Inspiration comes from a variety of places. One word leads to a thought, one thought leads to a statement, one statement leads to a conversation and before you know it, you’re drowning in the ideas spawned by inspiration. I just finished reading for review a copy of Ronnie Floyd’s new book on Christ’s Great Commission to the church. In the midst of the book was just such an inspirational statement (which I’ll get to in another article). I was inspired to think about the way I (and any Christian for that matter) look at  . . . well, everything. Coupled with the obscure reference in Floyd’s book was my flawed memory of an early Christian song that got some play on the early CCM radio stations of the late 1970s and ‘80s. After some failed Facebook inquiries and Google attempts, more of the memory came back and I found my song—“Behold Now the Kingdom (See with New Eyes)” recorded by the Talbot brothers, John Michael and Terry, on their 1980 album The Painter.

Here are John Michael Talbot’s words:

A multitude followed a man, a prophet, who spoke words of wisdom
And they listened trying to understand the paradox of His great truth.

Blessed by those who are poor for you shall inherit the kingdom
And blessed be those who are weak for you shall inherit great strength.
Blessed be those who are children for you shall be counted as wise.
And blessed be the blindman for you shall see with new eyes.

Behold now the Kingdom, See with new eyes.
Bessed be those of compassion for you shall inherit compassion.
And blessed be those who forgive, for you shall be forgiven.
You shall receive consolation only in reaching to give.
And only in dying for others can you be reborn to live.

From time to time, when a project or event is not going as planned we step back to “see it with fresh eyes.” But in living the Christian life, we don’t just need “fresh eyes.” Instead (as the lyrics above suggest) we need “new eyes.” In order to see with new eyes, one must have new eyes.

I am not encouraging you to go and have a physical eye transplant. Nor am I advocating a gouging out of your eyes so that you must receive a physical gift from a generous donor. I would like to encourage you to become a new creation in Christ Jesus, though. (See 2 Corinthians 5:17) As a new, a spiritual, creation you and I have opportunities to see with spiritual eyes the realities around us. How can you don these new eyes? Here’s how it works:

All of us are sinners. It’s the way we were born. It’s what we do. It’s who we are. The Bible puts it this way—“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23). I could type until my fingers became numb, and you could read until you couldn’t stand to read another word, but until you are ready to admit your sinfulness and sinful nature, we’d just be wasting our time. If you desire to experience the fullness of life as we know it, if you would like to find meaning in the messages found in this book, you must come to grips with the fact that you are a sinner. We all are. As the verse explains, sin is falling short of what God desires. We can try, and try, and try, but we will always fall short of His glory.

Understanding that we are sinners helps to brace us for the next in a line of facts for us to understand: the price that we pay for sin is death. Again we can turn to the book of Romans to understand this truth—“The wages of sin is death . . .” (6:23a) According to this verse, everyone earns death for the sin that we commit. This includes but is not limited to the physical death that everybody experiences. Death is the spiritual separation from life in Jesus Christ, and it’s what we earn as sinners. We deserve eternal separation from God.

That’s pretty sad news if we disregard the fact that God really doesn’t want it that way. As a matter of fact, He made a plan that could take care of our problem with a sin nature. The second part of the verse from Romans six opens our eyes to this plan—“. . . the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23b) What this means is that God provided a way for us to escape paying for our sin and to receive the free gift of eternal life. This is not like the free gift offered by people selling you something or begging for your money and offering a “gift” in return. This is a truly free gift. God offers, and all we have to do is put aside our desire to sin and accept the gift of life from Christ.

Read John 3:16 to see this promise: “ForGod so lovedthe world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should notperish but have eternal life.” In the Bible we read further that if we believe in Jesus Christ, He forgives us of our sins and provides the life that we so desire. In John 1:12 we read, “. . . to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the rightto becomechildren of God . . .”

Interested? If this sounds like something that you’d like to add to your life, it’s a simple process. All you have to do is, in prayer –

Admit that you are a sinner (someone who disobeys God) and that you need to be forgiven by God.

Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came and died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins. Trust also, that He rose on the third day, proving His promise of the resurrection.

Commit your life to following Him, turning away from your sin and to Christ. Unite with believers in the church, be baptized, study the Bible, and love others.

Each of the steps in this process is important. The first, because it’s how you let God know that you know about your problem with sin; the second, because it is the point where you change your mind to tune in to the mind of Christ; and finally step three is important because it is the place where you begin to apply biblical mandates to help you to grow.

If this has been your experience, the new eyes are yours for seeing. In following posts I want us to open our new eyes to see what must be seen if we are to be the people God desires us to be. I hope you enjoy the journey, and can join in the conversation along the way.