How's Your Sight?
We get there 2nd Kings chapter 6 verse 8 is where you can go to and just keep your finger there and we'll get to it at the end.
Is it the optometrist a few weeks ago and I think I pulled some of the story but now y'all get to hear it. I was at the optometrist a couple weeks ago and I was getting my eyes checked and you know going through the whole thing and you are getting air blown in your eyes and take pictures your eyes and then I'll bet and instead the you know, that's a nay. That's a bee. That's a you know, that's a cat and so we get there and then we go through and then she comes back with the test. Chill. Here. We are in this is what your eyes are liking and I think you need some new lenses. We need to update your prescription a little bit. And then she says these words Which Wich floored me because I'm not ready to hear these words. She says, you know at your age,
I wasn't ready to hear that and then she said something else after that which I don't know what it was because I didn't hear anything else after that. You know what your age
But my age apparently I need more let better lenses and they're not bifocals. I guess they're in between 5:30 trainer bifocal training wheels, I guess but but at my age, I need them and age. Start thinking about site. How's your site? What are we looking at? What are our eyes like right now? How do we see the world?
I want two things. I started thinking about it. Obviously, you know, what what kind of dominates our thoughts and dominates the new cycle is the pandemic and and you know, there's been a lot of talk with different things one of the things about faith healers and how this is really showing out Faith healers to be foremost going to be the charlatans that they are but thinking about signing thing about faith. You never trust a faith healer who wears glasses. Right cuz like, you know you wouldn't. But how is our site? How is our site? Is it clouded by worry? Is it distorted by lies that we believed? Or maybe it's grown dim. Grand Am with with age Grand Am with with the things of the world
Maybe our site is good, but it's been fixed upon other things. Fixed upon the wrong things. It's been pull away from what we should be looking at two things that the world wants us to look at.
But what should our eyes be fixed upon? How should we see? What should we see?
It's wrote the gospels. Jesus healed numerous people with blindness. And this was a sign of the Messiah 3 find all through the Old Testament the Lord will open the eyes of the blind. This is all through the Old Testament, Isaiah. 35:5 is one placed and it says say to those who have an anxious heart be strong fear. Not your God will come with vengeance and the recompense of God. He will come and save you then the eyes of the blind shall be opened and ears the deaf unstopped. Then the lame man shall leap like a deer in the tongue of the mute sing for joy. And again, Isaiah 42. I am the Lord I have called you in righteousness. I will take you by the hand and keep you I will give you as a covenant for the people a light for the Nations to open the eyes that are blind to bring out the prisoners in the dungeon from the prison those who sit in darkness. Jesus himself quotes. This is part of his mission and look for that. He's here to Open the Eyes of the blind. He's here to bring give the prisoners freedom. And his miracles of of sight serve a number of purposes. They confirm one. They confirm his identity there proof of his identity. They confirm his message to be true because he was the Lord of you give sight to the blind. They they testified was identity of the Messiah and in fact to his identity is Yahweh In the Flesh God In the Flesh. Bill's metaphysical meaning that the sickness and infirmity will ultimately not be part of the inaugurated kingdom of God, which was starting to break into the world through Jesus.
And I had a spiritual one as well. Because opening eyes means seeing the truth. perceiving the truth Jesus says to his disciples you have eyes, but you still don't see. Do you not see do you not perceive?
And similarly talks about having ears but not hearing. What is talked about opening eyes means understanding the truth being enlightened right having our eyes open? We still use that same figure of speech. I had my eyes opened to this. This means a lot more than just physical sight. We're not talking about that. You know, I finally was able to see you know this but no I was actually able to understand I was able to perceive and and right now the latest term and you've heard this term being thrown around is being woke which is terrible grammar, but that's what it is. The term has woke your being woke as if people have been sleeping with their eyes closed to what's going on in the world. And of course this term now is used for a very specific type of being able to perceive things being able to see things a very specific type of social justice or social Marxism not necessarily having your eyes open to the objective ultimate truth of the universe. Talk to check our vision then if it were going to check our vision we're going to have vision test today. The first thing we need to do is go to the one who can open their eyes. Is go to the one who can who can help us to see you can make us see the first thing we need to do is go to Jesus.
He's the one who opens eyes. Keith truth it's we can open our eyes to the truth. He comes to us to walk around in darkness and he brings the light of Truth the light of Holiness and salvation to us and he opens our eyes to see it and perceive it.
Too often we go elsewhere. We grow distant to God. We grow comfortable in our faith. cool in our zeal and we start to look to other places to fix our vision.
We need to return to Christ. We need to look to Christ to fix our vision again. And again, we need to come to him.
