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 Is Your Eye Clear? by Paul David Washer

[b]Is Your Eye Clear?[/b]
[i]by Paul David Washer[/i]

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where
moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and
steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves
do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there
your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body;
so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full
of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will
be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is
darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve
two masters; for either he will hate the one and love
the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the
other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
Matthew 6:19-24


The previous is one of the most important
passages in the Scriptures with regard to
Christian priorities and missions. According
to this Scripture, the Christian is to be on con-
stant guard in order not to stray from eternal
priorities. Two choices are always before us.
One choice offers immediate rewards that are
temporal and deceptive. The other is a nar-
row road which may cost us everything, but
the rewards are eternal and beyond the ability
of even Scripture to describe.

God’s Treasure

If we know that which is most treasured by
God, then we will know that which should be
most treasured by us - God’s treasure and ours
should be the same. This is the very thing that
made the life of Jesus so different from the life
of every other man. He treasured only what
His Father treasured. May God grant us the
grace to do the same.

What is it that God most treasures? With only
a cursory reading of the Scripture, we quickly
discover that God’s priority is His own Glory.
He desires that every aspect of His being, at-
tributes, and works be made known to creation
and that all praise and honor be ascribed only
to Him. Consider the following Scriptures:
“For from the rising of the sun even to its
setting, My name will be great among the
nations.”
Malachi 1:11

“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who
is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your
kingdom come, your will be done, on earth
as it is in heaven.’”
Matthew 6:9-10

It is God’s great desire or treasure to see His
Name held in highest esteem among the na-
tions, and among all creatures in heaven and
on earth. At first sight, this may appear self-
centered, but first sights are often very decep-
tive. For God to seek His glory above all else is
the greatest demonstration of His love.

The depth of one’s love is often demonstrated
by the costliness of the gift he/she gives. If
someone was to give you a twig or a small
fragment of gravel, it would not be an over-
whelming demonstration of love. You would
not rush out to alert the media, nor would you
gather your friends about you to tell them of
this great love that has been shown to you. It
would not be something that you remembered
very long, much less, that you held close to
your heart all the days of your life. However,
if someone gave his life that you might live,
this would indeed warrant such a reaction. It
would be a story worth the media’s attention,
and your friends would most likely want to
hear all about it. You would treasure such a
selfless act of love all the days of your life. So
then, the measure of one’s love is often mani-
fested by the greatness of one’s gift.

Now we must ask ourselves a question: “What
is the greatest gift that God could ever give?”
It is not prosperity, health, or even heaven.
He Himself is the greatest gift. The most lov-
ing thing that God can do for His creatures is
to work in such a way so as to reveal or dem-
onstrate the fullness of His glory to them - to
take center stage and call all creatures to fix
their eyes and hearts upon Him. For this very
reason, when God does what He does for His
own glory, it is the greatest demonstration of
His love toward the creature.

The adverse of this is equally true. The most
destitute and pitiful of all creatures are those
who do not know God, who are unaware of
His glory, and cut off from His truth. The
Scriptures declare that God has set eternity in
the hearts of men (Ecclesiastes 3:11). This in-

finite aspect of the heart can only be filled by
the infinite. Man may pour into his heart all
the fame, wealth, power, and pleasure that this
world has to offer, but he will still be empty.
Eternity cannot be filled up with the temporal,
nor can infinity be satisfied by the finite. Man’s
heart was made for the full measure of God’s
glory. Apart from this, man is destitute, miser-
able, and empty.

In summary, God’s treasure, His greatest desire
and purpose is that His Name be great among
the nations, that His Name be hallowed (highly
esteemed), that His Kingdom come, and His
will be done! However, we must ask ourselves,
“Is this our greatest purpose and passion?”
We lay awake at night and worry about so
many things. We fret and are anxious about so
many things. We desire things passionately, fa-
natically, even to the point of obsession: hous-
es and lands, jobs and promotions, fame and
reputation, needs, and wants, and countless
other things. But when was the last time that
sleep escaped us because of our concern for
the nations that have not heard? When was the
last time that our hearts broke in two because
there are places on this earth where God’s
Name is not hallowed, His kingdom advances
ever so slowly, and His will is not foremost in
the hearts of men? We fret and sweat about so
many things, but do we ever give any thought
to that which is most on the mind of God?

Christ’s Warning

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on
earth, where moth and rust destroy, and
where thieves break in and steal.”

