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I say often that the local church is grace of God. It is a grace that He would allow us to come together and serve Him. It is a grace that He would allow us to be reminded that we are not alone in this world. It is a grace that we can be around people who share the same foundational worldview and share in commonality.
This evening we are going to be having a time of fellowship in which we enjoy simply being around one another. I hope that in our time together as a community tonight, that we are glorifying God through the laughs that will be had, the games played, and the food eaten. We should be reminded that sharing in life together, laughing together, and feasting together, is a consistent theme and emphasis throughout Scripture. It is good for us to be together.
But as we are going about this evening, I want us to make sure we keep the main thing the main thing. We’re told in Colossians that in whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ giving thanks to God the Father through Him. We absolutely CAN glorify God during Fellowship nights. But before we get into everything, I want to encourage us not to let the fun that will be had overshadow the one who brings us together.
Sometimes when we become familiar with something we begin to overlook the details. We don’t study the familiar. We don’t gaze upon it. We look past it. In our familiarity we begin to ignore.
I’m not a very handy man, but I do know how to change a light fixture. A couple years ago, I went a little crazy and changed four of the fixtures in our house. I was so proud of my work. … Just this week I was looking at one of those same fixtures that used to give me pride and I realized it was now dusty and had cobwebs forming around it. What I once loved became common.
The same thing happens in our relationships. The same beautiful bride that brought us to tears as she walked down the aisle becomes familiar. It is not that her worth has diminished, rather our attention has waned.
I’d like to encourage us this evening to not overlook the blessings in our lives, especially the blessing of our Savior Jesus Christ. It is a sad reality that many Christians become familiar with the gospel message and do not cherish the thing they once held so dearly. This a problem because it is a complete inversion of where our priorities ought to be! This evening I am imploring you, do not simply get back to Jesus, but BEHOLD Jesus!
May we be like John the Baptist as the cousin he knew all his life walked towards him in Bethany across the Jordan. Certainly John was familiar with this man and yet he proclaims, “BEHOLD! The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” Behold Him! That is to look to Him, not in passing but with consideration, with appreciation, with fixation, and with transfixion!
A Pastor was recounting the story of a man who was converted during a Sound Check before Charles Spurgeon was to preach. He said the man “was a workman in London’s Agricultural Hall, where Spurgeon was preparing to preach later that evening. In those days they didn’t have microphones or other electronic amplification systems, of course, so Spurgeon was testing the accoustics in the room. From the pulpit he bellowed John 1:29: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” The workman heard it from the rafters and was struck to heart, later seeking out more about this Lamb and his sin-taking ways, and coming to believe in Jesus.
If you have come to saving Faith in Jesus Christ, than there is certainly a point in which you have beheld His glory. In our flesh, we are prone to wander. We are prone to get distracted. Put on top of that the technology of our day and the gospel gets out of focus in our lives. We have all kinds of media with us in our pockets 24/7 and of course the gospel is there too, the bible app is on the same device as the Facebook app, and yet we find ourselves drawn to the media over the gospel time and time again. We sense there will be something newer, more viral, more exciting, more entertaining, more applicable to our situation somewhere among the endless clicks and pages, while the gospel seems so one-note and familiar. Our vision is constantly occupied by fleeting things, while we yawn at the glory of God.
It is my prayer that through the reminder of the Word of God, the glory God shone through the gospel would recapture our attention and not just for a moment, but that as a people we would BEHOLD our God. If we want to see revitalization in our church and revival in our hearts, that does not begin with a new program, a concert, a ministry connection, or a traveling evangelist. Those things can be good and well, but revitalization and revival begin with being beholden to the Glory of God. May we as a church gaze upon the glory of Christ.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.