I attend several churches. I don’t do this to be “holier than thou,” or to brag about how righteous I am. I do this because I need the messages. I can feel God’s presence in the words of each sermon, talking right to my soul. The lessons hit me right where and when I need them nearly every single time. I imagine Jesus sitting right there with me, telling me I need the different viewpoints in this season of my life.
One message, in particular, hit me in the feels right when I needed it during this crazy busy holiday season. Funny thing is, I almost missed the message.
The Devil, Satan, The Evil One, whatever you choose to call him, was working hard in my life, doing everything possible trying to get me not to attend church during this message. I woke up late, I woke up in a cranky mood, my family wasn’t up in time to go with me, I wasn’t going to get breakfast, I quickly made coffee and then spilled it all over my shirt, there was ice on my windshield that was maddening to try to defrost, I couldn’t find my bible … I could have thrown in the towel and said “Forget it! I’m going back to bed!!”
It is during those times, I KNOW I have to do everything I can to get to church. Obviously there is something I am supposed to hear; it is usually something Satan REALLY doesn’t want me to hear. It is almost so obvious, it is laughable. Does this ever happen to you?
This particular message was actually a series of sermons on the word BEHOLD.
BEHOLD is such a simple word. It’s a word we tend to blow right past when we are reading the Bible. It’s a word that we don’t use in modern conversation, but it has such profound meaning.
Just think of the word: BEHOLD. Think of the times it’s used in the Bible.
Some of my favorites:
“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.“ Luke 2:10
“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.” Luke 1:31
“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.” Genesis 28:15
In the original King James BEHOLD was used close to 1300 times! As the translations have become more modern, and adjusted to the language of the day, we lose the word BEHOLD. It is used less and less often. In The Message, sadly, it isn’t used at all.
So, what is so special about this word? Do we even know HOW to BEHOLD in these fast-paced, instant-gratification times?
To BEHOLD means to STOP. It means to physically PAUSE and observe the awesomeness and magnitude of the moment. It means to try and understand, to witness how amazing and glorious the moment or words are. It is almost a feeling. You can feel, and see, and metaphorically drink in this moment of BEHOLDING.
Imagine you are Mary being told you are carrying the seed of God. She surely had to BEHOLD the awesomeness and magnitude of the moment. She most certainly paused to take in the moment.
Imagine being the poor lowly shepherds in the fields as the magnitude of angels came and told them to BEHOLD, a Savior had been born that would be for them and all of mankind. They were probably shocked and awed into BEHOLDING the moment.
We could all use a bit of BEHOLDING in our daily life. We spend so much time speeding through our day. Sometimes God is just an afterthought, a prayer we say before bed as a tradition to end our day. But, what if we stopped and spent time to BEHOLD. What if we paused and thought about what God has done in our day. What if we just lived in this moment of BEHOLDING the awesome power of our Lord?
I challenge you to BEHOLD His wonderful works today. Maybe it is something little like the beautiful day He has provided. Maybe it’s something of great magnitude, like an answer to a very personal prayer.
Whatever it may be, spend some time BEHOLDING the awesome works of our Lord!!