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And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Getting An Eye Full

TIME in the Word - Daily Devotional
Together for Inspiration, Motivation, and Encouragement

Verse of the Day - Matthew 6:22-23
The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Daily Scripture Reading - Ecclesiastes 1

Puritan Catechism
Question #50 - What is required in the fourth commandment?

Answer - The fourth commandment requires the keeping holy to God such set times as he has appointed in his Word, expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy Sabbath to himself (Lev. 19:30; Deut. 5:12).

Devotional Thoughts
Ecclesiastes 1:8 tells us, "The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor the ear filled with hearing." Likewise the Bible tells us that there are just certain things that are never satisfied. Proverbs 30:16 says, "The grave, The barren womb, The earth that is not satisfied with water— And the fire never says, 'Enough!'" This is a natural discontentment.

On the one hand we have the verses in Ecclesiastes and Proverbs that are clear, "So the eyes of man are never satisfied" (Prov. 27:20). But on the other we are told in the Scriptures that godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Tim. 6:6). So what do we do when we just cannot be content? And might we be so bold as to say that not all discontentment is sinful?

We see that these verses that refer to the eyes speak about lust, desire, and a hunger for more. While hungering for righteousness is good, hungering for self fulfillment is not. So the question that helps us see the right from the wrong is a question about what it is that we are discontent about.

If we are discontent about our walk with God and the weakness of our faith, then that is good. It keeps us from being apathetic and lukewarm. But if we are discontent about things, about material provisions, about comfort, or about the things we think we deserve, then our focus is not on developing our relationship with God for His glory and our benefit. The focus has shifted and we are consumed with a desire for more, just to have more. As if having more of whatever it is we desire will satisfy us.

But if we are talking about the temporal, about the things of this world, the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life, then those things will never say "Enough!" They always want more.

So what do we want?

It is much like the question asked yesterday about how we can tell what our true priorities are - where are we spending the most of our time, money, and energy? What do we desire? What drives us? What is it that we want more and more of in our lives?

In our verses from Matthew 6 we are told that if our eyes are good then we will be full of light, but if they are bad then we will be full of darkness. It is true, on one level that if the eye is good then the light is let in, so to speak. And if our eyes are bad, then no light gets in and we are only full of darkness. But in another sense, in a deeper sense, what we learn is that the things we look at and dwell on, those things in our mind's eye that we focus upon, those things reveal the truth about whether we have a good eye or a bad eye.

If our eye is good, if we are thinking on and dwelling on and meditating on good things, of things which are "true, just, noble, praiseworthy" and the like, then we will be full of light. But if our eye is bad, then we will be filling ourselves only with darkness, with an absence of light.

One way to examine our eyes is to see what it is that we look at. What do we focus our attention on? Where are our eyes? Do we think that it is okay to look as long as we do not touch? Or do we think that an intentional glance will not harm us as long as we let the thought pass from our mind after we play with it but for a moment?

You see, this tells us whether or not we are filling ourselves with light or with darkness. Where are our eyes? In a very practical way we must realize that often we let our eyes wander. We look for things to entice and excite! Instead we should be guarding our eyes and our gaze.

How harmful can a glance be?

As harmful as if a man went out and committed adultery, being unfaithful to his wife and to His Lord (Matt 5:8). But wait, you might say, there is nothing wrong with noticing beauty is there? But what are we looking for when we gaze? When we think? When we imagine?

This is practical for men and for women, because while men are visually oriented, it is also true that women can be misled by what they see as well? Was not the quality of the fruit that the serpent pointed out to Eve the fact that it was pleasant to the eyes, it was in every way imaginable desirable? And so as men and women we must do as Job did.

I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman? - Job 31:1

We must make a covenant with our eyes, lest we fill ourselves up only with darkness. We must look on things that fill us with light, things that edify. In short, we must keep our eyes upon Jesus, watching lest our eyes be turned away and we be distracted by the discontentment that is all around us.

There are movements both secular and within the "church" that appeal to our sense of discontentment. We though must learn to discern, to shun these things that drive us to desire what the world has to offer. Our treasure is to be laid up in heaven. Our eyes are to be on Jesus.

Often when we do something wrong there are those around us who will gladly give us an earful. Today we need to think about getting an eye full. What are the things that we are filling ourselves up with as we cast a glance or halt a gaze? And what do the things we look at tell us about the truth - are we full of light or darkness?

The key today is to look at the Word of God, for it, better than anything on this earth, always enlightens the eyes (Psalm 19:8).

Links for Further Study
(links to study each daily topic in more detail if you have the desire and the time)

Directions Against Sinful Desires and Discontent by Richard Baxter
The Divine Light by Jonathan Edwards

Bible Reading For Further Study

Recommended Songs for Worship

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