In this verse, Jesus is calling for a radical deci-
sion on the part of His disciples to repent of
their earthly materialism and turn their hearts
toward God and His kingdom. Although the
Scriptures speak of wealth as neither good nor
bad, it does warn us that the love of wealth
is a great evil (I Timothy 6:10) and that the
seeking and hoarding of wealth will only
lead to loss and shame on the day of judg-
ment (James 5:2-3).

Regardless of the warnings that run throughout
Scripture, it seems that the desire for wealth is
God’s greatest competitor for the hearts of men.
It is ironic that although most people spend
most of their time, “treasuring treasures,” very
few ever really “possess treasures.” And those
rare individuals who actually do obtain their
treasures here on earth quickly grow tired of
them once they are obtained. Is it not a very
foolish thing to trade the glorious gifts of God
for earthly treasures that we rarely do obtain,
and if by chance we do obtain them, we quick-
ly grow tired of them?

Name one thing on this earth that is highly
coveted by men and we can quickly assess
its true value with one simple question: “Is it
eternal?” If it is, it is worthy of being obtained
even at the expense of all other things. If not,
its worth is equivalent to the dust into which it
will turn. To seek for it is a pathetic waste of a
human life and fool’s errand.

Christ’s Admonition

“But store up for yourselves treasures in
heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys,
and where thieves do not break in or steal.”
The Scriptures do not speak against treasure
or the pursuit of treasure, but it does speak
against foolishly wasting the life God has giv-
en us in the vain pursuit of things that have
no eternal value and can never fill the infinite
desire of a heart made for eternity. In Isaiah
55:2, the Scripture shakes its head in bewil-
derment at men who seek for the temporal at
the expense of the eternal:

“Why do you spend money for what is not
bread, and your wages for what does not
satisfy?”

Nothing except the person and will of God
can fill a man. The only treasure worth hav-
ing is that which is eternal and comes from
God. Such treasure is found only by doing His
will, living for His glory, and seeking after His
Kingdom. Has God not promised to care for
us? Has He not promised to meet our every
need? Has He not shown Himself capable and
willing to fill His children with blessing and to
not withhold from them one good thing? Why,
then, do we put earthly pursuits ahead of the
pursuit of God and God’s pursuits? Our one
obligation is also our only means of truly living
an abundant and satisfied life - “Seek ye first
the Kingdom of God and His righteousness”
(Matthew 6:33). Heaven and earth shall pass
away, the inferior products of this world will
burn up in the fire as hay, wood, and stubble (I
Corinthians 3:12-15). However, the man who
does the will of God will abide forever and his
works will stand throughout eternity (I John
2:17). There will be no regrets in heaven for
having lived “too much” for the kingdom of
God, but we can be assured that there will be
great regrets for having lived “so little.”

The Undeniable Truth

“For where your treasure is, there your heart
will be also.”

Ever so often in Scripture, we are confronted
by certain statements that open our hearts
and reveal the truth about our character and
desires. The verse above is one of those state-
ments. Regardless of how often or forcefully
we declare that God and His Kingdom are our
greatest desire, the true desire of our life can
be revealed by smallest and simplest of ques-
tions: Where is our heart? What occupies our
thoughts above all other things? What do we
long for? Can we say in truth that God and His
Kingdom are our passion?

What if a stranger who did not know of our
Christian confession watched our lives and
read our thoughts? Would he be convinced
that God and His Kingdom are our two great-
est priorities? Would he hear almost constant
conversation about the mercies of God and the
advancement of His Kingdom? Would he hear
us pray with passion for the unevangelized na-
tions? Would he see us passing a sleepless night
because God’s Name is not highly esteemed
among all peoples, because His Kingdom has
not covered the entire earth, or because His
will is not obeyed or even known by the great
majority of men?

If most were honest, we would be forced to
admit that he would hear us speaking about
houses and lands, cars and toys, recreations
and hobbies. He would see us obsessed with
worldly worries, wants, and pleasures. He
would hear very little about God in our daily
conversation, would see little activity directed
toward the advancement of the Kingdom, and
would think it preposterous for us to claimed
that our treasure is in heaven!

Clear Eyes

“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if
your eye is clear, your whole body will be full
of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole
body will be full of darkness. If then the light
that is in you is darkness, how great is the
darkness!”

