The Kingdom of Heaven: Having a Good Eye

22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 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!

(Matthew 6:22-23, NKJV)

I never really gave this passage much thought until I was preparing to write this post. And then I found that it stumped me a little.

Matthew seems to randomly sandwich these two verses right in between two sections talking about riches. How does having a good or bad eye fit into the flow of the chapter? Does it fit at all? And what does the eye symbolize, if anything?

In times past, I had usually read it as a sort of “Oh be careful, little eye, what you see” passage and assumed it was a warning to not do things like watch immoral movies or look at pornography, because you will be negatively affected by doing so. And I would move on to the next part of the chapter without giving it much more thought than that.

But while that would certainly be a true warning, I don’t think that’s what these verses are about. Continue reading

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The Kingdom of Heaven: Eternal Treasure

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 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.

(Matt. 6:19-21)

Three verses.

Three gold nuggets of wisdom.

Let’s dig a little deeper. Continue reading

A Legacy that Matters

This latest song by Casting Crowns was just released in August, and the first time I heard it on the radio, it immediately struck me as powerful.

And I,

I don’t want to leave a legacy

I don’t care if they remember me

Only Jesus

And I,

I’ve only got one life to live

I’ll let every second point to Him

Only Jesus

 

In 2009 I participated in the first-ever National Bible Bee, and it was during the competition that I learned the story of Continue reading

The Kingdom of Heaven: Not Bread Alone

16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

(Matt. 6:14-18, NKJV)

Matthew 6 has so far focused very much on humility. Do good deeds out of humility only. Pray out of humility only. And now Jesus commands us to fast out of humility only.

Since we’ve already talked about so much about humility, it would seem repetitive to dive further into that now. So instead, I’m going to take a slightly different bent and focus on fasting itself.

Most of us probably do good deeds. . . tithe a percentage of our income, do some volunteer work, and overall just try to be nice to people. Maybe we don’t do as much as we should, but at least we do something.

And most of us probably pray. . . at mealtimes, at church, or in privacy. Again, maybe we don’t pray as often as we should – but at least we do it sometimes.

But how many of us have fasted? Even once? Continue reading

When My Heart is Overwhelmed

August was a stressful month for me.

My mechanic was unable to do an inspection and repair on my vehicle due to unforeseen circumstances, and I had to scramble to find someone else who could squeeze me in before the end of the month on a day that would fit my schedule. They ended up needing my Jeep for two days, partly because my engine light decided to turn on for them. At least I was already planning on working from home the second day anyway.

Every single person at my workplace took a vacation at some point in August (including myself). My boss actually took two trips. Which meant that for a week-and-a-half, as his Lead Developer, I had to field his emails & phone calls, manage & delegate tasks to my coworkers, and try to keep up with my own tasks. Thankfully, there were hardly any phone calls, and no real emergencies to handle. Continue reading