Double Vision, Divided Vision, and Darkened Vision

May 11, 2016 at 2:51 pm | Posted in Biblical Eyesight, Matthew | 7 Comments
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It’s been nearly a month since I’ve posted on The Deep End. The reason for this is that I recently had eye surgery, and the recovery period – in which I’ve been gradually regaining enough vision to be able to read and type comfortably again – has taken longer than I thought it would. I must praise the Lord and thank Him for being with me during the surgery, and for the healing and results He has given me by His power. I have, by His grace, been learning not to take His marvelous gift of eyesight for granted. If the Lord decides to take away my eyesight or allow it to be taken away at this point in my life, I would have no reason to complain. I have seen enough wonderful things so far in my life – things that I never deserved to see – that I would (hopefully, again, by His grace) be forever grateful.

I have also been meditating on passages of Scripture dealing with eyesight, such as:

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

Matthew 6:22

During the past few years, as I have struggled with bouts of double (and triple!) vision, I can certainly attest that I much prefer “single vision.” Just as God has given us the gift of light, and the gift of amazingly complex biological organs and anatomical processes that allow that light to place accurate images of our surrounding reality into our brains, so has He given us the opportunity to be “single” rather than “divided” in our devotion to Him. If I am “double minded,” I will be unstable in all my ways. If I have “double vision,” letting the false and vain things of this world blur together with the things of God and His Kingdom, then my body will begin to fill up with the evil deeds of darkness, and I will stumble about, alternately frightened, confused, and depressed, dishonoring God and veering toward danger and destruction.

But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

Matthew 6:23

May the Lord help me, with the gift of eyesight He has given me, to fill my mind and body with thoughts and deeds of glorious light. May He help me to be united in vision and purpose, seeking to do His will, and to reflect His life-giving light in a dark and blinded world.

clear vision

Opportunities / Obstacles

June 16, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Posted in Biblical friendship, Two Sides to Every Comfort | 14 Comments
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Opportunities

Opportunities are a great comfort. Many of us would like to get get a call from someone who says, “Hey, I’ve a got this great opportunity for you!” (Unless it turns out to be Amway.) Advertisers use the enticement, “Stayed tuned for an exciting opportunity!” America has even been called “the land of opportunity.” Opportunities are openings or events where, if you take advantage of a situation, you can really benefit.

God comforts us by giving opportunities. He gave you the opportunity to trust Him and be saved; the opportunity to obey Him in baptism; the opportunity to join a great church; the opportunity for free Bible instruction on Sunday mornings (we call it Sunday School at my church). Life is full of wonderful opportunities given to us by God.

The Bible says that no temptation has taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful in that – with every temptation – He has made a way to escape – an opportunity to do what’s right – so that you may be able to bear it and to get the victory over the temptation. That’s very comforting!

But there is a flip side to opportunity:

Obstacles

You’ve probably been there: You get stuck in a traffic jam. You’ve got three choices. You can turn around and go back. You can cheat and drive on the shoulder to the next exit. Or you can wait. I don’t have any advice for you when it comes to traffic jams (the older I get, the more I just decide to stay home), but I do have some advice concerning spiritual obstacles: Wait on the Lord.

The good [man] is perished out of the earth: and [there is] none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.

Micah 7:2

Micah prophesied in a time when nobody was doing what was right. It seemed like everything was working against God’s people. Everywhere they turned, there were obstacles.

That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge [asketh] for a reward; and the great [man], he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up.

Micah 7:3

Sometimes this is how it seems to us. We look to the government for help, but we meet an obstacle. We don’t qualify or we’re left waiting on hold. We go to court, but we find out the law isn’t just. We appeal to wealthy or influential individuals, but they are unwilling to help.

The best of them [is] as a brier: the most upright [is sharper] than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen [and] thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity.

Micah 7:4

We remind ourselves that God will make sure the wicked get what they deserve, and we turn to our close friends.

Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.

Micah 7:5

But even they are no help.

For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies [are] the men of his own house.

Micah 7:6

Even your family tuns out to be unreliable! So what do you do? Do you say, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em?” Do you cheat? Go around the obstacles unlawfully? Do you go back? Give up? Do you say, “This can’t be the opportunity I thought God was giving me, because it has turned out to be an insurmountable obstacle?” No.

Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

Micah 7:7

Instead, you wait on the Lord to turn your obstacle into an opportunity. If we are willing to wait upon the Lord, obstacles make great opportunities. When you are prosperous and healthy and well-loved by men, people in general don’t give God glory for that. They think you’re lucky or smart or strong. So, how are we going to give God glory? We are going to praise Him in our obstacles, and treat them like opportunities.

“I know God will deliver me when I’m poor, when I’m sick, when I’ve been betrayed.” That’s what we tell people when they ask us why or how we can be so happy just waiting. Then:

Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD [shall be] a light unto me.

