By Elizabeth Prata
We have 4 elders. One is the main teaching elder, though any of the men can teach at the pulpit. The other three men rotate in leading the confessional. The Confessional-teaching elder gives a short talk based on what the upcoming sermon will be and then stands silently as we individually confess and repent in our pews. Then he closes in an audible prayer. I appreciate the opportunity to set my heart and mind aright, and to confess, particularly when it’s a Lord’s Table Sunday.
On a past Sunday, our elder gave a confessional talk that had so many wonderful points. I’m paraphrasing, but-
If You want to look like Jesus, look at Jesus.
Our elder made the statement that we should fix our gaze upon Jesus, not the latest comedy or sports teams. I ended up focusing on the phrase “fix your eyes upon Jesus” from Hebrews 12:2. I looked up the word “fix” and the Strong’s says
872 aphoráō (from 575 /apó, “away from” and 3708 /horáō, “see”) – properly, “looking away from all else, to fix one’s gaze upon” (Abbott-Smith).
How helpful. I should not glance, not peek, not glimpse, but FIX my GAZE upon him, looking away from all else and steadily drinking in all that He is.
I need to spend more time with Jesus to look more like Him. What a great line. Moses only got to see God’s ‘back’ and His face after being with God was so bright it had to be veiled. We have the privilege of looking at Jesus’ “face” as it were, through His word. I want my face to be shining, to have my being conformed to Him, to have my mind transformed. But it won’t happen unless I read the Bible. I must look away from all other distractions and FIX my GAZE on Jesus. A Bible skim won’t even do.
If you’re interested in hearing the Confessional, here it is, in all its 13 minute power. I pray it convicts you as it did me, in some way that will honor and glorify the Lord as a result. I know what I’m going to be doing when I get home.