John 13:1 Now, before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
Christ-like servant leaders are motivated by love to serve others. Jesus’ love was undeserved, unending, unconditional, and unselfish. It was not the worthiness or the merits of the disciples that drove Jesus to serve them. He wasn’t expressing gratitude but grace. Love made Him serve His disciples. Think about it; Jesus even washed the feet of Judas, the man who would betray Him and have Him killed the next day. Friends, can you imagine a love like this?
Don’t let the title fool you. We’re not talking about an amusement park where you watch killer whales and dolphins jump out of the water, and allowed a hands-on experience with some marine life. I’m talking about seeing the world as it really is—fun most of the time like an amusement park, but it’s also serious as a heart attack.
Each one of us looks at everything a little differently, that’s why there are never two stories exactly alike. Drag racing can reveal an eyewitness account of a mishap as an excellent example. Ten people saw the exact same thing, yet everyone has a little different perspective about it. Why? Because the world we see is not perfect. The channel between our eyes and our thinking process is not perfect. Our brain is not perfect as it records what we sometimes only believe to be true.
The human brain can be tricked into believing something that’s fiction—not fact. A good example is when a car literally crashed through our backyard block wall. The sound of the crash woke me up at 1:40 am, and immediately I observed our backyard patio light was on—but we did not leave the light on when we went to bed.
With the rude awakening by the thunderous crash, the first thing that caught my attention was the patio light was on. So, I told myself the patio light was on, as I could see some light through the blinds. But as soon as I turned to walk into the living room to see what all the commotion was, the light went out. I almost freaked-out! Thinking someone had broken into our house because as the only light switch for the patio light is inside our house.
After carefully rounding the corner of the bedroom door and peaking into the living room, I could see out the back windows that a car had crashed through the back wall. What an awakening!
Two days later I was watching a TV show called “Brain Games,” and it demonstrated how we can trick our own brain into thinking that what we see really isn’t as it seems. I then realized the light I saw was in reality the cars’ headlights (which went off). But my first thought was the patio light, so that was what my brain claimed it was. I freaked thinking someone was in our home because I saw and perceived something that wasn’t what I alleged it to be.
Slight differences of angles, distances, soberness, eyesight, wisdom, remembrance, speech, and brain capacity all cause people to view what they saw from a wide-ranging viewpoint, then try and explain it to someone else to understand. A family member, a fan, and a fanatic all have various explanations of what they see when a drag racing machine motors down the track. What do we really see in a 3.5 second run?
You see, in reality, we all see dimly through a smoke colored lens. Some are really smoky, and some are barely clouded. The Bible speaks about what we think we see, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the glory of Christ, who is the image of God,” (2 Corinthians 4:4). The enemy has rendered us partially blind as we reside in this world, tricking us into believing everything we see is the way it is.
Seeing a drag boat rocketing down the liquid quarter mile (oh yea it’s a 1000’ now) is a sight to behold, and we’ve all seen it hundreds of times. We can visualize it as we think about a Top Fuel Hydro thundering across the water with header flames belching out from the exhaust.
That scene is an awesome sight to see with our eyes. But the Bible tells us to, “Fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal,” (2 Corinthians 4:18). Our eyes and our minds can play tricks on what we see, what we remember, and how we tell the tale. But, the spiritual person—the Christian—will see things from an entirely different perspective than a non believer.
When someone is under the influence of a mind-altering substance (drugs or alcohol), they even see things that are not actually there. Is it their eyes that see these things, or is it their brain that thinks it sees these things? I know from experience back in the B.C. days (Before Christ) some of the things I witnessed at the drag races really were not what actually happened. But my mind says I saw those images and they’re still imbedded in my memory banks.
Many of the alleged sights in those days were seen in enhanced “Technicolor.” In those moments (actually hours) everything seemed to be extra vivid in appearance. At least my brain thought it was visualizing the surrounding environment in enhanced Technicolor.
In those instances, the colors were figuratively jumping out of the paint; the motors were harmonizing syrupy sounds; the motion of the vehicles were vivid yet erratic and somewhat scary, and the thought of what was happening was quite wild…far from mild…thinking this guy was dialed…bearing in mind my sin simply piled…then somewhat beguiled…eventually seeing that eternal life through Christ was filed.
When I think about how humans view God’s Word and God’s world, He would like us to see it in heavenly Technicolor. Adam and Eve probably viewed everything this way until they fell from grace—then they could only see what the world looked like from their fallen human perspective.
