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October 06, 2017

What We Need Most

by Kevin DeYoung

The biggest need in your life, and in mine, is to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

I'm convinced that more evangelism, more prayer, more fruitfulness, more holiness will flow from the fountain of our lives only when we start drinking more deeply of Christ.

*  If you want to be more merciful, look upon Jesus who cried out at the cross, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."

*  If you want to be more loving, look upon Jesus who ate with sinners and welcomed repentant prostitutes and tax collectors into the kingdom.

*  If you want to be purer, look upon Jesus whose eyes are like flames of fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

*  If you want more courage in the face of lies and injustice, look upon Jesus who drove out the money changers from the temple with a whip.

*  If you want to be stronger in the midst of suffering, look upon Jesus who did not revile when reviled and submitted himself wholly to the will of his Father.

*  If you want to grow in grace, look upon Jesus who reinstated Peter after he denied his Lord three times.

*  If you want more tenderness in your life, look upon Jesus who took the little children upon His lap and blessed them.

*  If you want to display the diverse excellencies of God, look upon Jesus who came from the Father full of grace and truth.

Our main problem is not lack of time or resources or the annoying people in our lives. Your main problem and my main problem is that we do not see enough the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. We are not amazed. We do not stand in awe. We are not rendered speechless in His presence.

Too many of us are toying around with gimmicks and looking for quick fixes and miracle cures. Too many of us are digging deep inside ourselves for the change we want. Too many of us spend all our time tinkering with sports and the internet and home repairs while neglecting the one thing that is most needful – to sit at the feet of Jesus, to see Him in the preaching of the Word, to gaze upon Him in the Scriptures, to slowly meditate upon the pages of the Bible, to spend uninterrupted, unhurried time with the Lord. This is what we need.

Let us plead with God that we might behold His glory in the face of Jesus Christ. Implore Him for eyes to see. Pray persistently and passionately to know Him more.

Because there is no growing apart from gazing, and no becoming like Christ without beholding Him in His glory.

About the Author

Kevin DeYoung
Senior Pastor
Christ Covenant Church

Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. He is chairman of the board of The Gospel Coalition, assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children.

 

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God's Holy Fire from Heartlight

God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
  • Delight of the Father's Life

    The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters, the skies opened up and he saw God's Spirit — it looked like a dove — descending and landing on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: "This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life."

    Matthew 3:16-17 MESSAGE

    Key Thought

    This moment is one of incredible holiness and transcendence. The Father looks down and delights in the Son. The Spirit descends from the Father to rest on and in the Son (Luke 4:1). The Father's words are crucial for Jesus as he prepares to battle the evil one in the wilderness as he is tempted after fasting for 40 days (Matthew 4:1-11). As incredible as Jesus' baptism is, we also share in this moment of God's assurance at our baptism. We are baptized in the name and by the authority of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20) and receive the Spirit to live in us (Acts 2:38-39). We also share with the Son in his death, burial, and resurrection for us (Romans 6:3-6). The Holy Spirit works the miraculous in us (1 Corinthians 6:11) as we are reborn (John 3:3-7) by our faith in God, who raised Jesus from the dead (Colossians 2:12; Titus 3:3-7). We are born from above through the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit (John 1:12; John 3:3-6). By faith, we also know just what God thinks about us: We are his children, chosen and marked by his love, the delight of his life!

    Today's Prayer

    O Father, thank you! Thank you for the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. I believe he died for my sins and was raised so I could be made perfect and righteous in your sight. Thank you for the cleansing and transforming work of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for the example of Jesus, who though perfect and not in need of repentance or baptism, was baptized anyway to fulfill all righteousness. And thank you, dear Father, for your words to Jesus when he was baptized. Through them, I know that my baptism brought you joy and delight. I thank you for these gifts, in Jesus' name. Amen.


    Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

    Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

    Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

  • With Fire!

    [John the Baptizer:] "I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am — so much greater that I'm not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."

    Matthew 3:11 NLT

    Key Thought

    There are two sides to baptism: (1) what happens to the one being baptized based on that person's intentions, and (2) what Jesus does through the Holy Spirit. While our intentions in being baptized are important, the work of Jesus in pouring out the Spirit on us to cleanse us and to live inside us is what allows us to accomplish our intended transformation (Titus 3:3-7; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18). John the Baptizer had great power as a preacher to convict people of sin, call them to repentance, and point them to Jesus. Each of these is crucial in the lives of all people intentionally preparing their hearts for Jesus. John had incredible gifts, but only Jesus can baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. Only Jesus can cleanse us through the Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:11) and then come and make his home in us through the Spirit (John 14:19-23). The greatest of preachers is not worthy of carrying the sandals of the Messiah, Jesus, the Son of God; he is the only one capable of baptizing with the Holy Spirit and fire.

    Today's Prayer

    Righteous Father, your holiness is unattainable. But you have given it to us through the gracious gift of your Son on the cross and the cleansing, empowering, indwelling, and transforming gift of the Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus, we praise you almighty God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.


    Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

    Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

    Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.