You are the Apple of God’s Eye (the following article is found at gotquestions.org...one of my favorite go-to resources).
Question: "What does it mean to be the apple of God’s eye?"
Answer: Several verses in the Bible mention “the apple of the eye.” This ancient metaphor is a reference to the “pupil” of the eye, which is exactly how some Bible translations render it. Here are three Old Testament uses of the phrase the apple of the eye:
The wise father says to his son, “Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye” (Proverbs 7:2).
The psalmist prays, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” (Psalm 17:8).
And in Deuteronomy 32:10 Moses relates a poetic description of God’s care for Israel: “In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye.”
At the risk of getting a little word-nerdy, let’s look at some of the Hebrew behind the phrase. The “apple” in the apple of the eye is a translation of the Hebrew word for “apple,” ishon, which is related to the word ish, meaning “man.” Etymologically, the ishon of the eye is “the little man of the eye.” Have you ever looked someone in the eye and seen your own reflection in their pupil? That’s the “little man,” right in the center of the eye.
The apple of one’s eye is a very sensitive place and therefore very protected. Think about your own eye for a moment. What happens if something flies in it or toward it? Your eyelids reflexively close, your head turns, and your hands position themselves to ward off the threat. Our eyesight is valuable, and our body naturally protects that vulnerable spot to prevent injury.
So, the instruction in Proverbs 7:2 is to hold godly wisdom in high regard as the valuable thing it is. The prayer in Psalm 17:8 is for God to keep guard over us as He would the pupil of His own eye. And the description of God’s care for His people in Deuteronomy 32:10 emphasizes Israel’s vulnerability and God’s tender, loving affection. God provided complete protection; His people were a priority. In the “howling wilderness,” God provided manna for them to eat, water from a rock, and safety from their enemies. His care was as automatic as if He were guarding the center of His eye from harm. What a loving God we serve.
God held the Israelites as the apple of His eye, rebellious and stiff-necked though they were in the wilderness. Being the apple of His eye, they were most cherished. And God’s care for His people has not diminished with time. He holds His children close, and He can protect us as easily as our eyelids protect our pupils. He does this because He loves us in Christ. He has a parental, protective love for us, and the biblical descriptions of His love are eye-opening, to say the least. https://www.gotquestions.org/apple-of-Gods-eye.html
Every Person is a Number, Cont.
Every Person is a Number, Cont.
This is a devotional taken from FCA.
The Zechariah Project
"He sought God throughout the lifetime of Zechariah, the teacher of the fear of God. During the time that he sought the Lord, God gave him success." - 2 Chronicles 26:5
The ministry of FCA is about many things, but one specific thing is influence. In athletics today, we all are influenced. Athletically, athletes are influenced by teammates and coaches by other coaches, but where is the spiritual influence coming from? One athlete recently told me that when it comes to athletic excellence he could help any teammate get to the next level, but when it came to growing in Christ he was not the man! An honest and compelling commentary for sure.
Back in the day, young King Uzziah took over after the death of his father and quickly became successful, largely in part to his relationship with a spiritual mentor named Zechariah. Zechariah did not challenge Uzziah to conquer more lands or to grow is kingdom, but to seek God's face daily. Through this Zechariah helped Uzziah to do very well, all because he planted within the King a burning desire to know and grow in God's word. Oh, to have a friend like Zechariah.
Zechariah influenced King Uzziah to know and grow in God. FCA's challenge to YOU today is to not only become a Zechariah for someone else, but also to seek out a Zechariah for your own life. We all have people who challenge us in our work, athletic endeavors and academic achievements, but do we have a Zechariah who is constantly putting God in front of us? I challenge you is to create your own personal "Zechariah Project." Maybe God is calling you to be that person is someone's life, or maybe you need to seek out a Zechariah for spiritual guidance. We all need to have it both ways. I have Zechariah's in my life named Chuck and David. Every Monday Chuck challenges me via e-mail, and David meets with me for weekly accountability and spiritual development. I also try to be a Zechariah to several coaches and athletes at Northwestern University. What a blessing not only to have this in my life, but also to give it back.
Take the challenge! Find a Zechariah and then become one for someone else. Athletic pursuits and worldly successes will only take you so far, but spiritual influence and guidance can carry you to eternity! You will be amazed at God's growth and goodness as you pursue this spiritual discipline. What are you waiting for? Get after it for HIM!
