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20/20 I-Sight

By Sheila Schuller Coleman

2196 2021-03-04

All right, stay standing because we’re looking at God’s word. We’re looking at the Beatitudes of Jesus Christ. We’re not just going to have the attitudes of Jesus Christ. We’re going to be the attitudes of Jesus Christ. We’re going to be a new attitude. So stay standing because if you feel like singing and participating in this theme song, you do it. Okay? Let’s do it. Stay standing.

(WORSHIP TEAM SINGS: I’m feeling good from my head to my shoes. Know where I’m going and I know what to do. I tidied up my point of view. I got a new attitude. I’m feeling good from my head to my shoes. Know where I’m going and I know what to do. I tidied up my point of view. I got a new attitude. I got a new attitude. I got a new attitude. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, I got a new attitude! Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, I got a new attitude! Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, I got a new attitude!)

This week, when you get an email that you don’t like. When you get news from your doctor that you don’t like. When you wake up in the morning and discover that your husband went to bed and left a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, you’re not going to let the fear, you’re not going to let that negative thoughts get you down. Oh you’ll be tempted to, yes you will. And then all of the sudden in the middle of all of your moaning and groaning and complaining and negative thinking, you’re going to remember this and you’re going to do it. Ready I want you all to do it with me. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, I got a new attitude. All right? You do it? You can be seated. Will you do that this week? Who’s going to do that? Anybody done that already? Really, truly, I mean there are times when I have forgotten and then all of a sudden sometimes I’ve had to go oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, I got a new attitude. But I do feel better and then I force myself to do it again. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. I got a new attitude. Oh yeah, oh boy, do I ever. 

And you can, too, because you see we’re studying the Beatitudes of Jesus Christ. I love these because you know scientists today, they talk about cognitive psychology and you’re going to be hearing a little bit about that because I believe that the Creator created cognitive psychology. And we scientists have discovered and analyzed and given it names and titles and theories, but the cognitive psychologists, they didn’t create cognitive psychology. The Creator did. And we see it in God’s word that God created this. And it’s so helpful. 

You know it says to capture very thought. It says that in the scripture. Capture every thought and make it obedient to Jesus Christ, because in cognitive psychology, your thoughts or your attitudes, they give way to feelings which impact your behavior. So if you’ve got a negative thought, you’re going to have negative feelings. And then don’t be surprised if your behavior is less than positive. And so they talk about capturing those thoughts; cognitive psychologists do that. They teach us that. 

And so we’ve been studying this through the Beatitudes of Jesus Christ. And today we’re on attitude number 6, blessed; “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” How many of you have seen God? 

You know, I love to help out at Monday meals where we feed the hungry in our community. And one day, one day when I was there, this one man, I’ll call him John. He was introduced to me as Pastor Sheila, and he said, “Oh well,” he said, “You might not want to know this, but I’m your resident Atheist.”

And I said, “Well it’s so good to meet you, John. I have good news for you today. God believes in you even if you don’t believe in Him.”

“Oh,” he says, “you’re pretty good.” He said, “Well let me tell you why I don’t believe in God.”

I said, “Tell me.”

He said, “Well I told God years ago that if I could see God, I would believe in Him.” 

Well right next to me was Amanda and she was cutting hair like she does for free every single Monday. And I took Amanda and I put my arm her waist and drew her close, and I said, “Well John, do see Amanda?”

And he said, “Yes, I see Amanda.”

And I said, “Then you’ve seen God’s spirit at work in Amanda.”

And I said, “Do you see Hilda and Karen over there? They make these wonderful meals every single Monday for you.”

He goes, “Yes, I see Karen and Hilda.”

And I said, “Well then you’ve seen God’s spirit at work in Karen and Hilda. You’ve seen God.” I said, “Do you see Pastor Harold Shaw and Pastor Jeff Johnston? They’re here every Monday?”

And he said, “Yes, I see them.”

And I said, “Then you’ve seen the spirit of God at work in them. You’ve seen God.” You see we just need to recognize God. We need to see that He is there. We need to have the blinders off so we can see God for who He is, so we have a clear, correct visual of who God is. You want that in your life? Don’t miss out on it. Don’t miss out on seeing God. 