In saying that the “eye is the lamp of the
body,” Jesus is not giving us instructions in
human physiology, but rather is teaching
us about the great influence that our desires
have on our lives. Our body goes where our eyes
are focused, and our eyes focus on what
our heart desires. If our heart desires worldly
things, then worldly things will be our focus
and the very things we pursue. However, if our
heart truly desires the things of God, then our
eyes will be fixed on them, and we will pursue
them with a passion. The clear eye has a sin-
gle vision without confusion or duplicity. A.T.
Robertson writes, “If our eyes are healthy, we
see clearly and with a single focus. If the eyes
are diseased (bad, evil), cross-eyed or cock-
eyed, we see double and confuse our vision.
We keep one eye on the hoarded treasures of
earth and roll the other proudly up to heaven”

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to
singleness of heart and purpose. We are called
to seek first the Kingdom of God and entrust
all our worldly needs to the Master. He knows
what we need before we ask Him and is dis-
posed to do good things for His children.

Two Masters

“No one can serve two masters; for either he
will hate the one and love the other, or he
will be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Jesus taught a great deal about money. The
reason is simple - In this fallen world, money
seems to be God’s greatest competitor for the
hearts of men. If by grace, a man has freed
himself from the love and pursuit of wealth, he
has opened himself to the possibility of undi-
vided devotion to God.

Fallen man is a slave to someone. The ques-
tion is not whether or not a man is a slave, but
whose slave is he? Some men are enslaved to
other men, some to themselves, and others to
things such as money, security, and respect-
ability. Other men are given to vain pursuits,
deceitful pleasures, or something as “harm-
less” as a hobby. The list is almost endless, but
Christ calls us to turn away from such slavery
and turn wholeheartedly and without reserva-
tion to Him.

Although the above Scripture teaches us that
it is IMPOSSIBLE to serve God and wealth,
the application is far reaching. There can be
no competitors in the heart of the believer. We
must constantly survey our lives and search out
competing loyalties. When we find them, we
must be careful to deal with them severely. We
must not show them even the slightest compas-
sion. If we spare them, they will become barbs
in our eyes and thorns in our side (Numbers
33:55). We can never truly serve God while
such things are hanging around our hearts.
Even those things most precious to us must not
be excused from our censure. Jesus taught that
it is better for our right hand and right eye to
suffer violent mutilation than for them to be-
come stumbling blocks to the upward call of
true discipleship (Matthew 5:29-30). We must
put away anything that deters us from Him
and His pursuits. Our lives are on the line and
eternity is at stake! The Expositor’s Bible Com-
mentary concludes:

“Both God and money are portrayed, not as
employers, but as slave owners. A man may
work for two employers; but since ‘single
ownership and full time service are the very
essence of slavery’ (Tasker), he cannot serve
two slave owners. Either God is served with
a single-eyed devotion, or he is not served
at all. Attempts at divided loyalty betray,
not partial commitment to discipleship, but
deep-seated commitment to idolatry.”


_________________
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2007/12/11 17:43Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re: Is Your Eye Clear? by Paul David Washer

Quote:
“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole
body will be full of darkness. If then the light
that is in you is darkness, how great is the
darkness!”



There is a common idea throughout scripture that what we set before our eyes is what we have set our hearts upon and out of our heart are the issues of life. Folk set things before their eyes that become like idols. Certainly 'wealth' and 'things' fall into this category. But it is much more broad than that. An 'evil eye' to the Hebrews meant a stingy person or a covetous person. Covet and lust are almost synonomous. Paul said he had not known lust except the Law had said, "thou shalt not covet." The question is, what has a person set before their eyes? It is what they covet and covetousness is idolatry (Col. 3:5).

(Luke 6:39-43) And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. And why beholdest thou the mote (stick) that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam (piece of timber) that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.

This passage deals with things people set before their eyes. I awoke one night from dream in which a person had a hole drilled between their eyeball and their lower eye lid. They reached behind their back, pulled out what looked like a long pencil, and inserted the plank into that hole like a person would set a flag in a flag stand. On that pencil, like childrens pencils are today, printed with a symbol of their 'vice' on it. It was very convenient and mater of fact like. They set that 'thing' before their eyes and everywhere they looked they saw it. So long as it was before their eyes they were always preoccupied with it. I pulled it from their face and snapped it in two.

I think our passage likewise deals with peoples hangups and things that come between them and God. It deals with how God is challenged in peoples life. Instead of God alone being before the persons eyes, God + something else is before their eyes. That 'something else' can range from a straw to a timber in God's eyes. Interestingly, the people with the worst cases of idolatry in their lives often are the ones wanting to do the "eye surgery."

I have had METAL removed from my eyes by a doctor on 3 seperate occasions. It is the most painful thing one can imagine. I cannot imagine the ER doctor working on me with a 2X4 or a floor joice before his eyes. This is the sensitive nature of ministry. It is a strange thing that a person would even venture to assist the person with the straw; but Jesus said they do.













_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2007/12/11 18:39Profile





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