God had placed them in an environment where everything was perfect and it was crystal clear as to what they were seeing. But their eyes (and their minds) started to deceive them by telling them they could see much better if they disobeyed God’s orders. “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face,” (1 Corinthians 13:12a).
One study says, “We hear half of what’s being said, listen to half of what we hear, understand half of that, believe half of that, and remember only about half of that. Translate that into an eight hour work day and it means: you spend about four hours listening, hear two hours of what’s said, listen to an hour of it, understand thirty minutes of it, believe only fifteen minutes worth, and remember less than eight minutes of all that was said in eight hours.”
Stephen Sample says, “The average person suffers from three delusions: that he’s a good driver, that he has a good sense of humor, and that he’s a good listener. You may succeed in life without the first two, but you won’t without the other.”
Years ago at Chowchilla, CA I spent over an hour witnessing to a totally blind daughter of a drag boat driver. It was an incredible time of sharing the Bible from Genesis to Revelation while the event was going on. She seemed to be all ears as I shared Jesus with her. As I spoke to her, she wasn’t distracted by the people walking around, the boats going down the track. She was seeing with her mind and heart that day.
When we look at followers of Jesus, remember they’re part of a team that has come out of bleak darkness into the beautiful light, as God prepared mankind (before birth) to see Him in all His radiance and to focus on Jesus, as it’s His Message, His Gospel, His power, His battle, and His life for our life. Our life is a reflection of what happened to Him. Even going through trials, torture, and travesty, we still get the best.
Drag racing is a wonderful sport. It is exhilarating. It is fascinating. It is thought-provoking. It is filled with thrills…and spills…and chills…and fulfills the need for speed for millions of people. But its persona cannot match what we can see (and find) in our Creator.
God designed His plan of salvation to lead to relationship. He washes away our sin so we can enter His holy presence. His desire is to show us His unending love and in return receive our companionship and worship. If you are just going through the motions of Christianity, it’s time to take a deeper look at your life and see you’re missing out on the best part—a close connection to Jesus.
“Some people have missed the most important thing in life they don’t know God,” (1Timothy 6:21 TLB). You should be able to see God’s hand in everything He created. Remember, “No God, no peace—know God, know peace.” Knowing God—is the art of truly seeing what worship is all about.
Worshipping the true God helps you finish strong…not finish wrong…life isn’t found in a billabong…or a game of Donkey Kong…or eating at a diner named Wong…nor winning a game of ping pong…because our eternal stay with Christ is incredibly long!
Dark verses light, the most basic and complete of oppositions. This concept can be applied to so many facets of life. In the light there is energy. In the dark there is a void. In the light all actions are transparent; there is nothing to hide. In the dark actions can go undetected and be hidden.
Dark verses light, how could we appreciate the light if we did not know the dark? As humans we are all sinners. We have all spent time in the dark and have all wished to keep some of our actions there. But what actions do we truly enjoy? As a Christian I know I most enjoy that which is done in the light: spending time with family, doing good for others, writing this short article, asking that the Lord use me to do His work and His will here on earth.
We are made in the Lord’s image but we are not controlled by His will. He has given us free will, so it is up to each of us, every action of every day, to decide how we want to spend it.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14).
2 Corinthians 9:15
Thanks Be to God for His indescribable gift.
Sometimes life here on earth can be complicated, demanding, and frustrating. When the demands of life leave us rushing from place to place, with scarcely a moment to spare, we may fail to pause and thank our Creator for the countless blessings He bestows upon us. Whenever we neglect to give proper thanks to the Giver of All Things Good, we suffer because of our misplaced priorities. Friends, God’s gifts are too numerous to count. We should attempt to count them anyway. We owe our Heavenly Father everything, including our eternal praise…. starting right now.
For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:20
You have been bought with a price.
When we came into the world we were all born with a big question mark over our heads. The question was –What is my value? What am I worth? Unless you know your identity in Christ you are always asking, in one way or another, What is my value? What am I worth? Sadly, that’s how most people go through life…trying to assure themselves that they really are worth something to somebody. It’s a sad and misguided way to live. The fact is, there is a way you can know your value. Bring yourself before the expert. Come to God and say, “Can You tell me my value?”
God says, “You have been bought with a price and I am the One who bought you. What I paid for you was the life of Jesus.” You can be assured that your heavenly Father treasures you like He treasures His own Son, because Christ is your life. You are one with Him. You have tremendous value.