Looking again, to see as God sees …

“It says,” … “that you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind. And you must love your neighbor just as much as you love yourself.” (Luke 10:27, TLB)

     There is an aspect of seeing that we can miss at times, even if we have eyes to see everything around us.  We can in our casualness become unseeing and dismissive of people around us. It happens when we are consumed with our own busy lives, schedules and the thoughts.  We see others but then again, we don’t see them somehow. We were headed somewhere or had something to do and we couldn’t be bothered. Sometimes we even see them and we avoid them for whatever reason.  In the latter sense we border on sin because we are choosing who we care about and who we are interested in. As Christians we allow this unseeing to happen to us and it really shouldn’t if we are being sensitive to the Holy Spirit. If we have the love of Christ in us as, we should allow the love of God to flow through us without determining who is worthy to be loved.  God loves the world and everyone in it and He loves us each one of us without partiality (Romans 2:11).  Each one of us, are to be imitators and givers of that great love.

     Jesus gives us a powerful parable and completely relevant faith lesson in the story of The Good Samaritan. In this parable, He teaches us about real love in action. He leaves us with this powerful directive, “Yes, now go and do the same” (Luke 10:37, TLB).  He also gives witness to the selective treatment of others and its affects.  What we fail at times to remember in the story we call The Good Samaritan; is our treatment of others does reflect our relationship with God.  Christ’s list of characters includes the very religious, the very busy and an unexpected righteous and benevolent benefactor.  He also deals with the power of prejudice as He gives us an antihero as the one who truly is kind and loving. The Good Samaritan is the true neighbor who loves with the love of God because he sees need and loves by providing without hesitation or conditions.  It is a parable; that is both cautionary and directive as it reminds us to see others in need and to be attentive in our awareness and treatment of any persons we find around us.  This includes loving any non-Christians and our treatment of Christian brothers and sisters as well.  Our love should be sincere and must not be in “in word and in tongue but in deed and truth” (1 John 4:18). We must see as Savior sees.

May we all love others and see others in manner that is representative of how God sees us.  Maybe the challenge is to slow down enough in what we are thinking about; to see everyone we pass by each day. We need to care about people more than ourselves and our schedule.  If we have the love of God in us, we should cast aside any inconvenience as we respond in loving action to others. His love in us must be without partiality to those we hardly know, to those different then ourselves and to those no one expects us to love.  If we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, we must love others in the way that God has loved us.

The love of The Good Samaritan exhibited God’s love as love, without measure or limits. The Good Samaritan exhibited in His actions that he loved God with all of his heart, soul and strength.  He allowed his eyes to see as God sees.   Helen Keller addressing the physical act of not being able to see, said this, “The lack of sight forbids our hands to engage in many of the noblest human acts, but love is open to us and love teaches us the highest of arts – the art of living.”  Lord, help us to truly see others as you see them and love them as you love us.

“Do this and you shall live” (TLB, Luke 10:28).

Suggested Reading … Luke 10

Re-edited from a previous writing …

Who is He?

Who is He?

Listen! I am standing and knocking at your door. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will eat together. (Revelation 3:20, CEV)

Who is He who is standing at the door of your heart?  Is it He, the Jesus that wants to be your Savior?  Will you ask Him to be your Lord and Savior? Will you call on Him to save you?  Will you obey Him so you can put on His righteousness? Will you let Him in?

Who is He who is waiting at the door of your heart?  Is it He, the Christ who wants to give you the riches of grace that will that will satisfy your soul? He does not give the riches of the earth that will fade away but the eternal, indescribable riches of heaven which through the wealth of His grace will save your life and sustain you until you come into His presence for eternity? Will you let Him in?

Who is He who is longing to provide at the door of your heart? Is it He, the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for you and in that sacrificing death forgave every sin you will ever commit, that your eyes might see the truth, rest in His endless provision and be set free now and forever more? Will you let Him in?

Who is He who is listening at the door of your heart?  Is it He, Jesus Christ the Lord, the healer of every damage, every heartache and every disease? Will you let Him carry all your diseases, all your brokenness and lift all your burdens?  He tells us to come to Him with all that is heavy and overwhelming and He will stay with us in imitate fellowship . Will you let Him in?

Who is He who is beckoning to come in at the door of your heart? It is He, the King of Kings who rose from the dead to destroy the fences, the walls, the towers, the castles, the armies of the enemy who has you convinced that you are hopeless and defeated? Jesus the Eternal and Everlasting King of King who gives life for eternity! Will you let Him in?

The Thankful Psalm of Knowing the Good Shepherd


Ever humbled in gratitude and thanksgiving for knowing the Good Shepherd!

