I don't have a lenghty blog post on some news story or theological concept this week. Just one simple thought: I need more of Jesus.
The standard Sunday School answer - "Jesus" - is ultimately the right one. I have been reminded of that truth this week in four ways.
Firstly, I have been reading prayers by some Puritans published by Banner of Truth in the book The Valley of Vision. There are some beuatiful prayers in there. The one that struck me is entitled 'Need of Jesus'. It contains the line "O that I may love Thee as Thou lovest me". What a lovely and vital prayer! I love the King James-like language (familiar from the memory verses of my youth) but the sentiment is so profound. May the Lord do this in me.
Secondly, I have had more of my regular mental struggles with the apparently endless drive for self-promotion of some Christian so-called 'leaders'. We talk too much about ourselves, tweet too much about ourselves, show too much of ourselves. I don't think this hits me often when I am alone, but it has become a regular occurrence for people to tell me they see this on social media or elsewhere. When I am guilty, please tell me, brothers and sisters. I need to speak more of Jesus and less of self.
Thirdly, in some of my sporadic academic work, I read a suggestion from a theological student that our perspective on the end times has drifted from delight in the prospect of seeing Jesus to a greater emphasis on the restoration of creation. I couldn't agree more. In fact, I think we are tempted repeatedly to sideline Jesus in our theology and our devotions. How could we? He is central. He must be central. If He is not, then nothing makes sense and there is no hope. Does it not thrill you to think you will see Him one day? Does that not fill your heart with longing and inspire you to live worthy of Him now. The rest - including the transformation of creation - is all just a nice bonus. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Fourthly, within my work in Living Leadership I had an online mentoring meeting this week with a Christian leader in another country. He was sharing some of his concerns about the last point as well as his reflections on some challenging life experiences. As we conversed brother to brother we challenged each other to stay clear of self-promotion, to seek the spiritual fruit of self control and to make much of Jesus in our ministries. Having heard his challenge and the Spirit's urging (for He always wants to give glory to Jesus!), how could I write anything else in today's blog post.
I need more of Jesus. To know Him more, to become more like Him, to show Him more, to grow to love Him as He loves me.
You need more of Jesus too.
The world desparately needs more of Jesus.
When we gaze on Him we find nothing to disappoint, nothing imperfect. As we gaze on Him, we are changed by the Spirit into His likeness. Until we see Him face to face let us delight in Him who is our salvation, our joy.