Micah 7:8

New lights don’t shine bright in already-existing light. New lights shine bright in the darkness. Now when you are delivered, the heathen and the pagans will know Who gets the credit.

Post Tenebras Lux

January 5, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Posted in Biblical Light | 8 Comments
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The Latin expression for “after darkness, light” became one of the chief mottoes of the Protestant Reformation. The Magisterial Reformers recognized the contrast and the battle between the ever-encroaching darkness of evil in this world and the bright and shining Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is one of the ironies of history that the so-called Aufklarung (German for “Age of Enlightenment”) substituted human reason for Divine revelation as the great hope of mankind. Such a substitution ultimately brought about more darkness than light.

The Bible patriarch Job grew tired of the explanations and platitudes of his friends, as they tried to tell him that increasing darkness was merely as sign that the sun was about to rise:

They change the night into day: the light is short because of darkness. If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness.

Job 17:12-13

Thankfully, God has illuminated the darkness of this world with the revelation of Himself in His Word and in His Son, Jesus. He is the Father of lights and there is no “dark side” in Him.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

James 1:17

Here are the links to a series of posts, high”lighting” what the Bible says about God’s light:

This Big Light of Mine
Light Can Be Offensive (*)
Light Shows the Truth
Light Shows the Way
Light Produces Life
Light Gives Safety
Light Wakes You Up
Light Is Attractive
Light Measures Time
Light Is Stronger than Darkness
Beware the Father of the Furtive
Where the Sun Don’t Shine
The Father of Lights (James 1:17)
Life and Light (John 1)
Doubling Down on the Hypocrites (Luke 11:33-34)
Witnesses to the Light (John 8)
From Dark Death to Living Light (John 12:24-46)

* most-read post in series

Light Is Stronger than Darkness

December 16, 2011 at 11:38 am | Posted in Biblical Light, II Corinthians, John | 8 Comments
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When we find ourselves in darkness, and that darkness is scary, inconvenient, depressing, frustrating, or confusing, our minds turn immediately to a simple solution: Turn on the light.
The world in which we live, spiritually speaking, is often dark, disturbing, and dismaying. Therefore, it is crucial that we have a dependable source of light. Jesus says:

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

John 12:46

It is difficult to make a room totally dark. Even with the lights all turned off and the windows covered, one little ray of light shining from under a door will soon begin to illuminate the darkness. A tiny spark will, if only briefly, totally defeat the darkest dungeon. The same is true with Christ. His light is stronger than all the powers of darkness.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

II Corinthians 4:6

Light Wakes You Up

October 14, 2011 at 10:22 am | Posted in Biblical Light, Isaiah, Romans | 8 Comments
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Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

Isaiah 60:1

The human body can only operate in a state of wakefulness for so long before exhaustion sets in. Mental and physical fatigue are remedied by sleep. Sleep is our minds’ and bodies’ way of recovering and recharging. With the invention of the light bulb and all the artificial forms of light we have today, people acquired the ability to work and play during the night as well as the day, but night time is certainly the traditional time for sleeping. I’m one of those people who just doesn’t sleep as well unless my surroundings are absolutely dark.

Spiritually speaking, however, Christians should live in light and not in darkness. God wants His people to be alert and vigilant, not dull and inattentive. Furthermore, although physical sleep is necessary for good health, there is no place in the Christian life for spiritual sleep. The Lord wants His people to be active. Are you alert, attentive, and active, or are you dozing through life in a state of spiritual passivity? “Rise and shine!” says the Lord. It’s time for Christians to reflect God’s goodness, grace, and glory in a dark, desperate, dreary, depressed, and dying world.

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Romans 13:11-12

This Big Light of Mine

August 10, 2009 at 7:27 am | Posted in Biblical Light, Biblical Parenting | 19 Comments
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God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all (I John 1:5). In fact, the very first creation that God recognized as “good” was the creation of light (Genesis 1:4). Keeping this in mind, it would only make sense that the children of God (those that, by the spiritual birth of regeneration through faith in Christ Jesus, have become partakers of God’s divine nature) would be children of light.

Following this reasoning, children of light would have a desire to walk in the light, and to tend toward performing daytime, rather than nighttime, activities. Children of light should be sober, for the favored time of drunkenness is nighttime. Children of light should be properly dressed, for daytime is the time for getting dressed, and nighttime is the time for getting undressed. Children of light are to flee from the temptations of immorality and fornication, and these sins are most likely to occur in the dark.

Furthermore, children of light should be awake and alert, watching and working, staying ready for the coming of the Lord, which could happen at any moment. Physical sleep is something that promotes growth and good health when done in proper balance, but spiritual sleep – for the sons and daughters of the Most High God – is to be avoided.

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

I Thessalonians 5:6


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