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Seeing Life through Jesus’ Eyes

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A few weeks ago, I asked what we were going to give Jesus for His birthday. After much prayer, I decided to give Him my eyes—how I look at things.

I want to see life through Jesus’ eyes.

The Lord has repeatedly impressed upon me the importance of keeping an eternal perspective. I’ve written about it often (See list of blogs below). However, right now, I find myself in dire need of a re-focus. My vision has become distorted because what I see with my physical eyes is not what I want or expected to see at this point in my life—especially in regards to my ministry.

I want to make a big impact for God’s kingdom, to be used mightily by Him—for His glory. And that desire pleases the Lord. But I had momentarily lost sight of the fact that a large impact typically consists of many small ones. What if…

Instead of looking to make a big impact, instead of looking for some big display of God’s glory done through us, we look for little ways to display His glory?

God does do big miracles, revealing Himself and His glory. But He also does small ones, day in and day out, showing Himself to be real and present in the moment; showing His love and care in the little things as well as the big things.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Ps 46:1)

And He wants to use you and me in the process. What a privilege!

What are some of these “little” ways in which we can make an everlasting impact?

  • Small acts of kindnesses that show people we care
  • An encouraging word
  • Remaining steadfast in trials by trusting God
  • Praising God instead of complaining
  • Being a living example to those around us in reading the Bible, praying, and attending church
  • Praying with someone in that moment instead of saying you will pray for them (and then forgetting)
  • Speaking truth, even when it’s hard
  • Spending quality time with a loved one

There are countless ways.

For me, it’s to…

  • Write the next blog, book, or other resource—even if only a few people read them.
  • Post the next item on Facebook
  • Teach the next Bible study class
  • Impart one truth that will help that one person in that one moment in cyberspace or just where I happen to be physically

Basically, in this moment how can we act like Jesus who is living inside us believers?

What would Jesus do in this moment to produce lasting fruit and bring His Father glory (John 15:8)? You know—Jesus didn’t only do big miraculous things. He was involved in the nitty gritty of people’s lives.

God is the One in charge of the results, of the eternal fruit produced by our obedience. My job, your job, is to keep our eyes on Jesus. He’s the One who has the eternal 20/20 vision. Sometimes I can see what God is doing—eternally speaking (the saving of a soul, the spiritual growth of a sister…). But much of the time I can’t see. That’s when I need to use my eyes of faith, which He has given me.

It’s funny. I’m giving Jesus my eyes and He’s giving me His eyes, His vision. I guess we really did more of a gift exchange!

And when I can’t see like He does, I can still see Him—my beautiful, beautiful Savior who endured so much for me!

