The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV)
Our family enjoys visiting lighthouses when we travel. I love reading the history behind each one, even though most are sad. There was always excitement when Congress allocated funds for a new lighthouse–even more when the Fresnel lens or its light source was upgraded. But inevitably, lighthouses were either abandoned because a newer, more modern one was built to replace it or they were destroyed due to storms and war. Modern technology has eliminated their need entirely.
Nothing can replace the Light of Life! Jesus Christ gave us the responsibility and privilege of shining His light in our world. What happens when the Light of Christ dims in a Christian’s life?
In Matthew 16:19-34 , Jesus is correcting the Pharisees’ view on increasing wealth. The Bible Knowledge Commentary explains:
One’s attitude toward wealth is another barometer of righteousness. The Pharisees believed the Lord materially blessed all He loved. They were intent on building great treasures on earth. But treasures built here are subject to decay (moth destroys cloth and rust destroys metal; cf. James 5:2–3) or theft, whereas treasures deposited in heaven can never be lost.
The Pharisees had this problem because their spiritual eyes were diseased (Matt. 6:22). With their eyes they were coveting money and wealth. Thus they were in spiritual darkness. They were slaves to the master of greed, and their desire for money was so great they were failing in their service to their true Master, God.1
The belief that God blesses those He loves with material possessions is prevalent today. When we are focused on increasing wealth and possessions, i.e. wanting more of what our physical eyes see, our spirit eyes are darkened. Instead, we are to pursue God’s kingdom and His righteousness. He will take care of everything else.
We can carry this a step further…
- When God shows us a part of our lives that doesn’t line up with His standard of righteousness, we have spiritual darkness in that area. The darkness is greater if we ignore it.
- When we are distracted–by busyness and even by good things–if they keep our eyes from looking at Jesus, our spiritual vision is dimmed.
Anything we want more than the Lord, occludes His light in our lives. Without it, we cannot see ourselves clearly, and others can’t see Jesus.
It is imperative that we FOCUS ON CHRIST and allow His light to permeate every aspect of our lives. Only then can we bring hope to our world.
I thought it would be fun to include some things that my daughter, Abby, loves.
The life of the godly is full of light and joy, but the light of the wicked will be snuffed out. (Proverbs 13:9)
Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. (Proverbs 15:30 NIV)
One of her favorite songs is”My Lighthouse,” by Rend Collective.2 She and my other daughter, Rachel, have learned the clapping pattern well.
1Walvoord, John F., Roy B. Zuck, and Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985.
2Rend Collective. My Lighthouse. Integrity/Columbia, 2014, CD.