Author Topic: Behold Your God  (Read 5438 times)

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RND

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Behold Your God
« on: November 20, 2007, 12:59:54 PM »


It’s not easy watching Jesus wash these feet.  To see the hands of God massaging the toes of men is, well… it’s not right. The disciples should be washing His feet. Nathanael should pour the water. Andrew should carry the towel. But they don’t. No one does. Rather than serve, they argue over which one is the greatest (Luke 22:24). What disappointment their words must have brought Jesus. “I’m the number one apostle.” “No, I’m much more spiritual than you.” “You guys are crazy. I brought more people to hear Jesus than anyone.” As they argue, the basin sits in the corner, untouched. The towel lies on the floor, unused. The servant’s clothing hangs on the wall, unworn. Each disciple sees these things. Each disciple knows their purpose. But no one moves, except Jesus. As they bicker, He stands.

But He doesn’t speak. He removes His robe and takes the servant’s wrap off of the wall. Taking the pitcher, He pours the water into the basin. He kneels before them with the basin and sponge and begins to wash. The towel that covers His waist is also the towel that dries their feet.

It’s not right. Isn’t it enough that these hands will be pierced in the morning? Must they scrub grime tonight? And the disciples… do they deserve to have their feet washed? Their affections have waned; their loyalties have wavered. We want to say…Look at John, Jesus. This is the same John who told You to destroy a city. The same John who demanded that You censure a Christ-follower who wasn’t in Your group. Why are You washing his feet? And James! Skip James. He wanted the seat of honor. He and his brother wanted special treatment. Don’t give it to him. Give him the towel. Let him wash his own feet. Let him learn a lesson.

And while you are at it, Jesus, you might as well skip Philip. He told you there wasn’t enough food to feed the large crowd. You tested him, and he flunked. You gave him the chance, and he blew it. And Peter? Sure, these are the feet that walked on water, but they’re also the feet that thrashed about in the deep. He didn’t believe You. Sure he confessed You as the Christ, but he’s also the one who told You that You didn’t have to die. He doesn’t deserve to have his feet washed. None of them do. When You were about to be stoned in Nazareth, did they come to Your defense? When the Pharisees took up rocks to kill You, did they volunteer to take Your place? You know what they have done. And what’s more, You know what they are about to do!

You can already hear them snoring in the garden. They say they’ll stay awake, but they won’t. You’ll sweat blood; they’ll saw logs. You can hear them sneaking away from the soldiers. They make promises tonight. They’ll make tracks tomorrow. Look around the table, Jesus. Out of the twelve, how many will stand with You in Pilate’s court? How many will share with You the Roman whip? And when You fall under the weight of the cross, which disciple will be close enough to spring to Your side and carry Your burden? None of them will. Not one. A stranger will be called because no disciple will be near.

Don’t wash their feet, Jesus. Tell them to wash Yours. That’s what we want to say. Why? Because of the injustice? Because we don’t want to see our King behaving as a servant? God on His hands and knees, His hair hanging around His face? Do we object because we don’t want to see God washing feet? Or do we object because we don’t want to do the same?

Stop and think for a minute. Don’t we have some people like the disciples in our world? Double-tongued promise-breakers. Fair-weather friends. What they said and what they did are two different things. Oh, maybe they didn’t leave You alone at the cross, but maybe they left you alone with the bills…or your question or your illness. Or maybe you were just left at the altar, or in the cold, holding the bag.

Vows forgotten. Contract abandoned.

Logic says: “Put up your fists.”

Jesus says: “Fill up the basin.”

Logic says: “Bloody his nose.”

Jesus says: “Wash his feet.”

Logic says: “She doesn’t deserve it.”

Jesus says: “You’re right, but you don’t, either.”

I don’t understand how God can be so kind to us, but He is. He kneels before us, takes our feet in His hands, and washes them. Please understand that in washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus is washing ours. You and I are in this story. We are at the table. That’s us being cleansed, not from our dirt, but from our sins. And the cleansing is not just a gesture; it is a necessity. Listen to what Jesus said: “If I don’t wash your feet, you are not one of My people” (John 13:8). Jesus did not say, “If you don’t wash your feet.” Why not? Because we cannot. We cannot cleanse our own filth. We cannot remove our own sin. Our feet must be in His hands. Don’t miss the meaning here. To place our feet in the basin of Jesus is to place the filthiest parts of our lives into His hands. In the ancient East, people’s feet were caked with mud and dirt. The servant of the feast saw to it that the feet were cleaned. Jesus is assuming the role of the servant. He will wash the grimiest part of your life.