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. (Psalm 23, KJ21)


The Lord is the Shepherd of my life, He is always good! He satisfies every want before me, fulfilling all yearnings, even those I do not realize I have.

He guides my heart to the peaceful meadows of His presence; He leads me to the quieting comfort the nourishing stream of His steadfast love. Over and over he restores my very soul.  He leads me on the pathways that change me into someone who reflects the glory of His righteousness by His faithfulness.

Even though I struggle and stumble when circumstances and pressures darken some of the seasons of my life with aching pain and deep despair, I will not cower and lose faith … because You, O Lord, as my Shepherd are ever with me.  O Lord, you direct me ever closer to the truth by the rod of your perfect wisdom and stand ready with your mighty hand upon your staff to ever protect me.

There is no end to the extravagant banquet of your goodness that You, O Lord put before me as a feast so abundant that my very enemies fall back in great astonishment.  You anoint my head with the overflowing oil of your favor and your blessings saturate my daily living.

Your goodness fills every moment of my living and your merciful grace freely flows in and through every day and every season until I come into the eternal home I will share with you forever. Thank you, O Lord,  for being the Good Shepherd of my life. Thank you!

Paraphrase – S. R. Maas, 2016


The Glistening Temple

The foundation was laid with massive stones hewn from deep in the earth. The walls leading up to the sacred place were straight and true positioned perfectly with white marble. The courtyard was ordered and marked for specific people and access to each designated area was secured only by sacrifice and decree. Beyond the courtyard, the chosen could venture to the soaring edifice with bronze doors that towered to the sky. Through the doors the cleansed and holy leaders came to beckon and petition the Creator and Sustainer of all life for the people. Deeper still, curtains as tall as the cedars of Lebanon separated the holiest of men from the presence of the holiest visitation dwelling of the Most Holy God. This was the temple that glistened so brightly on the peak of Mount Zion that those who gazed upon it had to turn away from its spectacular and stunning brilliance.

Yet this magnificent edifice that shone so brightly glistening in the sunlight was destroyed by the powerful Roman army and all that is left is a mountain of massive foundational stones. The Savior who foretold of second temple’s destruction will someday come with an indescribable brilliance brighter than the sun which He created and with a greater power than all the armies that have ever held power in their hands and efforts.

In the meantime the temple that glistens does not shine from reflective light. The “Temple” of today is where the Risen Christ dwells in us and it glistens from the living presence of the “One” that created all things and reigns over and above all things (Colossians 1, 2) as He imparts His Holy Spirit to guide, comfort, teach and convict us.  He is not separated from us by a heavy curtain but has torn it asunder forever that He might be with us always (Matthew 28:20) There is no need for endless sacrifices for sin for our Savior became the sacrifice for all sin for all time for any and all who come to Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Finally He does not withhold His holiness to times and calendars but He covers us with His holiness because of His boundless loving grace that we might not bear condemnation. (Romans 8:1).

Rejoice in the Christ who lives in you through the Holy Spirit and let Him shine through you as you follow Him as Lord each and every day.

Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you and which ye have from God, and that ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, KJ21).

Idols in our lives …

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me and keep My commandments (Exodus 20:54-6, KJ21).

There is a peculiar reality about idols; those that worship a particular idol do not find the idol of their worship peculiar. Typically they do not see or question either the faith entrusted to their idol as fallacy or the outcomes of their trusting in a particular idol being subject to real scrutiny.  There is blindness in their awareness as to where they have anchored their faith and trust. People around them may see or not see the fallacy of trusting in any idol depending on the cultural significance and acceptance of idols but generally idols can be quite entrenched in individuals and groups.

When God gave Moses the commandment regarding graven images or idols, the cultures of the time created countless representative idols and worshiped them. From various animals to numerous deities in various forms, sexualities, and realms related to life, needs and provisions. We may not worship golden calves or speak of Asherah and we may even scoff and sneer at those that worship a visible and tangible idol while failing to see the idols in our own lives. We can hope and trust in many things that are much more of an illusion of substance than a physical idol.

Idolatry can include the worship of any of countless false gods – whether they are new or old.  Idolatry can also be the adoration and obsession of such things as fame, technologies, relationships, books, our appearance, music, ourselves, nature, celebrities, money, materialism, mysticism, self-aggrandizement, power, politics, and countless other things that become gods in our lives thus taking us from the worship of God.

An idol can be anything that we come to love with a deep devotion which leads to worship and comes to fruition as adoration, homage and trust given to anything other than the Almighty Living God. Only God, our precious Savior and the Holy Spirit are worthy of our trust and worship. We must watch out for the idols that might be found in our lives!

For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens (Psalm 96:4-5, KJ21).