Wednesday, April 29, 2015

They Saw the Real World

Good morning,

When I was around 6 years old, it began to be obvious to me that I could not see as well as my classmates.  I would have to sit in the front of the classroom, for instance, because I could not see the chalkboard.  A trip to the eye doctor gave me the help I needed.  For the next 7 years, I progressed to ever-stronger prescriptions of eyeglasses until the lenses were like "coke-bottles".  At age 13, I received my first pair of contact lenses, a life-changing development.  But, the most amazing of all was the eye surgery I had in my mid-40's, which resulted in 20/20 vision that I possess to this day. As wonderful as the improvements to my physical sight were and are, they do nothing to help me see the real world.

1 Peter 1:8-9 talks about seeing.  Here are the verses from two versions:

You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

8-9 You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation.
The Message

Christians are reviled and mocked by many because they operate and govern their lives according to things which most cannot see.  For the Christian, spiritual sight is much more important than physical sight.  The real world is not the one we see with our physical eyes, but more importantly, the one we see with our spirits, our eyes of the heart.  You might call those "eyes of faith".  Look at Hebrews 11:13-16.

Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. But they were after a far better country than that—heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them.

Have I ever seen Jesus in a physical form?  No.  Have I "seen" Him with the eyes of faith?  Yes. Does that reality cause me to worship Him with laughter and singing?  Yes.  My eternal future is sealed; my soul is being sanctified.  These are the "realest" things in the world to me, and those truths bring me "inexpressible and glorious joy"!

The ability to see in this manner is God's gift.  If you cannot fathom what I'm talking about, if you think it sounds crazy, ask God to open your eyes to see His truth in the Bible.  Read it.  Devour it. Those who have done so prayerfully, with a willing heart have had their eyes opened.  This is because God has promised that those who earnestly seek Him will surely find Him, if they seek Him with all their hearts.

You will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all your heart.  
Jeremiah 29:13

Have you read The Chronicles of Narnia?  C.S. Lewis wrote this series of "children's books" in the early 20th century, after he went on a quest to learn the truth about Jesus.  After much study and research, he became a Christian.  He earnestly sought God, and God opened his eyes of faith. However, The Chronicles of Narnia are so much more than children's books.  They contain deep layers of meaning, "code", if you will, to express deep, spiritual truths.  Look at this excerpt from his book, The Last Battle.

“Yes,” said Queen Lucy. “In our world too, a stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world.” 
― C.S. LewisThe Last Battle*

Do you see it?

Open the eyes of our hearts, Lord.  We want to see You - - to see you high and lifted up, shining in the light of Your glory.  Pour our your power and love, as we sing, "Holy, Holy, Holy". ** May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.  (Ephesians 1:17)  In Jesus' name, amen.


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