Sunday, September 1, 2019

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - How is Your Spiritual Eyesight

With summer soon turning into autumn and then into winter, there are certain tasks that we will be reminded to do. If you are like me, you receive notifications from your doctors that the end of the year is coming and you need to get a flu shot, checkup or have an examination done. Most have already reached their medical deductibles and the cost of their procedures will be greatly reduced. One of the important examinations that you will be asked to complete is to have your eyes checked. As you get older, your eye doctor will always remind you to get examinations scheduled and completed.

As I got older, I noticed that my vision began to change a bit. Things I could normally read were a little blurry and I found myself squinting and struggling to read fine or small print. When I visited my eye doctor and mentioned it, he looked at me and just reminded me that I am getting older and that my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be. He suggested that I consider using magnification reading glasses to help me with reading the small, fine print.

Our spiritual eyesight sometimes gets a little out of whack and we start to focus on things of this world again. From time to time, it happens. It is so easy for us to look closer at things that are shiny. Our attention quickly shifts from God to other things especially when difficulties come into our lives. We quickly look to other places and begin to concentrate on those things that, we believe, should be our focus.

To paraphrase a line from William Shakespeare’s play, “Merchant of Venice,” all that glitters is not gold. Things that seem too good to be true often are. We quickly find ourselves losing focus on God and wandering off for various reasons. After a while, we begin to look around and discover that we have lost our sight of God. 

Paul, in chapter 4 of his second letter to the Corinthians, writes,”So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

When we begin to focus on our troubles, we tend to look for solutions on our own. We see something glistening in the distance and believe it is the answer to all of our problems. We s quickly fix our sights on whatever it is and begin to pursue it. We begin to lose that all important focus on those things that “cannot be seen”. 

It is at that moment that we need to stop and check our spiritual eyes and realize that we need a little help to see better. We may need spiritual readers to help us see more clearly and to focus on our Heavenly Father. 

Faith is our spiritual reader and that helps us see things we cannot see. Paul later writes in chapter 5, “For we live by believing and not by seeing.” 

As we go through life, our spiritual sight must be clear so that we are able to focus and see the things that God has for us. In the world we live in, we can be easily distracted. Our focus changes to those things that we see in this world. But, it is faith that keeps our spiritual eyes clearly focused on Him. 

By maintaining our spiritual eyesight and regularly checking it, we rely on faith to see us through all the difficulties that come into our lives. In chapter 11 of the Book of Hebrews, the author writes, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”

It is by faith that we receive our spiritual sight and are able to clearly see those things that are most important to us. Believing in God and accepting Jesus as our personal Savior and Lord of our life is the first step in building our spiritual sight. The next step is acting as a follower of Christ Jesus and putting into action all of his teachings. When we do that, we have faith. Faith is an action just like focusing with our eyes. If we don’t focus, it is easy to lose our way and stumble.

John records in chapter 20 of his gospel a conversation between Jesus and one of his disciples, Thomas. After rising from the dead, Jesus appeared to his disciples. Thomas doubts the news of Jesus’s resurrection and says to the others, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

Eight days later, Jesus appears to the disciples including Thomas and says to him, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

Thomas, after seeing the wounds, immediately believes in the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus says to him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

Because of our faith that helps our spiritual eyes to see what we cannot, we can focus only on the things that matter most in our lives, the relationship we have with our Father and His son, Christ Jesus.

How is your eyesight today? Have you recently had it checked to see if you are focusing on the right things? Are things a little blurry for you and you are wandering around and bumping into things that you shouldn’t?

When we focus on the things of this world, we will be disappointed. They are like mist and will soon disappear. The things not of this world are eternal and we should not lose our focus on them.
If you are, maybe it is time to make an appointment with Him. All it takes is a moment and a prayer asking for help in regaining your spiritual sight so that you can focus clearly on those things that will keep you standing firm in His grace.   

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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