Where Are Our Eyes Fixed?

“Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.” -John 14:19 (NIV)

Where is God? It is a question that we have all asked ourselves at some point in our lives. We wonder if there truly is a loving God watching overGoogle+Photo us and actively intervening in the world. With our human faculties we cannot perceive God physically and His seeming inactivity in the face of individual trial and collective human suffering leads us to question His existence. But perhaps the reason why we do not see God is that we have focused our attention on ourselves and our circumstances. Often times, we are like a hiker who fails to see the beauty of the valley around him for his mind and thoughts are solely concentrated the arduous path he must travel. Where our eyes are focused affects our view of the world.

Christ has promised that those who seek Him will find Him. When we personally accept His redemptive sacrifice for us and allow Him to work in our hearts, we are not only given new life through Him, but a new perspective about the world around us. By lifting our gaze towards Christ, He will open our eyes to His Truth and see the reality of our surroundings. His Truth distinguishes itself from the counterfeit truths of the world because Christ is perfection and truth personified. Unlike us humans, Christ is not bound by our human limitations. He was present before even time began and presently stands as a victorious King over the fallen world. Through Him we will be able to see that while there are still battles to be fought against the remnants of sin, the war is won. We will bear witness to the hand of Christ actively working towards His unstoppable mission to bring restoration to ourselves and the world around us. If our focus is pointed downward towards the world, we will only find disappointment and despair. But when we turn our eyes upward to see Christ, we will see the world for what it is while taking hope in the fact that He has overcome the world and will use our lives for His good purposes.

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

Our Measuring Stick

“I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.” -Romans 16:17-18 (NIV)

One of the reasons why Hitler’s rise to power was so successful was because of his charisma and his skills as a persuasive orator. During the 1930’s, people thronged to hear him speak at Nazi party rallies throughout Germany. Looking back, it seems odd that so many would place their trust in him. Didn’t they feel disturbed by his blatant racism? By his willingness to use violence and oppression for the continuation of the German nation-state? Yet for a defeated nation, stripped of its former glory and strength, he seemed to offer hope; hope that Germany could redeem itself and its prestige. Hitler convinced people, through his powerful speeches and commanding personality, that such cruel measures were necessary, even logical, if Germany was to ever regain its prominence on the world stage.

We have proven ourselves to have weak and impressionable minds. Just because someone exudes an air of authority and possesses a magnetic character, we feel compelled to believe that everything they say is true. After all, it takes less effort to simply sit and assume that what a person says is sound and true if he is speaking from a position of authority. But who has the final word? Is it man or is it God? It is of paramount importance that we make the conscious effort to filter everything we hear through God’s Word. He is the ultimate source of truth. By reading God’s Word and asking Him for the guidance and wisdom to understand it, we will be able to distinguish between what is true and what is false. Attempting to read between the lines and figure out the truth may seem like something beyond our capabilities and time. But does not a child go first to his father in hopes that the father would clear up any doubts that may have arisen in the child’s mind? Likewise, we should first go to our Heavenly Father if we want to discern what is true and right. May God give us the discipline to spend time in His Word so that we may not be led astray by the false teachings of the world.

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

Being The Voice of Truth

“Shortly after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: ‘Go and tell Hananiah, ‘This is what the Lord says: You have broken a wooden yoke, but in its place you will get a yoke of iron.’ This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will put an iron yoke on the necks of all these nations to make them serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and they will serve him. I will even give him control over the wild animals.’ Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, ‘Listen, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent you, yet you have persuaded this nation to trust in lies.’” -Jeremiah 28:12-15 (NIV)

Have you ever been placed in a situation where you had to be the bearer of bad news? It can be a difficult task to take on. Fear of offending or hurting the recipients of our message can lead us into thinking that glossing over the truth and providing false hope is the best option in such a situation. Sometimes, we might even think that doing so will place us in good standing with our hearers; thus leading to an advantageous and beneficial relationship. But nothing can silence the truth. What profit will we gain if we are confronted with the fact that we postponed revealing the inevitable for our own selfish wants?

God is Truth. He cannot be deceitful or dishonest in His dealings with man because it would go against His nature of being the embodiment of truth. In some way or another, He will make sure that truth always triumphs. This is why He expects us to be champions of truth, even in situations where it would seem hard to stand up for its cause. We might be belittled and ridiculed when we proclaim the truth, and this may discourage us. But we must remember that when we speak the truth and bear honest testimony, our strongest advocate is God Himself. It was Him who gave Jeremiah the strength to continue speaking the truth and confront Hananiah’s claims of being a true prophet. It was God who gave John the Baptist the strength to call people to repentance in advance of the coming of Christ; even when others called him a lunatic who spent way too much time in the desert. May we take comfort in the fact that truth always prevails and that God will safeguard those who desire to see truth upheld no matter the cost.

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