Looking to Jesus

“However high the waves may rise, there is no drowning of His love and thoughts towards us. The test is to our faith. The question is, Have we that faith which so realizes Christ’s presence as to keep us as calm and composed in the rough sea as the smooth? It was not really a question of the rough or the smooth sea, when Peter was sinking in the water, for he would have sunk without Christ, just as much in the smooth as in the rough sea. The fact was, the eye was off Jesus on the wave, and that made him sink. If we go on with Christ, we shall get into all kinds of difficulty, many a boisterous sea; but being one with Him, His safety is ours. The eye should be off events, although they be ever so solemn, and surely they are so at this present time, and I feel them to be so; but I know all is as settled and secure as if the whole world were favorable. I quite dread the way many dear saints are looking at events, and not looking at Christ and for Christ. The Lord Himself is the security of His people, and, let the world go on as it may, no events can touch Christ. We are safe on the sea if only we have the eye off the waves, with the heart concentrated on Christ and on the interests of Christ. Then the devil himself cannot touch us.” (J. Darby)

“What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, ‘How am I to keep my eye on Him?’ I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!” (J.B. Stoney)

“We are to reflect Jesus as the mirror does the face and movements of the person in whose apartment it stands. Silent and unobtrusive; constantly and faithfully, it reflects every gesture; so the Christian heart should live in daily, hourly fellowship with the face of Jesus Christ. As the eyes of servants are to the hand of their master, so our eyes should be directed towards, and our lives perpetually reflecting, our Lord, whom the world cannot see, but who is ever present to the eye of our faith.” (F.B. Meyer)

“For indeed he ‘prays without ceasing;’ at all times the language of his heart is this, ‘Unto thee is my mouth, though without a voice; and my silence speaketh unto thee.’ His heart is lifted up to God at all times, and in all places. In this he is never hindered, much less interrupted, by any person or circumstance. In retirement or company, in leisure, business, or conversation, his heart is ever with the Lord. Whether he lie down, or rise up, ‘God is in all his thoughts’: He walks with God continually; having the loving eye of his soul fixed on him, and everywhere ‘seeing Him that is invisible.’ ” (John Wesley)

“Let us place ourselves unreservedly in his hands because he will not fail to have care of us: ‘Casting all your care upon him, for he hath care of you.’ Let us keep God in our thoughts and carry out his will, and he will think of us and of our welfare. Our Lord said to St. Catherine of Siena, ‘Daughter, think of me, and I will always think of you.’ Let us often repeat with the Spouse in the Canticle: ‘My beloved to me, and I to him.’ ” (St. Alphonsus de Ligouri)

” ‘It is by looking to Jesus,’ or ‘looking at Jesus, that we are changed into his image.’ It struck my mind with peculiar force, and produced such a thrill of holy joy as I cannot describe. I was then looking at Jesus. He seemed standing before me, arrayed in glory and beauty that surpassed all I had ever before conceived of, and looking upon me with a look of tender regard, seemed to claim me for His own. My soul was so captivated with the charms of the adorable Redeemer, that when my leader spoke of being changed into his image, I felt such a transport of bliss, as nearly overpowered me. Oh! thought I, to be assimilated to His glorious likeness – to be a partaker of His nature – to be ‘one with Him!’ What ineffable felicity – what overwhelming glory – what amazing exaltation! for an abject worm of earth, to be changed into the image of Jesus! And this is my privilege! I, who am ‘less than the least of all saints.’ I, who am the most unworthy of so distinguished a favor, thus honored, thus blessed of God! Heretofore my heart has borne but the mere outlines of that glorious image; but now, I am to receive the full impress! Yes, now, while I am looking at Jesus! now, He is molding me and fashioning me after His own lovely likeness! My soul is in His hands, passive as clay in the hands of the potter. Jesus is making me all glorious within! I shall be like Him! I have fixed my eyes upon Him, never more to remove them thence, and it is by looking at Him that I am to be conformed to His likeness! O! such a fullness of love and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. I seemed, indeed, ‘filled unutterably full of glory and of God.’ As I came home, Jesus seemed walking with me, and communing with my heart by the way. When I retired to my chamber, His presence accompanied me, and His glory appeared to fill the room! For several hours, I could not sleep. My heart was in such raptures of joy, that I could not become sufficiently composed to sleep. At length exhausted nature sank into repose; but still my mind was occupied with the same glorious object. Often I would awake in ecstasies, exclaiming ‘Jesus! O, thou art my Saviour’, ‘my Redeemer from all sin’ – my happiness – my heaven!’ I have since, enjoyed the same delightful consciousness of His presence, who is the life of all my joys, and am still enabled to keep my eyes unwaveringly fixed upon Him. I see clearly that this is the way, and the only way to abide in His love, and to have the continued victory over the world, the flesh, and Satan, to keep looking at Jesus.” (Samuel Ridout)

“And so whatsoever thou wantest, be sure to strive to pitch thy faith upon the Son of God, and behold Him steadfastly, and thou shalt, by so doing, find a mighty change in thy soul. For when we behold Him as in a glass, even the glory of the Lord, we are changed, namely, by beholding, ‘from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord’ (2 Cor. 3:18). This is the true way to get both comfort to thy soul, and also sanctification and right holiness into thy soul.” (John Bunyan)