There's a really interesting story in the gospel of Matthew. This is Matthew 9:27 231. I was going to read it quickly for you. As Jesus went on from there. Two Blind Men followed him calling out have mercy on us son of David. When You're Gone indoors the blind man came to him and asked them do you believe that I'm able to do this Yes, Lord, they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said according to your faith. Let it be done to you. And their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly see that no one knows about this, but they went out and spread the news about him all over that region. Read not. I was especially struck by this question. Jesus poses to the blind, man. Do you believe? That I'm able to do this.
Assuring the gospel the other day with the with someone I just met and I found myself thinking how can I State this so that they'll accept it. What do they need to hear right now? What can I say the Dell hear it? And it might not sound like an issue to you when I put it that way and honestly, it's it's not in a certain issue to say well, how am I going to tell this person the gospel in a way that they can hear it way they can receive but there's really nothing wrong with that the issue behind it was my heart.
I wasn't trusting in the Holy Spirit. To be able to do what he said he would do. I was trusting in myself. That I needed to say the right words. I needed to have the right thing to say I needed to somehow reach this person where he was so I needed to do the things.
It was all up to me.
And I had to repent. And I have to get right with God after that. It was a really convicting experience a really convicting experience. and then in my reading I come across this passage.
And I read that question. Do you believe I'm able to do this?
So we talked about the spiritual battle that were in we talk about how we want God to save Souls we talked about how Jesus is the hope of the world and I came across this passage in the question was talking right to me Steve. Do you believe that I am able to do this?
I'm embarrassed to say in that moment. When I was sharing the gospel the person the answer for me was no.
I believe I need to do it. All right.
No, Jesus, I don't believe you're able. I believe you need my help.
the heart positioned so sinful
good wrestled control and it tries. Anyway, you don't actually get to wrestle control away from God, but I tried to wrestle control away from God and put it in my hand. If I just said the right thing if I just said what was right, then I would save this person.
I was putting it in my hands. I don't believe you can do it God and honestly. That statement. I don't believe you can do it contributes to pretty much all of the control issues in our lives. And maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm just speaking to me, but it contributes to the control issues in my life. Let me do it. Because deep down I don't believe you can
And see it's a good question. Not just for me, but for all of us with all kinds of programs all kinds of tools all kinds of processes all kinds of ways to share the gospel.
Do we truly believe that Jesus is sufficient to save people.
Do we really believe that Jesus is powerful enough to save without any help from our Pro.
We really believe the gospel is sufficient. Or have our eyes. Gunsmoke Loudoun so pulled away by other things. We've come to believe. The Jesus needs to save in a certain way as long as people come to the alpha program and follow the ten sessions in and say this and do this and we got to feed him first. We got to get my sweater first and we got to do this and the gospel that itself is enough.
Do we really have a supernatural faith that God can and will move in the hearts and minds of people.
So much is made of the so-called Social Gospel and we got to take care of the body before we have permission to speak truth to the soul. And like any perversion of the Gospel, there's a nugget of Truth there that we should be Salt and Light in the world. We need to be God's images on the world. This requires us to communicate his love and his grace and concrete ways. We are to take care of our neighbors where to take care of widows and orphans to bring Justice and help to those in need.
But that is not the message of salvation.
That is not a requirement for preaching the gospel.
Do you think the Social Gospel is sometimes easier? Because we can trust in our own hands to serve a bowl of soup and know that it's going to feel someone's belly.
But it's much harder. The trust in God's hands to raise a dead center to life.
but the truth is the truth is what's hard for us to trust that God is infinitely more able to save a sinner. Did we already even serve a bowl of soup?
We believe he can do this. Do we believe that Jesus saves that he is able even Beyond or even despite our best efforts?
Lot of the answer to this question comes down to a vision right now. What do we see? What do we see right now? When we look at ourselves? What do we see when we look in the mirror? What do we see?
Do we see a sinner saved by grace?
Do we see a blind man? Who's been given site? a beggar who's been given bread a dead woman who's been made alive
princess of what we are we see ourselves of the Sons and Daughters of the most high. a Saints Is Children of the Lord? What we are.
We were once enemies of God. We were once in Rebellion against him. We were living for ourselves and you can frame that however you want. But it's true. That's what we used to be. Nothing you have done made you deserving of his love and nothing you do now makes you deserving as a of his continued faithfulness.
We can't lose sight of this. We don't get to put it in the rearview mirror. That was back then.
Release Me in the mirror every morning a sinner saved by grace adopted redeemed forgiven saved saved by the grace of God Alone forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, which was sufficient is sufficient for all of mine all of your sins. And there's nothing else that is. There's nothing else in this world that can atone for our sins.
Our greatest need was never a bowl of soup.
It was always this. We needed to be reconciled to God.