If you let Him. The water of the Servant comes only when we confess that we are dirty. Only when we confess that we are caked with filth, that we have walked forbidden trails and followed the wrong paths. We tend to be proud like Peter and resist. “I’m not that dirty, Jesus. Just sprinkle a few drops on me and I’ll be fine.” What a lie! “If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John1:8).

We will never be cleansed until we confess we are dirty. We will never be pure until we admit we are filthy. And we will never be able to wash the feet of those who have hurt us until we allow Jesus, the one we have hurt, to wash ours. You see, that is the secret of forgiveness. You will never forgive anyone more than God has already forgiven you. Only by letting Him wash your feet can you have strength to wash those of another. Still hard to imagine? Is it still hard to consider the thought of forgiving the one who hurt you?

If so, go one more time to the room. Watch Jesus as He goes from disciple to disciple. Can you see Him? Can you hear the water splash? Can you hear Him shuffle on the floor to the next person? Good. Keep that image. John 13:12 says,“When He had finished washing their feet…” Please note, He finished washing their feet. That means He left no one out. Why is that important? Because that also means He washed the feet of Judas. Jesus washed the feet of His betrayer. He gave His traitor equal attention. In just a few hours Judas’s feet would guide the Roman guard to Jesus. But at this moment they are caressed by Christ.

Taken from Gentle Thunder: Hearing God Through The Storm, Chapter 5
By Max Lucado.
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosopher, 1788-1860

Richard Myers

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Re: Behold Your God
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2007, 06:42:00 PM »
Brother David, thank you for pointing us to the grace of Christ and its power to cleanse us from sin, if we will allow Him. Such a lesson. That night before Jesus washed their feet, each was dead in trespasses and sins. Self was alive and vying for the highest place in each of the men. That night after the foot-washing, each had been cleansed. Each had been brought to repentance by the revelation of grace. Each except Judas who did not repent. He resisted the knocking on his heart. Christ did not force an entrance, He never does. Those who do not wish to give all to Christ will keep their sins. What a beautiful illustration Christ gave to us in this act of humility. It was necessary to wash their feet because as they were, they could not do the work Christ was entrusting to them. Sadly, the grace of Christ, while ever available, is not something that we need only once. We need fresh supplies continually.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Sister Marie

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Re: Behold Your God
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2007, 07:42:39 PM »
At the words, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me," Peter surrendered his pride and self-will. He could not endure the thought of separation from Christ; that would have been death to him. "Not my feet only," he said, "but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit." {DA 646.2}

     These words mean more than bodily cleanliness. Christ is still speaking of the higher cleansing as illustrated by the lower. He who came from the bath was clean, but the sandaled feet soon became dusty, and again needed to be washed. So Peter and his brethren had been washed in the great fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. Christ acknowledged them as His. But temptation had led them into evil, and they still needed His cleansing grace. When Jesus girded Himself with a towel to wash the dust from their feet, He desired by that very act to wash the alienation, jealousy, and pride from their hearts. This was of far more consequence than the washing of their dusty feet. With the spirit they then had, not one of them was prepared for communion with Christ. Until brought into a state of humility and love, they were not prepared to partake of the paschal supper, or to share in the memorial service which Christ was about to institute. Their hearts must be cleansed. Pride and self-seeking create dissension and hatred, but all this Jesus washed away in washing their feet. A change of feeling was brought about. Looking upon them, Jesus could say, "Ye are clean." Now there was union of heart, love for one another. They had become humble and teachable. Except Judas, each was ready to concede to another the highest place. Now with subdued and grateful hearts they could receive Christ's words. {DA 646.3}

     Like Peter and his brethren, we too have been washed in the blood of Christ, yet often through contact with evil the heart's purity is soiled. We must come to Christ for His cleansing grace. Peter shrank from bringing his soiled feet in contact with the hands of his Lord and Master; 649
but how often we bring our sinful, polluted hearts in contact with the heart of Christ! How grievous to Him is our evil temper, our vanity and pride! Yet all our infirmity and defilement we must bring to Him. He alone can wash us clean. We are not prepared for communion with Him unless cleansed by His efficacy. {DA 646.4}
==============
 Let all behold, in the boundless love of Christ, a long-suffering Saviour, who holds out every inducement for the sinner to receive him, repent, and be cleansed from the defilement of sin. We must understand that because we suppose one to be in error and sin, we are not to divorce ourselves from him, refuse to have any association with him, and make our suppositions prominent. The example of Christ will not sustain any one in these conclusions. Many a soul may be saved by further effort on the part of his brother; but a careless separation from him, leaving him exposed to the temptations of Satan, and driving him upon the devil's battle-ground, is not the method of Christ. He sought to restore, not to destroy. He who washed the feet of his disciples was the Majesty of heaven. He had the hoarded love of eternity in his heart, but he was in their midst as one who served; and in washing their feet, he gave them evidence that he would do any service, however humble, in order to make them heirs together with him of all the eternal wealth of heaven's treasure. {RH, June 14, 1898 par. 11}

