Becoming What We Behold – B. Thune

Today before our worship services I did some more reading in the August 2018 issue of Tabletalk. Besides reading a few more articles on the featured theme (“The Lord is My Shepherd” – Psalm 23), I also read a couple of the regular columns. That included the one titled above by Rev. Bob Thune, for the rubric “Heart Aflame.”

Thune writes about our ongoing calling to be conformed to the image of Christ, an aspect of our sanctification. And, perhaps a bit surprisingly, he ties it to our worship. This is what he says about that connection at the beginning:

Deep within every true Christian is a longing to be more like Christ. We are not content as we are; we want to be changed. This longing comes from the Holy Spirit, who not only gives the new birth (John 3:5–8), but fills regenerated people with a zeal to glorify God (Rom. 8:1–5).

The question is, How can we become more like Christ? The biblical answer to this may be surprising to us pragmatic modern folks. We tend to look for methods, strategies, and action points. But the Bible teaches that we become like Jesus as we worship Jesus.

And then, toward the end of his article, he points us to three ways in which this transformation through beholding Christ in worship takes place. Here are his thoughts:

Here, then, are three biblical ways we can purposefully worship the Lord and be changed into His likeness.

  1. Contemplation/meditation (reflecting on God’s worth). The Bible urges us to think on the Lord (Ps. 1:2; Phil. 4:8). In contemplation, we slow down our minds and hearts to ponder God’s goodness. We mull over His promises, allowing them to sink into our souls. We read His Word thoughtfully, pondering its implications for our lives.
  2. Praise/thanksgiving/singing (declaring God’s worth). The Scriptures encourage us to make our praise explicit by singing and making melody to the Lord (Ps. 96; Eph. 5:19). When we sing, we join our voices together to testify to God’s worth and beauty. Singing also lightens the heart and engages the body in purposeful worship of God.
  3. Obedience/action/service (displaying God’s worth). The Bible is clear that our worship of God must find tangible expression in works of merciful neighbor-love (Isa. 58; James 1:27). As we serve the church, help the poor, and meet the needs of others, we demonstrate that Jesus is our true treasure (Matt. 6:21) and we learn afresh that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

We become what we behold. So, empowered by the Holy Spirit, let’s behold the glory of the Lord Jesus by meditating on His Word, singing His praise, and obeying His commands. The more clearly we see Him, the more we will become like Him.

Having been in the house of the Lord for worship today, we find these thoughts fitting and applicable as we face a new week of striving to be like our Savior. Let us behold our Lord in these ways and then behold how He works in us to make us more like Him.

Source: Becoming What We Behold

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