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Thursday, October 9, 2008
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"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" (2 Corinthians 4:4).
I awoke very early this morning considering this verse in light of current events, especially the first phrase, "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers." I recalled a dramatic scene from the "Left Behind" movie in which Nicholas Carpathia, the character who turns out to be the antichrist, is able to murder two men in full view of many others but had blinded their eyes from seeing it.
Several years ago Tom, a friend from Arizona, sent me the carved block of wood pictured above. On first sight it appears to be just strange, illegible characters. It makes no sense until you look very carefully at the letters, perhaps squinting, and it's very clear that the letters spell, "Jesus".
Steve, a friend from New England, once saw a couple of men coming upon this saying on a sticker on the back window of a van in Boston. One said to the other "I know that says something, I just don't know what!" They looked on for a few minutes until in exasperation they walked away and one of them frustratingly called out, "Jesus Christ, I know that says something." But of course they never saw it.
Today's Scripture text speaks of this spiritual blindness which blinds the minds of unbelievers.
There are basically two outlooks in life. The personal mission statement that I include in the footers with each daily encouragement conveys one. Although a simple statement that certainly does not convey all that's true it simply asserts, "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
The other outlook denies this and so many feel they have been "enlightened" to reject what they see as a very simple and primitive religious expression. To them we are merely a product of evolution and "god" is merely a figment of imagination to the weak, simple, uneducated and unenlightened. However they have not been enlightened, but rather blinded. Indeed, "they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."
"The god of this age" is Satan. Such a statement brings a scoffing sneer from the unbeliever. But this false god is very actively at work as demonstrated in the evil we see all around us, including false, idolatrous religious systems that "deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord" (Jude 1:4).
Following his conversion Paul received his call to ministry directly from the Lord. "I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me" (Acts 26:17,18).
John Newton, best known for writing "Amazing Grace", expressed it this way, "I once was blind, but now I see." I hope your spiritual eyes have been opened and you are rejoicing today in the gospel of the glory of Christ!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Jesus, though You do not walk visibly among us You do reveal Yourself through the minds, the hearts, and the actions of Your followers. May Your light shine forth from us so that the unbeliever can sift through the confusing ungodly messages of this world and the counterfeits of this age. May they see "the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." We especially lift up to You our loved ones who have chosen the wrong path. We pray that You would dispel their doubts and fears and replace them with confidence, courage and peace. In Your name, Jesus, we pray, amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
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"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" Audio
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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