You're still thinking of yourself as a strong disciple and you're impatient with these so-called Christians who aren't serious. But in the temple of your own heart it is no longer Jesus alone on the throne, ruling without rival. It's Jesus side-by-side with your pet doctrine... Jesus side-by-side with your favorite thing about the Holy Spirit.... Jesus side-by-side with your advanced view of the church. It might even be Jesus side-by-side with your wife and kids, or your reputation or your bankbook. And when you have Jesus side-by-side with something else, you don't really have Jesus at all... you have an idol...an image, an idea, a memory of Jesus.... not the real, living, blazing, glorious Son of God. Because Jesus does not stay in the throne room of any heart unless he occupies the throne alone.
This is why so many churchmen who know so much about so many things are so hopelessly ignorant of the one thing that matters: Jesus himself. Jesus is not on the throne within them. They have his picture hanging on a wall... they have his statue standing in a corner. But the living Christ they do not know...they have too many other things on their minds.
I am the Lord, that is my name. And my glory will I not give to another. Neither my praise to graven images.
This mixing of other things besides Jesus in our hearts happens so subtly that we don't even realize what we're doing. We keep saying he's number one. But we're not living that way. Like the man who tells himself that the only reason he spends every waking hour making money is for his family... "It's not for myself. It's for you, my wife, and you, my dear children." And all the while his family is rotting and falling apart. It has no father. The old man is too busy making money. That man doesn't love his family... he loves his money.
In the same way we say, "But Lord, the reason I'm doing these things is for you. It's for your honor and glory, Lord," when all the time we're busy seeking our own glory. Just let someone try to take some of that glory away from us and we fly into a rage.
If there was any lesson the Father was teaching Peter, James and John that day on the mountain, it was that they have to learn to keep their eyes on Jesus only... tune their ears to hear him as their only Lord. These men had been brought up on Moses and the prophets. But now they were walking with the incarnate Son of God, who was infinitely higher than any prophet or priest or lawgiver or angel.
"Look away from all else. Silence your own thoughts and opinions and listen to my Son."
If the reader of this booklet would only do that, what a change would come over their life!
And he was transfigured before them and his face shone as the sun and his raiment became white as light. And there appeared to them Moses and Elijah talking with him.
Moses and Elijah were not Jesus' peers they were his servants.
Jesus was their Messiah. He was their God! Every mighty work Moses or Elijah ever did was done by his Spirit. They saw his light from afar and worshiped it.
Peter should have known this. A few days back Peter had said,
"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God! You're the Messiah! God the Son!"
But Peter is so thrilled to see Moses and Elijah that he forgets. Now he wants to make three booths,
"One for you, Lord, of course, and one for Moses and one for Elijah!"
Moses and Elijah do not belong up there on the same level with their Lord. Nobody else belongs up there.... Peter's chatter is interrupted by a bright cloud coming over them.... the Father's glory. Out of the cloud a voice,
"This is my beloved Son in whom I am well, pleased. Listen to him!"
When the disciples heard this they fell on their faces and were filled with awe.
But Jesus came and touched them saying, "Rise, Have no fear."
And when they lifted up their eyes they saw no one but Jesus only.
....Jesus only ... that's how it has to be.
1. Jesus only as the source of our life.
He that hath the Son hath life. He that hath not the Son hath not life.
Not the Son plus Moses and Elijah, or Martin Luther and Reinhold Niebuhr... only the Son.
I am the vine.... you are the branches.
Go ahead and read books. Go out into that world and feel those winds that lash against you and those flames that lick at your heels. Learn... observe. But remember that your life comes from none of these things. Your life comes from me.
In him is life and that life is the light of men.
If you're dead inside, and some of those who will be reading this are dead inside, draw near to him. You've tried everything else and you're still dead. Now leave all that behind. Your vitamin pills, your whiskey bottle, your hormone shots, your health club.... these things do not give life.
"If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink."
Call on that blessed name. Open your dried up heart and invite him to ascend the throne as its only Lord, and Jesus will visit you this day with life. It will be like being raised from the dead. It will be like coming out of a dark cave into blazing daylight. And that life will continue within you forever ... as long as it's Jesus only on the throne within.
2. Learn to see Jesus only in the scriptures.
"You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life;
and it is they that bear witness to me."
The light that shines in the face of every man and woman of God from Genesis to Revelation is the light of the Christ. It was the light of Jesus that shone in the face of Melchizedek when he met Abraham returning from the battle of the Kings. It was the light of Jesus shining from Moses when he came down from Sinai. Jesus wrote the Psalms with David's pen. Nine hundred years before Calvary, the scene was already described in Psalm 22.
Israel's Messiah walked with Israel every step of the wilderness journey, brought the people into the Promised Land, suffered with them in Babylonian captivity, came to them in flesh and blood, died for them. There is not a page of the Book where you don't find the marks of Jesus... look for him there and you will find him.
3. Learn that Jesus only is the door of prayer.
"I am the way, the, truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me."
What claim do you have on the Father? What right do you have to expect God to do anything for you but through the shed blood of his beloved Son? Can you say, "God, I've lived a good life ... you've got to hear my prayer!" "God, I belong to a good Bible-believing church, you must answer me!" "God, look at these great big tears ... come on, soften.... give me a break!"
A million prayers an hour bounce off heaven and fall to the earth like spent arrows, because they were prayed by smug, proud, self-righteous hearts. "Look at me, God, I deserve your attention." "I thank thee that I am not as other men are." "I'm something special."
The only prayers that go through are the prayers of broken contrite hearts. Prayers of people who know they are not worthy of even a crumb. So the Lamb of God takes those prayers in his scarred hands, hands that have paid the price, and lifts them up to the Father.
"God, be merciful to me a sinner!"
"Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee."
... these prayers always find their way up.
The Lamb of God catches them and sends them on through. "Father, don't look at my life, look at the cross of my Lord. Hear and answer." "0 God, in the name of Jesus fill me with the Spirit.".... And it is done.
Not Jesus and your wife.... not Jesus and your child.... not Jesus and your boss.... not Jesus and your money.... Jesus only.
“I am crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me
and gave himself for me."
He is not a Sunday morning Jesus, or a five-minutes-a-day Jesus. He goes
with you wherever you go. He cares about every problem you face. He is
Lord of the dinner table, the marriage bed, the shop, office, store, school.
He is Lord of the streets and alleys.
So you do your work and you do it well. You love your child.... you love your wife.... you eat your daily bread. But you do it all in His name. He's there making it all into a new thing.
Whatever you do in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Acknowledge him as Lord of your practical daily living when things go well and when they go badly.... when they are boring and slow and dry. He's there, with you. He's instructing you, teaching you, guiding you with his eye.
And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
And from that day they started to train their hearts to see no one but Jesus only, until they began to see the whole world through his eyes, and to love those wandering souls with his love and touch them with his healing
May God do the same for us. May he cover us with that bright cloud and speak to us even this day and bring us to repentance. And when we lift up our eyes may we see no one but Jesus.... wherever we go, as long as we live, until he comes.... that we, reflecting as mirrors the glory that we see in him, may be changed into his likeness.... forever.