2 Chronicles 26, Jeremiah 29:11-13, Hebrews 11:6
Lord Jesus, thank You for this reminder that I need other believers in my life who challenge me and keep me accountable in nurturing my relationship with You. Please bring people into my life who will encourage me in my walk with You and hold me accountable to daily reading the Bible, praying, and seeking out fellowship with other believers. Lord, bring to my mind someone in my sphere of influence whom I can encourage like Zechariah encouraged Uzziah. Amen.
FCA Impact Play <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Behalf Of FCA Impact Play
Every Person is a Number
Every Person is a Number
Just wanted to humbly clarify something with each of you this morning in hopes that the leadership of Ox Strong will be best understood. At Ox Strong I don’t keep attendance and or track of numbers in hopes of an opportunity for a bragamony, or out of selfish ambition, pride, competition, or as a means to make some feel guilty for not being present. Look around in your churches…some churches post their previous Sunday attendance on the wall and or in their bulletins. Again, we’re not a church, but just like business meetings attendance goes on the record. Look at Jesus. Jesus was even detailed in Biblical accounts when he provided for us a specific number count as to how many people were present (examples: at Pentecost, the feeding of the 5,000, etc.). There are healthy reasons for an attendance/numbers approach. What Skip and I get excited about is that every number is person. And every person…
The Life of John the Baptist, Part 6 of 6.
John the Baptist, part 6 of 6
My (Nathan’s) thoughts concerning John the Baptist’s humility and focus…
It’s no secret that if not careful, then pride and jealousy can all be enveloped within success. In John 3:25, John the Baptist’s followers attempted to cause division and an uproar by attempting to get John the Baptist jealous of Christ’s work. It would have been so easy for John the Baptist to get sucked into such a mindset, but he was quick to point everyone to THE #1, Christ Himself. John the Baptist knew he wasn’t competing with Christ, rather he was Christ’s compliment to the work needing done in their community…for His Glory. This is a great lesson for each of us to learn as well. If not careful, then we too can easily get distracted and sucked into competing with each other for members, for position, for who’s right and who’s wrong. If not careful, then we too are prone to create uproars and divisions, rather than attempting to be a compliment to the work Christ is attempting to accomplish within our community. Sadly enough we’re spending more time building walls and not doors (I’m not saying compromise or that all religions lead to Heaven). It’s as if it’s easier and more enjoyable to create uproar and division, rather than taking the time to really get to know the hearts and minds of others. May we remember that Jesus is standing at the door and knocking (that passage in Revelation 3:20 is referring to believers). We need to let Him into our churches, community, and ministries. We need to eliminate the elitism mentality. If John the Baptist can eliminate it, then so can we. May we choose to follow the example of John the Baptist and directly proclaim, BEHOLD, not self, but the Lamb of God!!! Then see what difference that’ll make all around us.
Below are the verses in the Book of John where John the Baptist said, “Behold,” and then a biblical definition of the term behold. Take some time to do some self-examination considering your role in the community or within ministry…are you excitedly proclaiming BEHOLD and fixing your eyes, attention, admiration, mind on Him alone, or are you attempting to steal the show?
Remember, God is The Elector/Chooser. Trust He’ll complete His work regardless of what others are doing or teaching. Separation is to be more about not giving into false teaching / worldly lifestyles, rather than removing oneself from the presence of sinful people (Discernment is key…ask God to show you what sharing His word with others looks like and where He’d have you to be when doing it). Do I treat sinners like unclean lepers? Do I, in a sense, avoid them and or cast them out of my sphere of influence? Isn’t Jesus often seen eating and visiting with sinners? Isn’t that how and where He met you…in sin and as a sinner? Allow others to meet Him too outside of the Church doors…play a part in introducing them to Christ and allow Him to do a work on their hearts.
[ The Lamb of God ] The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
KJV Dictionary Definition: behold
BEHO'LD, v.t. pret. and pp. beheld' L.observo, from servo, to keep.
1. To fix the eyes upon; to see with attention; to observe with care.
Behold the lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1.
2. In a less intensive sense, to look upon; to see.
When he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. Num. 21.
BEHO'LD, v.i. To look; to direct the eyes to an object.
And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne, a lamb, as it had been slain. Rev.5.
1. To fix the attention upon an object; to attend; to direct or fix the mind.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. Rev.3.word is much used in this manner for exciting attention, or admiration. It is in the imperative mode, expressing command, or exhortation; and by no means a mere exclamation.
The Life of John the Baptist, Part 5 of 6.
John the Baptist, part 5 of 6 (Steve’s last point concerning John the Baptist)
Life Lessons from John the Baptist:
Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 3 granddaughters, a police chaplain, a pastor, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter