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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Feb. 10-11, 2007

  • 2007 Feb 10

Look Into Christ's Eyes
Revelation 1:14
As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you look into the amazing eyes of Jesus Christ! 

SUNDAY: The Amazing Eyes of Jesus Christ

His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire.
—Revelation 1:14, emphasis added

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to personally look into the eyes of Jesus Christ? When most people think of Jesus, they immediately picture His eyes of compassion—perhaps as the Good Shepherd carrying a lamb, or of Jesus tenderly cradling a little child on His lap. There’s no doubt about it: Jesus cares deeply about His children!

Consider these different ways that the eyes of the Lord so lovingly watched out for His children: Hagar experienced Christ’s eyes of compassion (Genesis 16:1-13); Joseph experienced Christ’s purifying eyes of consecration (Genesis 39:1-9); David experienced Christ’s ever-present eyes of comfort and confidence when he felt alone and fearful (Psalm 139); the disciples experienced Christ’s calming eyes of rescue (Matthew 14:22-33); and Peter experienced Christ’s sad eyes of chastening when he tried to live in his own strength (Luke 22:54-62).

When we are troubled, Jesus says, “Look up! See My eyes of compassion and concern for you.” He longs for His children to keep on looking into His eyes so that He can guide and care for us.

All of us, adults and children alike, are easily drawn to Christ’s eyes of compassion, but we should never forget that He also has eyes of fiery judgment. When Jesus stood before the apostle John, John was so afraid that he “fell at His feet as dead” (Revelation 1:17). What he saw revealed that the eyes of Jesus were ablaze with an otherworldly glow, a fire that nothing can stand before. For just a moment, consider what it means to have laser-like eyes:

A laser is a beam of coherent or focused light. Sunlight is incoherent and unfocused light of many wavelengths, and going in every direction. A laser is light of one wavelength and direction. Thus a laser can focus the energy of light to a point bright enough to melt and vaporize steel, rock, or any other material we know of on earth. A laser works a million times faster and more powerfully than a nuclear explosion. A concentrated point of light all going in one direction and at the same wavelength can heat material at a rate of one trillion degrees per second.1 (Emphasis added.)

Applying that knowledge to the eyes of Jesus, imagine what it would be like to personally look into His eyes—the amazing eyes of God!

The eyes of Jesus inspect and refine our lives. He can see right through us. He can see people in the dark, far away, and even in the future. Jesus sees into the very core of our being as His “eyes like a flame of fire” penetratingly scrutinize us. He “… is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets …” (Daniel 2:47). Do you remember the comment of the woman at the well who fell under Jesus’ gaze? He told her the secrets of her past, things that she thought were long forgotten: The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet …” (John 4:19a). Incredibly, God Almighty “knows the secrets of the heart” (Psalm 44:21b)!

Christ always sees us and wants to help. Pastor Kent Hughes reports that the College Church of Wheaton has observed:

For the Christian, the most chilling fact is this: there is little statistical difference between the ethical practices of the religious and the non-religious. Sadly, Christians are almost as likely as non-Christians t Surf through polluted waters on the internet, Misreport their income on tax returns, Commit acts of plagiarism (teachers especially witness this), Ignore proper building permits and say “but that’s the way business is done,” Use an illegal copy of a computer program, Steal time from their jobs, Use the company phone for personal toll-calls, Oversell a product to the point of untruthfulness, Tell people just what they want to hear, or Be selective in obeying various laws.2

With that in mind, since Jesus continually looks through you with His laser-like eyes, ask yourself: Do I like what He sees? Does Jesus like what He sees? While in your sin, you need to look up and see the sad eyes of Jesus. But when you do, remember that He always offers forgiveness and a way out that leads to victory. Through Christ’s power, you can please the Lord with what He sees in you!
My Prayer for You This Week: Oh Father, through Your Spirit, open our hearts to Your Son: that we, through Your Word, might behold the wonder of the eyes of Jesus; that we are never out of sight; that we are never far from His compassionate, comforting, and convicting gaze. I pray that we would know the wonder of ever-being before Your eyes, oh God, with whom we have to do. May the reality that we live every moment in the sight of God impact us in a positive way that will direct our hearts to make choices to choose to please You with what You see. We thank You, for in Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen.

