I have been working on my Sunday School lesson presentation this morning. We have, in my opinion, a good lesson writer this quarter. He is Barry Joslin, (Find him on Facebook here) an associate professor of Christian Theology at Boyce College of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and he serves as worship pastor at Ninth & O Baptist Church (don’t you just love that name?) Louisville. In my lesson guide for this Sunday, he said we must FIX our eyes on JESUS.
Now how often have you heard that? And how often has anyone explained or fleshed out in a practical way what it actually means? Fix your eyes on JESUS.
Thankfully, Joslin gave me a word picture that I can get my mind around and hopefully my words.
Can we agree that when we say Yes to JESUS and are saved we begin a journey from here to Heaven? JESUS comes by the HOLY SPIRIT at that encounter of salvation, He is there and we see Him. We see him as Savior.
We saw Him as the only one who could save us and we desperately needed to be saved. Hence, in the HOLY SPIRIT He stays with us throughout our journey here and this journey can be likened unto a race. So at salvation we are at the starting line, the flag is dropped and we are off. In the early steps of our race we eagerly, humbly look at JESUS right there before us as we walk/run. We may not think so much about it then but there is a finish line ahead and we are going to get to it, sooner or later. Our finish line is our physical death. And at our finish line stands JESUS – alive in His Flesh and Bone GODMAN body there to welcome us into His Home, our home – Heaven.
Remember Joslin’s admonition is FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS.
Back to our race word picture. After a while in our race we tend to not look at JESUS so much – He is still there right with us but what are we doing? Are we looking around? Looking at the road? Looking at the scenery? Looking at the other racers on the path? Are we comparing our walk/run to theirs? Are we looking at their racing clothes and shoes, comparing them to ours? Are we thinking ours are better? Or perhaps we are thinking ours are shabby compared to theirs. Either way where is our focus? Is it JESUS? Sorry to say it is not! We have moved our gaze. We are no longer fixed on JESUS at that point.
So how do we combat this? I think we do it this way. We are walking/running and we come along side someone with new shoes, ours are not so new, immediately our natural mind says I don’t have new shoes. Now if we are fixed on JESUS, with our renewed minds, (I Corinthians 2:16; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23) we immediately see Him and we say, “LORD, thank You that she has new shoes and I trust You that when I need new shoes You will supply them.” Or something similar to that. 🙂 Right there we have successfully avoided trouble and our eyes are still fixed on JESUS as we walk/run on.
What happens if we do not immediately give JESUS praise for her new shoes? We go back to the Garden. We like Eve begin to think GOD is holding out on us. That He is treating us unfairly. That He does not love us like He loves her. On and on down the spiral we go into a pit of self-pity, anger, bitterness, un-forgiveness, etc. That, my dear Friends, is the results of NOT keeping our eyes FIXED on JESUS.
Now, obviously, on this journey, this race we are walking/running there are things we must see in order to finish the race. There are houses to build to live in, there are meals to cook, there are babies to birth, and there is school, jobs, recreation, entertainment, sickness, diseases, death of loved ones, broken legs, sprained arms, on and on – you get the idea. All of it and more comes right into the path we are walking, we have to see it! We have to look at it. It’s unhealthy not to look at it. If we don’t look, we will fall over it. The question is HOW will we look at it? Will we look at it THROUGH JESUS or will we look AROUND JESUS and stare at it naked eyed? In that split second that we choose to look at it naked-eyed, we have lost our FIX on JESUS. And until we divert our focus back, until we put our JESUS eye gear back on we are headed for Trouble with a capital T.
Are we going to gaze at Him perfectly all the time? Of course, not! But we can choose to daily practice fixing our eyes on Him and we can get pretty dog-gone good at it if we want to. Question is, do we want to?
Well, that’s it. That’s what I think Fixing our Eyes on JESUS looks like.
Since it is now early afternoon, I considered saving this post until tomorrow morning but truth is I think it is so good, I don’t want to wait. I hope it encourages you and lifts you as high as it has me. Blessings dear Friends!
Day 268 of 2014, a day to give Thanks.