Todays speaker – Elder Simon Edmunds
As I’m not preaching this week, I wonder if you’d permit me to share a thought prompted by a recent Bible reading I had which sits well in the theme of grace which we’ve been exploring recently in the book of Jonah.
The text was Hebrews 12:2 which reads: “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfector 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.”
I was led to consider especially, “looking to Jesus”. By our own humanity, or by the temptations and distractions of Satan, our eyes are often diverted from Jesus, and to ourselves, or to the world. And if you’re like me, your first thought is: “I need to try/work harder.” But it’s the Holy Spirit’s role to turn our eyes away from self and onto Jesus. He reminds us that we are nothing, but Jesus is ‘all in all’.
Spurgeon writes: “it is not your hold of Christ that saves you – it is Christ. It is not your joy in Christ that saves you – it is Christ. Therefore, don’t look so much to your hand holding onto Christ – but to Christ. Look not to your hope, but to Christ, the source of that hope. Look not so much at your faith, but to Christ, the author and finisher of your faith.”
We’ll never find confidence or peace looking at ourselves (our actions or feelings). I think that’s the fastest way to despair and giving up. Rather, it’s what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives us rest.
Like the old hymn says: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”