Exploring the Message Within...
Part 1:‘OBSERVE THE WAYS OF CHRIST’
St. John 1:29 Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
The first thing that stood out as I read this verse was the word ‘Behold!’ To ‘behold’, according to the Readers Word Power Dictionary, is to observe, hence becoming aware of; watching attentively; monitor or inspect. Therefore, one cannot simply ‘look’ to understand or imitate a person. One has to monitor the behaviour of that person, inspecting every area of that person’s life, in order to understand him/her. This, I believe, is what John was implying when he said:
‘Behold! The Lamb of God…’ He wasn’t merely pointing out Jesus to the crowd, he was telling them to go and OBSERVE: go monitor and imitate. And as believers that is what we need to do in order to grow and become more Christ-like. In verses 35 & 36 of the same chapter, John stood with two of his disciples, and looking at Jesus as He walked, he said: ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’ John was not just repeating the statement he made the previous day, he was actually saying to his disciples ‘follow Jesus’.
The disciples were to daily observe the ways of Christ and put into practise what they would learn. Today, the same message is directed at us. For us to follow Jesus we have to get to know Him—prepare ourselves by reading the bible, talking to Him daily, joining with the saints for fellowship(Hebrews 10:25)—daily observing the ways of Christ. His disciples went everywhere with Him; they had a relationship with Him and so should we. Without that personal relationship with Christ we can be easily confused and lead astray by false-prophets. As we grow in Him He will open our ‘spiritual eye’ and use us as instruments for Him. So it is important for us to remain in the ‘Potter’s House’ so that He can refine us and make us into vessels of honour for Him. Once we’ve gone through the process we will discover who we are in Christ.
To return to our first love, we have to begin by observing the ways of Christ; following in His footsteps and then we will know who we are in Christ.
John knew who he was. He knew what God desired of him and so when the Pharisees sent the men to ask him: ‘Who are you?’ He didn’t take onboard their idea of him being Elijah, a profit or the Messiah. He didn’t stop and wonder if maybe, just maybe, they are right in what they are saying. He knew exactly who he was because he looked to God for his direction and not to man. And because he was being led by The Holy Spirit, he was prepared and was able to respond:
“I am a voice shouting in the wilderness ‘Prepare a straight pathway for the Lord’s coming!”(John 1:23, NLT).
So it is a lesson for us to always seek God’s direction for our lives.
‘In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.’
But we cannot expect Him to direct our path, unless we first acknowledge Him as Lord of our lives. For God to lead and direct us, we have to surrender our all to Him. This is the first step in our walk with Christ. We cannot hand over one area of our lives to Him and expect Him to bless us in the other areas that we feel we are capable of handling ourselves. It has to be all or nothing. Otherwise, He cannot be Lord of our lives. Once surrendered, worship mode is switched on, and through our praise we start to recognise our blessings as we allow God to lead us into our destiny.
Basing this year’s theme around John’s testimony of Jesus, gives us an opportunity to return to our first love and once again begin our journey by observing the ways of Christ.
******************** Exploring the Message Within consists of the following parts: