Verse of the Day

Friday, May 14, 2010

Quote for today ...

This is one of my favorite quotes from Spurgeon:

Charles H. Spurgeon, the noted Baptist preacher, made it clear that salvation comes at the time of faith in Christ. He used a simple illustration. "The hand of faith that receives Christ is similar to children receiving an apple in their hands. You hold the apple out to the child and they must step toward you in order to receive it from you. This is a mixture of faith and receiving on the child's part. It is the same with someone who wants to receive salvation. What the child's hand is to the apple, your faith is to salvation. The child's hand does not make the apple, improve the apple, or deserve the apple; it simply takes it" (All of Grace, Charles H. Spurgeon, p. 61).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Seeing through Heaven's Eyes

I was looking at a blog report where someone took the time to survey thousands of people on how color names are so different when viewed by different people. The survey bombarded its participants with color after color asking them to name what they saw. I didn't take the test, thankfully, but that made me think of how it's the same when talking about religion. Through a bit of study, I became interested in a term that is defined as, "A prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his or her own." Yes, the term is "bigot". What does that have to do with color names? Well, just the part where color names were different from person-to-person; perspectives of people seeing/hearing/reading the same event.

In the Bible, John 5:10-18 Jesus heals the man at the pool of Bethesda. If you don't know the whole story, then I would recommend you read John's account. Reading the story you will find that after Jesus' miracle, a controversy arose.  The Jewish leaders of the time wanted to know who had told this cripple man to take up his bed (actually a sleeping-mat or a bedroll) on the Sabbath. What?! The Son of God just healed a man crippled for 38 years and you want to know who told him to take up his bed? (John  5:12) Talk about missing the point, or in this context the miracle. These people missed that a great work of God was done before their eyes. These leaders were not interested in who healed the man, but they wanted to know who told him to carry a bedroll.

Thus men often assume that a certain course or opinion is proper, and when anyone differs from them they look only at the difference, but not at the reasons for it. One great source of dispute among men is that they look only at the points in which they differ, but are unwilling to listen to the reasons why others do not believe as they do.—Barnes' Notes on the New Testament

There was a reason for what Jesus did and how he did it that much is obvious.  But for the leaders of that day to so blatantly miss the Messiah makes me wonder how blinded they had become to even the correct interpretation of the Law.   To miss an opportunity to see Jesus, and miss who Jesus was makes me wonder.   How many opportunities to see God's light went unnoticed because it was presented "differently" than the normal?  How may would never listen because it was so against the grain?  As an example, if you have ever listened to the song The Perrys’ sing, “If You Knew Him.”  If you could just see what I see, feel what I feel.  Not because it is a point to "win" in an argument.  But because it is a heart knowledge that the Holy Spirit lives within me.  In my little post here I'm trying pointing to the idea of what a familiar cliché words as, "Not being able to see past your nose." - admittedly have done the same myself.

Jesus went on to tell the healed man there was a greater danger. (John 5:14)  "Sin no more", but the verse says something before that and it makes me Praise the Lord.  The Bible says that, "Jesus found him in the temple" to tell him a very important message.  Jesus was concerned for his spiritual health not just the physical.  In other words Jesus loved him (and us) so much that Jesus found him - this healed man who was crippled for 38 years.  The danger is to continue in sin. The danger is that it would have been better for crippled man to remain crippled than to live healed and in sin.  Living a life of sin is worse than the infirmity.

There are two songs that I'm reminded of; I want to share a line from each.
“It’s hard to understand what we can’t clearly see, but Heaven will reveal life’s mysteries.”
-"On The Other Side Of Time” sung by Gordon Mote on the Don’t Let Me Miss the Glory album.
"… to see everyone through Heaven’s eyes …"– “This Life” sung by Gordon Mote on the Don’t Let Me Miss the Glory album.

What would have the story been if the Jewish leaders saw this crippled man being healed through "Heaven's eyes?"  What would we do different if we saw through the eyes of Heaven?

Lord, help us see through the eyes of Christ.  When we don't have time to understand, when we don't want to be bothered, when we simply have too much going on in our lives to hear the still small voice of God.  Help us to hear You and to listen to others, in the Name of Jesus, Amen.

John 3:16

(the greatest Lover)
(the greatest degree)
(the greatest number)
(the greatest act)
(the greatest Gift)
(the greatest invitation)
(the greatest simplicity)
(the greatest Person)
(the greatest deliverance)
(the greatest difference)
(the greatest certainty)
(the greatest possession)