Have you ever found your self just staring off into nothingness and had some interrupt your reverie with this question? Maybe they are curious about what has so focused your attention. Maybe they are offended because they think you are staring at them! Because of this last possibility, as parents we are careful to instruct our children. “Don’t stare!” we tell them. “It’s rude to stare at people!” And we should teach our children this! We do not want them to offend people.

But are we equally concerned about whether or not they offend the Living God? Are we equally concerned about whether or not we ourselves offend God by what we “stare” at? At our Wednesday evening prayer meetings we have been going through the Psalms for devotions before our prayer time. A few weeks back we read Psalm 101 together. Psalm 101 is a song in which the Psalmist reflects on the love and justice of God, and then pledges to “be careful to lead a blameless life.” It is interesting that the very first thing he says he will do in maintaining a blameless heart in his house is a promise. He promises that

“I will set before my eyes no vile thing.”

I will set before my eyes no vile thing! Friends, please consider two absolute truths that you must apply in your life if you aspire to live in a manner worthy of God’s children. First, you are responsible for what you look at. You must ask yourself the tough question: “What do I set before my own eyes?” And second, and oh so important, some things that we might chose to look at are vile.

The idea of a “vile thing” in the Bible must include anything that is profane, idolatrous, lewd, or otherwise contradictory to godliness. What vile things do we set our eyes on? Is it pornography? Maybe we lust after the monochrome portraits of dead presidents that we carry in our billfolds? Do we entertain images in our heads that we would be ashamed to have displayed on our plasma TVs?

Here at Church in the Canyon we are ever eager to pledge ourselves anew to walking with Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Lets take some time this month to very carefully consider the things we choose to set before our eyes. You and I might need to humble repent of giving some things our attention, because we are responsible for what we look at. And what if we experience a renewed sense of God’s presence and purpose in our lives! That would not surprise me one bit. Gazing upon vile things is a poison to the soul that entirely spoils blamelessness of heart. Deliverance from such temptations and forgiveness for such sins brings peace with God – and with others. This month

“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles… Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Your Pastor,
Bob Bjerkaas

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