Lift up your eyes

January 8, 2019

It’s probably happened to you. You didn’t realize how many cars like yours were on the road until you bought one. This model of car you had never noticed before seemed to be everywhere now. It’s funny how things can hide in plain sight.

I had a similar experience when our family did our missionary orientation in Hong Kong. A few days into orientation, I told our host how surprised I was that I didn’t see any idols in the city. He chuckled. That day he pointed out a small idol sitting on the sidewalk just outside the door of one of Hong Kong’s thousands of shops.

Once I had registered that idol in my mind, I saw them everywhere. The city is littered with idols. It’s perplexing how things can hide in plain sight.

What is it with us humans that allows things to hide in plain sight? Scientists who study these things tell us that the eyes see everything, but the mind is selective in what it perceives. In other words, we perceive only a fraction of what we actually see. But once a thing is pointed out, once we relate with it, we tend to see it everywhere.

A similar thing happened to the disciples in John 4. Jesus led them to Samaria. The disciples left to find food only to return and find Jesus talking with the woman at the well. Never one to waste a teachable moment, Jesus told them, “Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest” (John 4:35, HCSB).

Needless to say, the disciples had seen a lot of Samaritans but never had viewed them as part of the harvest. It’s tragic how people who are far from God can be hiding in plain sight.

The Strategic Focus Team wants to help you see those far from God who are hiding in plain sight. Our desire is to help you know:

· Where to look.
· How to look.
· Who to look for.

You’ll find these precious people living in trailer parks, apartments, government housing, suburban neighborhoods, college campuses and urban high-rises. You’ll find some clothed in native dress, some in poverty and others in wealth.

May we open our eyes and look at the fields ready for harvest.

 by Cris Alley  /  Strategic Focus Team  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

25 ways to make your service ‘family friendly’ as you regather

By now, your church has probably regathered in some format, either outside the building in cars or lawn chairs or inside the worship center with modifications for social distancing. Many churches will wait until fall to reopen children’s ministry areas. If your church is...

Top 5 resources for July 2020

Every month, we spotlight five helpful resources for you as you seek to walk closely with the Lord and make disciples. Many of these resources are created by the staff of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) to help meet the ministry needs of pastors and lay...

Getty, Redman headline virtual worship conference

Some of today’s most renowned and influential worship leaders and artists are coming together for a first-of-its-kind virtual training event designed for anyone involved in worship ministry in the local church. The Resourcing Worship Virtual Conference, scheduled for Aug. 1, 2020,...

Guidance for churches on NC’s face covering mandate

N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday, June 24, that face coverings must be worn in public places in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Cooper also announced that North Carolina will remain in the “Safer at Home Phase 2” until Friday, July 17.The Baptist State...

Ongoing concerns over SBC declines

Like many of you, I missed gathering with friends for this year’s Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla. As you know, the meeting was canceled in late March due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Canceling this year’s annual meeting was a...

Hiccups, voices and Uber drivers: The value of coaching

How are you handling the hiccups in your life? Not actual hiccups, but the short-term disruptions to your long-term plans. The current pandemic is a major hiccup we all face, but compared to a lifetime, it is just short-term even though it seems it will last forever. How can we...

Redeem the time on Father’s Day

As I sat there, holding my empty mason jar, tears flowed down my face and splashed into the bottom of the hollow cavity that was once filled with such hope and innocent dreams. My little boy was now a man. A mason jar, you see, holds exactly 936 pennies — one penny for each week...

Make real disciples, not theoretical ones

Ministry and mission require some basics in order to thrive: thinking and doing, strategy and action. This typically involves assessing your location, considering the Scriptures and then working a plan born from a deep desire to see the Lord’s kingdom come on earth as it is in...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for our monthly newsletter and events email.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!