Monday, November 17, 2014

Look to Jesus and Live

A young man stepped out of the cold, stormy night and entered the primitive chapel in Colchester, England. The preacher’s message was warm and inviting: “Look and live.”

Inside, a Methodist lay-preacher named John Egglen faced no more than a dozen or fifteen people. He repeated his text carefully, before hesitantly inviting his hearers to “Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.”

He spoke only briefly, in a rather homely fashion. Then, with the freedom of that era; John Egglen looked straight into the eyes of his youthful visitor, riveted his attention, and declared: “Young man, you look very miserable, miserable in life and miserable in death, if you don’t obey my text; but if you obey now, this moment you will be saved. Young man, look to Jesus Christ, look. You have nothing to do but to look and live.”

Tourists visit that historic chapel today and read on the stone tablet marking the site: “Near this spot C. H. Spurgeon looked and lived.”

Looking to Jesus transformed that teenaged London lad into the fountainhead from which Londoners freely drank living waters for several decades. It transformed the young Spurgeon into a man with a heart for God and launched him onto history’s stage of action, where he initiated one of the most fruitful Christian ministries ever launched. It refocused Spurgeon’s life and created a wellspring to which people came from around the world to drink and find refreshment.

Hymn-writer W. A. Ogden described the experience of looking to Jesus and finding unsparing love that restores life in the superlative:

               I will tell you how I came, Hallelujah!
               To Jesus when He made me whole:
               ‘Twas believing on His name, Hallelujah
               I trusted, and He saved my soul.
               ‘Look and live,’ … my brother, live,
               Look to Jesus now and live;
               ‘Tis recorded in His Word, Hallelujah!
               It is only that you ‘look and live.”1
                                                                                The American SERVICE HYMNAL
Nashville/ John T. Benson Company, 1968 
(W. A. Ogden, “Look and Live”, p.239)

While we busy ourselves renovating our political structures and tweaking our therapeutic gospel; could it be that we would find life easier to live with if once more we would just look to Jesus … now …  and live?

From Warner’s World,

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