The Word Weaver
Inviting you to know & embrace Jesus Christ
Deb Weaver
I NEED Jesus. You NEED Jesus. Let's Fix Our Eyes On Him.
by The Word Weaver, Deb on February 15th, 2018

​If there was an urgent, life-altering message, wouldn’t you want to know? 

Wouldn’t you want to investigate its veracity? 

Wouldn’t you want to respond aright?

​Here it is:  

​We NEED Jesus.  Every single one of us need Him, regardless of our differences:  
  • age 
  • background 
  • choices we’ve made 
  • the color of our skin 
  • gender 
  • interests 
  • I.Q.
  • nationality 
  • religious beliefs 
  • socio-economic status 
  • titles we bear
  • what’s been done by us or to us

We share this one absolute need.  We NEED Jesus. 

This universal truth has not been hidden from us.  It has been proclaimed fiercely, relentlessly, passionately.

Stop a moment and look for its message:
  • Revealed in the deepening blush of the afternoon sky
  • Declared on the blood-stained cross
  • Exploded from the empty tomb
  • Whispered in the sprout of joy that unfurls in a quiet moment
  • Highlighted throughout our Bibles
  • Echoed in the black, empty cells of our darkest sin
  • Experienced in the excruciating crucible of hurt, loss, need, or fear
  • Demonstrated in the lives of the faithful throughout history

God repeats this truth over and over. 

But maybe you’ve missed it.

Or perhaps you’re nodding your heard in mental ascent that Jesus is important, but you’re failing to embrace this real, resurrected God in the grit, grime, and grunt of your daily life.
Quote by David G. Benner from his book The Gift of Being Yourself/ Used in The Word Weaver blog post
​Dr. David G. Benner, in his book, The Gift of Being Yourself, says:
 
“Too often we have not allowed the initial introduction to deepen into a deep, intimate knowing.  Though we glibly talk about a personal relationship with God, many of us know God less well than we know our casual acquaintances.  Too easily we have settled for knowing about God.  Too easily our actual relationship with God is remarkably superficial…

If this is your experience, don’t allow yourself to be distracted by guilt. Hear God’s call to a deep personal encounter as an invitation, not a reprimand.  It is an invitation to step out of the security of your boat and meet Jesus in the vulnerability and chaos of your inner storms.  It is an invitation to move beyond objective knowledge to personal knowing.  It is an invitation to truly know God.”
Heart to heart conversation on The Word Weaver blog
​Friend, there’s no shame here. 

Just let me lean in closer to you and gently reiterate how important it is that we get this truth. 

Personally.  Deeply.  Experientially. 

There is no greater priority than our relationship with Jesus. 

You and I need Jesus.  Yes, we absolutely need Him for the salvation and new life that was purchased for us by Christ’s sacrificial death and victorious resurrection. 

We also need Him in the now moments of our everyday lives.  
For the person who staggers in confusion, there is no greater priority.  The Bible tells us the truth about who we are and what we are like, and who God is and what He is like.  We are deeply loved and deeply flawed.  We are in desperate need of a Savior.  There is one way to God the Father, and we will only find it in Jesus Christ.  Seek Him. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you.  Lucidity expands as we discover truth. 

For the person who has recently held out her hands and accepted the gift of salvation, there is no greater priority.  Love grows us as we embrace the God delights in us just as we are.

For the person imprisoned and bound by his sin, there is no greater priority. Jesus transforms us from the inside out as we look to and respond to Him.  Liberty resides in the resurrection power of the Living God. 

For the person who is walking with Jesus through a painful, piercing season, there is no greater priority.  Perspective and peace descend in the presence of Christ.

For the person whose hope has drained through life’s sieve of pace and pain, there is no greater priority.  When we realize that He is not only with us but for us and when we rely upon His power within us, perseverance reshapes and strengthens us.

We need Jesus.  There is no greater priority than leaning on and learning from Him.
 
In John 5: 19-20 (NIV): “Jesus gave them this answer: I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all He does.  Yes, to your amazement He will show Him even greater things than these.” 

If the Savior of the world could not do anything of eternal value without focusing on and following the Father, how can we? 

We can’t. 

Jesus spelled it out in John 15:5 (NIV):  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” 

Without Jesus Christ in the center, I can do nothing.  You can do nothing.  

​So how do we live?  

​The apostle Paul gives us instructions:  

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12: 1-2 (NIV)

Surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses—countless numbers of real people, (many of whom were noted in the previous chapter of Hebrews), surround us.  These ordinary individuals walked this dusty orb too.  They:
  • lived extraordinary lives by faith
  • heard, believed, and heeded the voice of the Living God
  • continue to live forever in the glorious, radiant presence of God
  • stand and testify to us that our God is trustworthy, able, enough, worthy
  • cheer us on toward the finish line  

​Listen!  Can you hear them?  

​They shout truth!  They urge us to believe and to trust Him regardless of what happens or what we face.  They declare that whatever He asks of us is worth it, that He is worthy, that He can transform our lives.  They encourage us to take the next step and to keep at it till we get Home. Victory is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.

They were ordinary men and women like us.  They didn’t have it easier.  It wasn’t easier for them.  They didn’t possess skills or qualities that made it possible for them to do amazing things.

No, what these faithful men and women of the past had—and what is also available to us—is the presence and power of the Living God for those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.  

