LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Taking My Eye Off Christ - By Mark Pierson

The following is a quote from an older and wisened Spurgeon after he had begun to reflect on how things CAN go if we get too much into self examination...

" Self examination is a very great blessing, but I have known self examination carried on in a most unbelieving, legal, and self-righteous manner; in fact, I have carried it on myself. Time was when I used to think a vast deal more of marks, and signs, and evidences, for my own comfort, than I do now, for I find that I cannot be a match for the devil when I begin dealing in these things. I am obliged to go day by day with this cry-- "I, the chief of sinners am, But Jesus died for me."

While I can believe the promise of God,because it is His promise, and because He is my God, and while I can trust my Saviour because He is God, and therefore mighty to save, all goes well with me,but I do find,when I begin questioning myself about this and that perplexity,thus taking my eye off Christ,that all the virtue of my life seems oozing out at every pore. Any practice that detracts from faith is an evil practice,but especially that kind of self-examination which would take us away from the cross-foot, proceeds in a wrong direction."

In my early days of Christianity, I would constantly be comparing myself with other, more earnest christians than myself. They could go for longer periods of fasting and prayer; they could preach better; were bolder in their witness for Christ when we would go street preaching; were better able to hold the attention of the crowds when teaching Bible study and so on. They were fun to be around, while I,on the other hand, was and am very uncomfortable around people.

I would often dread the book of James and the last three chapters of 1 John. I used to take note of how short I came to measuring up. I would fall into very deep depressions when considering these things. I would be so morbid, so sad, I would feel so ugly spiritually. These periods would last for months.

Often, I would enter into a period of fasting and prayer, only to break the fast off before the planned time. Oh,the self-condemnation that followed, especially when the other brethren seemed to cruise along for that same period of fasting. I felt myself to be the biggest failure. Oh, the hunger for souls they had,and I didn't.

I would be so morbid and sad that unsaved people would come to me and tell me that they did not want to be like me if they were to become a christian. I could see their point.

Over time I began to realize that, although I still did not measure up to the book of James or 1John, it would drive me to the foot of the cross, where I could behold Him. Now those two books invite me, yea, they urge me, to behold Him. Now there is no more sadness or self-condemnation;no more comparing myself with other more successful christians. Now my delight is in beholding Him, knowing Him, being found in Him, not having my own righteousness for He is my righteousness!

I have this promise from His word: "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord" 2 Cor.3:18.

Let us take up our time beholding Him!

-Mark

10 Comments:

Blogger bluecollar said...

I hope people can be edified by my experiences

April 25, 2006 8:03 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

That quot from Spurgeon was taken from C.H.Spurgeon Autobiography:Volume 1 pages 103-104

April 25, 2006 8:09 AM

 
Blogger jel said...

Morning!


gave a great day! :)

April 25, 2006 8:25 AM

 
Blogger Joe said...

A great lesson! Let's just keep our eyes on Jesus!

April 25, 2006 9:32 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Janice and Joe: Thank you for your kind visits!

April 25, 2006 9:42 AM

 
Blogger J. Wendell said...

Hi Mark,

I am tired of the phoney persona of the spiritual elites that make it seem that rising to their level in the stratosphere of piety would give one a nose bleed "...so don't even try it!"

I love your honesty and I can relate. You are one down-to-earth heavenly citizen.

Edified in Christ,
brother John

April 25, 2006 11:54 PM

 
Blogger J. Wendell said...

BTW,
I am not thinking of any person in particular as a high-minded Christian - just an attitude I have encountered.

April 26, 2006 12:11 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

John,

Thanks for stopping by.

You and your wife are such an encouragement to me, thanks!

April 26, 2006 7:09 AM

 
Blogger Shawn L said...

Mark,

Very very true words. Good points to be made.

We know that in our sanctification all our affections do truly change in the sense that we do want and learn ways to obey God's command to love God with all of our heart and all of our soul and all of our minds, but that is not always the case our affections are fallen. We look to Christ who is the only one who has done this.

We must always remember we are justified and counted righteous in Christ.

I know this seems simple, but let me tell you it is a very hard balance to truly hit. The biblical truth is we should work to keep our affections upon Christ and we must see to grow in these things and not be flippant to sin, but we live in a very fallen world and we must always rest in the assurance of Christ and his counting us as righteous in Christ. I've seen Christians struggle with this alot and I have as well.

I see it especially in my own life looking back having the wrong understanding (flippant about sin, or not looking to Christ's righteousness in my failings).....

The best thing to do is keep our heads in the scripture more than anything and keep in prayer about it. We can so easily be tossed to and fro

That's why I wrote you Spurgeon's previous statement as I liked how it struck a good way to think of it.

April 27, 2006 12:40 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Shawn: Thank you for your wisdom. You are a blessing to me in that we think alot alike, therefore it is easy to relate to what you say.

April 27, 2006 10:34 AM

 

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