MONDAY: The Watchful Eyes of Jesus

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
—1 Peter 3:12, emphasis added

We can experience the amazing, watchful eyes of Jesus wherever we are in life! Here are some more instances where the eyes of our Lord Jesus had a very powerful ministry to those who acknowledged that He was looking at them:
• As the Creator, Jesus walked through the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. God the Son created the universe: For by Him all things were created …. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist (Colossians 1:16-17).
•  Jesus said, “… Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). The Old Testament doesn’t say that Abraham actually saw Jesus; he saw the Lord. But the only Lord we see is God the Son, Jesus Christ, who came and manifested himself throughout the Old Testament.
• When Hagar saw the Angel of the Lord—that was Jesus! (Genesis 16:6-9)
• When the children of Israel went through the Red Sea, Jesus Christ was leading them. Even though the Old Testament says that the Angel of the Lord led them, from the New Testament we know that this was Jesus Christ. (Compare 1 Corinthians 10 with Exodus 14, 16-17.)
As Jesus stands in the midst of the church, His laser-like eyes look with a penetrating gaze into the core of your being. Those eyes are like a refining fire, and “the God who sees you” wants to help you, just as He did the saints in Bible times. You are never out of His sight— never far from His compassionate, comforting, and convicting gaze.

May the reality that you live every moment in His sight impact you in a positive way that will direct your heart to make choices to please Him!


TUESDAY: The Compassionate Eyes of Jesus

Then [Hagar] called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”
—Genesis 16:13, emphasis added

In the verse above, we see the compassionate eyes of Christ on a downcast, forsaken, homeless woman with child who had fled to the desert. What happened that caused Hagar to flee? Let’s look at God’s Genesis 16 account of her plight and find out.

Sarai suffered decades of shame by having no children. Even after God’s promise to Abraham, they still had no child; so she took matters into her own hands. Although it was important to have an heir, Sarai calculatingly took it upon herself to try to work out God’s will for Him. She thus said to Abram, … “See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai. … So he went in to Hagar and she conceived (Genesis 16:2, 4).

When Hagar discovered that she was going to have Abram’s child, she thought she would now be his favored wife. Hence, a rivalry developed between her and Sarai. To keep peace, Abram gave Sarai permission to do with Hagar as she pleased. After being treated harshly by Sarai, Hagar ran away (Genesis 16:5-6).

The Angel of the LORD (Jesus) found her by a spring of water in the wilderness and said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” The Angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand” (Genesis 16:7-9).

In spite of Hagar’s difficulties, Jesus told her, “Return, even if Sarai despises you and treats you wrongly.” In other words, He is telling us that we should not run from our problems—He wants to give us His grace to go through them victoriously.

Jesus then said to her, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly …. … Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the LORD has heard your affliction” (Genesis 16:10-11).

It is interesting that this is very similar to the announcement in Matthew: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel …” (Matthew 1:23). This is the Lord foretelling someone’s name and his or her destiny.

But Ishmael had quite a different destiny than Christ: “He shall be a wild man; his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?” (Genesis 16:12-13, emphasis added).

Since God paid attention to someone like Hagar, how much more will He diligently pay attention to those who bear the name of Christ? Hagar did not choose Abraham as her husband; she did not want trouble. She was only trying to be a mother and a wife. God understood Hagar’s dilemma: right from the beginning, she did not have a choice in Sarai’s plan; Hagar was a servant who should never have been purchased in Egypt in the first place. He therefore understands when you are thrust into situations that you did not plan on either. No matter how difficult your life may be, Jesus’ compassionate eyes see you in your troubles, and He is waiting for you to look up to Him for help!

WEDNESDAY: The Purifying Eyes of Jesus

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
—Psalm 139:23-24, emphasis added

When we are tempted, we need to discover Christ’s purifying eyes. He looks at us in our temptation much like a parent looks at a child. Jesus foresees what choice we are going to make, and wants us to seek His help to avoid sinking into that temptation. At such times, He will give us the needed consecration and purity.

Let’s consider how God helped Joseph in this respect as we examine portions of the account of his life in Genesis 37-50. Joseph is a wonderful example that true success comes from the Lord being with us: The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man … (Genesis 39:2a). Every other success is merely temporal.

I once read in the Jerusalem Post that many Jewish people think that because Bill Gates is so wealthy, he is the most amazing man in the world. You see, they equate success with wealth. Yet, with all his billions, Bill Gates can have no greater happiness or joy in life (less in fact) than a believer who has Jesus Christ and no money. Do you understand that to be true? Jesus is the only One who can possibly bring true success.

If the Lord is seen in your work, like Joseph, you should be blessed in everything that you d “… The LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand” (Genesis 39:3). As you give your life totally to the Lord, He will make you prosperous also. Although I am talking here about evident blessing, and not monetary prosperity, sometimes God grants that as well.

God will even bless those for whom you work if they honor your convictions:… From the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, … the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake … (Genesis 39:4-5, emphasis added).

