Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Good morning. I want to start this week off right by lifting up praises to God and giving glory and honor to who deserves it and that is my Lord and Savior. Everyone who knows me, knows that I love my Lord, my family, my church, sports and having a good day when I can. Well, I give all the glory to God for giving me the strength and health to enjoy this weekend. I received the best blood work results Friday, that I have had since my wreck. We had a wonderful Unity breakfast Saturday and then a great Bible study afterwards. We were able to be in church Sunday morning and then He allowed me to wake up this morning and be able to face another week.

While in church Sunday morning this weeks topic came to me and the thought of Thomas. Have you ever known someone who believed nothing unless they saw it for themselves? Or, have you ever heard or maybe even said yourself, "If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't believe it"? Or maybe you know someone who fooled themselves into believing that if they ignored something, it would go away or was not there. I have seen a lot of people like that, that feel if they don't see it, face it or admit to it, "it" is not real and/or never happened. Hence the topic, "Eyes wide shut", and the thought of Thomas. In chapter 20 of the book of John, we see Thomas, one who spent time with Jesus, was hurting and in pain over the loss of Jesus and yet even though Jesus had told him these things would happen, that He would rise again, he did not believe that the others had seen Jesus. Thomas wanted a sign. "Prove it to me!". Even though Thomas had seen with open eyes the works of Christ, His teachings and heard His prophecy, Thomas' eyes were closed to the possibility of what Jesus had foretold being true now.

God's Word warns us against such complacence. Matthew 13:15 says, "For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them". Mark 8:18 says, "Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? Revelations 3:3 says, "Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will
come upon you".

The point I am trying to make is, just because we don't see something, don't understand something or see something the same way someone else sees it, does not mean it is not real, did not happen or is not exactly like how the other person sees it to be. Just because we choose to close our eyes, turn our heads and close our ears does not make something less real, painful or non-existent. There are many people today living lives like this. They believe that because they never see a lady or child abused, it doesn't happen anymore. They believe because they have plenty of food and medicine, everybody has plenty, after all that only happens to those kids you see in other countries. They believe the jobless rate and number of homeless are dropping, because that is what the TV or computer tells them and because they themselves and their friends have jobs and homes. They believe that there is no such thing as sin or a need for a Savior, after all, they live a pretty good life and try not to do anybody wrong. Maybe you know someone like this. Maybe you yourself, as I have been in the past, are like this.

The reality is that people are abused, hungry, in need of medicine they cannot afford, without jobs, without a warm place to rest in the winter or a cool place in the heat of the summer and most importantly, sin is running rampant and we are more now than ever in need of a Savior and His peace. You may say, "What can I do about this?". I'm glad you ask. James 4:17 says, "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin". You can open your heart, eyes and ears. Open your heart to the leading of the Holy Spirit, to do what God would have you to do, be where God would have you to be. Open your eyes to see what God has done, what He is doing and what He can do, if you will only let Him. Open your ears to the needs of others and their trials. I promise yours and mine won't be as bad as we thought they were, when we hear what others have to endure. And always, pray, pray, pray

Remember: Eyes wide shut, or open to the will, work and love of Jesus Christ?

Until next time, pray for each other and me, as I continue to pray for each of you. Love in CHRIST,

Brian Hanvey
Associate Pastor
Bethel Baptist Church

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