“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
Recently, I was reviewing a draft theological document. As I read the treatise, I grew more and more disappointed with the purpose and aim of the paper. The more I read, the more I felt that the writers all wrote about the spokes of the wheel without ever explicating the hub. The piece was everything about Christianity without ever focusing on the one thing needful, Jesus Christ. It talked about commands, morals, and theologies without explaining in fullness the beauty, purpose, and power of the person and work of Christ.
The essay failed to understand that all the blessings of the Christian life begin and end in Christ (Eph. 1: 3-10). We look away from ourselves, look up to Christ, and then out to his glory and grace. The threefold blessing: freedom from self-consciousness, freedom to know Christ, and freedom to experience Christ (2 Cor. 1:18-22).
Only in proportion as we come into touch with the Lord Jesus, only as we realise His presence, His person, shall we receive His blessing. Apart from him, nothing; but in Him, and with Him, all things necessary for the present and future are ours.
How will the blessing come? Not by looking in, but by looking up and by looking out. You must see His face, and you must hear His voice, and you must do His bidding. That is the threefold secret of blessing. You must see the King first; and in His hand the sceptre, and the crown of that sceptre is the cross. You will realise that the King must be seen first on the cross, the King of the Jews, before He becomes King of your lives, and the King of heaven. Look up, then, and see Him as your personal Saviour, the representative for the new Adam, the new race, as it were, introducing a new creation into the world.
J. Taylor Smith, “The Blessed Life,” in Daily Thoughts From Keswick: A Year’s Daily Readings, ed., Herbert F. Stevenson (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1980), 53.