Transformed by Beholding

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Greetings again, and welcome to Meditation Moments. God bless you indeed.

We have a precious Scripture in 2 Corinthians, the third chapter, we read these words: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18) The Scripture tells of how we can be transformed by beholding the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s a wonderful passage.

I have a little personal conviction that no one can have a really ugly countenance who constantly beholds the face of Jesus; that is, abides in His presence and meditates on His Word. It said, you remember, the prophet of old [Moses], that as he prayed his countenance was altered. (Exodus 34:29–35)

What a wonderful way to have the face changed! In America, thousands of women every year have their faces altered by plastic surgery. That’s a very painful and long process and it’s risky and not too often truly successful. I think I mentioned to you once that Frances Willard, though in her girlhood she was called by her brothers “the ugly duckling,” after many years of a dedicated Christian life and much meditation on the Word of God, she at last became a beautiful woman.

You might not agree with me in all of this, but you surely agree that living in the presence of God and fellowshipping daily with the Lord Jesus will transform the heart and soul. But somehow meditation has become a lost art in the mad rush of this generation.

A mother recently visiting her successful, popular son, listened to him tell of all his interests and activities which left him no time even to visit with her, though she had come thousands of miles at great sacrifice to see him.

At last she grabbed his coat sleeve as he again dashed for the door. She said, “Son, when do you do your meditating?” He said, “What?” She said, “Well, when do you meditate?” Her life was just impossible without seasons of meditation. This mad rush is accelerated now at the height of the Christmas season; that is, the shopping season.

Some will never stop to enjoy anything of life until after Christmas, and then they will fall into bed, sighing, “Well, I’m glad that’s all over.” What a pity! Why don’t we stop and enjoy Christmas just once—really enjoy what it means. Enjoy the beauty; just stop all this trying to do so much.

There are so many wonderful things about this season and so many beautiful things to see. It’s a shame to miss it all just to meet some people’s expectations or try to keep up with the Joneses, and wrapping this and wrapping that and rushing for this last thing and that, and trying to cook up such a lot of so many things. We miss the Lord Himself in our feverish rush.

Psalm 16 says, “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” (Psalm 16:8) He’s near. He is at our right hand. He is within speaking distance. But we will never see Him when we are too busy to notice Him there, and in the mad rush of the Christmas shopping we don’t even notice He’s there.

We’ll not hear the voice of the Lord, for that’s heard only in quiet waiting on Him in a holy hush, when you can have the time to disentangle His voice from the many voices about you. It is a very still, small voice and isn’t often heard on the run. There is an old saying that “the dew never falls on a stormy night.” So the sweetness of Christ’s presence is rarely found by nervous souls in the feverish rush. But the dew of heaven and the choicest blessings fall on that soul that gets quiet and waits for His presence.

I think He may stand today in our busy shopping centers with arms outstretched, saying, “Be still and know that I am God,” and that other wonderful verse we quote so often, “In quietness and confidence shall your strength be.” (Psalm 46:10; Isaiah 30:15)

A few years ago I was standing in the doorway of the May Company in Los Angeles enjoying the lovely manger scene in the next window, when a mother and her little girl came hurrying by. The child saw the beauty of the scene, and grasping her mother’s skirt she cried, “Mama, mama, please let me stop just a minute and look at Jesus!” But the mother with some harsh tone reminded her she wasn’t half through with her shopping list and was in too big a hurry to stop.

Those words rang in my ears for a long time after that: “Let me stop a minute and look at Jesus.”—Waiting in His presence, waiting in stillness, waiting in quiet worship. Listening and learning until we become more like Him—transformed by beholding.

Listen, my friend, life will always be a long round of rush and activity and feverishness without a personal relationship with the majestic Christ. He alone can bring that peace and rest and quiet to the heart if you’ll only stop and let Him. Stop and listen to His voice. Stop now. Well, you will “tomorrow.” No. Let’s do it now.

He says, “I am come that ye might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) Then there is this wonderful verse, “He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life.” (1 John 5:12)—If you have never given your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ and tried this out, give Him a chance at your life.

Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” All this you’ll miss if you are too busy to give Him a chance at your heart. There is an abundant life for you if by faith you accept Him as your Lord and Savior.

To live without Him is forfeiting the only real and lasting joy there is in this old world, and that seals your destiny for time, and eternity too. Accept Him as your Savior—it will be a wonderful Christmas for you then! Trust Him with your life and He will transform it and completely change it, and give you life eternal. Isn’t that worth stopping and waiting upon Him to find out?

Dear Lord, I want each day that comes
To share some part with Thee,
Where I can sit at Thy dear feet
And hear Thee speak to me.
A place where I can turn aside
And leave the cares of life,
Where I can get the strength I need
To banish storm and strife.
A quiet, holy, trysting-place
Where Thou to me canst give
The very blessing that I need:
Here would I rest and live.

“Trysting Place,” by Martha Grenfell

God bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you. He’s on the throne, and prayer changes things.