Posts Tagged ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus’

Looking unto Jesus

July 27, 2017

Verse of the Day for July 27, 2017 is the perfect follow-up to yesterday’s discussion of Hebrews 11:1, the introductory verse to the entire chapter known as the “Hall of Faith.” This celebrated chapter offers a series of brilliant examples of men and women, champions, who accomplished astounding exploits “by faith.” For a more comprehensive view of the Verse of the Day, take a look at the first three verses of Chapter 12 of Hebrews which focus on the greatest example of faith in action, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Hebrews 12:1-3 (Amplified Bible):

[Jesus, the Example] Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us,

2 [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].

3 Just consider and meditate on Him who endured from sinners such bitter hostility against Himself [consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

In thinking on this passage, my mind recalls a backpacking experience that occurred at TFI (Total Fitness Institute) in California back in December, 1975. During this outdoor wilderness adventure I was assigned to a platoon of believers, and we portioned out our food supply for the week among the group. I volunteered to carry the food for the last day, which meant that my load stayed the same while the load that everyone else carried got lighter.

On this particular day, we were told that we would hike for a mile and then take a break and rest for a while. After a considerable amount of time, I was certain that we had hiked more than a mile, but we continued. When I realized that I was carrying the food for the last day and that the load of everyone else was lighter than mine, I became agitated and began to complain in my mind that “This is just not fair. . .” During this time of frustration and agitation as I struggled under my heavy load, I thought of the Lord Jesus Christ and all that he gladly bore on my behalf. As I took my mind off myself and turned my thoughts toward the Lord, the distress and exasperation seemed to fade, and we arrive at our destination in a short time. That unforgettable experience inspired this poem:

The Burden Bearer

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah,
When I lay my burden down.

I stumbled up the rugged road;
I almost fell beneath the load
And spurned the pain inside my head,
Recalling words of one who said
“Come unto me, and I will give you rest.”

The yoke I bear cannot compare
With all he took upon Himself:
All sins, disease, and guilt, despair
That I could not forebear myself.
His burden was not made of wood,
His cross beyond all words can name.
Have I resisted unto blood?
Could I for joy endure such shame?

From a glimpse into his face
I’m strengthened by a second wind;
My mind’s renewed to keep the pace
The load is lightened by my friend.

I feel better, so much better
since I laid my burden down.

In reflecting upon that unforgettable experience, two musical compositions come to mind. First of all, “The Burden Bearer” includes lyrics from an old gospel song that I recall my childhood, back in the day, recorded here by “Pops” Staples and the Staple Singers.

A second selection also captures the essence of my experience in light of the Verse of the Day: “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus” by John Lamacang

When we “turn our eyes upon Jesus,” we see he, indeed, is our “Burden Bearer.”

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Looking unto Jesus, our burden bearer

April 3, 2017

Hebrews-12-1-2

Revised and re-posted from a previous blog entry, the Verse of the Day for April 3, 2017 comes from the Hebrews 12:12 in the New Living Translation:

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

For a more comprehensive view, take a look at the first three verses of Chapter 12:

Hebrews 12:1-3 (NLT):

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.

In thinking on this particular passage, my mind recalls a backpacking experience that occurred at TFI (Total Fitness Institute) in California back in December, 1975.  During this outdoor wilderness adventure I was assigned to a platoon of believers, and we portioned out our food supply for the week among the group. I volunteered to carry the food for the last day, which meant that my load stayed the same while the load that everyone else carried got lighter.

On this particular day, we were told that we would hike for a mile and then take a break and rest for a while. After a considerable amount of time, I was certain that we had hiked more than a mile, but we continued. When I realized that I was carrying the food for the last day and that everyone else’s load was lighter than mine, I became agitated and began to complain in my mind that “This is just not fair. . .” During this time of frustration and agitation as I struggled under my heavy load, I thought of the Lord Jesus Christ and all that he gladly bore on my behalf.  As I took my mind off myself and turned my thoughts toward the Lord, the distress and exasperation seemed to fade, and we arrive at our destination in a short time. That experience was the inspiration for this poem:

The Burden Bearer

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah,

When I lay my burden down.

 

I stumbled up the rugged road;

I almost fell beneath the load

And spurned the pain inside my head,

Recalling words of one who said

Come unto me, and I will give you rest.”

 

The yoke I bear cannot compare

With all he took upon Himself:

All sins, disease, and guilt, despair

That I could not forebear myself.

His burden was not made of wood,

His cross beyond all words can name.

Have I resisted unto blood?

Could I for joy endure such shame?

 

From a glimpse into his face

I’m strengthened by a second wind;

My mind’s renewed to keep the pace

The load is lightened by my friend.