We're so enslaved by the tyranny of the present. Do we have such a poor vision of Eternity?
We're so enslaved by the tyranny of the present that we have such a poor vision of Eternity. What does the Bible say? Their lives are like grass. But the word of the Lord stands forever.
What's the war in the middle of it warm in the midst of it doesn't feel like that. We're in the middle of a pandemic that's raging through the world. It doesn't feel like that.
It doesn't feel like Who's going to be late? Later? doesn't feel like
God is really in control. It doesn't feel like
what are we going to look at?
See this this being consumed by the tyranny of the present what is happening right now? Is such fertile soil for sin?
I want to satisfy my immediate Desire with no regard for the future. It's such fertile soil for sin to indulge our wants now to trade everything for a moment of fleeting happiness now.
the feed the body today in star of the Eternal Soul
and maybe we're able to see ourselves this way and maybe all it takes a reminder to see ourselves this way what's our next question is how do we see the world what's the greatest need of the world
what's the greatest need of those around you
and again we can get wrapped up in the tyranny of the present and say the greatest need of those around me right now is fellowship is friendship because the isolation is so bad. Now we said it needed the people around us. Absolutely it is we can't lose sight of it. What is that the greatest need of our neighbors?
When you look around the world, do you see a mostly in perfect system? It just needs a few tweaks.
From your favorite political party. Are you favorite ideology?
Do you see someone in perfect people whose greatest needs is just a little bit of help so they can be happy. If we can just get that person a little bit of help. We just give him a leg up. To be taken care of that's their greatest need.
or when you look around do you see people? Who been blinded?
Do you see people who are lost? I need to be found. people who are dead I need to be made a life. people who are under Wrath I need forgiveness.
Do you see people who are in Rebellion to God? Held captive by spiritual forces of darkness and desperately need to hear the gospel.
Then we don't see the world in a Biblical way.
Then our vision has been clouded and distorted by the world.
I think it's a church in Canada. We badly need to correct our vision. We need to see the world for what it is the world for the way it is we seem to see the church for what it is the decline and the marginalization of the church in our world has had disastrous effects. And the decline and marginalization has been driven mostly by two forces one has been the secularization of society and two has been the disregard and denigration of the bride of Christ the church by Christians themselves.
If we don't see the church is vitally important and vital essential for us. Why should anybody else? Why would anybody else see it is important if it's not important for us?
And yet we see Christian after Christian after Christian put down the church.
You know, look at her look at the church is failing in this way.
the bride of Christ
how to bring my bride up here First to bring D up here. And we all sat in the audience.
And we just poked out. all the little imperfections
How would I feel?
And we do that with the church.
The church isn't just right. The church isn't just perfect. A little too warm in there flu too cold in there. I didn't really like that song this week. It's kind of boring sometimes. Pastor doesn't like kale don't like we just spoke all these safe.
We start poking it and if we're going to do that as Christians, what's the world going to think of the church?
Is the world going to think of that Miss Dad we build it up? You know, we're not perfect Church. You don't answer the body. We're not perfect. Right we fall short we make mistakes. We say things that are that are inconsiderate. We say things we just don't mean
We take things in a way that's not gracious. We're not perfect. None of us are.
for forgiving we're saved we're redeemed. It's not a choice not a drudgery to come together.
The light cuz every week is like a family reunions. 3 week is like getting together with our family again. And yeah, we can't do all the things we used to do. We still got to come together. And when are we going to come together personally, or maybe in the future? We have to come together virtually. Stupid to come together. We still get to be together.
And here's the thing and it maybe maybe this is really scary. And maybe you're the God don't like that. We can be together forever.
We're going to be together forever. And we're going to be with God forever.
I'm only can terrorize away from the tyranny of the present. And set them on eternity.
Eventually something start to melt away. It doesn't mean we stop living now. It just means we stop living just for now.
And so we know why the world doesn't see. Paul tells us in 2nd Corinthians 4 3 2 6 he says even if our gospel is veiled is veiled to those who are perishing in their case the God of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel and the glory of Christ. Who's the image of God for what we Proclaim is not ourselves. But Jesus Christ is Lord with ourselves as your servants for Jesus sake for God who said let the light shine out of Darkness has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. You might read that and wince. Really? All the unbelievers have been blinded by the God of this world.
Raymond Paul's talk about that. He's talking about evil spiritual forces.
It sounds pretty judgy. That's pretty harsh.
What's the word of God?
We believe it.
We believe that unbelievers have actually been blinded by the God of this world or do we think they're just generally pretty good people. Which maybe they are. Maybe they're great people lot of mar. Doesn't mean they're not blind. Etsy this is our motivation to share. Because they are good people a lot of them most of them. They are worthwhile. They are made in the image of God.
