Not Blind

John 9: 25

The man responded, “I don’t know if he’s a sinner or not. But I do know one thing. I used to be blind, but now I can see.”

Jesus healed a blind man. Of course, the Pharisees’ response was to scoff at them both, even accusing Jesus of being a sinner. “Well,” said the blind man, “that may or may not be but this I know, he healed me.” Of course, that was a paraphrase the point being, the blind man, now the seeing man, was not interested in the Pharisees’ theology or judgments. He was interested in the reality of having been blind from birth but given his sight by Jesus. That is the fruit of God’s theology, setting people free.

In this story, the man was literally blind, but it can be equally applied to all who are figuratively blind for which we all qualify at one time or another. Sometimes we are blind to a certain issue or person, but it doesn’t matter because Jesus came to give us sight in every aspect of life.

This is part of Jesus’ lordship. He intends to have an active role in our lives, daily. One function of his role is to lead us into increasing knowledge, awareness and revelation. He does not intend that being Lord means that he sits upon a throne and awaits servants who will bow and kowtow. He doesn’t need or want that. It isn’t all about worship. That may sound outlandish to you. We are to worship our Lord, sure, but not because he is a weak self-esteemed ego maniac. He doesn’t need our worship. We do. And it is just and proper for he has certainly earned much praise. What he longs for, though, is the day by day partnership. Every time something blinds you, he wants to step in right then and remove the shingles. He cannot though. He is bound by your will so he must await an invitation. He will attempt to speak to you, but he will not invade your space. He is not allowed and wouldn’t violate it under any circumstance.

We have to redefine the idea of Jesus’ lordship in our generation. The story of the former blind man shows us he way. We needn’t be hung up on theology or religion. All that is needful is a simple request. Lord, show me my blind side. Enlighten me and lead me daily as my lord and best friend. Amen.

Check-up

Luke 6: 46

And why do you call Me “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say?

I have this verse highlighted in my Bible and every now and again it just jumps out at me. I kind of wish I had not highlighted it. Then again, it is a good question the Lord Jesus poses and one that is worthy of repeated consideration. How am I doing, today, at following his words?

I am not the only Christian who stumbles here. It is quite easy to settle into a comfortable, if a bit apathetic, routine with the Lord. We are supposed to zealously follow Jesus but it is difficult to retain that zeal on a day by day basis if we are not purposeful about it. The world and life intervene. There are many things we must do and it is so easy for that myriad of obligations and just daily life to take our eyes off of our first love. Then we have to wake ourselves up and look at our priorities. When that event occurs, I think the question we must ask ourselves is, “Am I truly doing what Jesus said?” It seems to me that this question must be answered at two levels. The first and most obvious as well as most important is, “Am I doing all that is recorded in the Bible?” Some people might ask that question differently to essentially limit the assessment to the red letter portion of the New Testament. I believe that to be error because Jesus is the Word. He is the whole Word so when the Bible says in the Psalms to trust the Lord that is every bit as strong an edict as something printed in red ink. So, are we, am I, doing all that Jesus has directed me to do in the Bible?

The second inquiry is into those things God has specifically spoken into my life. Am I following the dietary instruction He has given me? Am I following the course He has laid out for me? Did I give what He told me to give? Did I apologize to that person He told me to apologize to? Basically, this question represents the directions God has given to you pertaining directly to your life.

How are you doing? This is a challenging process but it helps us get back on track if we have slipped a little and it helps us refocus on whom we actually serve as our Lord. As Jesus says, if I am not following what He has told me to do, then how can I really say He is my Lord? It hurts a bit to realize how disobedient I have been but oh, it feels so much better once I realize the truth and apologize to Jesus. We get to start again and he holds no grudge. He is so good.

So, give yourself a check-up. Regardless of the answers, it really does bring life and light into your life and we all need that.

Daily Declaration

Psalm 67: 19

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the God who is our salvation [Selah].

What is salvation? So many times we have a narrow perspective on salvation. We often limit its scope to being saved from hell. Of course, that is one of the inclusions of the word salvation but these Old Testament writers had a much more complete understanding of salvation.

The word salvation, according to Strong’s, means “something saved, deliverance; hence aid, victory, prosperity; – health, help, welfare.” Therefore, God is our daily deliverance, aid, help, victory, prosperity, health and welfare. Does that put a different perspective on today’s verse? 

The word “Selah” means to stop, pause and consider. We are supposed to stop here as if this verse is a crescendo and ponder its meaning. When we do we notice that this little 15 word sentence is loaded with power and good news. One of the takeaways is that God bears our burdens. Another is that God is our salvation. We also see that it is possible for us to bless the Lord. There is at least one more though. That is that this burden shifting salvation occurs on a daily basis. There may be a revelation in there. It is not enough that I gave Jesus my heavy burdens yesterday. I must meet Him again this morning and pronounce his lordship over my life today. That is like fireworks going off in the sky above me. 

Every day we proclaim that Jesus is our Lord.  From that reality easily flows the daily laying down of our burdens. It becomes almost automatic to give him our worries, deadlines and cares when we begin with a daily declaration of his lordship over our lives.

I hope this revelation sets you free in at least one aspect of your life. Proclaiming his lordship over our lives daily unleashes his power into our day. It gives his angels assignments for our benefit. Maybe this gives the understanding and motivation for getting up five minutes early so that we can speak with Jesus and declare him as Lord today.

I Know the Way

John 14: 6

I am the way . . .

This is more than a salvation message; it is for everyday.

Jesus is the way to heaven. We all know that but he is also the solution to everyday problems. It is so easy for our life with Jesus to slip into the background. Everyday has so much of its own busyness and trials that those things end up in the foreground of our minds. Increasingly our walk with Jesus ends up being a passive relationship. Well, Jesus wants to know that not only can he help with all of the matters of the day but also that he is willing. In fact, he is more than willing. He wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives.

Our work life is harder than it need be. Jesus said he can take that burden and make it light (Matthew 11: 28 – 30). I keep proving this to myself because the days that I really give to the lord and allow him to lead me all day are amazingly less challenging than the days which I do in my own strength. Some days I just go straight to my computer and start working without even pausing to say, “Good morning Lord.” Man, that is a predictor of how the day is going to go. On those days it seems that I work hard all day and get little accomplished. Then there are the other days when I really do let him be Lord of my day. The ease of those days is almost measurable. So, I wish I would learn this lesson once and for all – give the Lord everything; invite him into everything I do. 

He is the way to handle your family, your occupation, your workout, and even your leisure. He is the way for diet, time management and your spiritual life. He can (and will) give you shortcuts throughout the day because he can do in a second what you cannot do in a whole day. The more we fill up Dad’s inbox, the more He likes it and the better our lives go. He fills us with a holy ease and that is good. Whatever you are doing today, stop for a moment and check in with him. See if he has any advice or guidance. Give him your day and he will give you back good fruit.