Thursday, December 27, 2012

"Come and See" by Francis Frangipane

      What a timely word from Francis Frangipane!  As we are preparing to begin another new year when many of us set New Year's resolutions and goals, wouldn't it be wonderful to have as our major goal this year--to discover where Jesus lives.

"Come and See" by Francis Frangipane
       John and Andrew began their spiritual commitment to God's will as disciples of John the Baptist. In fact, they had actually been standing near the prophet when Jesus walked by. As the Baptizer saw Jesus, he cried out, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" and from that moment the two disciples began to follow Jesus (John 1:35-37).
      This was an insightful account. It is John's handwritten testimony of how he came to the Son of God. Yet, John has deeper truths to reveal beyond this historic portrayal. He is also going to reveal what we should each ultimately seek when we come to Christ.
       Let's pick up the narrative. The two disciples, having heard and believed John's messianic proclamation about Jesus, are now walking, perhaps hurriedly, to catch up to Jesus. They are within conversation range.
Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest Thou? He saith unto them, Come and see.   --John 1:38-39 KJV
       There are many reasons one comes to Christ. We may seek Him for health issues or to possess the keys to prosperity. Perhaps we need deliverance or are burdened with the cares of a loved one. Yet, as the Lord asked John and Andrew, so He asks each of us: What are you seeking in life? What goals compel us? When we approach the final season of our lives, will the things we have achieved be transferable into eternal accounts? Or will we have spent our time and energies on that which is void of true life?
       Jesus asks, "What are you seeking?" It is a very important question. The Lord desires that we take inventory of our passions and objectives, and then chart our course toward heavenly values. You see, many say they love Jesus. What they mean is that, in time, they hope to get around to loving Jesus. Right now, however, they barely know Him and almost never spend time seeking Him.
        The proof that we love Him is that we keep His commandments (John 14:15). What must He think when so many who say they love Him are, in fact, not loving Him but actually having an affair with this world? May God have mercy.
       Yet, this is not your situation. In spite of your flaws and weaknesses, you sincerely desire to possess more of God. You have emerged from your past trials, determined to walk closer to the Lord. Indeed, Christ sees this holy desire and, to Him, it is the most precious part of you.
       The Lord's heart is also moved toward those who follow Him, though they may walk limping. To those wounded by injustice or the effects of sin, the Lord's promise remains faithful: "A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish." Surely, He will bring to victory the justice due you (Isa. 42:3; Matt. 12:20).
        Like John and Andrew, we, too, "behold the Lamb of God." Just as He asked them, so He asks us, "What are you seeking?"

The Dwelling Place of Christ
       In response to Jesus' probing question, the disciples' answer may seem strange. For they did not ask Him for greater power or one of His many spiritual gifts. Instead, they asked Jesus something more personal, and intimate: "Where dwellest Thou?"

       I'd like us to consider the poignancy of their answer. They wanted to know where Jesus lived. There are times when a question transcends the simple boundaries of intellectual curiosity and actually reveals one's quest in life. Such is now the case: they are seeking to live with Jesus. They are searching for the dwelling place of God.
       Our Father wants us to ask for spiritual gifts and special blessings of health and financial prosperity. To desire these things is not wrong; it is just not enough. Inside the heart of a God-seeker is a quest for more. We are in search of the "dwelling places" of God. In truth, our hearts have been divinely programmed. There are within us "the highways to Zion" (Ps. 84).
        Our destination is nothing less than oneness with Christ. All fruitfulness comes from living in spiritual union with Jesus. In contrast, whatever we offer as service to God that is not the result of our union with Christ, that labor is in vain; it is a weak comfort. For apart from Him, we can do nothing.
      John tells us in his first epistle that those who say they abide in Him ought to walk "in the same manner as He walked" (1 John 2:6). Abiding in Jesus leads to walking like Jesus.
         Beloved, there is yet much more to learn and discover concerning our Lord! We must beware of spiritual complacency. Recall the prayer of Moses: At the end of his life - after being used by God to confront and defeat the gods of Egypt, after dwelling in the Lord's glory and beholding miracle after miracle for forty years - Moses prayed, "You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand" (Deut. 3:24).
      You have begun? No matter how much we attain, no matter what revelations of God's glory are ours, we have only begun to see His glory.
       The disciples answered astutely, "Rabbi, where dwellest Thou?" May this become our prayer as well: Where do You live, O Son of God? Where is Your dwelling place? To all who feel similarly, Christ says to us what He promised them: "Come and see."
       Dear Master, I turn to You now. You are my life's greatest goal. I desire to live with You, to abide in the wonder of a life united with You.

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