Can I ask you – what are you spending your spare time on right now? And what’s filling your mind?
I guess, like most people you’re probably watching way more TV than usual, or maybe you’re spending hours on Facebook or Instagram or reading the news.
As we sit around at home during lockdown: Where do our eyes land? Where are we turning for rest and satisfaction? What’s making us feel hopeful – or hopeless?
It’s good for us to think about these things. The stats suggest we’re spending more time watching TV in lockdown than we have in years- something like 25 hours a week. And the value of the company Netflix is at an all-time high. But let’s think carefully about where we go to ‘get our fix’.
Though I’m sure there’s plenty of good things to watch, and lots of other good things to fill our minds with, can we take a moment to think about the best thing we can fix our eyes on – and that’s the Lord Jesus Christ.
Listen to these words:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
So, let us fix our eyes on Jesus –the one who is always worthy of our wholehearted attention, and the only who is able to deal with our worries and give us help and hope.
These verses encourage us to throw of sin and other distractions and to look to Jesus, the one who is the foundation of our faith, the one who went to the cross to save us and the one who is now reigning at the Father’s side.
Now, I’m not saying watching Netflix or spending time on social media is a sin. But it can be a distraction like lots of other things in our lives. And maybe TV is not your main distraction, perhaps for you, it’s just that your mind goes round and round thinking about all your worries and concerns. Whatever it is, it’s good for us to fix our eyes on Jesus!
Recently we learnt a new song at Fulwood – and I think it can really help us live out these verses in Hebrews. It’s called ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus’:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
This song speaks of the way in which looking to Jesus can help give us perspective. It’s not that the ‘things of earth’ becoming meaningless or unimportant, but there’s a way in which our worries and our struggles seem less big and less burdensome when we see the greater glory and grace of Jesus.
In all our worries, this song gives us hope.
In all our distractions this song reminds us of a worthy place to fix our minds…
Turn your eyes to Jesus and remember that your sins have been paid for.
Turn your eyes to Jesus and remember that that death is defeated.
And turn your eyes to Jesus and remember the story is not done yet – He is coming back, Jesus will return for his own – for the people he died to save, and he’s going to put all things right, and everyone who’s trusted in him will be safe forever.
And let’s think, what’s going to help us see Jesus and remember these big truths?
Here’s where you might expect me to say read your Bible and pray more. I’m not necessarily saying we need to read the Bible more, maybe we just need to read it differently – as you come to God’s word – look for Jesus, and expect to find him there. And I’m not just saying pray more – perhaps we just need to pray differently…as we pray, let’s dwell on the person of Jesus and enjoy who he is and all he’s done. And to be clear, I’m not saying we can’t ever watch TV – but perhaps we need to watch differently and more thoughtfully.
And I think listening to music is another great way to dwell on who Jesus is.
So, can I encourage you to listen to this song again and let these words help you fix your eyes on Jesus.
Here’s a link to the song ‘Turn Your Eyes’.