Seeing life's events in the light of God's Word.

Coming Into Focus

I Corinthians 13:12- For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

Yesterday, I had my yearly eye exam. As we neared the end, the doctor had me compare a series of letters. He wanted to know which seemed clearer, “Row A or Row B.” Over and over, he presented examples until he felt certain that I’d chosen the one that helped me see the clearest.

Driving home, I thought about the Bible, God’s Word. I remembered reading about seeing through a glass, darkly, in I Corinthians.

Here is the conclusion I drew:

We read a verse or passage in the Bible by ourselves. Maybe the meaning is not all that clear.

We hear a sermon which helps us understand the words a little better.

We consult a commentary. Ah, now we begin to see a deeper meaning.

We have an opportunity to study the scripture, in depth, at a group Bible Study. Now, we have even better insight.

Finally, as we apply the principles we’ve learned, the Holy Spirit enlightens us even more.

Things come into focus.

We learn, I submit to you, in layers, over repeated exposure.

We may hear/read a certain passage multiple times and then one day we are reading at home or sitting in a church pew and all of a sudden the light dawns. “Eureka!”

Given our human limitations, we think we have uncovered a golden nugget of understanding. Even then, God’s Word tells us that we often cannot even fathom the deeper meaning He has for us.

But, He promises that we WILL someday. We WILL know Him—we WILL see Him—as He truly is.

Until then, we continue to grow and learn as we seek Him through His Word…until one day we arrive in Heaven and it all comes into focus and we SEE CLEARLY because we see Him face-to-face.

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The Man in the Mirror

I Samuel 16:7b: “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 

We recently purchased a home and are beginning a big remodeling project next week. New flooring, countertops, window coverings, faucets, appliances, painting, adding cabinetry, landscaping—even moving a wall—the list goes on and on.

Only one of these improvements has to do with functionality. The rest are 100% cosmetic.

We have renovated quite a few homes over the years. (We have moved so many times that our friends only pencil in our new addresses!) We love the physical changes we make and feel good, when we move on to our next project, having left a property “better than we found it.”

Like most people, we also make changes to our physical appearances: haircuts/highlighting, makeup, new eyeglass frames, exercises, dieting, updated clothing. Again, these are cosmetic changes, focusing on the outward appearance.

None of these are wrong. In fact, I’m grateful for every bit of help I can get! But, these things shouldn’t be the overriding focus of our attention.

The Bible says that God places His attention on what is in our hearts. So, it follows that this should also be our primary focus, too.

When we look at our hearts with God’s mirror, the Bible, what do we see? Someone that is filled with the Holy Spirit? Someone that is producing the fruits of the Spirit? (Love, Joy, Peace, Long suffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control.)

If not, a remodeling project may be just what is needed. Starting with prayer and scripture, we can make our hearts available to The Holy Spirit to do His work in our lives. Not cosmetic work that has no substance and is of no true lasting value. But, instead, allowing His power to work within us to “…to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13b)

He is pleased when we walk according to His ways, when we think of others before ourselves, when we follow His will for our lives. He helps us put things into “eternal perspective” when we focus on what’s inside.


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