Summary: The call to worship God is the call to live now connected to eternity. Fixing our eyes on Jesus, living for His worship, makes everything in life better.
September 17, 2017 Sermon - Fixed on Jesus
I want to talk today about fixing our eyes on Jesus. I want to talk today about fixing our eyes on Jesus because everything flows, everything good flows, from fixing our eyes on Jesus.
There is in life, I've discovered, nothing more beautiful, nothing more lovely, no one more faithful or trustworthy or true, than our Jesus.
And I love being with the body of of Christ, because normally, to the exclusion of everything else, I can fix my eyes on Jesus.
And what is fixing our eyes, the eyes of our hearts, the eyes of our imaginations, the eyes of our aspirations, on Jesus? It is about worship. It is about worshipping God as He is and as He has revealed Himself to be.
God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Godhead. In Jesus is all the fullness of the Godhead, the Bible says.
And so as we fix our eyes on Jesus in worship, we fix our eyes on the fullness of God.
James and Joel and I were driving around the city the other day and we were talking about this.
We were talking about how everything good flows from God, and that being worshippers - true worshippers, in Jesus words, who worship in spirit and in truth, is the most important thing about who we are. It is the part of us that lasts into eternity.
To the best of my knowledge I won’t be a pastor in eternity. I won’t be married to Barbara (one of THE best parts of my life here and now), I won’t be or do anything other than be a worshipper of God.
I’m sort of hoping that might involve being in a heavenly orchestra.
But I will be a worshipper of God. You, will be a worshipper of God, if you are a worshipper of God in Christ now. There aren’t any human words to effectively describe the sheer gorgeous beauty and reverence of our God that will be heaven, though the Bible does a great job of trying.
But even though that’s what eternity will be like (and if you think eternity in God’s presence, beholding His beauty and majesty, serving Him and worshipping Him in pure and exceeding joy...if that sounds somehow boring to you...there’s room in your heart and mind to grow in the knowledge of God).
Even though worship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit in diverse and endlessly creative ways is what eternity will be like for those who follow Jesus now, we are still instructed, directed, encouraged to fix our eyes upon Jesus right here and now.
What good comes from fixing our eyes on Jesus in worship, in this place when we gather on Sundays, in our own personal devotions that we hopefully make time and space for most days?
What benefit to you and to me is there in worshipping Jesus?
The Cloud of witnesses behind us that we will join in glory
Freedom from sin and all that entangles
Power to run the race with perseverance
Now the chapter before our passage today in Hebrews talks about those who have gone before us.
Chapter 12, you may have noticed, begins with therefore. ‘Therefore’ means ‘in light of what I have just said”.
And what the writer of Hebrews 11 has been talking about is the record of men and women who lived by faith. What can be said about those people listed in chapter 11?
They led real, complicated lives, as real and complicated as we feel our lives to be. They led imperfect lives, but they lived by faith.
Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Sarah, Gideon, Deborah, Moses, Rahab and many more whose stories populate much of the OT, lived by faith in God. They lived by the promises of God.
When critics of the Bible or of any book written long ago see neat and tidy stories about perfect people, be it Caesar or Alexander or any great figure of the past - when they see whitewashed narratives about their lives, they view that with suspicion.
They, rightly I think, suppose that those stories are tales that can’t be relied upon. Why is that? Because if we’re human and we’re honest, the first thing we know about being human is that ALL of our stories are messy and there are a good number of embarrassing bits.
In the Bible though, you get a great deal of embarrassing narrative about even the key characters, the key people.
Moses, Abraham, Issac, Simon Peter, Paul the Apostle - the key people, the founders of our faith, have pretty negative and embarrassing things attached to the narrative, to the stories in the Bible about their lives. That is only because they are human, and because the Bible is true and completely trustworthy as the Word of god