I wear contact lenses. I have to corrective lenses of some sort or other and there are times when I’m at work and I’ll wear my glasses and I’ll take my glasses and I leave them off and I run out the door quick a minute and somebody way down the hall will wave at me. And I wave back and I’m thinking I don’t recognize you. I can’t see your face. Who am I waving to? I don’t know if you’ve ever had that experience but it’s kind of humbling and a little unnerving. But without my corrective lens, I can’t see, I can’t recognize people from a distance. And that’s how some of us are with God. We just don’t recognize Him from a distance without our corrective lenses on. And that’s what we’re going to learn about here in this beatitude, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” correctly. And then sometimes my glasses, they get dirty and my vision is still obscured and not as pure as it can be and I need to clean those glasses off. And so that pure of heart helps us to see God clearly; correctly and clearly. That’s what we’re going to learn about. 

And as we’ve been studying how this looks through the cognitive frame, the cognitive lens, we start with the thoughts. So what thoughts, what negative thoughts do we need to capture and make obedient to Christ that get in the way of us seeing God clearly, of seeing God correctly? Well I think the number one thing that gets in the way for people is suffering; our own personal suffering and the sufferings of the world. And it’s how we respond to suffering. We have these negative thoughts that come with suffering. We’re human and so it’s going to happen that we will respond this way.

But for instance, I’ve heard so many people say, Sheila, I cannot believe in God because of the suffering in the world. How can there be a God if there’s suffering in the world? This tsunami that just wiped out thousands of lives - how can a God allow that? If God exists, what kind of God is He? Why doesn’t He stop the suffering of the world? 

So their response to suffering, their negative thought that gets in their way of seeing God is this, blame God. People do. We’ve all done it. We’ve all had our moments where we blamed God for the suffering. We’ve blamed Him for things not turning out the way they should have. We blame Him for bankruptcy or we blame Him for a divorce or we blame Him for a death in the family or we blame Him for the cancer that we were diagnosed with. The temptation is to blame God. Well capture that thought because that thought will lead to the feeling of not trusting in God and it will even lead to the behavior of turning away from God, running away from God and shutting Him out of your life. Nothing; nothing could be worse for anybody than to have that happen in your life. I don’t care what your circumstances, but that’s death. That’s death. 

So we want to take that negative thought of blaming God and we want to take it and we want to replace it with this positive thought and question: is the suffering really God’s fault? Are we blaming God unjustly? Did we have any part to play in the suffering? What was our part that we played in it? What about man who built in those high flood plains. Do they not have any responsibility? Really truly, we’re going to blame God? We’re not puppets. God didn’t create us to be puppets that He programs and we just do everything. We have some free will. The bible is clear on that. And so maybe we made some poor choices. Maybe we didn’t live the way we should have. Maybe emphysema was a result of making poor choices and doing things that were unhealthy in our life. So the negative thought of blaming God can be replaced with well maybe God’s not really to blame. 

But let’s take it a step further because this one I learned from my dad. I wish I could take the credit for it but I can’t. Dad said this once and I never, ever forgot it. He said when there’s suffering in the world, who’s the first one to show up? Who’s the first one to be there? It’s not the EMT. God got there immediately. God was there waiting to rescue and be there with somebody in their suffering. I’ve had my fair share of suffering. I know what it feels like to feel like everything is lost and your world has crashed in on you. I’ve had my nights when I’ve cried myself to sleep and you all know it because I’ve shared all about. But I can tell you this: I wouldn’t want to go through moments of suffering without God there with me. Blame God; if you blame God it means you’re pushing Him out of your life because you’ve turned your back on Him. Instead, you can say God You’re there for me in my suffering. And you run to Him and He becomes your refuge. Do you see the difference? Wow. 

“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” even in the midst of their suffering, even in the midst of their suffering. So we can blame God and sometimes we blame ourselves needlessly. We feel guilty. We let guilt get in the way of seeing God. We feel this: I should have but I didn’t. Or I shouldn’t have and I did not. Whatever it is, we feel this guilt and it becomes a wedge between us and God. In fact we look down because we’re afraid to look into the face of God. If we look into the face of God, we’re going to see disappointment. If we look into the face of God we’re going to see that He’s mad at us. I can’t look into the face of God. But it was Julie Hadden from The Biggest Loser. She was here. We interviewed her and she said this. She said, “I thought God was mad at me. And I learned that God was madly in love with me.” 

