3 Ways to Fix Our Eyes on Christ

I had the privilege of spending last week in Louisville, Kentucky for the bi-annual Together for the Gospel conference. While the speakers and free books are great, it’s often even better to spend time with friends – old and new! One of my friends encouraged me to pick up writing at my blog again (thanks Kevin!) So here we go. I’m going to try to write a weekly blog on some things I’m think about in relation to worship – both gathered and scattered. One thing that stuck out to me was something one of the speakers said: Christians are leaky, like a sieve. We get the gospel poured into us, but it has a tendency to leak out very quickly. This is part of the reason it is so important for us to “not neglect meeting together.” (Hebrews 10:25) We gather to be reminded. But what are we reminding each other to do? One of those things that I pray every week before our services begin is that it reminds us to fix our eyes on Christ. (Hebrews 12:2) So here are 3 ways during our weekly worship that we can better fix our eyes on Christ:

  1. Read Scripture

One of the most impactful classes for me during my time in seminary was in the first class I ever had: Survey of Christian Doctrine. The professor stated that we as Evangelicals claim to be book-centered people. But if that’s true, why is Scripture not a greater part of our weekly worship? How many services have you been to where Scripture isn’t read until the preaching portion of the service? But not only does Scripture need to be read, but read WELL. The Bible is “living and active,” (Hebrews 4:12) and many people do a disservice to the reading of God’s Word by reading it in an un-engaging way.

One way I’ve tried to do a better job of implementing Scripture reading is by beginning all our services with Scripture – generally from a Psalm. This helps us to reorient our hearts and minds to what we’re about to do together: focus on Christ. By beginning our time with God’s Word we are reminded to ground everything we do in that Word, as Colossians 3:17 reminds us, “Let the word of Christdwell in you richly.”

  1. Get Our Eyes Off Ourselves

Another way we are encouraged to fix our eyes on Christ is by getting our eyes off ourselves. Obviously this is just the opposite of fixing our eyes on Christ (we can’t fix our eyes on 2 places, after all), but this is another area where we often need reminders. Philippians 2 encourages us to have the same mind among ourselves as Christ Jesus: humility. Every person on the planet is prone to naval gazing at the expense of gazing at Christ. So when we gather together to sing, read God’s Word, give our offerings, and encourage one another, we do so to help each other get our gaze off ourselves and onto Christ.

  1. Look Also to the Interests of Others

Finally, as Paul also reminds us Philippians 2, we need to remember to “count others move significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Each week when we gather, we’re coming with different life stories, expectations, proclivities to sin, and areas where we need encouragement. By fixing our eyes on Christ we can better serve each other and remember that our focus needs to be on those around us instead of ourselves. I love what Ephesians 5:19 says about our purpose for gathering: “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.” We are called to address one another on Sunday mornings. This helps us look to those around us who are in need of encouragement and support to faithfully live out God’s commands for another week. This then helps us to get our focus off ourselves and reorients our lives to better reflect the realities of our changed lives.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: