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FOCUS! Keeping Our Eyes on Jesus in a Near-Sighted World (Part 5)

My optometrist friend says he doesn’t understand atheists. “If they only knew what I know about the human eye,” he says, “they would abandon their atheism in a New York minute!”

But one writer says, “The human eye is a highly evolved structure of our anatomy and has many coexisting and interdependent elements.” Evolved?

Let’s think about some fun facts on the eye:  The eye is the second most complex organ in our body (after the brain). Our eyes are made up of more than 2 million operational parts which can process 36,000 bits of information per hour! Human eyes are capable of focusing at 50+ things at any given second. Human eyes have the fastest lens known to mankind. They are way faster than any known camera lens. While camera lenses take a few seconds to focus on objects at different distances, human eyes can adjust focus almost instantly without any noticeable lag.

Human eyes are the only organs in whole body that NEVER rest. Their performance never alters even with non-stop functioning. However, the muscles controlling the eyes and eyelids need rest. It is because of this that eyes blink.
There are 107 million cells in a single eye that are sensitive to light. This means that there are 214 million photosensitive cells in two eyes.

The eye muscles are the strongest in our body; We blink 25,000 times a day; the human eye is an incredible organ that can distinguish over 10 million different colors. And — last fun fact — no human in this world can sneeze without closing eyes.

The sentence that struck me the most in the above description of the human eye was “Human eyes are capable of focusing at 50+ things at any given second.” In this post we want to think about how we lose our FOCUS on the Lord Jesus due to the many distractions in the world.

We all suffer spiritually from a condition we might call a kind of ADD — Attention Deficit Disorder. We are deficient in directing the primary attention of our lives toward the Lord Jesus. And it is a disorder. We come into life broken, needing salvation, and desperately lacking the fundamental determination to orient our lives around the Creator.

THREE DISTRACTIONS: Let’s think about the first of three distractions this morning. We know from Scripture that our three enemies are the world, the flesh, and the devil. How does the world distract us from focusing on the Lord Jesus? Easy. It throws at us enticing, pleasing, captivating visuals that are often hard to turn away from.

Babysitting three of our grandchildren the other day, I decided to put on a cartoon for them. They were mesmerized! They could not take their eyes off that show. And we adults are no better.

You need to know that I’m not anti-entertainment. But it’s hard to give our attention to Jesus when our eyes are glued to that rectangular object that gives off a blue glow.

May I ask you this morning — How much television do you “watch”? I’m reminded of Norman Cousins’ statement when he said, “When and if American civilization collapses, historians of a future generation will sneer, ‘They entertained themselves to death.’” (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2020 in attention

 

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FOCUS! Keeping Our Eyes on Jesus in a Near-Sighted World (Part 3)

“Teacher eyes.” That’s what you call them. A concentrated stare that will melt the face of any pre-teen or teenager who dares to look into those laser-focused eyes.

My wife has “teacher eyes.” They have come in very handy during her years of being a high school teacher. And, sometimes, when I’ve done something bad, she turns those eyes on me and . . .

There are a variety of words we use when we are talking about our eyes’ doing what they are supposed to do: stare, bore into, glance, dart, peek, gaze, etc.

We are thinking one more day about this amazing text in Hebrews 12. There we read —

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

By faith we see this “great cloud of witnesses” who have predeceased us. We observe ourselves and “throw off everything that hinders” us in this race which is “marked out for us.” We focus our eyes on the life-track before us and we determine to “run with perseverance” that race. And we “fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

But wait! Are we talking about real objects, real people that can be seen with our physical eyes? No. That “great cloud of witnesses” is presently with the Lord Jesus. But, by faith, we recognize their example in walking by faith and not by sight! We don’t physically remove clothing (strip down) to run our race. This is a metaphor for getting serious about living out the Christian life God has purposed for us. And we don’t literally see a race track with lines and other racers. And, sadly, we don’t actually see our Savior at the end of the track urging us on.

Unless we understand that “fixing our eyes on Jesus” means living by faith. It means seeing those things that are eternal but are not presently visible to our human eyes. It means turning our gaze from the many enticing sights of the world to consciously directing our attention to the “pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

It is certainly counter-intuitive to speak of fixing our eyes on something or Someone we cannot actually see. But the term “see” is often used, not of physical vision, but of careful consideration, determined concentration, focused attention. And that’s what we are to give to the Lord Jesus.

And our looking to and at Him reminds us of His great sacrifice for us. Amazingly the writer to the Hebrews describes Christ’s atoning mission as “the JOY set before him.” We will think about that JOY in our next post. (to be continued)


 


 
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Posted by on January 1, 2020 in vision

 

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