I remember telling a former employer that I would not do certain things because it would be dishonest to do so. That company released me from those requirements, but the rest of the sales people followed them. I honored God, and my sales went up. This testifies to the fact that God will honor honesty and bless your employer as well.

If you put a Christian and a non-Christian on an equal playing field, the Christian should always do better in everything because the God of the universe indwells him or her. We have hope, joy, and peace; we live in reality, but the people of the world do not.

Here is a classic case of the purifying eyes of Jesus when we are tempted: … Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And it came to pass … that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master … has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:6-9).

Joseph was always aware of Jesus’ eyes upon him—His purifying eyes that lead to consecration. Jesus continually sees our business, social, romantic, private, and public lives. If we, like Joseph, acknowledge that He is watching us, there will be a very strong consecrating effect on us as well.

I can personally testify that being aware that Jesus is watching works anywhere. The first time I traveled overseas I was all alone, thousands of miles from home, with every conceivable temptation confronting me. Whether it was literature, people, or things, I was so aware that God was watching that I would sometimes even talk out loud and say, “Lord, help me.” It is always possible for you to know the purifying power of seeing the eyes of Jesus watching you everywhere, every time.

Jesus can keep you pure in temptation. Joseph was kept pure when he faced being disloyal to his employer and sinning against God. He could not have had a more direct attack on his personal holiness than this, so he exercised his will and ran. Keeping pure involves far more than standing in the midst of temptation and saying, “Lord, save me.” God has not promised to remove you bodily from temptation. Rather, He expects you to choose to flee evil (2 Timothy 2:22). So turn off the television, throw away the literature, or stop being around that person who drags you down spiritually.

At the instant of any temptation, Jesus’ purifying eyes are watching you so that all you have to do is look up and say, “Lord, help me!” If you just ask Him, He will give you the grace to resist: … God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but … will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).


THURSDAY: The Comforting Eyes of Jesus

… The eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
—2 Chronicles 16:9, emphasis added

David certainly experienced “the eyes of the Lord” that continually watched over him! His life tells us much about the ever-present comforting eyes of the Lord when we feel alone and afraid. It seems that everywhere David turned there was trouble. His brothers did not like him; his father, Jesse, did not think much of him either. When the prophet Samuel came and asked to see his sons, his father did not even consider David to be one of them—he had left David out in the field with the sheep!

After God anointed David, he still had to take care of the animals; he was not honored at all. When he became king, he continued to have a multitude of problems; enemies everywhere were trying to kill him. Trouble was around every bend in his life. In light of all David’s imperfections, failures, and blatant sins, why did God call him “a man after My own heart” (Acts 13:22)? We find the secret in Psalm 139. David lived in constant awareness that God was watching him.

Look at the eyes of Jesus that were on David: O LORD, You have searched me and known me. … You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. … You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me (Psalm 139:1-5, emphasis added).

Do you understand what that passage means? God says that He is right there with you, and that He surrounds you! He already knows about all the days of your life: Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them (Psalm 139:16, emphasis added). What a comfort!

That is why God says in Hebrews 9:27 that it is appointed unto us once to die. Because of that, we can rest in the fact that we will not die accidentally or before our time! Why? Unless the Rapture occurs first, we each have a God-appointed time for Jesus to meet us and take us home. That is both a wonder and a comfort!

You can find confidence in Christ. In Psalm 139:23-24, David asked the Lord to show him why he felt anxious. Basically, this is what he said: “What do I fear that You have told me not to fear? What am I focusing on that I should not be? Turn me from any wicked way, Lord, and help me to follow Your way alone!” 

Since God knows how we are made, He knows both our changeable and unchangeable features. He is thus never caught off guard by our weaknesses, anxieties, and fears. As we open up to Him, like David, we will realize that God sees us, and that He will help us walk confidently in the everlasting way. The Bible says, The wicked flee when no one pursues but the righteous are bold as a lion (Proverbs 28:1). God wants us to be boldly confident, and not fearful. He is watching over us to give comfort and confidence, and He knows every step of our way!

