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Archive for January, 2014

Worship Him

Scripture

John 9:38 – He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

Observation

True belief always leads to worship.

Application

How do we know if we believe? We worship. If eternal life hinges on belief,  having some sign to know if we truly believe is very helpful. So, what does it mean to worship? If you think of it in terms other than God…and someone was described as worshiping  money or worshiping her husband…we would say that they spent all their efforts and energies towards that “thing”. Their thoughts are directed to the thing. Their time is directed towards that thing. Their actions are directed towards that thing. They lose themselves in that thing. The word “worship” actually means “worth-ship”. What do you ascribe “worth” to? Anything you value, you pursue. And you wouldn’t only worship something on one day of the week. Who is said to worship money who only pursues money on Mondays? Ridiculous. No…it is a continuing pursuit and it happens all the time. It flows out of a heart that is enraptured.

Do you worship Jesus? Really? Don’t deceive yourself. There is no point to that. One day you will stand before Him and you don’t want to hear the words, “I never knew you; depart from me…” If you really don’t know whether or not you worship Jesus, ask someone who knows you well. They can probably give you some insight into what is evident from an onlooker. If they can’t tell you are consumed with Jesus, maybe it is time to take a look inward. We all have bouts of blindness to true beauty. Maybe your lack of worship is more like cataracts than complete blindness. What’s keeping you from seeing Him? Ask Him to remove it. The remedy for unbelief is always the same. Confession. Repentance. Tell Him you don’t believe. Tell him you are blind. Ask Him to show Himself beautiful to you. Be proactive…start looking for Him. It’s the only remedy. Thankfully, He is willing. “… the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”

Prayer

Father, draw me to yourself again. You are the only one worthy of my worship.

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Sight

Scripture

John 9:1 – As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.

Observation

Jesus sees us so that we see Him.

Application

From the very start of this story of Jesus’ encounter with the man blind from birth, I was struck with the idea that “Jesus saw him”. Have you ever felt unseen? It’s an awful feeling. The classic line from the movie “Fatal Attraction” is, “I’m not gonna be ignored, Dan”. I still think of that line every time I see Glenn Close. Creepy. Anyway… I digress. This idea of being ignored or unseen hits at our very core. Some would even say it is better to be hated than ignored. I’m still thinking on whether or not I agree with that one. =)

As the story unfolds and Jesus heals the man from blindness, the people start to question whether this really is the man who has been blind from birth. People have walked by this blind man for years, and don’t even know for sure if he is the same man. In other words, they looked at him so little as they passed by, they didn’t recognize him now that he was in front of them. I wonder how long he had been begging. The story only tells us that he is a “man” and that he was blind from birth and that his parents said “he was of age”. I’ve got a feeling he wasn’t a young man. Day after day, people passed him by. Maybe sometimes they gave a few coins, if their consciences pricked them enough. Some saw…but most just didn’t look, and kept walking. How often I am like those people who don’t see. But the point of this story is not to exhort us to “see people”. The point of this story is that there is One who does see…and He makes all the difference.

I’m not one who is overly concerned with what people think of me. That should be fairly obvious by my appearance. =) But, recently I have been struggling with it more than I should. There are people…probably more than a few…who don’t think well of me. Overall, I think I don’t care much as long as the Lord is not displeased with me, except…and this is a big “except”… it keeps me from realizing my hopes and dreams for my life in regards to how I am used by God. Now, if you are a student of the Bible, that last sentence should cause you to pause. “My hopes and dreams for my life”. Ugh. This kind of thinking doesn’t line up well with Scripture. The Bible responds with, “Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?” I have no right to demand my hopes and dreams be fulfilled for my life. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with having hopes and dreams…but they ultimately have to be surrendered to Christ. Whatever He gives, we take with grateful and thankful hearts.

So, back to the passage. This is what God showed me this morning. When Jesus is responding to the disciples as to why this man was born blind, he says that it was so “the works of God might be displayed in him.” At first reading, I’m thinking Jesus means that the work is to remove the blindness. In other words, the man is born blind so that God can remove the blindness. To put it in terms relating to me, my “blindness” is that I’m stuck in a less than satisfying situation so that God can put me into a satisfying situation.  When I write it that way, I realize that’s just the prosperity gospel. The prosperity gospel is the heretical idea that God is my butler, giving me what I want. But God is too good for that. He doesn’t give us what we want. He gives us what is good. What is  good?  Good is defined as seeing Jesus. That’s why God is not evil to give us hard things. If the hard things help us see Jesus, then even the hard things serve us for our good. Jesus says it very clearly as recorded in John 6:29. “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” The work is to believe in Jesus. The work is not a good deed or a miracle or any other situational outcome. The work is believing Jesus is who he says he is.  Jesus sees us so that we can see Him. That is always good. No…we are not ignored. Hardly. The King of the universe is El Roi, the God who sees me.

Prayer

Father, thank you for my situation. I do repent of my grumbling. Thank you for seeing me. Thank you that You seeing me allows me to see you. I most desire to see you, Jesus. I want to know You and it is not too much to suffer for the outcome of seeing You more. I do believe. Help my unbelief. When I slip back into grumbling, please help me repent and see You afresh. Thank you for Your  patience.

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