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What Do You See?




Theme: Focusing our thoughts on Jesus.


There is an experiment you can perform with any audience or individual person. This

involves a piece of paper or a slide with a vast area of white with just a tiny red dot

somewhere in the space. The red dot does not have to be in the middle of page but can

be placed anywhere in the white area. When you ask your audience what they see,

most will answer, “A red dot”, disregarding the much larger white area.

Much like this experiment, many of us ignore the the great blessings and Grace of God

while focusing on our hardships and trials. We become so focused on the “red dots” of

our lives that we make them much bigger than they actually are, especially in relation to

the promises of God through Jesus Christ. This is true for not only our lives, but how


we see all creation. When we focus on the trials or negative things in life, we fail to see

the vastness of God’s provisions, love, and blessings for us and the world around us.

We must train our eyes and our minds to see the vast area of white in our lives and the

red dot will grow increasingly imperceptible. By doing so, we will go from a state of

“woe is me” into a state of continuous gratitude, and it will change our entire way of

living, as we see ourselves as blessed and our world as a good world in need of

restoration, rather than an evil world that we should distance ourselves from.

John Henry Jewett (1864-1922) was a prominent English pastor and teacher who

founded and pastored churches in both England and America. He once said, “Gratitude

is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic”. To take what Pastor Jewett said and

applying it to a Pastor Dave Lutz’ sermon this past Sunday, we can say that, by focusing

on that which is praiseworthy we are inoculated against the disease of bitterness and

resentment. By focusing on what is true we counteract the lies of the evil one who tells

us that trials are proof that God has abandoned us. By focusing on that which is lovely

we sterilize our thoughts of all the germs of discontentment and hate.

The negative form of this instruction would say, “Avoid stinkin thinkin”, however, let’s

remain positive and learn from an old and beautiful hymn:


Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.


 


Scripture: Philippians 4:8 (NIV)


“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,

whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”


Scripture: Proverbs 17:22 (NIV)


"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."



 

Prayer:


Lord, your blessings, mercy and love are so vast and so full, yet I too often choose to focus on the trials in life, the bad news and the evil. I almost seem to take refuge in my troubles and the troubles of others, as if that is the reality of this life. Oh, Holy Spirit, work in me to see life through your eyes, as if I am looking through Jesus’ eyes, in the way He sees us and creation. Train me to see the vastness of your blessings instead of the red dot of trials and problems. In Christ’s Name I pray, Amen and Amen.

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