Saturday, March 30, 2013

Living In The Light

"Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body will be filled with light." 
Matthew 6:22

Matthew Six is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  Jesus is speaking the whole time, and He has so many great things to say.  He talks about prayer.  He talks about how to receive God's blessings.  He reminds us we don't need to worry because God will always take care of us.  He takes a complicated religious system the people were burdened by and simplifies it to one rule: 'Trust God; He is your loving Father who will never overlook your needs or your deeds.'

The majority of the chapter is straightforward.  He gives practical, take-home advice.  Anyone listening to Him speak would not have to question what He meant, but He does get in one metaphor that takes some thought to consider.  "Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body."  He makes a connection between our perspective and our actions.  The "why" behind the choices we make.  It involves more than following instructions.  It involves understanding why He gives those instructions.

He says not to do things to please people or be noticed by them.  Why?  People are difficult to impress, they don't pay much attention, and their praise is short-lived.  If that's what you're living for, you will be horribly disappointed.

He says to trust God.  Why?  Because God is trustworthy.  He always provides, always rewards, and always sees.  He sees you in your desperate hour.  He sees you in your effort to love, give, and forgive.  If you are trusting Him, He doesn't miss that, and He can't let you down.  If you are living to walk in His ways, the reward is guaranteed, not as a payment for dutiful service but as an inherent blessing.  He only asks us to do what is best for us anyway!

"Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body."  How do you view God?  How do you view His ways?  How do you view yourself?  If your perspective is correct, you will be filled with light.  If your perspective is false, you will live in darkness.  Your actions reflect what you believe.

I don't need to tell you what you struggle with.  You know.  But do you know why you struggle?  What is it that keeps you from doing what you know is best?  What are you not believing about God?  What are you not believing about yourself and who He has made you to be?  Step out of the darkness and into the light.  Out of the lies and into the truth: God is love; His ways are best; And you are His treasured possession...valuable, worth dying for, and worth raising to new life.

You are holy and blameless as you stand before him. 
Colossians 1:22

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188.  All rights reserved.