So Peter seeing him
Said to JESUS
LORD, and what about this man?“
JESUS said to him
If I want him to remain Until I come
What is that to you?
You follow ME!”
It seems that in the last two years, I have spent substantial more time encouraging fellow Christians to keep their eyes on JESUS (Heb 12:1-3). This encouragement has been for those who just began their faith walk with our Precious JESUS CHRIST; those who have walked inconsistently with HIM for some time; those who have been faithful to HIM in their walk; and those who are teaching others how to walk.
Why should we keep our eyes on JESUS? We must keep our eyes on HIM, so that we are not entangled by sin, nor distracted by peril, dread, uncertainty, or misperceptions. When we focus on our Beloved LORD JESUS and eternal things (Col 3:2-3), we are:
- anchored to HIM, through HIS strength (Exd 15:2, Psa 18:1-2, Php 4:13), and support (2 Sam 22:19, 2 Chr 16:9, 2 Tim 4:17)
- kept from growing weary and losing heart (Luk 18:1-8, Heb 12:1-3)
- given understanding, (insight) into both the events taking place (Mat 24:3- 13:5-33), and the behavior of people in these last days (2 Tim 3:1-5)
What happens when we don’t keep our eyes on JESUS? Fear increases, faith decreases, and focus becomes wrong. Wrong focus leads to questioning GOD’s heart, which can lead to envy, bitterness, resentment, stumbling, discouragement, weariness, judging, speaking and thinking wickedly.
Are there examples of this in The BIBLE? Yes, we will look at three such examples, and discuss what happened when their focus turned back to our LORD:
- Asaph a prophet (2 Chr 29:30) and the chief Levite worship leader for King David (1 Chr 16:4-5), almost stumbled (Psa 73:1-2), when he questioned the heart of GOD concerning misperceptions about the wicked. Asaph:
- became envious of their prosperity (Psa 73:3)
- was deceived into thinking their lives had no problems (Psa 73:4-5)
- saw how wicked they were – full of pride; violent; mockers of GOD; acted superior to other men – yet they appeared to have awesome lives (Psa 73:6-9, Psa 73:12)
- became embittered, feeling resentful at perceived unfair treatment (Psa 73:13-22)
When Asaph turned his face from the wicked, and back to our LORD, he was given understanding of what the end would be, for both the wicked and the righteous. This point further demonstrated, with poor Lazarus and the rich man (Luk 16:19-31).
- JESUS was welcomed into the home of Martha, who lived in Bethany. Martha was focused on her preparations; her sister Mary was focused on our LORD. Martha’s misperceptions about the priorities of her sister, caused her to question the heart of our LORD (Luk 10:38-42), since Mary was:
- seated at HIS feet, listening to HIS words (Luk 10:39)
- not helping Martha prepare and serve their special guest (Luk 10:40)
When Martha stopped to question JESUS, HE called her name, twice; showed her the state of her mind; and instructed her in the way of wisdom (Luk 10:41-42). We do well to pay attention this lesson, daily seeking HIS Face (1 Chr 16:11), instead of setting and following our own priorities (Pro 3:5-6, Pro 16:25).
- When John Mark abandoned, Paul and Barnabas in Pamphylia, Paul was no longer willing to minister alongside him (Act 15:36-40). Barnabas however was an encourager (Act 4:36), he encouraged the disciples to accept Paul in the beginning of his ministry (Act 9:1-28), and would not abandon his cousin John Mark (Col 4:10-11). Later, our Beloved LORD JESUS brought reconciliation between Paul and John Mark, and he became an encouragement to Paul (Col 4:10-11), useful for service to him (2 Tim 4:11), and a fellow worker with him (Phi 1:24).
We must not let personal feelings or misperceptions cause us to judge (Mat 7:1-5, Rom 2:1-2, Rom 14:1-4, Rom 14:10-13), resent (Lev 19:17-18, 1 Jhn 4:19-21), or speak against (Psa 50:19-21, Eph 4:31-32, Jam 3:9-12, Jam 4:11-12, Jam 5:9) fallen ministers. Instead we must stay focused on what we have been called to do (Jhn 21:22), pray for fallen ministers (Eph 6:18, 1 Ths 5:17), and if possible, turn them back from the way of error (Jam 5:19-20). Like our brother Barnabas we must put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the LORD forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. (Col 3:12-14).
What has GOD called us to do in this time? Since our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST has forewarned us of the very events happening all around us, in these last days (Mrk 13:23, 2 Pet 3:3-9). We should be living holy and godly lives (2 Pet 3:11); lights shining in a dark world (Pro 4:18, Mat 5:14); speaking to those who will listen, about salvation and repentance (Pro 13:14, Mal 2:7, Rom 10:14-15); and warning those who will not listen (Eze 33:8-9, Act 20:26-27).
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith
praying in the Holy SPIRIT
Keep yourselves in the love of GOD
For the mercy of our LORD JESUS CHRIST to eternal life