Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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February 23rd, 2012 – To Be Full of Light

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” Matt. 6:23,24

Devotional Thought For The Day

I’ve got bad eyes. It is not a matter of getting my vision corrected – I can still get to the optometrist and he can “correct” my vision back to 20/20.  It is rather the problem that Jesus is describing in these words – what I am looking at and what effect it has on my inner life. This has been a problem for me for the entirety of my life, and I suspect it has been the same for you.  We are inundated with all kinds of visual stimulation, and much of it encourages evil thoughts which bring darkness into our minds, hearts, and even our bodies.

Think about life back in simpler times, when there was no television, no internet, no billboards, no advertising, less urban living, and more moderate clothing. What did a person look at?  Trees, fields, animals, farming equipment, clouds, sunshine. What kinds of thoughts did these things bring into a person’s inner being?  Now consider life today, as we are barraged by images on television, the computer, billboards, ads on buses, magazines and other literature, and a myriad of people often dressed in suggestive ways. Consider the kinds of behaviors and values that come pouring into our minds – all through the eyes, and consider the effect this has upon our inner life.  What kinds of thoughts do these things bring into our minds, our inner beings?
The fact that we take all of this for granted, considering it quite normal, is further evidence of the problem.

What comes into our hearts and minds through our eyes produces covetousness, greed, arrogance, haughtiness, lust, jealousy, envy, discontentment, idolatry, unbelief, distortion, misbelief – and we are comfortable with all of this, it all has its place in our inner being. This is precisely what Jesus warned about, when “the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” Thank God that our eyes are also capable of taking in His Word, His invitation to repent of our sin, our darkness, and our orientation away from what is good, healthy, wholesome, and holy. Thank God that His Word is filled with promises and assurances of His gracious mercy, His full and complete forgiveness and pardon of all our sins, His good and gracious will that we have redemption, salvation, and eternal life. And thank God that His Word is also filled with instruction regarding what is truly good and delightful, His pure and holy ways of love.

We’re encouraged to learn, to suck in and absorb as much information as we can, so we tend to live with our eyes “wide open.” Given what’s put before our eyes these days, it is certain that we need to try to avert our eyes from a lot of this stuff. When it comes to God’s Word, however, there we need to work hard to pry our eyes even more wide open, and to allow His Word even greater influence and predominance in our inner being.  His Word is “a lamp for our feet and a light for our path” [Ps. 119:105], and God desires to shine “in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” [2 Cor. 4:6] In this way, and only in this way, can your eye be healthy so that “your whole body will be full of light.”  It is out of love for us, a deep and jealous desire for our great blessedness, that Jesus teaches us that “the eye is the lamp of the body” and warns us about having a “bad eye.”

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, You are fully observant of all that takes place upon Your earth, Your creation – including all that when observed causes inner darkness and blindness in our fallen hearts and minds. Help us to become more discriminating, and more disciplined in what we allow to enter our inner being through our eyes. Forgive us our sins, cleanse our hearts with Your forgiveness, and through Your Word renew a right spirit within us. Amen.