Today’s post first ran ten years ago, on February 22, 2011. As I started to write about “Looking Up” in this New Year of 2022, the Lord reminded me I had written about this before. So today, I share an updated devotion with a surprise ending for you. Little did I know that 9 months after writing this post, I would hold in my arms the desire of my heart — a brand new baby boy, be living in a different house, and my husband would have a new job! That little boy is now 10 years old! Since that time we’ve had many joys and many sorrows, but through it all we continue to LOOK Up to Jesus, our Messiah. As our world crumbles under covid, mandates, and immorality, may we all pray continuously to the Father and keep LOOKING UP to Him, our only hope! Alleluia, Jesus is coming! His children win!
Then I turned and raised my eyes and LOOKED… Zechariah 6:1 (NKJV)
LOOKING unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith… Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV)
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 for me when dear friends introduced me to Jesus Christ. Jesus took my broken soul and washed away my sins, making my sky blue again.
Now I’m blessed to live in the Big Sky State of 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 “Daniel” 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 babies, 3 cats, 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! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!. Acts 7:56 (NKJV)
But their hearts were too hard and their eyes closed, so they could not see Jesus. And they killed Stephen. Jesus, help us to not be like those men. Let our hearts be softened and our eyes opened as we LOOK UP at the sky for Your coming.
Are you having trouble LOOKING UP? It might be because of your sins. When this happens, we must ADMIT our 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)
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)
Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven… Genesis 15:5 (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)
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, LOOKING for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude 20-22 (NKJV)
…LOOKING for and hastening the coming of the day of God,… 2 Peter 3:11-12 (NKJV)
…and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples… Matthew 14:19 (NKJV)
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 (NKJV)
But we SEE JESUS, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. Hebrews 2:9 (NKJV)
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)
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)
And we can petition our Father in heaven as we LOOK UP to Him!
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will LOOK UP. Psalm 5:3 (NKJV)
O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our EYES are upon YOU. 2 Chronicles 20:12 (NKJV)
But my EYES are upon YOU, O God the Lord;
In You I take refuge;
Do not leave my soul destitute. Psalm 141:8 (NKJV)
Today’s TEA CUPP: Here’s a unique story to complete our devotion today: Will you consider that perhaps Jesus first miracle will also be His last? Read John 2:1-11, The Wedding at Cana. In this account, the wedding party ran out of water, so Jesus performed the miracle of turning water into wine, better than any wine they had ever tasted. The master of the banquet was so amazed that the good wine came last. Dear ones, the same is true for us today. The peace and joy and comfort we receive from the Lord now are just a foretaste of the wedding feast in heaven. Prepare your heart! Keep LOOKING UP! The good wine is yet to come!
“…You have kept the good wine until now!” John 2:10 (NKJV)
…all the people shall keep the WATCH of the Lord. 2 Chronicles 23:6 (NKJV)
Therefore I will LOOK to the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
My God will hear me. Micah 7:7 (NKJV)
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you… Zechariah 9:9 (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982