     When this simple ordinance is being performed, the followers of Christ should bear in mind that this is the time for all to search their hearts to see if they are willing to humble themselves in spirit, and follow the example of Christ. He gives them this ordinance as a test, a heart-searcher. The Holy Spirit will be present on every occasion to convince of sin, of any wrong action done to a brother. Let none grieve the Holy Spirit of God by disregarding the object of this ordinance, and the gracious opportunity it presents to confess every wrong, every act of injustice done to a brother. Had Judas accepted this last chance given him by Christ, the poor sinner would never have betrayed his Lord, and the words of Christ would never have been spoken, "Ye are not all clean." {RH, June 14, 1898 par. 12}

     The Lord is present on every occasion when this humble ceremony is performed. He is the unseen Witness. He reads every heart, with its concealed purposes, its wrong-doings, its sin. You can neglect, you can leave, these seasons of divine appointment; and of you Christ's words may be appropriately spoken, "Ye are not all clean." {RH, June 14, 1898 par. 13}

     Is any sin cherished? Let it be cut away from the soul by confession. The first look, the first act, of contrition and repentance that you direct toward Christ, does not escape his notice. The first step you take toward him will bring him more than a step toward you. All things, especially on this occasion, are ready for your reception. He will meet you in your weakness, repenting, broken-hearted soul, with his divine strength; he will meet your emptiness and spiritual poverty with his inexhaustible fulness. {RH, June 14, 1898 par. 14}



With Christian Love,
Marie

scott

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Re: Behold Your God
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2007, 10:44:15 PM »


Here is a picture I found online!

Wow, powerful and moving!

scott

scott

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Re: Behold Your God
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2007, 10:48:17 PM »
sorry, i forgot to give the reference for that picture!

Cop

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Re: Behold Your God
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2007, 03:18:44 AM »
Quote
Taken from Gentle Thunder: Hearing God Through The Storm, Chapter 5
By Max Lucado

RND,
Sometimes, due to my background, I come across as 'too strong' and appear to be attacking a person when this is not my intent. Sometimes on a forum, such as TRO, when a poster's choice of source material is questioned, that individual is an overly sensitive person and becomes offended if that source is questioned. I sincerely hope that you are not offended by this.I do not know your background nor your grounding and depth of understanding of Seventh-day Adventist doctrine.

There is today a very strong movement with its roots in ecumenical beliefs that has infiltrated the SDA Church. It is strongly allied with the Emergent Church Movement as best exemplified in 'The Purpose Driven Life' by Rick Warren and is endorsed and preached  by the likes of Robert Schuller, Billy Graham, Lee Strobel, Max Lucado, and many 'post-modern' pastors and members of the SDA Church. This modern day doctrine of a faith based on feelings has strong leanings towards 'faith' healings and charismatic (speaking in tongues) beliefs. It also believes that a faith that is standing upon a strong unmoving foundation of Biblical doctrine is divisive to their 'feeling' of brotherhood and that all must compromise for the sake of 'unity'. Doctrinal purity is considered an hindrance to this unity. Key doctrines are sometimes altogether ignored, explained incompletely, or discussed without adequate scriptural support. Their gospel, for example, is presented without mention of repentance, the reason Jesus died on the cross, or the eternal consequences of sin.

