Meet Jesus: Bright Eye ..GSJ8

brighteyeHe saw it, and acted on it. He spoke healing.

Matthew 6:22: The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; 23: but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

Dark Notes: Darkness represents what we need not even know. Light is the path of Jesus. Light keeps us focused on the right path. Jesus looked to the light. It wasn’t that He did not see the darkness. He saw it, and acted on it. He spoke healing. He spoke life. He spoke light. He spoke the presence of His Father. When our eyes are filtered by darkness, we see darkness darkly. That is a great darkness. When our eyes are filtered by light, we see darkness in the light. We see clearly.

Tunnel Light: Greg was ready to pray now.  As he had mulled over his own ineffectiveness and mistakes at work, repentance fill his heart.  He truly wanted to do the right thing by his staff and made that commitment to himself and God.  Over the week, he had called in different co-workers and apologized and recommitted to what they needed.  Now, he was ready to pray.  His prayer took on a violent note.  It was decisive and declarative.  He began to speak solutions into place at work.  He began to declare that God was on his side and would provide the right person.  He began to rebuke confusion and conflict and dissension that had been in the workplace.  His prayer surprised him.  His confidence that God was in it was strengthened.  Light was appearing in his tunnel.

This devotion is #8 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT! Look with light on your day today. Can you see good in a dark moment? Can you see Jesus in a good moment.

PRAY! Light of life, Father of light, open my eyes with understanding. Help my eyes to let in light to my soul. So much in this world is full of darkness, I need Your light. I need you to open for me a lighted eye that I might see the good You are doing around me. Open for me a lighted eye that I might see Jesus active in my life and those around me. Help me see the good and the positive and block out darkness from entering in with my eye lighted at all times.

Meet Jesus: Heart For Heaven …GSJ7

treasureJesus’ heart is His Father’s heart. His treasure was the will of His Father.

Matthew 6:19:Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal 20: but lay for yourselves treasures in heaven , where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Treasure House: The treasure of our heart is the treasure of our thought and word and action. Jesus’ heart was always toward heaven. His Father’s house was His continual concern. His Father’s house is still His continual concern. The gathering of men and women together into His body is about filling His Father’s table. Jesus is focused on fulfilling the heart of His Father. Jesus’ heart is His Father’s heart. His treasure was the will of His Father.

Mulled Jake: Jake mulled over his options.  The pain of continuing wrong choices plagued his quiet thoughts.  There just seemed to be no release from the pain of his mistakes.  Just then, the phone beeped.  It was Sally.  She wanted to know if he and his family would like to attend church Sunday morning with her family.  She went on rambling about praying for him all week.  He wasn’t sure he believed she would really do that.  It was a long pause as he thought over how to say no.

This devotion is #7 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT! Does the Father have a specific will for you?  Do you know it?  Do you know His heart for you?  Pursue filling His house.  Invite someone today to join you the next time you are going to a gathering of believers.

PRAY! Precious Father of life and love. I want to fill Your house with others. I want my treasure to fill up Your house. Your house is my heart. My heart is to fill up the table of blessing in Your house that You as Father would have more sons and daughters. Focus me. Help me to see Your specific will for my life and action. Help me to think of You and Your house, Your heaven first above all.

Meet Jesus: Fastened ….GSJ6

fastenerJesus is fastened to the idea that our service is to God first in private and men second in private when necessary.

Matthew 6:16: And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17: But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18: that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Fast is Slow: Jesus’ fast was always one of dealing between Him and the Father. It goes along with the old English definition of suffering. To suffer means to allow, quietly. For Jesus it was incredibly important that your dealings with the Father not be public until it was absolutely necessary. Our challenge is to be quiet about the sufferings in our lives, especially the chosen ones. Jesus is fastened to the idea that our service is to God first in private and men second in private when necessary.

 Sally’s Commitment: Sally was committed to seeing her friend blessed.  Life had been cruel to Jake.  Sure, he had made plenty of mistakes.  That was not the point.  He needed a breakthrough in his relationships and his finances.  He needed to get on solid ground to start over.  She was committed to pray for his breakthrough.  For a week, she took time every day to listen to God for Jake and pray blessing over his life.  Jake was on his way to a new life in Christ through Sally’s prayer and fastened commitment.

This devotion is #6 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT! Start a fast. Maybe just one day. Stay away from whatever food group you love the most. Do it just to draw closer to God.

PRAY! Faithful Father, in Jesus I have all the strength necessary to fast His way. I repent of being more concerned about public recognition than that for which I have fasted. Allow me Father to continue to grow strong in you. Fasten me to Your presence. Fasten in me the concept that it is Your worship that is important. It is Your recognition by me that is important.

Meet Jesus: Us Too …GSJ5

domeNo body treats me as good and forgiving as He does.  And He expects me to do the same for others.

