DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #10…LOOK TO JESUS!
I would propose that the subject of the ministry of this house, as long as this platform shall stand, and as long as this house shall be frequented by worshipers, shall be the person of Jesus Christ. I am never ashamed to avow myself a Calvinist; I do not hesitate to take the name of Baptist; but if I am asked what my creed is, I reply, "It is Jesus Christ."
My venerated predecessor, Dr. Gill, has left a [theological heritage] admirable and excellent in its way. But the [legacy] to which I would pin and bind myself forever, God helping me... is Jesus Christ, who is the arm and substance of the gospel, who is in Himself all theology, the incarnation of every precious truth. - C.H. Spurgeon.
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. - Hebrews 12:2. TNIV
Where can a troubled teenager go to find peace?
One fifteen-year-old boy decided that he would try to find a relationship with God. Although he came from a line of ministers, he felt that the load of his sins was greater than that of others. In trying to find God, he finally determined to attend every church in town. After months of visiting different churches, one cold winter day he decided to try one some distance from his home.
On his way, he was caught in a howling snow storm. He noticed the little place called the Artillery Street Primitive Methodist Church. This English boy had not been eager to attend it, because he had heard that the people sang so loud that it caused headaches! With the storm so bad he felt he had little choice, so he entered.
After several minutes of waiting, a tall, thin man made an embarrassed announcement: "Looks as if our minister was held up by the weather. Reckon you'll have to put up with me." Charles listened as this awkward man, unused to preaching, did his best to communicate a Bible truth. He chose as his text the verse: "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth" (Isaiah 45:22).
Charles felt that this was a most unlikely man to be able to help him in his search for God, but he listened as the man spoke. "The text says 'Look!" Now some of ye are lookin' to yourselves, but it's no use lookin' there. Ye may say, "Wait for the Spirit's workin'.' But I say, 'Look to Christ!"
As the preacher continued, he began shouting: "Look unto Me!" I'm sweatin' great drops of blood! I'm hangin' on the cross!" Then the unlikely preacher looked down at Charles and said: "Young man, you look miserable." As he lifted up his hands, the preacher shouted: "Young man, look to Jesus Christ! Look! Look!"
Charles Spurgeon later said: "I saw at once the way of salvation. I looked until I could have almost looked my eyes away. The darkness rolled away, and I saw the sun. I felt I could spring from my seat and shout with the wildest of these Methodist brethren: "I am forgiven!"
The teen decided to start doing something for Christ. He began to give out tracts, and when these ran out he wrote gospel messages on slips of paper, then dropped them on the streets, hoping someone would find them. The next year he began to teach a Sunday School class, and at the age of seventeen was called to pastor the Waterbeach Chapel.
A short time later he was called to London to pastor the New Park Street Baptist Church. Before he was twenty-one, Charles Spurgeon was being called "the boy wonder of England." When he was twenty-three, he preached one day to a crowd of 23,645 people in one service.
For dozens of years Charles Haddon Spurgeon preached to 5,500 people each Sunday, while thousands had to be turned away. He founded an orphanage, a Bible college and became a prolific writer. Today his sermons are still widely read, and he is known as "The Prince of Preachers."
All of this, because one unknown man was willing to encourage a teenage boy to: "Look to Jesus."
He began His ministry by being hungry, yet He is the Bread of Life.
Jesus ended His earthly ministry by being thirsty, yet He is the Living Water.
Jesus was weary, yet He is our rest.
Jesus paid tribute, yet He is the King.
Jesus was accused of having a demon, yet He cast out demons.
Jesus wept, yet He wipes away our tears.
Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver, yet He redeemed the world.
Jesus was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He is the Good Shepherd.
Jesus died, yet by His death He destroyed the power of death.
- Gregory of Nazianzus, A.D. 381.
Loving Father, Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to keep looking to Jesus. Change me Lord, for your glory and for the extension of your Kingdom, in Jesus wonderful and mighty name I pray, amen!