So until next time, my friends…

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Heb 12:2-3)

~~~~~

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Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Let’s Go to the Movies: Keeping the BIG Picture of Eternity Before Us

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“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Cor 2:9)

You’re sitting in the theater with surround sound, watching an action-packed 3-D movie. You are engrossed; all distractions are gone. You are pulled into the action as the film comes to life. It seems so real.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could get half that level of awareness toward our eternal future with God in heaven? Life is often filled with so many difficulties that we lose sight of our ultimate destiny; robbing us of the abundant life we were meant to have (Jn 10:10). Having an eternal perspective is one of the main keys to the abundant life.

When my husband, Ed, was fighting cancer keeping an eternal perspective was the only thing that got me through. It still is—now that he is gone to be with Jesus. I can’t wait until I join him. Heaven is a present reality for Ed as well as for your loved ones who have passed from this life to the next through Jesus.

But it’s a reality for us too—but only in the future.

Can the “there and then” truly become more real in the “here and now”?

YES!

Here’s how:

Picture yourself in a theater. Here’s the feature playing on the big screen:

A never-ending story of total peace, utter bliss; every longing filled to overflowing. Glory and majesty fill the screen. There is no hint of evil or sin anywhere; only goodness and love. There’s our holy triune God interacting with all the angels, saints, and our saved loved ones. Extravagant riches and rewards abound. A continual sense of awe and wonder permeates the story. Singing and exquisite music fill your ears.

That “movie” portrays a sure promise of our future reality. Do you see it?

OR…

  • Is your view obstructed with the troubles of this world where all you can see is pain and suffering?
  • Are the distractions of pleasure, work, hobbies, children, and others pulling your eyes away? Are your eyes fixed on the world instead of Jesus?
  • Is your vision unclear because you haven’t got into God’s Word; you don’t understand what you are seeing. You’re looking at life through your eyes and not the lens of Scripture (=not wearing 3-D glasses)?
  • Are you looking at the screen but with arms crossed; refusing to believe what you are seeing is available for you?
  • Have you turned your back to the screen because you are mad at God for some hardship?
  • Are you even in the theater? Do you even know and believe that there is an awesome heaven waiting for you? Jesus is your ticket in.

This is not all there is! This is not our home.

All these people [from the Hall of Faith] were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People… looking for a country of their own…longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Heb 11:13-14,16)

We were created to live forever in an intimate relationship with our Creator. Until that day “let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you” (Pr 4:25) onto the movie screen of our eternal home .

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  (Heb 12:2)

My readers and I would love to know what verses enable you to keep your eyes toward heaven. Please post them in the comment section.

See you at the moviesand oh, don’t forget the popcorn!

 

Photo by Erik Witsoe on Unsplash

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.

10 Ways to Help You RECOGNIZE God’s Handiwork

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Worries, stress—they can prevent us from seeing God’s handiwork. Problems distort our vision and our ability to hear God. But make no mistake about it—God is at work. When we know that, we’ll keep from despairing. Plus, developing spiritual eyes (faith) pleases God (Heb 11:6).

Here’s how to recognize God’s activity:

1. Believe that God is indeed working and that His Word is true.

2. Renew your mind with God’s truths. Meditate on:

  • Bible passages concerning the unseen, such as 2 Corinthians 4; Ephesians 1, Romans 8, Colossians 3:1-4, and Hebrews 12:2
  • God’s qualities.

God is good, loving, all-wise, exists outside of time, etc. Therefore, “When you can’t see His hand, you can trust His heart.”

Speak His truths to your soul repeatedly, emphatically and with conviction.

3. Develop an open heart; don’t resist (Sorry, can’t get away from this submission truth).

“Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?” (Mk 8:17-18)

They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people. (Ez 12:2)

4. Confess. Keep short accounts with your Savior. Unconfessed sin perverts perception.

5. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to what He’s doing.

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mk 9:24)

6. Keep your antennas up. Expect God to answer your non-demanding, non-dictating prayers. 

7. Notice the small and subtle pieces of evidence as well as the big and obvious ones. Look especially with eternity and others in mind, such as:

  • The drawing of a soul closer to salvation.
  • Spiritual growth in yourself or others even in small ways.
  • Not giving into a temptation.
  • Any small victory or way God has answered your prayer.

8. Reduce the noise in your world.

“You need a buffer zone of silence around you in order to focus on things that are unseen.  Since I am invisible, you must not let your senses dominate your thinking. The curse of this age is over-stimulation of the senses, which blocks out awareness of the unseen world.

The tangible world still reflects My Glory, to those who have eyes that see and ears that here. Spending time alone with Me is the best way to develop seeing eyes and hearing ears.”*

9. Praise God when you do see Him working and even when you don’t.

10. Practice. The more you recognize God’s work, the quicker you’ll see it in the future.

Since God is invisible we need to increase our awareness of the spiritual realm. One day our faith will be our eyes and we’ll wonder why we ever doubted in the first place!

Pray with me:

Therefore, I fix my eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen; not on what I don’t have but what I will have and what I have now in the spiritual realm. Though my outward self is wasting away—my inner self is being renewed day by abiding in my Savior. For my light and momentary troubles are achieving an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. Therefore, I will fix my eyes on You Jesus—my reward, my treasure, my everything. It’ll all be worth it! You will be worth it!

 

*Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2004), 174. 

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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