Monday, February 23, 2015

Keep your eyes on Jesus

You think this is some kind of simple, easy saying, but meaningless?
Keep your eyes on Jesus?

Only if you think you're in control of your life,
that your personal decisions are of ultimate importance,
and that making a mistake is fatal.

Only one decision in life is of ultimate importance,
only one mistake that can be made is fatal.
And you have made the decision, have you not, to follow Jesus?
Can any other decision you are going to make in your life
and there will be many, too many to count—
can any other decision add to that, or take away from it?

All other decisions you have to make don't have to be made,
not now, not if you're not ready.
If there is something that needs a snap decision today,
to meet an external deadline, to satisfy another's expectations,
whatever it is, look at it squarely:
If you make the decision what do you gain,
if you put it off what do you lose?
If you make the decision, and it turns out to be the wrong one,
how does it hurt you, does it hurt you, really?

Are you taking to yourself the responsibility to make a decision
which is not really yours to make?

Nothing that truly pertains to you in reality can be measured,
compared or contrasted with anyone else
or anyone else's expectations of you.
Your decision to follow Jesus has removed you
from your own judgment and from the judgment of others.

As Francesco of Assisi cried out
as his father was dragging him before the authorities,
‘What has the justice of men to do with me? God is my only judge!’
To which the magistrate foolishly replied,
‘Unfortunately, he's not around to help us out!’

Keep your eyes on Jesus.
Not on yourself,
not on how you're doing,
not on what people expect you to do, be or have,
not on decisions you or someone else makes you feel you must make,
not on what you have to do tomorrow,
not on what you did or didn't do yesterday,
not on your feeling of loneliness,
or your suspicion of not doing all you can,
not on what you should or shouldn't be feeling,
thinking or doing right now,
not even on how much or how little time you're giving to good works,
to pious exercise, to praying, to fellowshipping,
to reading and studying the word of God.

Keep your eyes on Jesus.
Go where He goes.
That's why I often end my letters with, ‘Go with God, beloved!’
That is, follow Him, watch His back, He's up there ahead, not far.
Fit your feet into the prints of His feet.
Run along behind Him.
Keep your eyes on Him.

Do what He does.
Does He read and study the Word?
Well, yes, sort of, because He is the Word.
So don't think about studying the Word… study it!
Well, when?
What's wrong with right now?
For how long?

Keep your eyes on Jesus.
What's He doing next?

Oh, He's going off alone, He's going to stand before His Father…
Wait for me, Master, I'm coming!
Take me with You!

So don't stop and wonder,
don't stop and ask yourself whether or not to pray.
Just pray!
If not now, when?
Does your heart skip a beat now and then?
Is it still beating?
What's it for?
Isn't it there at the core of your being, your inner metronome,
for the music that is you, for your prayer?

Don't think about Him and what you will say to Him,
just say it!

Talk to Him, now, while you're reading this!
There is no time when He is not listening.
Decisions flow out of the conversation
that you won't remember making,
because you and He made them Together.

Keep your eyes on Jesus.
What did you say you miss?

The days when mom and dad were always right?
Did someone offer you again the fruit from the tree
of the knowledge of good and evil?
Did some thief break in and steal some treasure
you thought you had hidden away?

Jesus knows that you are and will always be
the child of His Father,
that you are, as the Chinese say, ‘His heavenly younger brother.’

Following behind Him,
are you still carrying the burden of having to be right or wrong,
or to make sure who else is?

Following behind Jesus, learning of Him,
have you found that His yoke is not easy,
His burden not light?

How can you miss carefree days in the sun,
when you are following behind Him,
when you keep your eyes on Him
who has done, is doing, and will do everything for you?
Running behind Him,
can the days of knowing what to do be really over?
Keep your eyes on Jesus.

Where He goes, you go.
What He does, you do.

Don't be overwhelmed!
Rather, rest in the knowledge
that it is not what you know but Who you know
that matters,
not what you do but what He does in you
that makes you worthy.

Go with God, beloved!
You have been bought and paid for with more than money.
Go, and do likewise.
Keep your eyes on Jesus.

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