My guide "Word" for 2016 has been the word, "See". I have asked God to challenge me to truly look beyond the surface...to stop glancing and to really see. He has challenged me to slow down and look into peoples' eyes - to see what's on their heart. He's challenged me to see Him in all of Creation that He's given me and to not take the slightest inchworm for granted. He's challenged me to look upon my own heart and see what is really there and if I need transforming, then to submit myself to the cutting knife of the transforming surgeon's love.
As a way to wind up my year of "seeing", I would like to share excerpts of a chapter from Ann Voskamp's book, "The Greatest Gift - Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas."
"People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)
"Looking comes first," is what C.S. Lewis writes in 'The Great Divorce.' "Looking comes first if you're ever to find the life you want, if you are ever to 'see you a king.'"
Always, always - first the eyes. Joy is a function of gratitude, and gratitude is a function of perspective. You only begin to change your life when you begin to change the way you see....
It's the whole of humanity who live fixated on facades, blinded to the realest real. The shiny shell of things can bind you and blind you. It's a veiled God who elevates the veiled things: the heart, the interior, the soul. And it's a temporal world that elevates the foil and the plastic, the status and the skills, the physical and the tangible - all this concrete mirage. Humanity obsesses with vapors, not eternity...
People aren't bodies; they are hearts. We could train our eyes to turn everything inside out.
"Why should the eye be so lazy? Let us exercise the eye until it learns to see," writes G.K. Chesterton.
Let us exercise the eye until it sees through the fat of things, down to the eternal of things. Let us exercise the eye by walking with Christ.
There is this call for every Christian to answer His calling to be an ocular surgeon.
Our seeing must cut through surfaces down to souls.
You could close your eyes and ask it, see it....
Is my life about the heart of things? Is this my Christmas?
Am I deeply absorbed in Him and the heart of things? Or is my life a shallow absorption with surfaces?....
The world - it seems different these few weeks of Advent. It sees different. Each day of Advent, we enter deeper into the story of Christ...and enter deeper into Him. And it's Him who gives us eyes to really see.
To see past surfaces, to the heart of things - all the way down to the love....
The most brilliant, beautiful Person in the universe lost his physical attraction (Isaiah 53) so that we, being spiritually unsightly, could be beautiful in the eyes of God....
"O God and Father, I repent of my sinful preoccupation with the visible things. The world has been too much with me. Thou hast been here and I know it not. I have been blind to Thy presence. Open my eyes that I may behold Thee in and around me. For Christ's sake, Amen." (A.W. Tozer)
ps. It's not too late to make a Christmas contribution to Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc.
Send checks to:
103 Silver Lining Lane
Cary, NC 27513
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