"Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law."
Many of us live our lives in a kind of spiritual nearsightedness. We refuse to
experience the fullness of our faith because it might cost too much, or it might
make us uncomfortable. God offers to let us see this world through His eyes, and
a more beautiful sight does not exist. Allow Him to give you His sight, and behold
the wonders of the world.
Father, remove the blinders that I so often place upon my eyes. Expand my horizons
beyond the limits I place on myself. Grant me vision through Your eyes of love to
see the world and Your path as You would have me walk it. I will give you all the
glory for the wonderful things You have done for me. In Jesus' name I pay, Amen.
"Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me Thy law graciously."
Truth has no hidden traps in it. When we live in truth, we live above
reproach. When we lie, even a little bit, we open ourselves to problems
that are unnecessary. Walk in the ways of God, always holding to the truth,
and then you will find that there is nothing to fear.
Lord, remove any lie or deceit from my mouth. Let truth and tact rule my words.
If I find no truth within me to share, then let me keep silent. Amen.
We live in deceptive and perillous times, but we should also be excited, because our redemption draws near. I think of the prophecy that predicts that evil men will go on doing evil. Bad men will go from bad to worse, inventing new ways to sin and approving of those who do wickedness. They call good 'evil' and evil 'good'. Sound familiar?
We are to be a light shining in the darkness.
New International Version (NIV)
The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times
24 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. <sup>2 </sup>“Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
<sup>3 </sup>As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
<sup>4 </sup>Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. <sup>5 </sup>For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. <sup>6 </sup>You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. <sup>7 </sup>Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. <sup>8 </sup>All these are the beginning of birth pains.
<sup>9 </sup>“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. <sup>10 </sup>At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, <sup>11 </sup>and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. <sup>12 </sup>Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, <sup>13 </sup>but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. <sup>14 </sup>And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
<sup>15 </sup>“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’<sup>[[a]]</sup> spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— <sup>16 </sup>then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. <sup>17 </sup>Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. <sup>18 </sup>Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. <sup>19 </sup>How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! <sup>20 </sup>Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. <sup>21 </sup>For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
<sup>22 </sup>“If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. <sup>23 </sup>At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. <sup>24 </sup>For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. <sup>25 </sup>See, I have told you ahead of time.
<sup>26 </sup>“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. <sup>27 </sup>For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. <sup>28 </sup>Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
<sup>29 </sup>“Immediately after the distress of those days
“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’<sup>[[b]]</sup>
<sup>30 </sup>“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth<sup>[[c]]</sup> will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.<sup>[[d]]</sup> <sup>31 </sup>And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
Jerusalem Remains Unrepentant
<sup>6 </sup>“I have destroyed nations;
their strongholds are demolished.
I have left their streets deserted,
with no one passing through.
Their cities are laid waste;
they are deserted and empty.
<sup>7 </sup>Of Jerusalem I thought,
‘Surely you will fear me
and accept correction!’
Then her place of refuge<sup>[[a]]</sup> would not be destroyed,
nor all my punishments come upon<sup>[[b]]</sup> her.
But they were still eager
to act corruptly in all they did.
<sup>8 </sup>Therefore wait for me,”
declares the Lord,
“for the day I will stand up to testify.<sup>[[c]]</sup>
I have decided to assemble the nations,
to gather the kingdoms
and to pour out my wrath on them—
all my fierce anger.
The whole world will be consumed
by the fire of my jealous anger.
Restoration of Israel’s Remnant
<sup>9 </sup>“Then I will purify the lips of the peoples,
that all of them may call on the name of the Lord
and serve him shoulder to shoulder.
<sup>10 </sup>From beyond the rivers of Cush<sup>[[d]]</sup>
my worshipers, my scattered people,
will bring me offerings.
<sup>11 </sup>On that day you, Jerusalem, will not be put to shame
for all the wrongs you have done to me,
because I will remove from you
your arrogant boasters.
Never again will you be haughty
on my holy hill.
<sup>12 </sup>But I will leave within you
the meek and humble.
The remnant of Israel
will trust in the name of the Lord.
<sup>13 </sup>They will do no wrong;
they will tell no lies.
A deceitful tongue
will not be found in their mouths.
They will eat and lie down
and no one will make them afraid.”
<sup>14 </sup>Sing, Daughter Zion;
shout aloud, Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
<sup>15 </sup>The Lord has taken away your punishment,
he has turned back your enemy.
The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you;
never again will you fear any harm.
<sup>16 </sup>On that day
they will say to Jerusalem,
“Do not fear, Zion;
do not let your hands hang limp.
<sup>17 </sup>The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
<sup>18 </sup>“I will remove from you
all who mourn over the loss of your appointed festivals,
which is a burden and reproach for you.
<sup>19 </sup>At that time I will deal
with all who oppressed you.
I will rescue the lame;
I will gather the exiles.
I will give them praise and honor
in every land where they have suffered shame.
<sup>20 </sup>At that time I will gather you;
at that time I will bring you home.
I will give you honor and praise
among all the peoples of the earth
when I restore your fortunes<sup>[[e]]</sup>
before your very eyes,”
says the Lord.
"Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken me in Thy way."
We cannot allow ourselves to lose sight of what is really important in our
churches and in our Christian lives. Certainly, our church buildings are important,
but stained glass windows and elaborate decoration never saved anyone. The work of
the church will go on regardless of the condition of the buildings that house them.
Let not your eyes be turned from the way of the Lord. Focus always on Him.
I can get sidetracked from the really important things, Lord. Help me to remain steadfast
concerning Your work and Gospel. Set my priorities as You would have them. Guide me in my
prayer life to pray Your will and to listen for Your answer. Father, I lift our country,
our leaders, Your church and its leaders, our military and first responders and their families
all to You for Your protection and for You to penetrate their hearts and minds to do Your will
and not do evil, to lead with Your moral standards and compassion. I lift the persecuted church
around the world. I pray for Israel and all her people. I pray that Your Spirit would go out
and bring comfort, strength, wisdom, peace and especially the gospel for the salvation of many,
Lord. Give Your church the courage and words and opportunity to reach those who need Your touch
to meet their needs. I pray that we not get distracted by things of this world that will pass away,
but that we will live our lives in a way that glorifies Your name for You alone are worthy.
I pray in Jesus' name, Amen.
which lord is that?
"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
Father God, please guide us and strengthen us to keep on praying even when words
fail us. Give us the words to share with others so that we may spread Your gospel
and show Your love through compassion and encouragement. May we be part of a great
movement for You in Jesus name, Amen.