Bible Ballistics: Vol. 8 No.24 Need Your Eyes Examined???
“Looking unto Jesus
and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy
that was set before him
endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and is set down
at the right hand
of the throne of God.
3 For consider him
that endured such contradiction of sinners
lest ye be wearied
and faint in your minds.” Hebrews 12:2-3
It is so easy to be distracted. In fact, we live in a distracted world—distracted drivers, distracted marriages, distracted parents, distracted walkers, you can fill in the blank with any activity you can think of. Our world seems to be ever seeking something or somewhere other than what they have or where they are. We live in a world of ever-increasing greed and discontent. And it seems to be a malady that spans the gambit of culture, gender, age, or class. Everyone wants something that someone else has, and many are willing to exercise violence to alleviate the lack.
Even believers/Christians get caught up in this mindset. It’s so easy to buy into the draw and appeal of Madison Avenue advertising glitz. They paint such beautiful pictures and create desires that are based on exaggerated expectations. But as believers in Jesus Christ we have a higher call for our vision. We are to keep our eyes, as well as our hearts and minds set on Jesus. We are to continually be “Looking unto Jesus” for our every need and desire. But how do we overcome the call of the world? How do we overcome the appeal of the glitz and glamour? How do we overcome the drive to perfection and success that is measured in dollars and cents rather than character, integrity and selflessness? Well, let’s see what we can discover from the scripture.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies
a living sacrifice,
acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed
to this world:
but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove
what is that good,
will of God.
3 For I say,
through the grace given unto me,
to every man that is among you,
not to think of himself
than he ought to think;
but to think soberly,
according as God
hath dealt to every man
the measure of faith.” Romans 12:1-3
God calls us to a higher plane of living. Paul reminds us and calls us to live as the “servants” of God not His “directors”! We are to recognize our position as beloved children, but at the same time to be devoted servants to the one who redeemed us from the penalty and power of sin in our lives (and He will even deliver us from the very presence of sin when Jesus Christ returns, or we meet Him in death first). How can we not appreciate and cultivate a servant heart that real gratitude produces? Remember the “Prodigal” son who had a complete change of heart when he returned to his father in brokenness and repentance—his father welcomed him with open arms but his heart was ready to serve the father in love and remorse for his sin. Those open arms are there for us but we also need to possess the gratitude that His grace should produce in our lives, as well as keeping our eyes on Jesus to reflect His character and love.
“And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father.
But when he was yet a great way off,
his father saw him,
and had compassion,
and fell on his neck,
and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him,
I have sinned against heaven,
and in thy sight,
and am no more worthy
to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.” Luke 15:17-24
This son who had walked away from his father (“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Ro. 3:23) came home in recognition of the goodness of his father, and his own personal failure and sin. That is how we must come to God the Father, in response to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, with a heart of repentance and faith in the saving power of the blood of the Lamb! And while God welcomes us with open arms and makes us his children through the new birth, we aren’t to become arrogant, presumptuous children but grateful, humble “bond-servants” of the living God of all creation. We should be grateful for His grace and salvation that makes us His own.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13
And when we are “born…..of God” we have the power to live the transformed life that Romans 12 refers to, and I can do that only through the power of Jesus Christ; yielding to His power’s work in and through me!
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
Living life with a servant heart demands a heart that is focused on the Savior Jesus Christ rather than self. Oh that sound so easy, but believe me, it is simple but not easy. It requires a change of heart, and a change of mind resulting in a change of behavior—yielding to the Spirit of God in my life and living a life of faith and obedient submission to the One who loves me completely and gave HIMSELF for me!
“5 Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery
to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation,
and took upon him the form of a servant,
and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man,
he humbled himself,
and became obedient
even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,
and given him a name
which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
of things in heaven,
and things in earth,
and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11
“Let this mind be in you”–with our eyes on Jesus! We must practice this life of submission to the One who loves and leads us, if we will but hear, follow and obey! We must daily, moment by moment “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” by knowing the Word of God and putting it into practice in our every choice and decision; living our life by faith and not by sight—especially the sight of the glitz and glamour (so-called) of the world, but the sight of the One who took on flesh for me; the One who gave His life for mine: the One who was resurrected that we might live in resurrection power! We have the power to live a JESUS focused life when we remember to live as Paul describes, “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”! And remember the reward for those who will have their eyes examined by the Lord, and walk in the vision that His Spirit will give us.
“His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:23
And that reward can come if we will but realize that our battle is spiritual and it is of the mind. So we must daily, keep our minds set on Jesus, our eyes looking to Him in all things. Here are a couple of thoughts to take with you through this week—they help me, I hope they will minister to you and help you walk victoriously with your eyes on Jesus!
“For though we walk in the flesh,
we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare
are not carnal,
but mighty through God
to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations,
and every high thing
that exalteth itself
against the knowledge of God,
and bringing into captivity
to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Recognize the battles—and focus on the Lord! Keep thinking and living by His Word!!!
whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue,
and if there be any praise,
think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
“Looking unto Jesus Looking unto Jesus….
present your bodies a living sacrifice…..
crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live…
Let this mind be in you…..”
It’s your choice!!! But remember what the old children’s song says, “Oh be careful little eyes what you see….” Don’t let the things of the world “distract” YOU!