“Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!” Matthew 6:22-23 (MSG)
We are what we see.
Because we are the ones who choose what we want to see!
If we harbor bitterness, hatred and unforgiveness, we put ourselves into a dark prison of our own making.
If we’d rather, however, have our eyes wide open in wonder and belief, the light from above will fill us abundantly. Nothing will be able to stop us, for our focus is solely on Jesus: “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed-that exhilarating finish in and with God-he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” Hebrews 12:2-3 (MSG)
When this happens, people notice that we are different: “The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it.” John 14:12 (MSG). When the light from above shines in us, we will be determined to make a difference to others in this life.
It’s no wonder that Jesus is called “The Light” (See John 1:5). Nothing could stop Him either. Everyone noticed Him. The ones hungering for Light followed in His footsteps. They were amazed every moment they were with Him. His power was vibrant, and He shared His power with those who followed Him.
Naturally, the squinty-eyed people were not impressed by Him. He was a danger to their mindset. They preferred to hold on to the darkness that they knew so well. They were the ones who crucified Him, for they didn’t tolerate anyone undermining their own puny authority. That was Jesus’ goal, however: To die so that anyone who wants to personally experience Heavenly Light can do so. This same Jesus died for us, paying the penalty of our own sins, so that we could be truly free, bathing in the light from above: “So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.” John 8:36 (MSG)
The ones living in darkness, however, do know they are in darkness, as is illustrated below. Anyone who has a heart will find the following historical facts difficult to read; but they illustrate just what it means to choose to live in the darkness. I pray that as you read about these atrocities of the past, you will be spurred on to walking and living in the Light of Jesus Christ…
Darkness truly reigned during World War II. The Nazis’ goal was to eradicate all Jews, gypsies, Poles, Russians, the handicapped, and many more. They murdered millions of people, even using their own doctors to declare that those murdered died of natural causes. In the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau, and in many others as well, gas chambers were used in order to perform efficient killings of vast numbers of the “unwanted”. The bodies were then burned, and the ashes were thrown into rivers so that there would be no evidence of the existence of those murdered.
Not all were gassed, however. Some were shot; but these shootings also took place behind screens so that no one could watch their evil activities, and again, the bodies were burned, removing all evidence.
Naturally, it was not the Nazis themselves who took care of the disposal of the bodies; rather, it was a team of prisoners. Unfortunately for these prisoners, they were forced to be witnesses to the atrocities taking place, and as a result, they, too, were executed after just three months at their posts, and new prisoners were brought in to replace them.
As the Russians came closer and closer to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazis were busy burning all evidence of their evil crimes. Beginning in Birkenau, they burned buildings, documents, and even the famous gas “showers” and the ovens used to turn bodies into ashes. They didn’t wish to leave any incriminating proof behind!
Why not? Because they had no doubt that their actions were evil, and they didn’t wish to be condemned by them. Truly these Nazis were choosing to live in the dark.
My question is this: why would anyone want to be imprisoned by their own darkness? It doesn’t make sense! After all, Jesus promises us, “So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.” John 8:36 (MSG)
You CAN break free from your self-imposed prison and experience the Light from above. Unless, that is, you truly prefer the dark dungeon…
(To access the entire “Majestic Mountain View” devotional series, please click here.)