Friday, June 12, 2009

Scripture of the Week- Matthew 6:22-23

22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"

The mystery contained within these 2 sentences has captured my imagination for years. At different times, I have found different meanings in the words. What I think the true meaning, the meaning intended by the Holy Spirit, is- is this... We control the use of our eyes. For the most part, we decide what to focus on and what to ignore. Jesus Christ is the light of the world. When we focus on Him, with not only our eyes but with every fiber of our being, our being becomes full of His light.

This light is the glorious and beautiful light of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. This light is the light that struck Paul blind on the Road to Damascus. It was the subsequent healing that he received from God that enabled him to focus on the light of Christ and his whole being was filled with light from that point on.

This is the uncreated light that emanates from the Godhead Himself. This is the light, the simple presence of God, that will provide light for God's children in heaven billions of years after the sun has been extinguished.

This is the light that burns and refines the deepest recesses of our souls. This is the light by which we may catch a glimpse of our own hearts and become devastated by the darkness therein.

Most of the world does not know this light. Most of the world walks in darkness for the bible says that Jesus came into the darkness and the darkness could not recognize Him. How incapacitating and awful that darkness is when it infuses a person's soul.

The Psalmist cries out in Psalm 13, "Give light to my eyes Lord, or I will sleep in death". This has been my deepest hearts cry for a very long time. If we turn our eyes from the Lord, our souls become consumed by darkness. Like Peter walking on the surface of the dark and storm ravaged waters, we begin to sink beneath the waves and drown. "If the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" The darkness can consume us, for all eternity, if we allow our eyes to go bad.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Scripture of the Week- Genesis 4:7

"If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it."

I have recently been devoting much time and energy to deeply considering what this means. This was God's most intimate advice to Cain upon the most disappointing failure of his life. Cain was presented with a clear choice. Either he could allow bitterness and resentment to become a full blown, murderous impulse, or, he could choose to "rule over" the sin that was threatening to overtake him.

I think that sin is most easy to rule over when the inclination has just begun, before it begins to grow. If we can manage to simply control our thoughts and impulses at that initial stage, sin can be vanquished. It is when we entertain those thoughts that we begin to loose control of ourselves and give into sin. And small sins, when surrendered to, almost always blossom into very large sins.

What began in Cain as profound disappointment and jealousy blossomed into murder. And yet, God said that it was possible for him to rule over it.

Perhaps that is one of the reasons that God allows us to experience failure in the midst of life. He already knows whether or not we will surrender to sin. We need the opportunity to be tested and to come to know this about ourselves. It is of critical importance that we learn to rule over our own sin. If not, it will rule over us.