The Apple of God’s Eye

A father plunks a small child onto his lap and proclaims, “You are the apple of my eye.”

A simple phrase. Hidden underneath these words are depths of meaning that exposes a tender heart absorbed by love. It is a proclamation of a promise to protect and to provide. They are words that are choked back by emotion and replaced with eyes brimming with tears. It is a type of dedicated love that sets apart this child above all others.

A father will ask, “Look. Look deeply into my eyes. Can you see your apple? That is yours!” Peering deeply into the iris of one’s eye, a small child can faintly see an image. With that request, there is an exchange of trust. Granting permission to allow a child to come up that close to your face, to access a very sensitive part of the body that could cause great pain and discomfort — is a supreme act of trust. Only a small child, uninhibited, absorbed in love and perhaps curiosity, even trusting the closeness of his father, will peer closely and marvel at their image.

“That is yours and you are mine,” a father will sputter with great wonder in how deep a love can be for his children.Two kids smiling

A child of God is the apple of His eye. And you are that child of faith.

“For this is what the LORD Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you — for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye — I will sure raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me.” (Zechariah 2:8-9) (bold added)

God is a loving and protective father. If anyone attempts to harm His children, it will be like touching his eye. Just like an earthly father will act swiftly to protect his own eye, God acts swiftly to protect His own. As an earthly father has the innate desire to provide, God, our Heavenly Father, perfectly provides. So much so, He is willing to do anything…

Even when it meant humbly sacrificing himself to pay the penalty of our sins.

It was the greatest act of protection — to pay for the consequences of sin. It was the greatest act of being a provider — to bring salvation upon this world.

Heaven, to be in God’s presence, to see His face, to dwell with him forever, must be so wonderful that an act of a horrible, agonizing, sacrificial death was required.

Hell, to not be in God’s presence, to be separated eternally, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, must be so horrible, that a sacrificial death was required.

Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, defines our value to God. By His death on the cross, he protected us from evil by conquering it. By his sacrifice, He provided the complete forgiveness of our sins.

In this most solemn of days, Good Friday, we trust God and peer into His eyes. And there am I! The apple of His eye. We are His own. And the proof?

On top of Calvary, the lonely cross stands as a living testament of God’s love and His promises.

 

Post dedicated to my nephew, Evan Meier, in celebration of his 16th birthday — the apple of his father’s eye.

“Keep my commands and you will live, guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.” (Proverbs 7:2)

When God isn’t impressed

The worlds looks at numbers, the powerful, the resources to gauge success. In the mind-numbing pursuit of gaining significance, notoriety, or authority, the world is rarely impressed and the soul is never satisfied.

“Who despises the day of small things?” an angel asks in Zechariah 4:10.

When results are seemingly dependent upon the ingenuity, wisdom, or the hard work of a man, God is never impressed. The pride of man is too quick to take credit, too easy to forget, and too susceptible for self-glory.

No wonder God uses the simple to overcome the proud, the meek to inherit the earth, and the few to overcome the many.

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)

The people who count in this world rarely hold the message of the cross. When in power, it’s easy to despise the meek. When blessings arrive at one’s doorstep — it’s far too easy to take the credit. In a life of luxury and comfort, it’s too easy to forget that God is God — and we are not.

The world can offer plenty of distractions whether in the pursuit of power, notoriety, or to be significant — that we can miss out on the most important questions in life. Who man is? Where did he come from? Where is he going? How is he going to get there?

It is a ultimate example of a dichotomy — what the word deems as important, God doesn’t. What the world holds up to something to be attained, God lifts up something completely opposite. In fact, God exposes it as meaningless.

There will come to a point in time where every person on this earth will be exposed for what and who they are — naked and desperately in need of God. Nothing they have will be worth anything before a God who has everything. In the economics of spiritual welfare, God is the only supplier and we are in constant demand. He supplies just the right amount of what we need or handle on earth, and supplies everything we need to be saved from the consequences of our sins.

Those who hold power, fame, and fortune — are usually uplifted by pride, ego, and gifts that enable them to be so. In the thin air of self-glorification, one can rarely breathe in the presence of Christ. God, then, who is rich in grace and mercy, allows the gift of difficult circumstances to humble and discipline the proud. They are divine opportunities to see the wisdom of God, to receive His Word, to humbly acknowledge our sinful nature and our need for Him.

When caught in the pursuit for significance, it’s helpful to remember God will not be impressed. Strength is made perfect in weakness and only the meek will inherit the earth.

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Defining a Christian in today’s world: Is it just a label or still a profession of faith?

It seems that more and more people are asking for a true definition of a Christian.

Recent surveys convey that a vast majority of people profess a belief in God and regularly pray to Him, but have a myriad of different understandings and practices associated with their faith. As a result, there are many definitions behind the word “Christian.”

Can a Christian be adequately defined as a person who follows Christ and His teachings? Perhaps a Christian is one who follows the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule, or simply being a good citizen by loving their neighbor and their country.

Due to the misnomer, misapplications, and frankly, the lousy examples from those who profess a faith in Christ, I’m sometimes reluctant to be even identified as a Christian — because in reality, the term is just a label.

What is my definition of a Christian? A soul that is already perfect in Christ

It’s now how I choose to live on this earth, but entirely dependent upon my status in where I will spend eternity. A person’s eternal status is the most crucial element in defining faith that goes far beyond a label.

One who is already perfect in Christ (i.e. Christian) has placed their entire trust in God’s promises that faith alone receives the full benefit of Christ’s completed work on the cross. Since Jesus substituted himself on the cross for us, we are declared perfect (justified) and forgiven (redeemed) in God’s sight. Why is that important? For that is the only way for us to return to how God originally created mankind to be (heaven).

Recent surveys have also pointed to a growing doubt that the Bible is a reliable source of truth. Is it inspired? Is it inerrant? The Bible is very clear in pointing to itself as the absolute truth and the only source to knowing how to be right with God. It points to its Word as the only means in providing all that we need to know for salvation.

For these reasons, the Bible goes to great length to prove its reliability by pointing to all the promises that God kept in the Old Testament and how it was fulfilled in Christ. And, how God established a new covenant so all people may have a right relationship with Him through Christ.

The Bible becomes the source to convey truth that has an eternal impact on every soul. It’s so important, that God inspired men to record this message and be miraculously preserved throughout generations. This is important for two reasons.

  1. That we can fully trust God’s promises contained in His Word.
  2. It is the power of God’s Word that we can trust Him.

The message of the Bible is simply to take God at His Word for life and salvation.

One’s status before God is what defines His faith, not adhering to a particular label.

What is your definition of a Christian?

People by Ed McGowan

People by Ed McGowan