FRIDAY: The Calming Eyes of Jesus

… He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea ….
—Mark 6:48, emphasis added

The disciples saw the calm rescuing eyes of Jesus when they were sinking in the storm. The account in Matthew 14:22-33 is one of the most precious and insightful portions of God’s Word, dealing with His tender love and care for us as His children. As I was writing this, a group of us were reflecting on these truths while taking a devotional walk through the land of the Book. The image of this scene from high atop the Arbel Cliffs is still etched upon my soul!
•        Jesus made His disciples get into the boat. When their lives were in danger, it was out of obedience to Him. If they had not obeyed Jesus, they would not have learned what He wanted to teach them. The Lesson: Obey Jesus!
•        Jesus left them all night. He waited until 3:00 A.M.— when the disciples were at the extremity of their trial. Remember Mary, Martha, and Lazarus? Jesus did not hurry to them. He let Lazarus get sicker and sicker and actually die (John 11). Jesus does not run to us to prevent the trial. In this instance, His purpose was to demonstrate to His disciples, in an unforgettable way, that He would do whatever was necessary to rescue them. He wants to do the same for us as well. The Lesson: Trust Jesus!
•        Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. Jesus’ pathway was the very object that was testing their faith. He knew exactly where they were the whole time. They were never out of His sight. They might have forgotten all His promises, but Jesus did not forget. We will never find ourselves anywhere the Lord cannot find us. That is comforting! There are no storms in life that Jesus cannot subdue in His time. There is never a valid reason to fear, nor to be anxious. We are to trust in the One who will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5b). So through the storm, on the pathway, and in whatever it is that is giving you a hard time, know that He is coming to your aid. The Lesson: Keep looking for Jesus!
•        Jesus brought calm in their boat. When we are obedient to the Lord, we are in the safest place in the universe. No matter how frightening the circumstances may be around us, Jesus is there; He will calm the seas of trouble in His time. The most secure place to be is in God’s will. Peter sank because he did not understand that the lesson was to love the Lord Jesus enough to trust Him. Peter did love Him: did anyone else say, “Command me to come to You on the water; I will obey whatever You say; Your Word is my command!”? We should not think badly of Peter for sinking; we should love Jesus as he did, and do whatever He says. The Lesson: Love Jesus!
When you invite Jesus into the boat of your stormy life, your life will become calm. (Anything that is “out of control” has not been fully surrendered to God.) Even though you may be tossed all about, if the Lord is in your boat, all is well!


SATURDAY: The Chastening Eyes of Jesus

… The Lord … looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”
—Luke 22:61, emphasis added

In Luke 22:54-62, God gives us the account of when Peter saw the sad and chastening eyes of Jesus because he was living in his own strength. Peter first walked with the sinners, then he stood with them, and finally he sat with them around the fire. It was a progression—the more Peter sat with those who were a part of Jesus’ condemnation, the farther away he was getting from Christ. God tells us: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful … (Psalm 1:1, emphasis added).

That is one of the reasons why Peter fell into this situation that the Lord had warned him about: But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord…. So Peter went out and wept bitterly (Luke 22:60-62, emphasis added).

Sometimes the eyes of Jesus are not just the eyes that are giving compassion, comfort, and confidence; they must also be chastening eyes. With His chastening eyes, He looks at us when we give in to our sins.

The laser-like eyes of Jesus are continually inspecting and refining our lives. If we give in to temptations, we will receive the chastening look of sadness as Jesus looks on us and says, “Oh, My child, I warned you to not do that!”

Make a choice to live in hope: Sometimes you will need to look up in your sin and see those grieved eyes of Jesus. When you do, remember that He always offers a way out; He always offers a way through; and He always offers you victory. I exhort you to choose His victory today by making the following promise to Him:
• When troubled—I will look up for Jesus’ loving eyes of compassion. I will remember Hagar’s experience of His compassionate eyes! (Genesis 16:1-13)
• When tempted—I will look up for Jesus’ purifying eyes of consecration. I will remember Joseph’s experience of His purifying eyes when tempted! (Genesis 39:1-9)
•        When watched—I will look up for Jesus’ refining eyes like laser beams. I will remember the Israelites’ experience of His refining eyes as He led them through the Red Sea and in the wilderness! (Exodus 14, 16-17)
• When lonely or afraid—I will look up for Jesus’ comforting eyes of confidence. I will remember David’s experience of His ever-present eyes of comfort when feeling alone and afraid! (Psalm 139)
•        When scrutinized—I will look up for Jesus’ caring eyes of concern. I will remember the woman at the well and her experience of Jesus’ caring eyes as He revealed the secrets of her past! (John 4:1-26)
• When sinking in despair—I will look up for Jesus’ calming eyes of rescue. I will remember the disciples’ experience of His calm rescuing eyes when sinking! (Matthew 14:22-33)
• When sinning—I will look up for Jesus’ chastening eyes of sadness and come back to Him. I will remember Peter’s experience and Christ’s sad eyes of chastening when living in my own strength! (Luke 22:54-62)
I encourage you to make a choice even today to live in hope by experiencing the eyes of Christ—the amazing eyes of God! If Jesus has touched your heart in a special way this week, you can affirm your promise to Him by offering a prayer of renewed dedication of your love for Him!

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