better. You see, that's what Jesus did. Did Jesus ever cry? Yes, he did. Was Jesus ever angry? Yes, he was. Did those things define him?

No, they didn't. They were not mistakes. They were not flaws in his part because his crying and his anger, all of them, were directly related to the character and purpose of God and that which is contrary to it. You see, that's what it looks like to be a student of Jesus.

And therefore, as I am a student of Jesus, I am looking unto Jesus as the pioneer of my faith. I remember listening to the radio one morning a couple years ago, taking my kids to school when we took them to school. And it said, you know, the song came on on the radio and the announcer came on. And sometimes I wish those announcers would just be quiet, you know. That's another story. But they said, you know, that there was a good song coming on, but then the announcer said something like, I hope the song matches the mood you're in.

I'm like, really? Do I not have any control? This is the mood I'm in. That's who I am.

I haven't had my coffee yet, so don't you be the first person to get on my nerves today. Have I no control over that? Is Christ and His Word and His Spirit sufficient for my life or are they not? Was Jesus defined by those kinds of moods?

No. There's a lot of self-talk that goes along in a person's heart and mind. And as I am a student of Jesus and I consider what He did and then with my motives, even down to my mood, even down to my attitude that's formulating my mood right now, I can ask the question, does this align with God's character and purpose? Does this align with Jesus' character and His purpose? So if I find myself in the mood like I would be normally before I have my coffee in the morning, which by the way, that really doesn't define me, but some people say it does of themselves anyway, but you know, can you imagine Jesus saying, I haven't had my coffee in the morning, so don't get on my nerves? Not at all.

Not at all. What was His character? It was love.

It was grace. It was righteousness. What was His purpose? His purpose was a mission of reconciliation.

His purpose was a passionate desire to please His Father. And so, yeah, am I going to make mistakes? Yeah.

Am I going to be distracted? Absolutely, yes. But you know what? I still have this anchor of the soul, this pioneer, this trailblazer of personal faith that I can look to and I can correct my attitude. I can correct my behavior, which is why He says, looking unto Jesus, the archegos of personal faith. So that if I find myself in a rut of a mood, I can look to Jesus and I can ask myself, what did Jesus do? And I can ask myself, how does this align with His character and His purpose? And God and His word through His Spirit can correct me.

Jesus, the pioneer of personal faith. It's running a race. It is, isn't it? Because it takes endurance. It takes perseverance. It all comes down to understanding this, like, according to that illustration that we saw earlier, if you're not following the leader, you're living in aimless circles. And how many people who are ostensibly of faith find themselves doing that day after day, week after week?

They find themselves just moving in aimless circles and they end up right back where they were, feeling like they haven't progressed one single bit. Maybe it's because we don't really have our gaze fixed on Jesus. Maybe it's because we're looking more at Jesus stuff instead of Jesus Himself. Maybe it's because we're too easily distracted by our adversity, or maybe it's because we're too easily distracted or defined by our prosperity. You see, we need to keep our gaze fixed on Jesus, the archegos of our faith.

That's what we're called to. Let's be a people living by faith, running the race with endurance, fixing our gaze on Jesus Himself and nothing else, taking our eyes off of everything else and looking to Jesus. 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. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-04 12:19:13 / 2023-12-04 12:24:08 / 5

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