Eyes Filled With Light

This week the daily devotions will focus on how we approach the new year that we have been gifted.  We'll wrestle with what we will do differently, what we will improve, what we'll pick up and what we'll leave behind.  

In chapters 5-7 of Matthew's Gospel Jesus delivers what most of us know as "The Sermon on The Mount," but what some scholars have also referred to as The Greatest Sermon

These three chapters capture the absolute essence of all of Jesus' teachings.  They reveal to us what God desires of us, what it means to be a Jesus-follower and how we should live our lives to embody the kingdom of God here on earth, as it is in heaven.  

As I was reading through The Sermon on the Mount this morning, I came across two verses that helped bring some clarity to my "resolutions" for the coming year.  

"The lamp of the body is the eye.  Thus if your eye be pure your entire body will be radiant; But if your eye be baleful your entire body will be dark. So if the light within you is darkness, how very great the darkness." 

I'd often wondered what Jesus really meant by those words, and several years ago I was studying this very passage for a sermon when I discovered something profound.  

What Jesus is essentially saying here is this:  

"The way that you look out into the world will determine how you 'see' it.  In other words, if you look out into the world expecting to see darkness, you will.  But if you look out into the world expecting to see light, you will be filled with it."  

We all know people who see the world through a "dark" lens.  They are marked by negativity, bitterness, anger and hopelessness.  Their days are filled with complaints and gripes.   They are quick to blame and demonize others.  

But when someone sees the world through a lens filled with light, the world looks much different. They find moments of grace and peace.  They see people as created in God's image and worthy of love and respect.  Their days are filled with thanksgiving and joy.  

How you choose to see the world this new year will determine how you spend it.  May you spend it filled with the radiant hope that shines forth from Christ himself.  And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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