I can be so blind. The optometrist may chart me as having 20-20 vision, yet I cannot see. I should see not only with my eyes but also with my spirit. There are forms of temporary eye blindness as well as permanent loss of sight. Spiritually, the Holy Spirit can remedy my temporary blindness. The blind want to see… “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened (Isaiah 35:5a NKJ).”
Christ Jesus brought sight to the physically and spiritually blind. Afflictions can damage my visual perception. “while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18 NKJ).” What I am blind to is beyond description.
It’s not really over when the fat lady sings; she frequently comes back for encores. Doomsayers predict the end of the world. Yet, the end of the age looms on the horizon, not the end of the world. God will make a new heaven and earth. (Revelation 21:1) It’s not over until the angels sing!
“Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise (Revelation 5:11-12 NIV)!”
My mother was a very beautiful lady. In many portraits, she looked more like a model than her role of worker in oils at the photography studio. Some family and friends compared her to popular starlet and singer Deanna Durbin. It was only natural that Mom became an admirer of the movie star.
I remember Mom’s excitement when receiving a Christmas card from the celebrity. Recently, I saw headlines of the death of Deanna Durbin at the age of 91. She had turned her back on Hollywood fame and notoriety after only a few years before cameras. She lived, and died, in seclusion in France. She preferred the simple life.
“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NIV).” Fans will remember Deanna Durbin; family will cherish her…
We moaned, we groaned; yet, we watched. In the 1970’s viewers tuned in for the Gong Show with host Chuck Barris. It may have paved the way for reality TV. Contestants were gonged when their performances were bad; humiliated, they cringed at the sound of the gong. No cymbal could have such a menacing ring.
“If I could speak the languages of men, of angels too, and have no love, I am only a rattling pan or a clashing cymbal (1Corinthians 13:1 Williams New Testament).” God hears my empty words. I visualize angels hitting a gong and my exiting the scene with my head hung in shame. He is the God of second chances; he also says, “Well done…” (Matthew 25:21)
A blue jean and flannel shirt clad man proudly speaks up. “I’m a farmer; my father was a farmer and his father was a farmer.” Your church pastor emeritus celebrates fifty years of service to congregations and to his Lord; he agrees to say a few words to the crowd. “I’m a simple country preacher; my dad, grandpa and great-grandfather were all preachers.” An occupation or trade often flows through family lines.
Jesus is the Great Shepherd. Caring for sheep went back to ancestors, Abraham, King David, Joseph and his father-Jacob. “This is the history of the descendants of Jacob and this is Jacob’s line. Joseph, when he was seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers (Genesis 37:2a Amplified Bible).” Joseph later made the family occupation clear when his family joined him in Egypt.
“I will go up and tell Pharaoh and say to him, My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me. And the men are shepherds, for their occupation has been keeping livestock (Genesis 46:31b-32a Amplified Bible).” Yes, Jesus followed in His earthly father’s trade as a carpenter; yet, He has the heart of a shepherd. He continues to gather His sheep and appoints family members to carry on shepherding responsibilities.
Allowing oneself to get the big head of egotistic self-assessment often leads to a sudden awakening. “Me, myself and I” mentality blind us to the omnipotence of God. Through the Book of Daniel, we discover how quickly King Nebuchadnezzar fell from status of national leader to living as an outcast in the midst of wild animals.
“You will be driven away from people to live with the wild animals. You will feed on grass like cattle and be drenched with dew from the sky for seven periods of time, until you acknowledge that the Most High is ruler over the kingdom of men, and He gives it to anyone He wants (Daniel 4:25 HCS).”
The prophetic warning came true within a year. (Daniel 4:28-33) Humbled, he worshiped and praised the Most High. “Now, I Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and glorify the King of heaven, because all His works are true and His ways are just. And He is able to humble those who walk in pride (Daniel 4:37 HCS).”
Jesus…hated, despised and rejected. This description is no over exaggeration. His opposition did not merely dislike Christ; they loathed Him.
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not (Isaiah 53:3 KJV).”
Do not be deceived; Jesus and his followers were and are still hated and maligned by many. “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you (John 15:18 KJV).”
Jesus took the truth a step further. “He that hateth me hateth my Father also (John 15:23 KJV).” Do not despair. God loved!
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16 KJV).”