This overcoming power is from the Gospel of grace.  The work of God in our lives changes us, and it changes the world. 

Jesus offers this life of power to all of us in His nail-scarred hands.  When we believe in Him, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit who enables us to live with extraordinary faith and obedience.

Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles—We can’t run in a heavy, flapping robe.  The extra weight and excess fabric gets in the way.  The same is for us in this life.  If we are to follow Jesus, there are things we need to throw off in order to race well.  We need to discard whatever hinders us regardless of how small or seemingly insignificant.  What this entails—what habits, attitudes, or actions—may be different for you and for me. 

It’s important to daily inventory our lives.  May we ask the Holy Spirit to reveal: 
  • What does God say about this?  Does it line up with His Word?
  • What gets in the way of God’s purposes in me? 
  • What distracts me? 
  • What moves my attention from the things above to earthly things? 
  • What sins repeatedly trip me up? 
  • How may I flee them? 
  • What boundaries and safety nets does God want me to employ so that I may circumvent these traps? 

We do this in order to run well during this pilgrimage of faith.

Run with perseverance the race marked out for us—without looking to the left or to the right. 

No comparing ourselves with others or our tasks with theirs.  No pouting over how hard our life is compared to how easy theirs looks.  No complaining that they’re doing it wrong.  No wishing that we had their calling, their life, or their gifts. We resolutely refuse the bitter seeds of jealousy.

Rather than looking around at others and what God seems to be doing in their lives, we must narrow our field of vision and, instead, focus on how God is calling us. 

It’s essential to get our individual instructions from the One who marked the map of our races before the foundations of the world (see Ephesians 1:4, 2: 10, Psalm 139:16, John 10: 1-5)

Fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith

Where our gaze lingers, our lives follow.   

If our heads are whipping around trying to attend to everything, we will miss the mark. 

If we’re not concentrating on the Word and Spirit of God, we will miss important information. 

If we’re enthralled by anything other than Jesus, we are headed for disaster.

MacMillan Dictionary notes that if you fix your eyes on someone or something, you “look straight at them and at nothing else.” 

We are not just to fix our eyes anywhere, but to fix our eyes on Jesus. 

He initiated our faith, and He will complete it.  He is the One to whom we must pay attention.  His opinion matters most.  His voice is vital.  His direction is necessary.  Heeding His call is vital.

​This call is costly.   

​It requires tuning out the cacophony of competing calls: The seductive whisper of personal desire and ease. The subtle insinuation of selfishness and personal rights.  The driving beat of ambition and desire.  The bitter traps of envy and entitlement.  The clamor of fear and lies. The relentless temptation to waste moments. 

The distractions we face are endless.

Though God is able to speak loudly, He most often chooses to speak in a still, small voice.  It’s easy to miss it, especially in a world screaming as if its hair is on fire, in a media-conscious society that notifies us whenever anyone breathes, and in a culture that rewards our shallow attention spans.  We must focus in the midst of this noise.

I often have trouble hearing when there’s ambient noise in the background.  Sounds bounce off and collide with one another, and I can’t hear clearly. It takes more concentration and effort to interpret the message.   When it’s loud, I find myself leaning in, paying closer attention.  I watch the lips of the person speaking.  It helps if I know them and their thoughts well.

Likewise, we must lean in closer to Jesus to listen and to train our attention on His face so that we hear His voice.  We ask Him to show us:  How do you see me?  What do You think?  What is most important?  What is most needed?   What do You want me to do? 

We redirect our roots into the nourishing soil of His love and grace.  We soak ourselves in His truth.  We study His character, His ways, His words, His works. We worship and converse with Him continually. We learn to accept and savor His love, and we learn to love Him back in every small moment of our lives.

Writer Jessica Van Roekel  reminds us, “If we want to be held by the anchor, then we must behold the anchor.”

So, how do we run with perseverance? 
How do we throw off everything that hinders our steps? 
How do we cut free from the entrapment of our own sin? 
How do we quiet the clamoring of our own hearts? 
How do we know where to go or what to say? 
How do we successfully complete this race of faith?

This is how we live: we fix our eyes on Jesus.  We behold Him in every moment.

There’s no other way.
Scripture Hebrews 12:2 Fix Our Eyes on Jesus/ The Word Weaver blog post

 
Related posts & resources on The Word Weaver blog
​“The Hope Series”, Welcome Grace blog posts by Jessica Van Roekel
Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman
 
The Word Weaver blog:
Praying For God’s Strength in My Weakness
Led by Love
Take My Hand
Tweetable quotes from The Word Weaver blog post


Posted in Tapestry of Truth: Scripture Insights, My Journey with God    Tagged with Fix Eyes on Jesus, Life Instructions, God's Voice, Run with Perseverance


4 Comments

Sue - February 15th, 2018 at 6:19 AM
Beautiful, deep penetrating, life giving truth right there in this post. Thank you!
Deb Weaver - February 15th, 2018 at 3:35 PM
Sue,

Thank you for your encouragement. May God reveal Himself in these words and in our lives.
Sue Tell - February 15th, 2018 at 7:27 AM
I hear the urgency in your voice as you love your readers well.
Deb Weaver - February 15th, 2018 at 3:59 PM
Sue, what a beautiful thing to say. Thank you for your sweet affirmation.
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