Monday, January 15, 2024
What do You See?
What do You See?
by David Brenneman
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37.
"The plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the Lord weighs the motives. Commit your works to the Lord And your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil. Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished. By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil. When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Better is a little with righteousness Than great income with injustice. The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps." Proverbs 16:1-9.
We're not to be living in ignorance while going through life. We've got God's plan and purpose for being here for us as individuals as well as His placement of us in the body of Christ for His plan for mankind.
As such, and in keeping step with our training in righteousness, we're to keep a mind of Christ with us in living life. To not just go through the motions. To not just make it through the day. To do more than sit n vegetate. To be purposeful in our walk with Jesus. Keeping an eye out for the evils that Satan and his minions have in mind for us and others who are in our lives.
Knowing people by their fruits is not optional. It's a command. Playing God and condemning people as not worthy of salvation is not ours to be doing. That is what judging others is. By every right we are deserving of the fires of Hell ourselves. It only by the grace of God, the mercy of God, that we are still here today.
We have no standing in and of ourselves in our own righteousness. The only righteousness that counts is what was imputed to us through salvation in Christ Jesus. Big big difference.
When you look at others, what do you see? Worthless people whom you avoid or opportunities to share the love of Christ Jesus? People are the commodity of Heaven. People are the treasure of Heaven that moth and rust do not destroy. Your works done in your life that will matter before Jesus have only to do with how you lived for Him. How you were towards others. How you put your relationship with Jesus Christ first. These things matter.
"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.
In the battlefield of the world...which is for the control of your heart and mind...what do you see when you survey it?
"Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servant's eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha." 2 Kings 6:17.
There's a song that might have had its origination in that passage. "Open the eyes of my heart Lord open the eyes of my heart. I want to see you."
When we ask for that, it's going to cause us to look at others differently. It's going to cause us to look at ourselves differently.
When Isaiah saw Jesus, his iniquity was all his eyes could focus on. The angel took a coal from the altar and touch his lips n his iniquity was taken away. Isaiah then could clearly see Jesus. Isaiah then had a heart and mind to be ready to serve without that being in the way.
We have to put on Christ.
"Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all." Colossians 3:1-11.
While praying for the things going on in my life is right and good, praying for others is the highest priority because that's what the highest priority was and is for Jesus. Jesus died for both thieves on the cross. Jesus died for John as well as Judas. Jesus died for Billy Graham as well as you.
Jesus died once for all is what it says in Romans 6:10 "For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God."
When we ask Him to open our eyes...be ready...because change will be coming. Change in how we look at ourselves and how we look at others.
Jacob prayed concerning his brother Esau...Jesus changed both.
You ask for His help in praying for someone...it might mean changing you to fit their situation to reach them. You may indeed need your eyes opened to see a person as God sees them.
Take great care as well. Jesus taught on this. Take care to remove the log from your own eye before you attempt to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
There might yet be some work to be done in you before you are fit to render assistance.
But...open eyes are what we need. A mind set on the righteous life that God desires for us. Letting go of the things of this world isn't easy. They have a grip on parts of our hearts. Part of us, our sin nature, wants the darkness we were once in before we came to Christ Jesus for salvation. It's a deceiver. It will indeed try to convince you of something bad as being something good. Will try to convince you of how justifiable even being a little selfish is worthwhile. Once we tolerate that, that will grow.
What do you see in your life? Only the physical world? Do you see the hand of God? Do you look for His work in your life and in those around you? Are you hastening the coming of Jesus by making every effort to live your life for Jesus?
A life in Christ isn't to be our coming to Christ then live as we want until we die. To just try and be good enough in our own eyes to salve our own conscience. Many do that. They set standards that keep themselves from feeling guilty of not doing enough for living a life in Christ that they ought to be living.
Remember, my Dear Reader, God's the only one who sets definitions about life and godliness. He sets the bar on salvation. He sets the bar on what is good and what is evil. He defines gender, race, and any other aspect of human existence. He is the Creator God.
Ask Him to open your eyes and be obedient in what you learn. It's not about us, it's Christ Jesus in us.
"for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." Philippians 2:13.
All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.