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The Life-Changing Delight of Gazing on Christ

I just finished a great week at Camp Peniel in Central Ohio. I was privileged to enjoy time away with my family and to fellowship with new and old Christian friends. More importantly, it was my delight to preach 9 messages on the theme “Behold the Lamb of God: The Life-Changing Delight of Gazing on Christ.” Though my family and I are physically exhausted from a full week and sweltering temperatures, we are spiritually refreshed. In fact, I can’t remember a more spiritually rewarding week. The Lord always blesses the preaching of His Word, but I believe He particularly does so when the Lord Jesus Christ is exalted.

The first 4 messages highlighted the importance and effects of gazing on Christ in the Scriptures. The last 5 highlighted various aspects of Christ’s Person and Work deserving of our meditation, providing several examples of what gazing on Christ in the Scriptures looks like. I would be thrilled if those who considered Christ with me this week would make meditating on our Lord the very focus of their lives! Even if the messages are eventually forgotten (and most messages we preach are), it is my prayer that this small taste will create in them an appetite for Christ that is enduring! And it is my firm conviction that such a result will do far more for them than nine issues-driven messages. Preaching Christ may not result in a multitude of “decisions,” but I believe it’s the only way to effect genuine spiritual transformation (II Corinthians 3:18).

Those who read My Two Cents even on occasion will know that the Lord has seized my attention in recent days to the centrality of the Gospel for every aspect of the Christian life. It was a delight to share these valuable lessons and proclaim Christ’s Person and Work this week. If I’m ever allowed of the Lord to put thoughts to paper and publish a book for the edification of His people, this will probably be the theme. It has delighted and transformed me like nothing else in my spiritual life. I praise the Lord for opening my eyes to the glories of Christ and for jolting me from the distractions which have prevented my enjoyment of meditating on Him and His Gospel heretofore.

If you are honest, you may find that Christ is too often an afterthought, even in your times of supposed worship. I urge you to intentionally gaze on Christ in the Scriptures. Recognize that every prayer you utter is heard only because of the blood and righteousness of Christ. Recognize that your only hope for life and eternity is found in Christ. Parents, show your children that Christ crucified must be the theme of their lives. Pastors, consider well your responsibility to point your people Christward. All, be certain that your Christianity is centered on Him alone, not mere traditions, habits or disciplines.

“Behold the Lamb of God,” friends.

________

Link: Rick Phillips provides another helpful (and brief) shove in the direction of Christ-centeredness here.

“If we are fascinated or excited about anything more than the fact that the Son of God voluntarily suffered in our place, bearing the guilt our sins deserved, then we are in big trouble. I get the impression that many today—both in the broadly evangelical world and in the Reformed world—are rather bored with the cross of Christ and the justification of sinners through faith alone.”

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6 Responses

  1. Chris,
    Got any links to MP3’s of these messages?

  2. Hey, Mike.

    I’ll see. They’re still taping (which is a significant upgrade from 8-tracks and LP’s), but we may be able to convert them. I’ll let you know.

  3. My first time on a blog, so please be gentle…I just saw Mike’s comment about MP3s of Chris’ messages up at Camp Peniel. The bad news is that Camp is still recording sermons using cassettes. The good news is that about 3 or 4 of us wore Jerry Eddinger out about updating how we record sermons. I hope and believe that he will be looking at putting in digital equipment. Maybe we’ll be able to post messages on the camp’s website.

    A word about the messages…they were great! It’s been a few days since my family came home from camp (first visit in around 10 years) and I still remember at least 2 of Chris’ messages (quite possibly a new record for me). We ordered the tapes…now if I can just find a tape player…

  4. Bryan! Hey, buddy!

    “Please be gentle.” Nice. You know, the “I’m a tender soul so please go easy on me” angle is a bit disingenuous coming from a guy who sported Cedarville shirts all week at the OBF’s official camp, of all places. Yikes. That’s about like opening a BBQ joint in Borough Park, Brooklyn.

    And 2 out of 9? Ouch.

    Anyway, welcome. I’m thinking you’ll keep things interesting around here.

    Please tell your wife & girls hello for us.

  5. Ok, maybe I can take it. And I actually remember a lot of your sermons, but most specifically “What does Jesus Look Like?” and the one that talks about Jesus in Gethsemene and what he endured so that we might be adopted into his family. Powerful stuff!

    And you think I’m obnoxious… did I ever tell you about my freind who went into a persian rug store eating a big bag of pork rinds?

  6. Brian,
    It’s great to see you on here. How are you friend? It’s been a long time. Glad you were able to make it to family camp last week with Chris. Wish we could have been there. I have many good memories of growing up there with you and your family too.

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