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

What the Bible says about a pastor’s authority

I’ve heard it said, “The pastor’s job is to preach, marry and bury. Running the church is up to others.” Make no mistake — the primary task of a shepherd is to feed the flock. Paul commanded young Timothy to preach the Word. Preaching sermons on the Lord’s Day and officiating...

15 vital things you can give your pastor

October is pastor appreciation month. As a pastor for 25 years, here are some ideas for things your church can give your pastor:Give him a place.Give him a place where he is free to preach the gospel.Give him a place where he is accepted for who he is, not compared to who he...

Why I’m excited about this year’s Pastors’ Conference

The past year has been difficult. The world we live in today looks quite different than it did just 18 months ago. Many things we were accustomed to doing have either disappeared, been restricted, or have changed, for better or worse. One of the biggest changes was the separation...

The local school: A great place for church ministry

For the most part I really enjoyed school. However, there were some aspects of the time that I enjoyed more than others. I enjoyed the learning, the socialization, and of course, the sports. I found most of the assignments manageable with the exception of writing papers. Sitting...

Ready or not, here they come! Evaluating your church with fresh eyes

Is your church ready for guests who may visit your church after first watching online? Are you ready for members who may return after an extended COVID-19 break? What steps can you take to make a great first impression and reintegrate those who want to reengage with your...

Why personal evangelism is a key ingredient for turnaround churches

Many pastors and churches today are struggling. Pastors are discouraged, and some are leaving the ministry altogether. It’s been estimated that more than 80% of churches are plateaued or declining. Yet, some churches are seeing a turnaround. A fresh wind is blowing. These churches...

Looking forward to being on mission together

In late August, a series of organizational changes were unanimously approved by our state convention’s executive committee aimed at advancing all of us forward as a movement of churches on mission together. We’ve been working toward implementing these changes, and I hope that our...

Fostering and adoption: Why forever matters

“Which one is my mommy now?” I never imagined a child asking someone to point out who their mother was. However, the little blonde-haired girl named Ally, who I was holding that day, had already lived with three different families in the span of 15 months since she and her sister...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

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

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!