And that's that's why we want to share. That's why we want to share the light that gets Paul said that Sean in our hearts. That's what you want to share the knowledge of the glory of God in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We don't Proclaim ourselves. We don't ever point to ourselves and say look at me if you were just like me your life would be peachy.
We point them to Jesus.
Because the world apart from Christ is perishing in darkness. Blinded by the God of this world who's in Rebellion against the God who created everything. It's so by patience and by Holiness we share and we show. We trust that God will open their eyes and they'll see we don't hate them or revile them. But we show kindness and love and yeah, the world needs more love. More love than even we can give. I can say all the world needs is love. What's were talking about the love of Christ?
But the world certainly doesn't need less love.
Brittany's love of God through his chilling through Jesus Christ on the cross.
princesses hard because it requires trusting what we cannot see it requires seeing what we cannot see
We kind of did that last week when we stood up and looked around at each other? I saw the mark of the Lamb on each and every one of us.
But it requires trusting that the word of God is active enable that God is active enable in our world. These powerful that he's effective at all the promises in the Bible about God being with us are true. Even when we can't see it or even we can't perceive it because he's promised that he's with us.
It requires changing our vision.
This is hard when your eyes have been dimmed and our eyes have been clouded.
We just as Jesus Calls the church in Ephesus Revelation. He talked to the church in Ephesus and he calls them to return to their first love. Let Us return again to our first love The vision we had it first when Jesus consumed us when we were on fire with faith when our eyes were clear and our eyes were Sharp.
And so will we trust the Jesus can open the eyes of the world? Will we trust that what we have been given by God is true.
I'm going to read one last scripture to wrap up this morning. And this is where you had your finger the whole time 2nd Kings verse 8. 2nd Kings chapter 6 verse 8 now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers. He said I will set up my camp in such and such a place. The man of God sent word to the king of Israel just as an aside, by the way. I love that right. I'll set up my camp in such and such a place like doesn't matter. Anyway, the man of God sent where do the king of Israel beware of passing that place the such-and-such a place because the arameans are going down there. So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God time and again Elijah Warren the king so that he was on his guard and such places. This is Rage the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them. Tell me which of us is on the side of the king of Israel. None of us my Lord the king said one of his officers that Elijah the prophet who is and Israel tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom. To find out where he is the king ordered him so I can send men and capture him. Report came back. He's in Dauphin. But he said horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning and army with horses and chariots. It surrounded the city-owned. Oh my Lord. What shall we do with server nest?
Don't be afraid. the prophet answered those who are with us. armoire Then those who are with them.
Did Elijah prayed? Open his eyes Lord. So that he may see.
Then the Lord Open the servant's Eyes. And he looked around. And he saw the hills full of horses. full of Chariots of Fire all around Elijah
Those who are with us. Are more than those who are with them?
Open your eyes. Look around.
God is with us.
He's with us.
Whatever else surrounds us.
too often we get so wrapped up because we can see all the bad stuff in the world so clearly It seems so much easier to see the forces of Darkness bearing down around us. It seems so much easier to see the enemies of God surrounding us. It seems so much easier to see all our problems and all our issues in all the Terrible Things.
Open our eyes Lord. We may see.
We don't need to worry.
when we look to the Future when we look around us.
Times may be hard. We may become more marginalized. We may become more persecuted. Our way of life might change dramatically. We might be attacked.
We're not alone.
We're never won't God is with us God fights for us. You know what? We would find if we continue reading that pasture to 2nd Kings. Those horses and Chariots of Fire. They don't do anything in that Passage. They don't do anything in that Passage. Because the very next thing it says the enemy came down to warn him Elijah prayed to the Lord strike this army with blindness. So he struck them with blindness at Elijah task. You know what that tells me even though we can look around and we can see that there are those are with us are more than those her with them that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses by armies of Angels by Legions of his loyal holy ones. All we need is the Lord. All we need is the Lord. Biscuit Sable and he is mighty and he fights for us. And we only need to fix our eyes upon him pull your vision rent your vision away from the things of the world see with the eyes of your heart. See with the eyes of faith.
Set my age where I need new glasses so I can see the world more clearly.
at our age
let the Lord be our vision.
Let's return to him and have our side adjusted believe his words see the world through his truth, which is the truth. friends look around
those who are with us are more than those who are with them. The Lord will prevail. Fix your eyes upon him up on things above not on things below. Because we fix our eyes on the things of the world. It's going to Shirley depress us. But if we fix our eyes on the things of the Lord He will lift our heads.
So my question is for us this morning. How is your site? Can think about this week? Let's pray.
Father God I pray for us. But at least you would Elisha prayed for his servant. Lord open our eyes That we may see.
In Jesus name amen.
Will you stand and sing?