 

I feel better, so much better

since I laid my burden down.

 The Verse of the Day also brought to mind this song: “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus” offered by Michael W. Smith:

My experience at the Total Fitness Institute also inspired “The Burden Bearer.” The epigraph or short intro to the poem as well as the closing stanza are lyrics from an old gospel song that I recall my childhood days, recorded here by Pops Staples and the Staple Singers.

When we “turn our eyes upon Jesus,” we will see that he, indeed, is our “Burden Bearer.”

Open our eyes

November 16, 2016

 

psalm-119-18

The Verse of the Day for November 16, 2016 offers a prayer request expressed in Psalm 119:18:

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

A corresponding petition is found in Lamentations 3:23

Call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things that you do not know.

Most providentially, the Verse of the Day for November 1 was taken from Ephesians 1:18 (KJV):

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Actually, verse 18 is part of a prayer, an expression of God’s desire for His people written by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1: 14-23. Verses 17-18 are part of the introduction, as indicated in the Amplified Bible:

17 [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,

18 By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones),

These two verses were the inspiration, in part, for the following

The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation

Ephesians 1:17-18 (AMP)

 

God gives the Spirit of wisdom and revelation

That we might know Him and experience His great love,

Striving to know more fully total restoration

That flows from the wisdom that descends from above.

We walk as the wise, not as foolish ones who would rebel,

But we choose to pursue God and do whatever it takes.

We make choices, knowing what will attract, what will repel,

For each life mirrors a lifetime of choices that one makes.

We do not shun the Lord’s reproof but embrace correction.

God wants us to know the hope of His calling in this hour,

The riches of His heritage and greatness of His power.

We press toward the mark, to reach ultimate perfection.

God floods the eyes of our understanding that we might see,

As we seek intimacy of the highest degree.

The verses from Ephesians 1, along with the previously cited verses, bring to mind lyrics of a number of songs which, in essence, are similar prayers expressed in music. We conclude with a medley of three such related songs by the Maranatha Singers:

Open our Eyes/Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus/Open My Eyes, that I May See.

Not only is our prayer to God like those expressed in Psalm 119:18 and Jeremiah 33:3: that God will enlighten and illuminate our lives, but we also recognize that God’s prayer for us is the same: that by means of the spirit of wisdom and revelation, that the eyes of our heart may be flooded with light, as is expressed so powerfully in Ephesians 1.This is our prayer today and every day.

 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, the Burden Bearer

July 27, 2015

Hebrews-12-1-2

Verse of the Day for July 27, 2015 comes from the Hebrews 12:1 in the Authorized (King James) Version.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

For a more comprehensive view, take a look at the first three verses of Chapter 12 of Hebrews:

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

In thinking on this passage, my mind recalls a backpacking experience that occurred at TFI (Total Fitness Institute) in California back in December, 1975. During this outdoor wilderness adventure I was assigned to a platoon of believers, and we portioned out our food supply for the week among the group. I volunteered to carry the food for the last day, which meant that my load stayed the same while the load that everyone else carried got lighter.

On this particular day, we were told that we would hike for a mile and then take a break and rest for a while. After a considerable amount of time, I was certain that we had hiked more than a mile, but we continued. When I realized that I was carrying the food for the last day and that everyone else’s load was lighter than mine, I became agitated and began to complain in my mind that “This is just not fair. . .” During this time of frustration and agitation as I struggled under my heavy load, I thought of the Lord Jesus Christ and all that he gladly bore on my behalf. As I took my mind off myself and turned my thoughts toward the Lord, the distress and exasperation seemed to fade, and we arrive at our destination in a short time. That experience was the inspiration for this poem:

The Burden Bearer

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah,

When I lay my burden down.

I stumbled up the rugged road;

I almost fell beneath the load

And spurned the pain inside my head,

Recalling words of one who said

Come unto me, and I will give you rest.”

 

The yoke I bear cannot compare

With all he took upon Himself:

All sins, disease, and guilt, despair

That I could not forebear myself.

His burden was not made of wood,

His cross beyond all words can name.

Have I resisted unto blood?

Could I for joy endure such shame?

From a glimpse into his face

I’m strengthened by a second wind;

My mind’s renewed to keep the pace

The load is lightened by my friend.

 

I feel better, so much better

since I laid my burden down.

 

The Verse of the Day also brought to mind this song: “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus” offered by Michael W. Smith

My experience at the Total Fitness Institute also inspired “The Burden Bearer.” The epigraph or short intro to the poem as well as the closing stanza are lyrics from an old gospel song that I recall my childhood days, recorded here by the Staple Singers.

When we “turn our eyes upon Jesus,” we will see that he is our “Burden Bearer.”