March 11

I mentioned Sunday that we need to see others through the eyes of Jesus. It’s not easy. Maybe we’ve been conditioned to see things only from one perspective. Maybe we just don’t want to see others through His eyes. And, maybe we just don’t even think about it.

I was in Okinawa many years ago and the people there were cold to us Americans. There were many reasons, including how arrogant and rude Americans can be in other cultures (I won’t go into all of the dynamics here). It was so weird to go into Naha and have no one even talk to you, or look you in the eyes. I had one older lady one late day who did say, “Konnichiwa” to me (“Good day”), and that’s the only one I remember doing such.

Fast forward a few months later and I’m in the Philippines. These people were poorer and were exceptionally friendly—sometimes too much so. They wanted to meet us and get us to buy things from them because that was their livelihood. Even those who were not selling stuff were fairly friendly. It was weird having gone from one place where I wasn’t wanted to another where I was wanted.

Now fast forward again a few months later and I’m in Hong Kong. This was before the British turned it back over to China. It was much more reminiscent of where I grew up due to what I perceived as a more balanced interaction with us Americans (not too friendly, and not too closed off).

My problem back then was that I judged everyone by my Northeast American standards. I didn’t see life they way they did. I didn’t see their problems, hurts, successes through their eyes.

But, seeing people through Jesus’ eyes is different. Jesus loved the masses. He poured out the Gospel to them, healed them, lived with them. He never had anything good to say about the religious hypocrites, but they were essentially a few bad eggs in the basket that were making the rest of the eggs turn rotten.

Back in the ‘90s I was watching “The Simpsons”. Homer had given Marge a gift (Christmas or her birthday—I can’t remember which). It was a big, round, heavy item all nicely wrapped. She opened it and low and behold, a heavy bowling ball with “Homer” inscribed on it. She had received a free gift that he had not done much for, and that was ultimately for him.

God loved the world enough to sacrifice His Son. Think about how bizarre and illogical that seems. God, before the creation of the world, knew that when He created it that Adam and Eve would sin and hence plunge the world into darkness and wickedness. So, before He even made this world He also devised a plan wherein Jesus would come and suffer and die a horrible death, taking on the sin of the world, just so you and I can have eternal life. Why did He do all that?

  1. When you go out tomorrow into your world, ask God to help you see people the way Jesus saw them when He walked the earth.
    1. Next, engage them in the manner Jesus would, boldly with love and care, yet firmly with the Gospel and the message that the sinner can be set free.
    2. Understand that they have different lives, beliefs, and practices from you, but that they are still in need of the Savior.
  2. Imagine you have been given a gift to pass on to someone else. It’s a costly, precious gift. The requirement is that you give it out to anyone who will take it.
    1. Now, realize that the Gospel is that costly and precious gift. Are you going to give it away, or hide it? _____________________
  3. Do you continually thank God for your salvation? _________________
    1. Do so now for it is His love gift to you.
  4. How many people do you know who are like Nicodemus and spiritually blind to their need for Jesus? ______________________________________________
    1. Continue praying for them.
    2. Continue finding ways to reach out to them.
    3. Never quit.