Max Lucado is the minister of Oak Hills Church of Christ in San Antonio, Texas. He is a part of the Charismatic Movement dedicated to spreading this deception to other churches. Lucado makes it clear that doctrine will not stand in the way of unity at Oak Hills: "While avoiding entanglement in the creeds and traditions, we make a diligent effort to follow Christ. The original followers of Christ (the first century church) provide an inspiring model of lifestyle, worship, doctrine, and organization that, in principle, is to be followed in our century." He also teaches the Church of Christ's false doctrine that salvation comes only after baptism (Baptismal Regeneration). Lucado has a touchy-feely writing style that appears to be an attempt to get the reader to identify with the human side of Jesus. He has likened Christians to sailors on the same boat with "one captain" and "one destination," and urges that doctrinal differences be overlooked with acceptance and unity between Protestants and Catholics as the goal.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church was called into being by God as His last day church with a very special message to proclaim to the world. He has blessed His Remnant Church with an understanding of Scripture above that is above that of the fallen churches that are Babylon. The SDA Church was established in fulfillment of prophecy by Christ as His Church that keeps all ten of the Commandments of God and also has the the Spirit of Prophecy as exhibted by the work of E.G. White.

My Brother, we have no need to go to the world (Babylon) [and Max Lucado] for truth. God has proclaimed that those churches are "fallen" and corrupt. We must not drink from the broken cisterns of Babylon. They are poisoned and will destroy those who drink from them. Let us use what Christ has already given us and not seek for new things from Babylon that makes our carnal natures feel good about themselves. We are warned: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Timothy 4: 3-4.

Mimi

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Re: Behold Your God
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2007, 05:28:38 AM »
Amen, Copper!
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Mimi

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Re: Behold Your God
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2007, 05:30:40 AM »
sorry, i forgot to give the reference for that picture!

http://www./jesus_washes_feet.jpg

Scott: we have this discussion going in another topic. As you familiarize yourself with the forum, you will discover this.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

scott

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Re: Behold Your God
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2007, 07:39:09 AM »
Thanks, I'll try to find it!

scott     :)

Richard Myers

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Re: Behold Your God
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2007, 02:48:48 PM »
Yes, Brother Cop, you are right. We have an abundance of truth within the church. Babylon has fallen and while most Christians are outside of God's church, we know that many of the leaders in Babylon are resisting the truth. It is  not good to give them influence, especially within our church. I do not study the leaders in Babylon, so I did not know what Lucado teaches. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

Sister Marie has posted a beautiful passage that is free from error and the author can be trusted with our minds.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

RND

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Re: Behold Your God
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2007, 05:33:28 PM »
Quote
Taken from Gentle Thunder: Hearing God Through The Storm, Chapter 5
By Max Lucado

RND,
Sometimes, due to my background, I come across as 'too strong' and appear to be attacking a person when this is not my intent. Sometimes on a forum, such as TRO, when a poster's choice of source material is questioned, that individual is an overly sensitive person and becomes offended if that source is questioned. I sincerely hope that you are not offended by this.I do not know your background nor your grounding and depth of understanding of Seventh-day Adventist doctrine.

There is today a very strong movement with its roots in ecumenical beliefs that has infiltrated the SDA Church. It is strongly allied with the Emergent Church Movement as best exemplified in 'The Purpose Driven Life' by Rick Warren and is endorsed and preached  by the likes of Robert Schuller, Billy Graham, Lee Strobel, Max Lucado, and many 'post-modern' pastors and members of the SDA Church. This modern day doctrine of a faith based on feelings has strong leanings towards 'faith' healings and charismatic (speaking in tongues) beliefs. It also believes that a faith that is standing upon a strong unmoving foundation of Biblical doctrine is divisive to their 'feeling' of brotherhood and that all must compromise for the sake of 'unity'. Doctrinal purity is considered an hindrance to this unity. Key doctrines are sometimes altogether ignored, explained incompletely, or discussed without adequate scriptural support. Their gospel, for example, is presented without mention of repentance, the reason Jesus died on the cross, or the eternal consequences of sin.

Max Lucado is the minister of Oak Hills Church of Christ in San Antonio, Texas. He is a part of the Charismatic Movement dedicated to spreading this deception to other churches. Lucado makes it clear that doctrine will not stand in the way of unity at Oak Hills: "While avoiding entanglement in the creeds and traditions, we make a diligent effort to follow Christ. The original followers of Christ (the first century church) provide an inspiring model of lifestyle, worship, doctrine, and organization that, in principle, is to be followed in our century." He also teaches the Church of Christ's false doctrine that salvation comes only after baptism (Baptismal Regeneration). Lucado has a touchy-feely writing style that appears to be an attempt to get the reader to identify with the human side of Jesus. He has likened Christians to sailors on the same boat with "one captain" and "one destination," and urges that doctrinal differences be overlooked with acceptance and unity between Protestants and Catholics as the goal.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church was called into being by God as His last day church with a very special message to proclaim to the world. He has blessed His Remnant Church with an understanding of Scripture above that is above that of the fallen churches that are Babylon. The SDA Church was established in fulfillment of prophecy by Christ as His Church that keeps all ten of the Commandments of God and also has the the Spirit of Prophecy as exhibted by the work of E.G. White.

