Friday, March 30, 2012
The longer I preach the more I notice incredible lessons in scripture that I missed in the past because it was dwarfed by well know passages that are used over and over again. I think many of us often miss powerful points from the Holy Spirit when we study because we know "what's coming up" and it's soooooo familiar, and - without meaning to - we quick-read over sentences to get to the well-known passage that we've trusted in and used so regularly. Come on, have you really spent very much time deeply examining those first few verses of introduction that are part of every epistle of Paul? Do you remember what happened prior to Acts 2:38 or what the topic was about that caused Jesus to say what he did in John 3:16? Of course you do, you're probably not in as big of a hurry as I tend to be when I study. Still, there are plenty of neat little passages that get lost in the shadow of the more popular verses.
A passage that I'm am using this coming Sunday is an excellent example of what I'm talking about. In Matthew 6, there is a wonderful jewel stuck between Jesus' call to store up treasures in heaven rather than on earth because that indicates where your heart is - and that great little section of scripture about the how impossible it is to serve two masters. Just between those two is the lesser known passage that says, "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 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." (vs.22-23)
I could probably come close to quoting all of that chapter, as well as 5 and 7 on either side of it, but I'd bet an ice cream sundae at Fritz's that I'd probably forget those two verses. And why? They're amazing! Isn't Jesus simply saying that how you choose to see things effects your whole life? It's all about perception. If you have the right perspective on living (i.e. having the right Master), you will see life in a wonderful light that will bless you in every way. But if you don't have the correct perspective - bad eyes are dark eyes - it will poison everything you do.
Maybe one of the greatest treasures in life is learning to see this world the way God wants us to see it.