Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Daily Encouragement (03/12/13) "Was Blind, But Now I See"

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Amazing Grace hymn page

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"Was Blind, But Now I See"

"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Periodically we share a more obscure phrase from a familiar hymn and ask our readers if they can identify the hymn. Most of you will recognize our message title as an oft sung phrase from the great hymn "Amazing Grace".

John Newton (1725-1807)Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

The great hymns are so often filled with imagery from Scripture. The phrase
"I once was lost but now am found" may very well have been alluding to the Prodigal son (see Luke 15:24). The phrase "Was blind, but now, I see" could be referring to the blind man in an account from John 9:25 but may also allude to today's Scripture text which speaks of a spiritual blindness which blinds the minds of unbelievers.

"The god of this age" is Satan. Such a statement brings a scoffing sneer from the unbeliever. But this false god is very actively at work as demonstrated in the evil we see all around us, including the false, idolatrous religious systems that will "deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord" (Jude 1:4).

Fanny CrosbyThe church has been mightily blessed by those with physical blindness such as Fanny Crosby and Gordon Mote, who served as a pianist for many years with the Gaither Homecoming series. We have several blind friends who faithfully serve the Lord including the soloist friend in our wedding who was blind, and we marvel at their overcoming and victorious spirit.

But our text speaks of a blinding of the mind, not the eyes, "Has blinded the minds of unbelievers."

T-shirtPhysical blindness is one thing, but blindness of the mind brings on an awful, potentially eternal condition, "So that they (the unbeliever) cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." John MacArthur writes, "Unregenerate people cannot think properly about spiritual truth because they have a "depraved mind" (Romans 1:28). Only God can turn on the light in the human heart so that it can respond in saving faith to the gospel of the glory of Christ."

Following his dramatic conversion Paul received a call to ministry directly from the Lord: "I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me" (Acts 26:17,18).

May your spiritual eyes be open today making it possible for you to rejoice in "the gospel of the glory of Christ"!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:  Father, though You do not walk visibly among us You do reveal Yourself through the minds, the hearts, and the actions of Your followers. May the light of Jesus shine forth from us so that the unbeliever can sift through the confusing ungodly messages of this world and the counterfeits of this age. May they see through our words and actions "the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." We especially lift up to You our friends and loved ones who have been blinded by the god of this age. We pray that You would dispel their doubts, fears, and unbelief, replacing these faith destroyers with confidence, courage and peace that comes through believing in and knowing You. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Further study note: There are basically two outlooks in life: The personal mission statement that we include in the footers with each daily encouragement conveys one. Although a simple statement that certainly does not convey all that's true it simply asserts, "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

The other outlook denies this and so many feel they have been "enlightened" to reject what they see as a very simple and primitive religious expression. To them we are merely a product of evolution and "god" is merely a figment of imagination to the weak, simple, uneducated and unenlightened. However in reality they have not been enlightened, but rather blinded. Indeed, "they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Amazing Grace"  Video  Wintley Phipps

"Story of Open the Eyes of my Heart"  Video  Paul Baloche  (Fuller song version)

"Thank You Lord, For Your Blessings On Me" Video Gordon Mote (the blind pianist mentioned in the message) & Jason Crabb  This is a good song to get a perspective on our blessings!

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Personal Mission Statement
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
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