by Dana Roberts
I can only imagine all the advertisements, puns, and clichés we will begin to see for the new year; especially advertising for perfect vision. I, too, have caught the 2020 perfect vision bug when I recently sent out our Harvest Kids Newsletter for January 2020.
I wanted to be sure to encourage the kids and their families to focus their sights on Jesus. I’d like to take this opportunity to expand on the “2020 perfect vision.” I pray we keep focused on our Perfect Savior all year long.
The Bible tells us that we are creatures who are easily deceived and tend to stray. In the Genesis account, Eve admits that she was deceived by the serpent.i In the New Testament, Paul speaks to the Corinthians about being deceived and straying from the true gospel. He even refers to the Genesis account, “But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”ii Several times throughout the New Testament, a Christ-follower is warned to not be deceived. Once deceived, straying is inevitable. To keep a “sincere and pure devotion to Christ,” is to stay focused on The Perfect Savior.
Admittedly, life is busy, so how does one keep focused on Jesus? Joshua 1:8 expresses, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; …” (NASB) We learn that one should mediate on God’s Word day and night. Why? So that one is careful to do what is written. This implies that one has less chance to stray for he is continually in God’s Word. “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”iii Since our iniquity has fallen on Him (Jesus), we should want to keep focused so that our lives will glorify Him. Basically, we must choose to put God first and be continually in His Word.
The Psalms are full of verses relating to meditating on the Lord’s precepts day and night. See Psalm 1:2; 119:15; and 143:5 to mention just a few. The main idea here is to meditate so that we can stay focused!
Take a pair of binoculars for example. When you first put the binoculars to your eyes, they will be blurry until you make some adjustments. As you keep adjusting, your vision becomes focused; crystal clear. This is just like mediating on the Word day and night. The more we read and study, the more adjustments we make to be Christ-like. The more focused we are on Him, the more crystal clear He becomes.
The Israelites time and again strayed from God because they didn’t keep focused. Ezekiel 14:11 says, “in order that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me…” This implies that they had strayed. Why? Because they did not stay with their God, rather they repeatedly set up other idols. (See Exodus 32, Deuteronomy 32:21, Ezekiel 14, Ezekiel 44:10)
For us, other idols express the desires of our heart. 2020 vision is more of a heart issue than an eye issue. What are we focused on? Work, money, family, children, vacation, cottage? How about movies, books, sewing, gardening? These are easily idols if we are more focused on them than on Christ. When we focus on the desires of our heart (i.e., spend more time and energy on, daydream about, or work harder toward) we lose focus on Christ, deceive ourselves, and stray from Him. We should be putting the majority of our focus on Christ. Scripture tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and all else will be given to us!iv
I challenged our Harvest Kids and their families to take the 2020 Vision Challenge. Keep focused on Christ all year long. Will you join our challenge?
We’d love to connect with you. Please contact the church for further Bible study guidance or Biblical counseling. We have several Bible study groups available and Biblical counselors to assist you.
2 Corinthians 11:3 (ESV)