That negative thought. I blame myself, I blame myself. Capture that thought and replace it with, no, Jesus forgives me. Jesus loves me. Jesus isn’t mad at me; He’s madly in love with me. And then look into the face of God and see His love and His forgiveness and His mercy because are the pure in heart. We can look into the face of God because Jesus has forgiven us. He’s given us new life. Can’t do this on your own. You need Jesus to forgive you. You can’t; you can’t clean your life up enough. You can’t live a life that’s pure enough and good enough. Oh you can try and I believe in trying. I believe in trying to protect myself from the pollutants of the world around me. There are so many different pollutants out there. And I’m not just talking about physical environmental pollutants. I’m talking about spiritual pollutants, I’m talking about internet pollutants, I’m talking about what we see on TV and what we hear and read all around us. I try to shield myself from that because it brings me down and it gets in the way of my life. But you can sit there and you can pull weeds out of your life all day long or you can plant seeds, positive seeds. 

My grandpa Schuller was a farmer and he had these acres of land that he farmed. And he had one acre that he was busy pulling weeds from, pulling weeds from, pulling weeds. And he got tired of pulling weeds. How would you like to have an acre of pulling weeds? And he had the thought: you know what, if I plant alfalfa out there, the alfalfa will choke out the weeds and I won’t have to work so hard at pulling the weeds out of my life. It’s a great illustration of our life, yours and mine. If you’re so busy helping people, if you’re so busy with Monday Meals, or you’re so busy answering the phones at New Hope Telephone Counseling, if you’re so busy making a positive difference in the world around you, if you’re so busy writing cards of encouragement to people who have helped you or are sick, you will have less weeds you’ll have to pull from your life. You’ll have less pollutants because the positive will choke out and there will be very little room left for the other. 

But even so, we are human and we live in this world and we have the opportunity or the need, rather, we have the need, we have the need to be cleansed from the world’s pollutants so that we can recognize God in our life and we can see God clearly. We can see Him correctly. 

Let me read to you from John, chapter 9. This is Jesus. “As Jesus went along, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, Rabi, who sinned? This man or his parents that he was born blind?” 

So here are the disciples of Jesus Christ and what are they doing? They’re blaming somebody for the suffering of this poor blind man, right? Doing the very same thing that we tend to do as well. And Jesus said, “Oh this suffering wasn’t because this man or his parents sinned. No it was so the glory of God could be revealed in him.” Sometimes our suffering.. God allows it so that His glory can be revealed. And so Jesus also said, “But I am the light of the world.” When you’re blind, when you can’t see, the one thing you need more than anything else is light. You need to have light in your world so that you can see, so you can see God.

And so what Jesus did was He spat in His hands, picked up some dirt, made some mud. He put mud on that blind man’s eyes. He put mud on the blind man’s eyes. And then He said go wash in the pool of Siloam. So the man goes like this, walking to the pool of Siloam, and he splashed water, he splashed the water. And it washed away the mud. It washed away the dirt and before you know it, the light was there. He saw the light and this blind man, who had never been able to see, did this: I can see! I can see! I can see. 

Some of you today need Jesus to wash the mud out of your eyes, to take away the blinders, so that you can see. So you can recognize and you can see God clearly. You can see the light of the world clearly and correctly, so that you can recognize God in the people that you love. You can recognize God in your spouse. You can recognize God in your children. You can recognize God in your parents. You can recognize God in yourself. Not that we are God, but God lives in His children. And you can recognize God. You can recognize God. 

Let us pray, Lord God Almighty, oh God, we are blind without You. We are blinded by the impurities of this world and sometimes it’s just; we can’t see through it. And then those times and like right now, we just ask You to wash, wash away, wash away the dirt, wash away the mud, wash away. Open our eyes that we can see. I want to see You, God. I want to see You. Show me Your face today, amen.

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  1. youngeone writes:

    Thank you again Hour Of Power for the weekly broadcast . Dear JESUS as my earthly journey continues open my eyes that I can see you .You are Faithful .

    Report Inappropriate Comment

    03/04/2020 14:34:22

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