DayBreaks for 7/07/17 – Give Me Those Eyes!

DayBreaks for 7/07/17: Give Me Those Eyes

Matthew 17 records the story of the transfiguration of Jesus. It only takes eight verses to give us the details, but also to capture our imaginations. I’ve heard this story a bazillion times, read it not quite that many, but when Michael Card recently share it in his The Card Community email newsletter, something struck me that I’d not noticed before. Here’s what the text says: Matthew 17:7-8 (NLT) – Then Jesus came over and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” And when they looked, they saw only Jesus.

Moments before the disciples (verse 5) were terrified and fell face down to the ground for at least three reasons: 1) Jesus was shining like the sun, 2) they witnessed “dead” men standing and talking (sorta like Sixth Sense) in Moses and Elijah, and 3) they’d heard the voice of God which always (well, more often than not) struck fear into mortals. Is it any wonder they went face down!?!?!

But verse 7 tells us that as soon as that happened, Jesus went over to them, touched them and told them to not be afraid. That’s when the disciples looked up and when they did, what did they see? Only Jesus.

Gone were Elijah and Moses, gone was the terrifying glow and thundering voice. All that was left was Jesus.

Oh, how I hope that every time I look up, every time that I lift my eyes, I will see only Jesus! My eyes are prone to wander and try to take in everything, but only one thing is really important – and that is to see and look constantly and steadfastly at him!

When I’m afraid, I need to see him. When I’m joyful, I need to see him. When I’m confused, let me see him. When I’m tempted, let me fasten my eyes on him. In short, may the only thing we see be Him!

PRAYER: God, give me those eyes that see only Jesus and not the things that frighten or terrify! Let my fears be put to rest as I look up to see my Lord! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 12/30/16 – Sightless Eyes

DayBreaks for 12/30/16: Sightless Eyes

From the DayBreaks archive, 1999:

A while back, I received a call from the county sheriff’s office asking if I was available to go with one of their deputies to notify a woman that her husband of many years had died. I went down to the emergency room at the local hospital to meet the officer before going to the home and he took me into the room where the man’s body was. The man had died only minutes earlier, apparently of a heart attack while driving. He was alone in the quiet room, surrounded by medical equipment and signs of the lost battle that had been waged to keep him alive. His eyes, sightless, were open – staring at the ceiling.

I was reminded of the words of God through Jeremiah the prophet in Jer. 5:21-22: “Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear: Should you not fear me?” declares the LORD. “Should you not tremble in my presence?” As I stood gazing at the body of this man, I couldn’t help but wonder what his “eyes” were seeing at that instant. Was he beholding the face of the Redeemer or was he seeing the reality of a horrifying destiny for eternity? It added a sense of urgency to tell others about Christ.

In Matthew 13:13-15, Jesus spoke about sightless eyes and as usual, got to the heart of the problem. The people couldn’t see for the simple reason that they had closed their eyes. They didn’t WANT to see. What they saw (Jesus!) made them uncomfortable because he revealed what man was meant to be and what God demanded – holiness! And the sad part of it is that if we walk in rebellion long enough, we do become blind (Romans 1).

Think about it: what happens to you if you close your eyes? It isn’t long before you start getting hurt. There was a group of Pharisees who were referred to as the “blind and bleeding Pharisees” because when they were walking on a public street and a woman came along, they would close their eyes so they wouldn’t lust – with the inevitable result that they got bloody when they began bumping into buildings and other things in the street! That wasn’t what Jesus meant, but it illustrates the dangers of closing our eyes.

We have a choice. We can close our eyes if we want to – and when we do we run the risk of being hurt – not to mention we can’t see our brother or neighbor in need (remember the Good Samaritan and those who passed by the injured traveler?). But the worst thing we can do is close our eyes when we look into the mirror of the Word of God (James 1:23-25) and refuse to see the truth about ourselves, what we are and what we do, and what we can become through Jesus.

How is your vision? Is it clear and sharp? Are you closing your eyes in rebellion? By closing our eyes to failures and imperfections, we are only blinding ourselves – not God.

PRAYER: Keep us from willful blindness, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016 by Galen Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 05/23/13 – We Need Not Lower Our Eyes

DayBreaks for 05/23/13 – We Need Not Lower Our Eyes

shame2-300x199NOTE: I am on a missions trip/internship to Africa and will be gone until 5/25.  Please pray for God’s work to go forth mightily, for protection for myself and those with whom I will be working, and for my wife in my absence!  Thank you…I cherish your prayers!  You will be receiving DayBreaks as usual (from the archive) until I’ve returned.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10a – “9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses…

How do you feel about your weaknesses?  Do you delight in them?  Do you boast in them?  If you’re like me, I try my hardest to hide my weaknesses.  I don’t want to admit them to anyone else.  I don’t want anyone else to know about them.  I am ashamed of my weaknesses.  And perhaps, in a way, it is right to be ashamed of them.  But on the other hand, it is wrong for me to be so focused on hiding my weaknesses and worrying about what others think of them.

Still, I find Paul’s attitude about his weaknesses to be stunningly refreshing.  Paul doesn’t seem to care about what others think about his weaknesses.  He didn’t seem to be worried that they’ll see him as a flawed human being.  He delighted, he BRAGGED about his weaknesses!  Why?  Because his focus wasn’t on himself and his weaknesses – his focus was on the God who did something about his weaknesses and how God’s power to change lives and free from guilt finds its greatest witness in the works and tears of a fallen and flawed human being who has been lifted up from the gutter of failure and despair and made to rise up on eagle’s wings1

Paul’s focus wasn’t on his weaknesses, but on God’s grace and Christ’s power.  When I become so focused on my weaknesses that I hang my head in shame and spend great effort to hide my weaknesses, I am denying the Spirit the chance to witness to others that God has done something great in my life through my weaknesses and my awareness of my weaknesses.  Besides, if I pretend to be without weaknesses, everyone knows I am a liar and hypocrite.  Why not be real and legitimate?  Why not boast, yes even brag, about my weaknesses – but even more so about my God who loves a sinner like me!

Whatever our failings may be, we need not lower our eyes in the presence of Jesus.”  – Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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