eyes on the mark

Jesus talked about having a healthy eye, one completed devoted to God and God’s kingdom come in him. One that has seen that treasure and won’t take their eye off that goal. Or off the mark. And healthy implies generous, as opposed to unhealthy which would imply stingy. Which in the context of Jesus’ teaching would mean a giving heart, and especially to the poor, to those in need.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Along the way there are traps set or lures come to get our eyes off the mark. The mark is actually Jesus himself, the kingdom of God come and present in him with all that means for us and for the world. As we press on with that as our goal, we become more and more like Jesus over time. Of course that implies and involves a whole lot of things. Adherence to scripture and to the church, both, not one or the other. Responsiveness to God through Jesus in our personal lives. The writer to the Hebrews after recounting people of faith from the old covenant era points us to Jesus:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

And Paul expresses something of the same here:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Come what may, this must be our mindset, this must be our goal.

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