Two weeks ago we got homework from our class at church. The homework: to find the answer to this question:
How do we keep our eyes on Jesus?
Two nights ago HP and I were talking about a couple that we know that no longer attends our church (or any church that we know of). HP commented:
I wonder what happened?
I told HP I wasn’t sure what happened for this couple, but I know what could happen for me. It ties back to our homework question.
I wasn’t taught much growing up about how to stay on the Christian path. I thought it was just me. I was always searching. I asked several pastors, and other people who I thought
would should have the answer.
It always came back to:
- Go to church every time the church doors were open (and make sure you tithe)
- Pray every morning (have a list handy to help you stay focused)
- Read your Bible (one chapter a day is good enough)
There’s nothing wrong with any of these three things. I take that back… there is. The problem is they are check boxes.
Yep, I got up, I prayed, I read my chapter, and church isn’t today. Whew, I’m done for the day. That’s how I felt and I knew it wasn’t enough. I’m not saying add more things to check off. I’m saying that’s not what’s going to get your eyes focused on Jesus.
5 minutes or 60 minutes a day is not focusing on Christ. It’s checking a box so you ‘feel’ like you did your part.
I don’t have the perfect answer to either question. What I do have is a set of verses that always stuck out to me. Yep, I hear you all groaning now. Here she goes – throwing around those verses that everyone quotes, but doesn’t really do anything with.
- Psalm 90:12
- Proverbs 3:5-6
- Daniel prayed 3 times a day – therefore we only have to pray at mealtimes
*I’m sorry I can’t remember them all right now
The point is: we are trying to put Christian living in a box and it doesn’t belong there.
We need to go ALL.THE.WAY. back to:
King James Version (KJV)
18 Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
19 And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
20 And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:
*Thank you BibleGateWay for not making me type all of that out.
The missing piece, the reason we don’t focus on God, the ‘what happened’ is: at some point we stopped making God part of our day, every day, all day long.
The verses don’t say: pray for just one hour, attend all church services, or read one chapter a day. They say make God so much a part of your life that you are speaking of Him all day (and night long).
Now the practical. I’m always pushing for the practical… The ‘how can I apply that to my life’. What I have started doing (and I am not ‘the one’ to follow – I’m just handing out ideas) is: I play the Bible (a free app on my iPhone) while I am doing dishes and getting dinner ready. BP hears it start up and she comes running because she knows we have kitchen chores to do.
BP even fusses at me when I forget to play it. 😀
When BP and I go for a walk we talk about what we see AND Who made it. Actually I talk – she listens.
When I (or BP) is having a rough time, we stop and pray and ask God’s Spirit to control our attitude – – > and there’s no food waiting to be consumed! (i.e. it’s not mealtime – you know 1 of the 3 times you are ‘supposed’ to pray during the day. Of course, sometimes food does help our attitudes. 😉 )
All this to say: How can we keep our eyes on Christ if we are only looking at Him 1/24th or less of the day?
Just so we are being Biblical here; take a look at the few things recorded about Jesus’ way of living. He prayed at all different times of the day, He spoke/read God’s Word at all different times of the day, and he didn’t wait for the temple doors to open to worship God. (That’s YOUR homework 😀 )
I’m not saying we HAVE to be just like Jesus, because we can’t. I’m saying keep your eyes on Jesus because that is something we can do.