Summary: We become what we behold. As believers, let's make it our aim to behold the person of Jesus that we may become like Him.
Amazed Part 2: Amazed by Him
Preached by Jimmy Seibert
August 31, 2014
I love this time of year [when Baylor students return to Waco], because it reminds me of my own college days, coming to college and all the excitement, and all the life change that happens. But I wanted to take you back just a little bit on stages of my own life change that led up to a significant college experience. I want to take you back to 7th grade. Now, most of us should have skipped 7th and 8th grade, we’d be better off, more whole in our hearts, less wounds in life. But it happens. We go through 7th grade, and when I was in 7th grade in the late 1970s, a movie came out called “Staying Alive”. And for you guys who don’t know, you know – Ah ah ah ah staying alive, staying alive – and this move and that deal. And a lot of you guys have retro parties and say, “Isn’t that funny? Isn’t that cool?” No – that was real time for me. That was happening front and center. Now again, I’m not recommending the movie for sure. I don’t know what was on my parents’ mind when they let us go to the movie. I ask, “What were they thinking?” and the answer was – they weren’t. We kind of took the whole 70s scene in and I had the platform shoes and the bell bottom pants, the feathered hair, and the whole deal. I want to show you a picture from the Valentine’s dance in the 8th grade. There we go. Ya, the long hair. If you actually looked a little closer, her hair and my hair were similar. I did have the feathered hair, the whole deal. Kind of like Andy Gibb of the Bee Gees was my thought. So we went through the “Staying Alive” disco stage, and then we got to about 9th grade and the summer of 9th grade another great movie came out. Well, again it was great to us then, again, I wouldn’t recommend it now. It was called “Urban Cowboy.” Now just by definition, urban and cowboy – we’ve got some real cowboys here in Texas. You are the real deal, and when you wear your hat and your jeans, that’s who you are. But for me, I was an urban guy trying to look like a cowboy because that’s what cool was. And we went kicker dancing and we did all the stuff that goes with it and the theme song of this particular movie, prophetically so, was called, “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places.” That would have been a perfect description of my life as a non-believer at the time. I wanted to give you a picture of the ol’ 10th grade fall dance urban cowboy look. Alright. Alright, so we had the “Staying Alive” stage, we had the “Urban Cowboy” stage, and then as we got to the end of high school we went through soul music and punk rock and that whole deal. And then we got to college and kind of preppy became “in.” Now when you say the word preppy now, you kind of laugh, and everything else, but no, that was really cool at the time. And just by the way, I was see a semblance of it coming back, and so when I got to Baylor, I figured out what you were supposed to look like, and I ended up looking like this. There we go, got my Ray Bans, alright. I’m looking pretty good, you can leave that one up there a little bit. Ok – you can take that down.
What was happening to me in each stage of life is that I was becoming that which I beheld. I looked around me and decided what is significant, what is valuable, what draws love and attention? What puts me in, instead of out; and that’s what I became. When I came to Baylor, I looked around, and now I was a believer – I came to know Jesus toward the end of high school – and I thought, “Ok – who’s a Christian here who also is popular, who also is cool, who also does these things in the world? How do I have both of those?” And I kind of beheld that, and tried to be like that. Until, as I‘ve talked about often, and I spoke about last week. I came between my sophomore and junior year, and I realized, “I’ve never really beheld Jesus. Now I have Jesus and the world, and before it was just the world. What would it mean if I just beheld Jesus, instead of trying to be something I’m not?”
What if I let Him define me? What if I let Him be the centerpiece of my life instead of the world around me? And so, I began to meet daily with Jesus. I didn’t know how else to get to know Him except to meet with Him. So every morning I would open up my Bible and I would read a chapter. I would look at the life of Jesus and try to obey, or follow the life of Jesus, and it was transforming. I think the first thing that was so key was His presence, His nearness. I found when I would meet with Him with the right heart, I wanted to know Him. Now remember I didn’t grow up in church, so it wasn’t what I “should” do or “ought” to, I wanted to know Jesus. And when I wanted to know His nearness, He became Immanuel. I found that as I would simply look at the Word of God and follow His ways, I found that change would fall on my life. Past addictions, places of brokenness, would just begin to fall off my life. I found that the significance I was looking for was no longer out there, but it was right here; that in my heart I knew that I was valuable, I knew I had worth, and a purpose and a plan. Not because I was grasping for something outside of myself, but Jesus was the one defining me, speaking to me, leading me and directing me. I was transformed by Jesus, meeting with Him. And I was being changed.