Eyes That See

“I Once Was Blind”

let us imitate him, as he imitated Christ!

At this year’s Together 4 the Gospel conference, C.J. Mahaney talked about “Sustaining a Pastor’s Soul.”  As I am not a pastor, but profited greatly from his message, I would encourage you to listen to this great word regardless of whether or not you are a pastor.  I think he could have easily substituted “Christian” for “Pastor,” so that the title read “Sustaining a Christian’s Soul.”

At one point in his message, he pointed out that Paul was “the guy in the room with the greatest joy,” even though he was “the guy in the room with the greatest responsibility” (I may not be quoting him exactly right, but that was the gist).  Being that I possibly ask “why?” too often, I naturally thought to myself “why might this be?”  What was it about Paul or what happened to Paul that caused him to both take on so much responsibility and to experience so much joy at the same time?  What seems to me to be the most obvious answer came to me rather quickly, and I would like to share that with you- although I intend to keep this brief in the hopes that you will be more likely to listen to Mahaney’s message if you don’t have to spend too long reading my ramblings.  I’d like to start with a few verses from the Word of God:

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”
Numbers 6:24-26

“Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord, make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate.” Daniel 9:17

“Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ And he said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.'” Acts 9:3-5

Could it be that what happened to “Saul,” who was also called Paul, was an expression of the blessing of the first two of these passages?  Could it be that the “light from heaven,” which was accompanied by the voice of Jesus, was Jesus’ face shining upon Saul?  Could it also be that this is what caused Paul to not only take on more responsibility than anybody else, but to also experience more joy in the midst of his responsibilities than anybody else?  In Phillipians 1:21 Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Could it be that the heavenly light that Paul saw can shed some light on these words, so that we understand that Paul took on so much responsibility and had so much joy because he had seen what we can only imagine, and what we all look forward to? 

Just some things to ponder as you listen to Mahaney’s message.

(I also think that it is interesting that Paul was blinded to the things of this world after seeing the heavenly light.  I think there is some symbolism there.)

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May 28, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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