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Our Human Body: Good Eyes and a Good Race

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Written by BGU

Jesus said, “The lamp of the body is the eye” (Mt.6:22a), somewhat like a candle that’s in a house. He goes on to say that if our eyesight is unclouded and healthy, it will illuminate our whole body. With single vision everything is clear, and we can see to do our daily work. But with a diseased eye and poor eyesight, we don’t see anything clearly. With such blurry or double vision, or blindness, our whole body is without light and full of darkness—how miserable! So if that very inner light be actual darkness—if the gaze which should bring light brings only darkness–how intense and terrible that darkness must be in its effects! So what is Jesus talking about? *Mt.6:22b-23; cf. Lk.11:33-36*

From the previous verses where Jesus was discussing treasures on earth and treasures in Heaven, it seems that He is teaching us that if we have singleness of purpose and keep storing up our treasures in Heaven, in generosity, for example, our riches will be safely kept, and we will continue to see clearly in life. But if we try to serve both God and money, and selfishly pile up treasures on earth, and darken our conscience and mind, we will see nothing clearly and we will become blind in all that we do. That’s the gist of what I understand. *Mt.6:19-21,24*

Regarding that singleness of purpose and for the sake of what God has called each of us to do, it’s important to remember that we are in a “race.” Anyone who enters a contest goes into strict training, using self-restraint and self-control. All the runners in a race, for example, compete but only one wins the prize. The apostle Paul says that we are to run the Christian race with our minds fixed on winning the reward. When I swam competitively and won, I received ribbons and metals which have since faded. But the “prize” that we as Christians compete for will never fade. *I Cor.9:24-25*

The apostle Paul is a good example of “running the race.” He ran with a definite aim. He kept on running with a clear goal ahead of him, looking to the finish line. He didn’t play around, and when he “fought,” so to speak, it wasn’t like a shadow boxer who punches the air. What did he do? “I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (I Cor.9:27, HCSB). The apostle was not talking about ascetic discipline and harsh severity to the body. That kind of treatment of the body is not of any value toward restraining the flesh’s indulgences. But rather, like a purposeful “boxer” Paul brought his body under subjection and didn’t pamper it. He was willing to treat it roughly so that he would not fail shamefully for the prize after he had proclaimed the gospel to others and had called them to the Christian race. *I Cor.9:26-27; Col.2:23*

Therefore in light of the “race,” we should make it our aim to always be well-pleasing to the Lord. Why? Because the time will come when we all have to appear in our true character before the judgment seat of Christ so that each of us may reap the results of the life which we’ve lived in the body. And we will receive from Him according to what we have done, whether good or bad. *II Cor.5:6-10*

We have a valuable treasure of the Gospel of Christ in these fragile, earthen bodies of ours. And why is it so important to know that? So that it might become clear to everyone that the surpassing greatness of the power exercised in our lives and service, is of God and not from us. The apostle Paul expressed that truth about such unparalleled power in his life as well as in other disciples, and I could say in some of my own friends–that wherever they went, and the things that they suffered, they always carried about in their body the same exposure to death that Jesus had, so that the resurrection life of Jesus would be revealed in those jars of clay. “For we who live are always delivered unto death on account of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh” (II Cor.4:11, DBT). So even if we face death in proclaiming the Good News may it also lead to a spiritual life that is actively working in those with whom we have shared the message of the Gospel. *II Cor.4:7-10,12; Gal.6:17*

So, how are we doing in the “race?” May Christ be highly honored and exalted in our body, whether it be through our life, or even through our death (Phil. 1:20),

By Ed Dudek

From: Our Human Body: Good Eyes and a Good Race

Read the next blog in the series: Our Human Body: Resurrected

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