Matthew 6:14: For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Do Me Like Jesus: Funny thing about Jesus, what His Father does, He does.  What He does, He expects us to do.  So He expects us to do like His Father.  An old song sings, “Can’t nobody do me like Jesus.  Can’t nobody do me like the Lord.”  That is true.  No body treats me as good and forgiving as He does.  And He expects me to do the same for others.

Team: Leadership was all about example to Greg.  Over and over he mulled on the characteristics he needed on the team for the new member.  They did not need to have a lot of experience leading others.  It was more important that they had experience leading themselves.  How had they handled life?  How had they advanced their skills?  How had they overlooked others’ problems in light of their own?  Could they handle rejection of ideas without personalizing?  Could they give examples of having to just accept offenses and get the job done?  

 Those thoughts pushed into his mind and challenged him in his own life.   How had he been doing in being gracious to his co-workers?  What about his family?  What about his friends?  Again, he went to prayer as he realized he was holding some things against other managers.  He needed to get those settled and forgiven in his heart before he brought on a new team member.  Otherwise, his angst would overflow onto the team.

This devotion is #5 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT! What did God forgive you of yesterday?  Who needs your forgiveness?  Write it off!  Quit looking for payback.  Set them free.  Don’t even ask them to say, “I’m sorry.”

PRAY!  Father, my hide is so tough.  I like to do things my way.  When I am honest, I know I would just like to do what I like to do.  Help me forgive and forget.  Help me not hold anything “against” another person.  Help me be like You.   Show me something to forgive today.  Help me take a burr out from under my saddle and get free.

Meet Jesus: Cleary Eyed …GSJ10

He wants us to have the dust out of our eyes so we can see clearly.

Matthew 7:5: Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

 Home Front: Mind the home front first.  Jesus is repetitive on this point.  Taking care of ourselves is His focus for us.

Windy: This area I live in has a constant wind blowing.  Sometimes the wind is 5 miles an hour.  Sometimes the wind is 25 miles an hour.  Always it is blowing dust and particles up into the air and eyes.  That can leave you bleary-eyed.  I keep a bottle of saline solution in my desk against those days when I catch something in the walk from the parking lot to the office.  It helps clear out any particle that blew in.  Even the smallest particle of dust can cause my vision to be clouded.

Clear: How can you focus when you are bleary-eyed?  Jesus wants us to be cleary-eyed.  He wants us to have the dust out of our eyes so we can see clearly.

Greg’s Hobnob: Greg’s feelings of joy were not echoed by Jake.  Greg was happy to see an old friend coming to his church.  Jake was not happy.  He and Greg had been friend’s years before.  Then Greg started hobnobbing with some do-gooders and would have nothing to do with him.  Those were painful memories for Jake.  Those emotions washed up on the shore of his mind as he walked.  Funny, how something from that long ago still affected him.  He was getting angry.  His wife was looking at him oddly wondering what was going on and what was getting ready to happen.  This is how he looked when he came home drinking.

This devotion is #10 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT!  Get some particle out.  Want is going on in your life that needs washed out?  Is someone else’s particle in your eye and you just need to be looking elsewhere?

PRAY! Father, help me be cleary-eyed.  Help me to tend to my business with You instead of worrying about others.  Surely, they have enough dust of their own.  Surely I need to keep my eyes clear.  Help me stay out of other’s activities in judgement.  Sufficient for me are the issues to which I need to tend.

Meet Jesus: Lead Away …GSJ4

Matthew 6: 13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen

 Lead Away: Temptation is everywhere.  Our eyes jump to it.  Billboards call our attention to it.  Media permeates our senses with it.  No wonder, Jesus encourages us to pray for being led away from it and the evil one that builds it.  It is enough to be tempted of our own flesh.  When the evil one gets alongside our impure desires and leads us into temptation, we can easily fall.  Jesus never fell.  He stayed tall.  Surely, looking to His Father to lead Him in safe places away from tempting situations was a key.  We need to do the same.  There is enough power and glory in His kingdom to attract us.  We don’t need to spend time in tempting situations.

Jake’s Hard Day: This had been a hard day for Jake.  While he waited for God to move, it seemed nothing would ever happen.  His job just kept getting worse and worse.  His home life kept going downhill.  What about the job Sally mentioned?  Maybe that was a place where there was less drag to the dark side.  Every Friday, Jake’s co-workers tried to get him to stop at the bar on the way home.  He loved a good beer.  Sometimes he could not resist.  He became weak.  Those were the worst nights at home.  He always drank too much and would come home light headed and heavy hearted.  His wife was losing her patience.  Jake cried to God to get him away from the influence of these friends.  It just seemed too strong for him

This devotion is #4 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT!  List your weakest points.   Where do you fail most times when tempted?    Can you change your path so you don’t enter into temptation?

