Blinders are often used in horse racing to focus the animals’ vision and attention straight ahead. It was amazing to look on the internet at the many styles and shapes available and comical to note that there were even some versions for humans. During a race, they prevent distractions which could cause the horses to lose their focus and veer into the path of their competitors. However, in the stables and pastures these blinders would probably have a negative effect by restricting the horses’ peripheral vision.
Humans don’t usually wear physical blinders ( beyond smart phones and other electronic devices) but do appear to have some type of self-imposed oblivious behavior which keeps them from interacting with unwanted distractions. At times this need to focus on the task at hand is very important and even crucial. At other times it can be a selfish desire to ignore people and their feelings and ideas.
We often read in God’s Word of situations in which individuals and groups seemed to be wearing blinders. The prophet Isaiah spoke of those in Jesus’ day who, “can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts…” ( Isa 6:10) ( Jo 12: 40-41) even after seeing the miraculous signs that Jesus had done in their presence. Jesus calls some of the Pharisees hypocrites and blind guides because of this. ( Mt 15:14) ( Mt 23:6) He often taught in parables and explained the meaning to His disciples but not to the others because they, “..saw but did not see, heard but did not understand.” ( Lk 8:9-10)
There are at least two reasons why this happens. First, “The god of this age (Satan) 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 Cor 4:4) The second follows in logical sequence, “…They perish because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.” ( 2 Thes 2:10-11) Every Christian should take off any blinders they may have and view God’s truth in a 360 degree perspective.
Submitted by Jery Bailey, Elder
This phrase is most commonly used to define a person who expresses a contentious opinion in order to provoke debate or test the strength of opposing arguments, plans or ideas. We sometimes see this during confirmation hearings for Supreme Court candidates or other Presidential appointees. An advocate is one who speaks or writes in support of a cause or a person, an intercessor. Often it is possible to recognize advocates by the type of life they live. Their actions and habits, as much as their words, display the cause they support. Thus a person who lives an immoral life-style is the devil’s advocate without having to publicly announce it.
Ironically, the devil has been his own advocate in many situations. We first see this during his crafty temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. ( Gen 3:1-5) He further advocates for his own power and wisdom during the heavenly council in the matter of Job. ( Job 1:1-12) ( Job 2: 1-7) He also displayed this while tempting Jesus in the desert by showing Him all the splendors he controlled. ( Mt 4: 8-9)
However, in spite of being the “prince of this world” ( Jo 12:31) and having his own army of angels ( Mt 25:41) and demons ( Mk 3:22) the devil’s ego knows no limits and he constantly seeks new advocates to worship him. ( Mt 4:9) He used people’s weaknesses during Bible times even from Jesus’ inner circle of Apostles. Peter unwittingly became the devil’s advocate when he rebuked Christ, ( Mt 16:23) and later when he denied Him. ( Mt 27: 69:75) Judas Iscariot’s love of money led him to betray Christ when Satan entered him and used him. ( Lk 22:3)
The devil continued his search for advocates in the 1st Century church and found them in Ananias, Sapphira ( Acts 5:1-11) and Simon the Sorcerer. ( Acts 8:9-24) Paul warned the elders at Ephesus that the devil would use his “wolves” from their flock to do his evil work. (Acts 20:28-31)
Christs’s 21st Century church is not immune from the devil’s desire for more and more advocates. It is quite possible that he used the slogan, “each one teach one”, long before Christians adopted it. However, Christians are to be Christ’s ambassadors ( 2Cor 5: 20) and advocates. Christ (Heb 7:25) and the Holy Spirit ( Rom 8:26-27) are our intercessors before God the Father. They are our advocates.
Posted by Jery Bailey, Elder
I readily admit that I have become jaded by living in an age of almost constant innovation in so many fields. It seems as if many people have lost their sense of astonishment. They marvel at very few inventions. It appears that we have come to expect that which was once considered unobtainable. Nevertheless, some recent breakthroughs in optical health still arouse wonder and admiration in even the most jaded.
New cataract-replacement lenses, called Symfony, now allow patients to view the entire depth of vision clearly and the RxSight Light Adjustable lens lets doctors alter the lens after surgery. For glaucoma victims, new drugs target cells in the eye’s drainage network to restore outflow. Help for those with macular degeneration will soon be available via gene therapy which will be taken from one’s own body and not from embryonic cells.
On our spiritual journey to eternity, Christians can also become jaded if we let our worship of the Godhead become ritualized. As our faith grows, so should our feelings of awe, wonder and amazement. First, at the complexity of life itself, which is God created and sustained with every breath. ( Gen 2:7) ( Col 1: 16-17) Second, at the unbelievably brilliant task of fashioning an organ of sight that the scientists are just now beginning to understand in ways mentioned above. ( Psa 139: 14-16) Third, at the fact that God became a man to be able to comprehend the temptations and suffering of mankind. ( Heb 4:14-15) We marvel at the love and forgiveness available to us at all times. ( Mk 11:25) ( Col 3:13) ( Acts 10: 43) ( Jo 3:16)
And finally, at the love which we can see and feel every day because God is love. ( 1 Jon 4:8) His love can live right inside of us. ( 1 Jon 4:16) It can drive out fear. ( 1 Jon 4:18) We can grow more and more like Him. ( 1 Jon 3:2) Ultimately the invisible will be visible and tangible.( Rev 21:3-4) Wonderful, marvelous and awesome!
Almost everyone has heard the comment, “It’s about as exciting as watching grass grow.” Believe it or not, for some people that is quite exciting. After the plumbers dug up my lawn and repaired my sewer, they left a big ugly scar of clay. I am trying to reseed it with bluegrass. For about 3 weeks I have watered the seed twice a day and added better soil. Nothing! Then one morning I saw the faint green of the new blades of grass—very exciting!
In his letter to the Corinthians the apostle Paul describes a similar growth in the spiritual realm, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” ( 1 Cor 3:6-7) He is talking about the growth of Christians and the church. Very much like the physical seeds, the spiritual ones involve the human element, but they cannot really produce the desired change within either one. Jesus spoke of the potential growth of seeds in some of His parables. The very small mustard seed could grow into a huge plant. ( Mt 13:31-32) He compared the seed to the message of the gospel and the good soil to one with a pure heart. ( Mt 13: 23) In the great commission He commanded His apostles to plant the seed through preaching and water it through teaching which would produce new disciples. ( Mt 28:18-20)
As faithful followers of Christ, we need to nourish the seeds after He has brought forth the transformation. We can best do this by “teaching them to obey everything that I (Jesus) have commanded you.” ( Mt 28:20) This would surely include the words that He gave to the Holy Spirit to inspire. ( Jo 16:13-15) Thus we teach new disciples to obey the foundational doctrine of the apostles and prophets, ( Eph 2: 20) They, in turn were writing words that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit desired. ( 2 Pe 2:20-21) As Christians obey this, they will see God giving the increase. Seed producing new seed. ( 1 Cor 3: 6-7)
Here you will find Spiritual Nuggets from your eldership.