“However, no one knows the day or hour…” (Matthew 24:36a NLT)
Edward Panosian said: “When a man knows he may breakfast on earth and take supper in heaven, temptations must lose much of their power.”
For a Jesus follower, that’s the reality with which we live, or should live, every day. Let’s think about that for a few moments. Why should it matter when our life ends or when Jesus returns, if we’re living for Jesus? I suppose it depends on how you define “living for Jesus.” The above quote implies something I believe is critical if we’re serious about our walk with Jesus.
If our focus is Jesus, temptations MUST lose their grip. But if our focus is on the things of this world or the sin that so easily drags us down and away from the Lord, then we’re going to have issues walking faithfully.
There’s a chorus to an old hymn written by Helen Lemmel that sums up the need of every believer, every day. As we open our eyes each morning, we should follow the directives of this chorus: “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.”
I researched the origin of this hymn and learned the inspiration came from a young, aspiring artist who chose to go to Africa as a missionary, rather than pursue a career as an artist. Her name is Lilias Trotter. I will draw from her story, but if you want to read it for yourself, in its entirety, which I highly recommend you do, just click on this link: https://jenmiskov.com/blog/turnyoureyesuponjesus Jennifer A. Miskov is the author of the article and the person’s website to whom you’ll be directed when you click the link above. The quotes I’ll share today are from her story. If I could summarize what she wrote, to me it would be – TOTALLY FOCUSED ON JESUS!
Lilias wrote: “And Satan knows well the power of concentration, if a soul is likely to get under the sway of the inspiration, ‘this one thing I do,’ he will turn all his energies to bring in side-interests that will shatter the gathering intensity.” Adrian Rogers wrote: “If Satan can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” It matters little how much we talk about our love for Jesus, if it’s not reflected in how we order our lives, does it really matter?
If you were asked, “What is the single most important focal point of your life?” what would you say? When you wake up, what’s the first thing to which your mind is drawn? Is it your possessions? Family? Hobbies? Vacations? Church? What keeps you busy? And please understand, those are all valid and, on some levels, very good activities. But the question with which I’m wrestling in my own life is: “Who is at the center of those activities? Why am I doing them? Who am I seeking to please the most? Me, others, or Jesus? Who gets the honor if I attain the things I’m pursuing?”
Lilias wrote: “Turn full your soul’s vision to Jesus, and look and look at Him, and a strange dimness will come over all that is apart from Him, and the Divine “attrait” (attraction) by which God’s saints are made, even in this 20th century (she died in 1928), will lay hold of you. For ‘He is worthy’ to have all there is to be had in the heart that He has died to win.”
The verses to the song are: 1. O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free! 2. Thro’ death into life everlasting, He passed, and we follow Him there; O’er us sin no more hath dominion–For more than conqu’rors we are! 3. His Word shall not fail you–He promised; Believe Him, and all will be well: Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect salvation to tell!
That’s what I want in my life. How about you?
Blessings, Ed 😊