PRAY! Father of Love and Mercy, where is my salvation?  Can You free me from myself?  So often, I fall into the same traps over and over and over.  I know the right thing to do.  Yet, I don’t get it done.  You know me.  You know my weak spots.  Help me, Father to avoid the temptation of life.  Deliver me from the influence of the evil one.  Build your kingdom and power and glory in me that I might live in righteousness.  Make my paths straight to walk in Your ways all the days of my life.

Meet Jesus: Forgiveness …GSJ3

allowThere is a place in Jesus where we can just sit right down and not worry about anything.

Matthew 6:12: And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

 A Place To Rest: Forgiveness feels good.   When we meet the release of guilt, we relax.  That is purposeful.  In Jesus, we find a place to relax.  Yes, He can be a place as much as our friend and God.  There is a place in Jesus where we can just sit right down and not worry about anything.  The past dissipates.  The pain of mistakes subsides.  We lay our head in His lap and great heaves of breath take away the memories.  Remember to be the same for others in Him.

Character Meets Greg:  Attitude had always been important to Greg.  As he thought of the character traits he’d like to see in the new team member, forgiveness came to the front.  This was a tough assignment for someone.  There were years of resistance to the project the team was pursuing.  Tempers would flare.  People would be upset.  This new member needed to bring some forgiveness with them. As much as they would need excellent technical and communication skills, they needed a keen attitude of not taking up grievances and not holding grudges.  Greg went back to prayer.

 This devotion is #3 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT!  Sit down with Jesus for a moment.  Just enjoy not being guilty.

PRAY! Father of Forgiveness, it just feels wonderful to be with You.  Sitting at Your right hand with Jesus is a wonderful place of release.  So many times, Father, I can get caught up in the press of the day and the pursuit of power and accomplishment.  Help me get caught up in You.  Help me get caught up in Your wonderful presence in which there is nothing but joy.

Meet Jesus : Daily Provider …GSJ2

Each means the manna for the day is enough.  Don’t worry about tomorrow’s manna.

 Matthew 6:11: Give us this day our daily bread.

 Enough: Jehovah Jireh in the Old Testament was a name for God that foreshadowed this text of prayer.  In Jesus, we meet The LORD, Our Provider.  Provider is a compound Latin word just as ji-reh is a compound Hebrew word.  Each means “to see beforehand”.  Each means that the “pro-vision” for the journey is in the path waiting for us each day.  Each means the manna for the day is enough.  Don’t worry about tomorrow’s manna.

Sure Enough: Sally had been praying for her friend for months.  The job he had was good, but not what he wanted.  Family had to take second place to every decision of the company.  Her friend, Jake, was struggling.  His marriage was strained.  His time with his kids was pressed.  He had lost many years of good time with his family.  Maybe God could provide him a different opportunity.  She was encouraged after talking with Greg.  A new opportunity in Greg’s office might be Jake’s answer.  God could provide.

 This devotion is #2 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT! Take one worry about what you will need for today and throw it away. That’s right, throw it away.  Place it on the altar of prayer and don’t look back all day.

PRAY! Jehovah Jireh, You are my vision before I get there.  You have put in my path all that is necessary for life and Godliness.  You have made me a partaker of Your divine nature.  You have ordered my steps.  You have made my lines to fall in pleasant places.  Thank You, Father, for giving me my daily bread.  Thank You that in Jesus I have all I need every day according to Your riches in glory in Him.

Meet Jesus: Transcendent …GSJ1

 

While His Father is in heaven, He talks to Him in familiar terms as if He were standing beside Him, and asks us to do the same.

Matthew 6: 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:   Our Father in heaven,  hallowed be Your name.  10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

 Building Transcendence:  Jesus is at once at home in heaven and on earth.  He is transcendent.  He easily moves back and forth in His thought and access.  While His Father is in heaven, He talks to Him in familiar terms as if He were standing beside Him, and asks us to do the same.  While there is a will of God declared in heaven, He expects it to be walked out fully here on earth.  He is transcendent.  He refuses to be held away from the best His Father has for Him.

Greg’s Transcendent Moment: The decision for the new team member was looming.  As the team succeeded, it became evident they would need an added member.  Who would join?  Would they fit the group?  How could they find the right person?  Greg moved to prayer.  He needed divine wisdom.  Surely God was aware this need would arise before this day.  Surely God would provide.  As Greg quieted himself in his office in prayer, his phone rang.  Sally was calling.  She had a friend looking for a position similar to what the team needed.

 This devotion is #1 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT!  What is it you need to transcend? To get over and above?  To do it like it is done in heaven not as it is on earth?  Start acting the part.

PRAY! Father, I need You to transcend my life.  So often, I am tied to my earthly expectations, joys, and achievements.  It is hard for me to transcend with Jesus and see what You see and do what You do and fulfill Your will spoken in heaven here on earth.  Help me to transcend with Jesus and live to the fulness of Your will and presence here on earth.  I commit, Father, to see Your will done on earth in my life as it is in heaven