“Show me then a soul that through inspiration of grace hath this opening of the spiritual sight into the beholding of Jesus that is separated and drawn out from the love of the world, so far forth that it hath purity and privity of spirit, spiritual rest, inward silence and peace of conscience, highness of thought, loneliness and privity of heart, the waking sleep of the Spouse, that hath lost the liking and joys of the world, taken with delight of heavenly savor, ever thirsting and softly hasting after that blessed presence of Jesus; and I dare boldly pronounce that this soul burneth all in love, and shineth in spiritual light.” (St. John of the Cross)

“See Jesus in everything, then in everything you will find blessing. Keep looking to Jesus. Do nothing but for Him, but as in Him and by His strength and direction. Christ all and in all! And may He abundantly and personally manifest Himself to you.” (J. Hudson Taylor)

“O beauty of ancient days, ancient but ever new! Too late I sought Thee, too late I found Thee. I sought Thee at a distance, and did not know that Thou wast near. I sought thee abroad in thy works, and behold, Thou wast within me.” (St. Augustine)

“David did not by fits and starts set the Lord before him; but he ‘always’ set the Lord before him in his course; he had his eye upon the Lord, and so much the Hebrew word imports (Ps. 16:8): I have equally set the Lord before me; that is the force of the original word, that is, I have set the Lord before me, at one time as well as another, without any irregular affections or passions, etc. In every place, in every condition, in every company, in every employment, and in every enjoyment, I have set the Lord equally before me; and this raised him, and this will raise any Christian, by degrees, to a very great height of holiness.” (Thomas Brooks)

“Our Christianity is apt to be of a very ‘dutiful’ kind. We mean to do our duty, we attend church and go to our communions. But our hearts are full of the difficulties, the hardships, the obstacles which the situation presents, and we go on our way sadly, downhearted and despondent. We need to learn that true Christianity is inseparable from deep joy; and the secret of that joy lies in a continual looking away from all else–away from sin and its ways, and from the manifold hindrances to the good we would do–up to God, His love, His purpose, His will. In proportion as we do look up to Him we shall rejoice, and in proportion as we rejoice in the Lord will our religion have tone and power and attractiveness.” (Charles Gore)

“Now my eyes have seen you.” (Job 42:5)

“It is good that in afflictions we meet God. It is He who solves our problems, yet not by explanation but by appearance. Our problems are solved when we see Him.” (Stephen Kaung)

“We know of nothing which imparts such moral power to the individual walk and character as intense devotion to Christ. It is not merely being a man of great faith, a man of prayer, a deeply taught student of Scripture or a scholar, a gifted preacher, or a powerful writer.”

“No, it is being a lover of Christ.” (C.H. Mackintosh)

“He that would be like Christ must study him. We cannot make ourselves holy by merely trying to be so, any more than we can make ourselves believe and love by simple energy of endeavor. No force can effect this.”

“Men try to be holy, and they fail. They cannot by direct effort work themselves into holiness. They must gaze upon a holy object; and so be changed into its likeness ‘from glory to glory.’ “

“They must have a holy being for their bosom friend. Companionship with Jesus, like that of John, can alone make us to resemble either the disciple or the Master.” (Horatius Bonar)

“Look at the Lord Jesus firmly and fixedly, never letting your gaze wander elsewhere; and whatever temporal objects come between you and your Lord, look right through them, as through a mist, and fix your eyes and heart upon Him and Him alone. Whatever condition you find yourself in, do not let either earth or heaven hide Him.” (John Harris)

“This looking unto Jesus and thinking about Him is a better way to meet and overcome sin than any physical austerities or spiritual self-reproaches. It is by looking at Him, the Apostle says, ‘as in a glass,’ that we are ‘changed into the same image, as from glory to glory.’ ” (Harriet Beecher Stowe)

“That we may be changed into the likeness of Christ, let us fix our meditations upon him, and we shall find a change, though we do not know how it happens. As those who are in the sun for work or play find themselves lightened and warmed, so let us set ourselves about holy meditations. And we shall find a secret, imperceptible change; our souls will be altered, we do not know how. There is a virtue that goes with holy meditation, a changing, transforming virtue. And indeed we can think of nothing in Christ without having it change us to the likeness of itself, because we have all from Christ.” (Richard Sibbes)

“You will never be transformed by continually looking at your own shortcomings, never! Nor will you ever be transformed by looking at the weakness of your fellow Christians. You will only be conformed by continually looking upon the glory of the Lord Jesus–for they who live looking and beholding, though they know it not, are being ‘changed from glory to glory by the Spirit of God.’ ” (E.I., a Brethren writer)

“Nothing so purifies the thoughts, heightens the acts, shuts out self, admits God, as, in all things, little or great, to look to Jesus. Look to Him, when ye can, as ye begin to act, to converse, or labor; and then desire to speak or be silent, as He would have you; to say this word, or leave that unsaid; to do this, or leave that undone; to shape your words, as if He were present, and He will be present, not in body, but in spirit, not by your side, but in your soul. Faint not, any who would love Jesus, if ye find yourselves yet far short of what He Himself who is Love saith of the love of Him. Perfect love is heaven. When ye are perfected in love, your work on earth is done. There is no short road to heaven or to love. Do what in thee lies by the grace of God, and He will lead thee from strength to strength, and grace to grace, and love to love.” (Edward B. Pusey)