Midweek Wake-Up, February 21, 2018
“Who do you say I am?” A question that we all have to wrestle with, as did Peter and the disciples the day that Jesus asked them this penetrating question, in Matthew 16. And while Peter answered the question correctly, he also struggled to understand the implications of his answer. Shortly after this bold response, Jesus is referring to Peter as Satan, as Peter struggles between having his eyes fixed upon Jesus as Lord, and the earthly conflict that would come as a result of this declaration.
If you were in church on Sunday, we heard that a decision to have our eyes fixed upon Jesus, with Him as our Lord will bring about conflict. Conflict within a culture that sets its eyes upon the things of this world and conflict within the church as Satan seeks to disrupt our calling to ‘equip God’s people to extend God’s kingdom’. In essence a conflict of wills, whether we submit to the things of God or the things of this earth. The very words we’ve heard in Colossians where Paul calls us to have our eyes fixed upon the things of Christ, rather than the things of this world.
And the result of having our eyes fixed upon Christ? A deep delight in God and a joy in His Son. Perhaps one of the most significant questions we can ask ourselves is whether or not we’re delighting in God, and experiencing the joy of following Christ. A joy that comes about in ways contrary to what culture would tell us. A joy stemming from understanding that Jesus is the Messiah, and thus has a claim on our lives. Thus a call to declare that Jesus’ lordship on our lives. A call to submit to His Word and all of His ways. A call to live a gospel entered life, sharing the wonderful truth that we’ve been rescued from the dominion of darkness. A call to extend God’s Kingdom, and a call to experience joy and life, in far more abundant ways then we could ever imagine (John 10:10).
Seems week after week, no matter where we find ourselves in Scripture, we come back to the call to reflect on the wonder of who Jesus is, the claim He has on our lives, and the joy that comes about as a result. In short, daily preaching the gospel to ourselves in order to live in this truth.
So NSC, may you live in the joy of knowing Christ this morning, preaching this gospel to yourself throughout the day. This is an aspect of being equipped to extend God’s Kingdom. And may we, as we were reminded from Hebrews 12:2 on Sunday “keep our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne”.