Do you LOOK UP? When I was little, I always wanted to be near a window to catch a glimpse of the blue sky. If I could just see the sky, I could smile up at God. On my walks home from school I would smile at the puffy clouds and talk to God about my day. When I was a teenager and started running, it was that blue sky that kept me going. When my college cross country team died in a plane crash, I looked up at the dreary November atmosphere and questioned the God in charge of the universe, and decided I didn’t trust Him anymore. After two years without God or my blue sky, the sun finally shone again for me when dear friends introduced me to Jesus Christ.
Now I’m blessed to live in the Big Sky State, Montana, where the sky really is bluer than anywhere in the world (according to friends from Rhode Island). Even though I live in a narrow valley, I can see a big blue strip up above each day. As I sit by my window for my morning TEA CUPP, I LOOK UP at the still dark, star-speckled sky and whisper, “Good morning, Jesus.” While I pray, the sky lightens, the day dawns, and I’m having TEA with Jesus under the big blue heavens.
You know, when we choose to LOOK UP to Jesus, no matter what our circumstances, life tends to LOOK UP after all. In recent years we’ve lost 3 cats, 3 babies, a job, and other great sadnesses. I could look away from God as I did as a college student, but you know what that means? If we aren’t looking up to Jesus, where are we looking? We are looking down to Satan, and I don’t want to look there! So, I keep LOOKING UP…I want to encourage you to do the same through God’s Word.
In the book of Acts we read about a deacon named Stephen. For his preaching of God’s Word, Stephen became the first martyr of the Christian faith. Just before he was stoned to death, Stephen called to the crowd…
“Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:56 (NIV)
But their hearts were too hard and their eyes closed, so they could not see Jesus. And they killed Stephen. Jesus, help us not be like those men. Let our hearts be softened and our eyes opened as we LOOK UP at the sky for Your coming.
Did you know Jesus CALLS us to LOOK UP?
Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, LOOK UP and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:27-28 (NKJV)
LOOKING for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Titus 2:13-14 (NKJV)
If I can’t LOOK UP it is because of my sins, and I must ADMIT my sins to Jesus…
For innumerable evils have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to LOOK UP;
They are more than the hairs of my head;
Therefore my heart fails me. Psalm 40:12 (NKJV)
While we are waiting for Jesus to return, He CALLS us to LOOK UP to Him as an example of how to live our lives…
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are ABOVE, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:1-2 (NKJV)
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9 (NKJV)
…You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming… 2 Peter 3:11-12 (NIV)
And He CALLS us to be ready for His return…
Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Luke 12:40 (NKJV)
Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8 (NKJV)
For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 1 Thessalonians 5:2 (NIV)
I UNDERSTAND in my story how God has helped me to LOOK UP to Him each day…
I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2 (NKJV)
Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens.
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,
As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to the LORD our God,
Until He has mercy on us. Psalm 123:1-2
And He PROMISES that one day while we are LOOKING UP He will come again…
And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” John 1:52 (NKJV)
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11 (NKJV)
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (NKJV)
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. Revelation 1:7 (NKJV)
Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
And look on the earth beneath.
For the heavens will vanish away like smoke,
The earth will grow old like a garment,
And those who dwell in it will die in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not be abolished. Isaiah 51:6 (NKJV)