My Brother, we have no need to go to the world (Babylon) [and Max Lucado] for truth. God has proclaimed that those churches are "fallen" and corrupt. We must not drink from the broken cisterns of Babylon. They are poisoned and will destroy those who drink from them. Let us use what Christ has already given us and not seek for new things from Babylon that makes our carnal natures feel good about themselves. We are warned: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Timothy 4: 3-4.


Brother Cop,

No worries. No offense taken to what you stated or posted. The fact that you have no idea about my background is understandable, since I haven't told you. As for being an Adventist, I've been a "professed" Adventist for nearly two years and in that time I have immersed myself in Adventist doctrine, so in a way I feel somewhat capable of understanding and commenting on Adventist doctrine. Now, I know two years isn't a very long time in the eyes of some, but in the eyes of other's I've been told I have more knowledge of Adventist doctrine than many long time Adventist's.

By the way, I was wondering if you might be able to help me out with one thing. Could you show me the specific points of Lucado's article that deal with the ecumenical beliefs you mentioned?

Quote
The Seventh-day Adventist Church was called into being by God as His last day church with a very special message to proclaim to the world. He has blessed His Remnant Church with an understanding of Scripture above that is above that of the fallen churches that are Babylon. The SDA Church was established in fulfillment of prophecy by Christ as His Church that keeps all ten of the Commandments of God and also has the the Spirit of Prophecy as exhibted by the work of E.G. White.


Indeed. I would also go one step further in that, considering the validity and strength of many Biblically sound Adventist beliefs such as the state of the dead and eternal punishishment vs. eternal punishing, that the Seventh-day Adventist church has also been called to represent the true nature and true character of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

The greatest battle for the mind and soul of God's children is in the arena of God's character and nature. Satan has worked overtime polluting and distorting the true character of God and Adventist doctrine is a powerful voice in restoring the character of God and His Son.
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosopher, 1788-1860

Richard Myers

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Re: Behold Your God
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2007, 08:12:57 PM »
Amen, Brother David. Thus the great responsibility resting upon each church member to rightly represent His character. Christ is waiting to see His character manifested in the lives of His chosen people. When the world  sees otherwise, it brings great reproach upon our Lord and His church. They mock Christians as hypocrites. As Seventh-day Adventists our love for God is such that we do not want to refuse Jesus His reward for His suffering and death. Let us be doers of the Word as well as hearers. 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

scott

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Re: Behold Your God
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2007, 10:37:40 PM »
Quote
by RND: Indeed. I would also go one step further in that, considering the validity and strength of many Biblically sound Adventist beliefs such as the state of the dead and eternal punishishment vs. eternal punishing, that the Seventh-day Adventist church has also been called to represent the true nature and true character of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

The greatest battle for the mind and soul of God's children is in the arena of God's character and nature. Satan has worked overtime polluting and distorting the true character of God and Adventist doctrine is a powerful voice in restoring the character of God and His Son.

Amen RND,

Here is one of my favorite quotes from Sister White:

Quote
   "It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy and truth. . . . The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is the revelation of His character of love."
                                                                           Christ's Object Lessons, p.415

In Christ, scott

Richard Myers

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Re: Behold Your God
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2007, 05:27:07 AM »
Amen!  And by beholding that great love, we are changed into the same image from glory to glory!! Amen!! What a blessing to love and appreciate God's truth for today!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: Behold Your God
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2017, 04:19:45 PM »
2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV
(18)  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.


The concept of "beholding" has been stressed here at TRO for last few of years. I suppose some might be tempted to think that it might be a bit over done or repetitious but all I know is that the older I get the more my brain benefit from repetition. Last night as I was studying into this very topic I found this and wanted to share. I thought some might be blessed.

"This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). By beholding Christ, you will become changed, until you will hate your former pride, your former vanity and self-esteem, your self-righteousness and unbelief. You will cast these sins aside as a worthless burden, and walk humbly, meekly, trustfully, before God. You will practice love, patience, gentleness, goodness, mercy, and every grace that dwells in the child of God, and will at last find a place among the sanctified and holy.  {1SM 388.1} 
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}