Sermons

Summary: The third message in a series on vision

(adapted from messages by Melvin Newland and Dave Stone)

SERIES: “DISCOVER VISION: SEEING WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO SEE”

TEXT: HEBREWS 12:2-3

TITLE: “WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?”

OPEN: A. A blind man walks into a grocery store led by his seeing-eye dog. He goes to the middle of the

store, picks the dog up over his head, and begins swinging the dog around in a circle by its leash.

The store manager sees what’s happening and thinks it’s really strange behavior. He walks over

to the blind man and asks, “Pardon me, sir. May I help you find something?”

The blind man says, “No thanks. I’m just looking around.”

B. Several weeks ago, we started a new series: “Discover Vision: Seeing What God Wants You to

See”

1. The first message was “Eyes Wide Open”

--an introductory message on vision with an overview of what I understand God’s vision to be

for this congregation

a. We learned that as we walk in this world, sometimes we are spiritually blind

--We miss what God wants us to see

b. Helen Keller: “The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no

vision.”

2. Last week’s message was “Seeing Through the Lens of Faith”

--we miss much of what God is wanting us to see when we fail to see through that lens of faith

3. Today’s message is: “What Are You Looking At?”

--Heb. 12:1-3 – “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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter

of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat

down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from

sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

C. Have you ever wondered why a pigeon walks so funny?

--Here’s what a news article from several years ago said about the subject

1. There’s a very good reason why a pigeon bobs or moves its head when walking

--He does it so that he can see as clearly as possible

a. Because the pigeon’s eyes are located on the side of his head, he can see a large section of the

visual scene

--He can see an area of over 300 degrees without moving

b. This “surround” vision has a disadvantage

--objects nearby move faster than objects further away (which can be very confusing)

c. To preserve its visual acuity, the pigeon walks in what appears to be a weird way

1). As the pigeon walks, it locks its head in position while it moving its body beneath it

2). At the last possible moment, just like a pirouetting ballerina holds her head in one place to

avoid becoming dizzy, the pigeon thrusts its head forward to the next “lock” position

2. That’s how the bird minimizes the effects of its visual disadvantage when it walks enables him to

keep a “birds-eye” view on his world.

D. There are many things that we can focus our vision on:

1. There are the things of this world

2. There are the things of heaven

3. There are things that we think are important

4. There are things that God thinks is important

5. There are many things that just simply distract us from the most important sight object of all

--Jesus Christ

a. Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will

grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

b. If our eyes are on anything but Jesus, we’ll be distracted and never really see what God wants

us to see

I. LOOK TO JESUS FOR OUR PURPOSE

A. The writer of Hebrews refers to “a great cloud of witnesses”

1. Chapter 12 starts with the word “therefore”

a. Of course, that means you should see what its there for

--It’s an indication that the writer is referring back to something just talked about

b. What is talked about in Chapter 11 is the great “hall of faith”

--those Old Testament heroes of the faith that teach us so much about seeing through the lens of

faith

2. For some reason we have been confused

--we’ve pictured all of these heroes of the faith mentioned in this passage as well as other heroes of the

faith who lived after them all sitting in a coliseum watching us run the race for Christ and cheering

us on in that race

a. However, Eccl. 9:5-6 tells us:

b. What happens “under the sun” is what happens here on earth

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