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Monday, May 2, 2011


40 Day New Testament Reading/Listening Plan: We began a 40 day New Testament reading plan on April 3. If you want to participate and have not been following the reading schedule up to this point we suggest starting with today's reading and reading previous portions after this reading period ends. Here's the entire 40 day scheduleThe links below will open to the selection to be read along with a built-in listening device. 
  • Today's reading (May 2): Galatians 5 – Philippians 1 beginning here.
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"Open My Eyes That I May See"

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints and His incomparably great power for us who believe" (Ephesians 1:18,19).

Today we would like to write about spiritual enlightenment. One of the great aspects of our conversion is the reality of being spiritually enlightened. In the classic hymn "Amazing Grace" John Newton describes his spiritual enlightenment with the words, "I once was blind, but now I see."

Spiritual blindness is a condition of the unbeliever. The apostle Paul wrote, "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).

However the unbeliever may very well not sense in any way that their minds are blinded. On the contrary they may feel they are the ones enlightened.
Those who hold an entirely different worldview and faith outlook  speak of being "enlightened". In fact they would see me as backward, ignorant and unenlightened. So the issue is not whether we have been enlightened but rather what we've been enlightened to and who is our source for enlightenment!

Many years ago a pastor friend used the term "spiritual cataracts" to describe a condition that believers also need to be mindful of.  Because of the blinding impact of sin we need continual enlightenment by the Spirit and the Word of God.

In the daily portion of Scripture the apostle Paul is expressing a powerful prayer for the Ephesian believers.  It provides a great model of how we should pray for one another with our focus on the spiritual realm.

Paul used a very interesting metaphor here in his prayer when he wrote about the "eyes of the heart" being enlightened. That is precisely what we need, for God to open our hearts to His truth.

The eyes of our hearts being enlightened results in our knowledge of three powerful truths that bring great assurance:
  • The hope to which He has called us.
  • The riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.
  • His incomparably great power.
Who are the ultimate recipients of this prayer?  Certainly the Ephesian believers were the initial recipients. But the final phrase rings loud in my heart today many centuries later.  These glorious truths are "for us who believe."  I do "believe" today and desire that the eyes of my heart be continually enlightened to receive spiritual truths from God and that is also my prayer for every reader!

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord,
Open the eyes of my heart;
I want to see You, I want to see You.
Open the eyes of my heart, Lord,
Open the eyes of my heart;
I want to see You, I want to see You.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, Your creation has unlimited visual stimuli that is seen by our eyes today, but according to Scripture even our heart and our mind can see.  Many philosophies and principles come to us through our mind, but we want the eyes of our heart to embrace only that which will keep our hearts pure.  May the eyes of our heart reject teachings that are inconsistent with our spiritual enlightenment. Help us to sharpen and narrow our heart's vision to escape the broad way that leads to destruction.  Keep our eyes open to the good things You want to reveal and shut our eyes to the "god of this age" whose goal it is to lead us to spiritual poverty and death.  In Your name, Jesus, we pray.  Amen.

Charlie & Rosie Goumas Brooksyne's Note: We are aware that there are a number of you receiving the Daily Encouragement who are physically blind. But I rejoice with you that you are not spiritually blind. You have been spiritually enlightened to the good things of the Lord and are an inspiration to all of us. We especially consider Charlie and Rosie Goumas, friends from Boston, whom we met at a conference years ago. With their sense of sight impaired or nonexistent they have nurtured their other four senses to compensate for their vision loss.  Before we moved from New England in early 2001 they took the train and came to visit us in our home in Taunton Massachusetts. Rosie is a concert pianist.

Longwood Manor hymn sing
Stephen sharing a hymnbook with Ruth (who is 96 years old) as the residents sang "Standing on the Promises". Yesterday we attended the Sunday chapel service at Longwood Manor which is a spiritually high point for residents who love to worship God with fellow believers.  We so appreciate the intergenerational tie that hymns provide.  Ruth is 40 years older but the the same songs of their faith is enjoyed by multiple generations.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Open The Eyes Of My Heart Lord"  Video  Paul Baloche

"Open Up My Heart
 Video  Oslo Gospel Choir

"Open My Eyes"
 Video  Hillsong

"Open My Eyes That I May See"  Video  Best loved hymns

"He Hideth My Soul In the Cleft Of The Rock"  Video  Gaither Homecoming

"Amazing Grace"  Video  Soweto Gospel Choir

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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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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