February 21, 2017: Observing the Gnat

Morning: Matthew 8:28-9:8; Noon: Leviticus 23:3-24:23; Evening: Psalm 34:1-8

It is amazing how observant the eye can be. A flying insect just a few millimeters long can catch our attention, and irritate us to the point where we even begin to stress out! We forget the big picture. We may be dwelling in a big, beautiful, warm, cozy home with all the décor and fancy amenities, but all we can think about is squashing that bug! Admittedly, that bug might be asking for it. It might deserve being smacked out of existence. I’m not fond of bugs, and I will not hesitate to waste a good minute or two just to rid it from my hemisphere. But are we ever guilty sometimes of centering our entire minds around the little things just like that pesky fly?

Matthew’s account after the Sermon on the Mount continues to demonstrate the amazing Son of Man performing miracle after miracle. Several now have witnessed His power. Now the Son of God has departed beyond the river. He exorcises two demon-possessed men. He liberates their minds. He sets them free from madness and terror. Then He delivers the demons to the herd of swine who dive into the sea and perish. So what then is the response from the general populous? Belief?! Worship?! Applause?! No… none of the above actually. They begged Him to depart! “Get out of here, Jesus,” was their response in short. Both Mark and Luke tell us plainly that they were seized with “great fear” (Luke 8:37). A lot of speculation exists as to why the people responded with fear, but whatever the reason it was certainly due to near-sightedness. After all, what could have been more terrifying, two-demon possessed men running about their country wildly, or a Healer who brought peace and control to their land? They missed the big picture.

See the forest for the trees. Always step back and observe the wonder-working power of God in your life, if indeed you are in Christ Jesus. Pray, “Lord, give me not only near-sightedness but also far-sightedness, to keep in view not only the things that are close, but especially the things from a distance.” See each step you take as that which is contributing to a larger and nearer journey toward heaven’s entry point. Losses will be incurred. The path will curve time to time with new challenges ahead. You may just lose a pig or two. You may have to start a new career path. Point being, don’t get caught up in observing the gnats.

Observe Jesus, and follow Him wherever He goes.        

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