Got to thinking about eyes

Yesterday after I posted about Joel Osteen and his blurb about his forthcoming newest book, I got to thinking.

What I was thinking about is how the worldview he is promoting is completely foundationally skewed. It is exactly backwards.

Here is part of what he says:

Instead, your declarations should be: I am closer than I think. I can raise this child. I can overcome this sickness. I can make this business work. I know I can find a new job.

Take your dreams and the promises God has put in your heart, and every day declare that they will come to pass. Just say something like, “Father, I want to thank you that my payday is coming. You said no good thing will You withhold because I walk uprightly. And I believe even right now you’re arranging things in my favor.”

and the phrase in my head was “if the eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.” Here is that phrase in context:

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

19 x “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where y moth and rust [5] destroy and where thieves z break in and steal, 20 x but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 a “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 a but if b your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

24 c “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God andd money. [6]

do you see it? two ways to look at the world. two types of eyes with which to view the world.  The healthy eye is spiritual, realizing that better and more lasting possessions come later, in heaven.  The bad eye is temporal, thinking that here in this world is the place to stockpile treasure.  The former is light, the latter is dark.

what about these eyes?  why that metaphor?

Here is John Piper on the topic:

So the flow of thought would go like this: Don’t lay up treasures on earth, but lay up treasures in heaven. Show that your heart is fixed on the value that God is for you in Christ. Make sure that your eye is good not bad. That is, make sure that you see heavenly treasure as infinitely more precious than earthly material treasure. When your eye sees things this way, you are full of light. And if you don’t see things this way, even the light you think you see (the glitz and flash and skin and muscle of this world) is all darkness. You are sleepwalking through life. You are serving money as a slave without even knowing it, because it has lulled you to sleep. Far better is to be swayed by the truth—the infinite value of God.

and here is John MacArthur:

If our eye is bad, however, if it is diseased or damaged, no light can enter, and the whole body will be full of darkness. If our hearts are encumbered with material concerns they become “blind” and insensitive to spiritual concerns. The eye is like a window which, when clear, allows light to shine through, but, when dirty, or bad, prevents light from entering. Poneros (bad) usually means evil, as it is translated here in the King James Version. In the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) it is often used in translating the Hebrew expression “evil eye,” a Jewish colloquialism that means grudging, or stingy (see Deut. 15:9, “hostile”; Pr 23:6, “selfish”). “A man with an evil eye,” for example, is one who “hastens after wealth” (Pr 28:22). The eye that is bad is the heart that is selfishly indulgent. The person who is materialistic and greedy is spiritually blind. Because he has no way of recognizing true light, he thinks he has light when he does not. What is thought to be light is therefore really darkness, and because of the self-deception, how great is the darkness! The principle is simple and sobering: the way we look at and use our money is a sure barometer of our spiritual condition. (MacArthur, J: Matthew 1-7 Macarthur New Testament Commentary Chicago: Moody Press)

Do you see where I am heading? Joel Osteen writes about Your Best Life Now and It’s Your Time. The Bible says that our best life is yet to come in eternity with Jesus. The Bible says that our time is yet to come.

here, see for yourself(tent=earthly home=physical body):

Our Heavenly Dwelling

5 For we know that if k the tent that is l our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, m a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent n we groan, longing to o put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on [1] we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal p may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, q who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

6 So we are always of good courage. We know that r while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for s we walk by faith, not t by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we u would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to v please him. 10 For w we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, x so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

so, is your eye healthy or diseased? do you chase after wealth and security on this earth or do you emphasize laying up treasure for yourself in heaven?

do you really believe that your treasure in heaven is “better and more lasting possessions” than anything you can accumulate here?

32 But recall the former days when, after r you were enlightened, you endured s a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being t publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For u you had compassion on those in prison, and v you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had w a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has x a great reward.36 For y you have need of endurance, so that z when you have done the will of God you may a receive what is promised.

In closing, here is some advice from Pastor Piper:

So if you are emotionally drawn more by material things than by Christ, pray that God would give you a good eye and awaken you from the blindness of “the bad eye.”


2 Responses

  1. awesome. read every word. loved it. will read over and over. good stuff. needed. thank you.

  2. thank you.

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