Eyes of Mercy

Psalm 123

Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.

Where is your gaze fixed?  Motivational speakers tell us that we should put pictures up around our homes of the things that are n our future goals.  Maybe it’s a luxury car, or a nice house, or a boat.  Many diet gurus tell people to put pictures of skinnier people on the refrigerator as a goal for attaining the desired wight.  We are often told that the violence on TV and video games is affecting our children because of what they see on a regular basis (something I do believe, by the way).   Addiction to pornography can come with just one o two glimpses of material at a young age.  There is then a yearning for more. What we see has a powerful effect on how we think.

So I ask again – where is your gaze fixed?  While we cannot physically see God or Jesus, we can fix our eyes on His word, on our worship, on the heavens, on His creation – there are so many ways that our eyes can be trained to look to Him and not t this world.  I like the way the New Living Translation puts it in Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.[a]Because of the joy[b] awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

When we have our eyes on Jesus, the problems and troubles of this world all seem so small .  An old chorus says t best:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face

And the things of earth will go strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace!

How many of you sang along with those words?  It is one of my favorites, because it is so true!  Having my eyes set on Him, my mind set on Him, makes this world seem so immaterial.  Even though we have to live here and this world has its problems which seem to invade our lives, He calms us and sends a joy and a peace that overcomes what the world would have us get entangled with.  And that is a part of the freedom He brings to our lives – freedom from the chaos that rules so many people’s minds because of the turmoil of this life.

Keep your eyes on Him – it’s the only way to live.

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

We look to Him for direction and guidance, but most of all for mercy.  In this life, I will mess up,  I will fall.  I will make mistakes.  I will sin.  Not that I want to – I do all I can not to.  But this flesh, and this tongue, love to get into trouble, and I still live with it. No matter how much I set my eyes on Him, His mercy is still needed in my life – all the time.

God decides where His mercy will be applied.  In Exodus 33:19 God says he will have mercy on those He decides to have mercy on.  It is not just out there to be applied to everyone.  If we think that, we missed this scripture.  It is FOR everyone – everyone can have His mercy applied.  But not everyone is in position for His mercy to be applied.  Matthew 5:7 says Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”  How merciful to others are you?

A good definition of mercy is “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm”.But it goes beyond that with God.  Another definition I’ve heard is “not giving someone the punishment they deserve”.  Mercy can be extended almost every day by u on this earth.  To that person who has wronged you, rather than be angry, show mercy and forgive them.  To that person who you just can’t stand for some reason, be merciful and loving.  Show mercy to those who are less fortunate than you instead of looking down on them.  Being merciful to others will bring mercy into your life – Jesus said that, and I believe it!

If we want mercy, we must be merciful.  As we look to God for His mercy, let us make sure that there is no hindrance to His supplying that mercy to us.  Remember, in Matthew 6:15, Jesus says ” if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  Be merciful too all!

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.

Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

The psalmist was letting God know that those around him were not being merciful to them at all.  There are times that it seems no one is merciful to me.  That is when I need to look for God and ask for His mercy.  Actually, I always need His mercy.  We have been made in His image, and mercy should be the way of our lives, as it is with Him.  When everyone seems against us, we should not hold a grudge against them, but we should look to God for His mercy, that we might show t ti others, especially those who are coming against us.  I fought God for years, yet He was merciful to me.  How much more should I extend mercy to those that fight against me!

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