(This week’s devotions are based on Sunday’s message: Win the Day…Flip the Script – LISTEN HERE)
Do you like optical illusions?
They do funny things with your brain depending on where you focus. I remember the “3D” holograms in the late 80s’ that you had to “look through the picture” to see the image pop up in front of you. It was tough because you couldn’t focus on what you could see in front of you, you had to look “beyond the surface” and then the image became clear in front of you.
It’s easy to focus on what is in front of us. It’s what is reality in the moment. Our days are filled with tasks that need accomplishing. We have homes to clean, homework to do, reports to finish, calls to make, meals to prepare, cars to fix, etc. So it’s hard to think and focus on something beyond the urgent of the day.
But is that really where we should focus?
Thomas, for whatever reason, wasn’t with the disciples when they were gathered on the evening of the resurrection. (I always wonder where he was…) Jesus appeared to the disciples that were there and they told Thomas. But Thomas wasn’t buying it. He wanted to see for himself.
John 20:24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
I’m not sure why the credibility of the other ten disciples didn’t convince Thomas, other than the reality of the moment could not comprehend the reality of the resurrection. Jesus loves Thomas enough to help him see what was real.
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
I’m glad Thomas challenged the report of the disciples. I probably would have done the same. Through the interaction, Jesus affirms that our focus should not always be on what we can see, but one what we have not seen.
Jesus helps us realize that focusing beyond just our personal experience to the promises and truths that God has given us gives perspective on the day at hand. What do I mean?
When we win the day, we focus on the long game, not the immediate. What keeps us close to Jesus and on the path to heaven. The world and all it has to offer is not the end game, heaven is with Jesus.
When we win the day we realize the temporary things of this world are minor in comparison to the eternal realities Jesus has both won for us and promised to us.
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
So flip the script today…focus on what is eternal, not just on the temporary.
Apply: What happens when you see your tasks today in light of eternity? Do some tasks fall off your list? Do other activities make the list?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for moving our focus from only what is temporary to that which is eternal. Guide our days to always walk in the way of the eternal! AMEN.