Penned By:               Kevin K. O'Connor

Date Penned:            Dec 13, 2002

Main Thought:         To Study the importance of making the greatest commandment our greatest passion.

 

Both the King James and the New International versions are used.

 

The pink & blue color text is God's Word

 

THE BULL'S-EYE OF LIFE

 

It seems like whenever you place something right in the center of an object you achieve a perfect balance of that object. The result is that you can watch as the object sits there balanced between Heaven and earth. In the same way our Lord desires a balance in each one of our lives. KJV Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight. (Whole Chapter: Proverbs 11 In context: Proverbs 11:1-2) Proverbs 16:11 A just weight and balance are the LORD's: all the weights of the bag are his work. (Whole Chapter: Proverbs 16 In context: Proverbs 16:10-12)

People when they ask "what is the meaning/purpose of life?" are really asking what is the "Bull's-eye" of life? For it's when we've hit dead center of our reason for being here that all else takes its proper place around that center just like an object balancing around its dead center. We as people seem to be trying to find that "reason" for being and even those who have come to know Christ are still trying to fine tune that center within themselves. What I mean is Christians have found the center point but just as an object placed on a point will not be balanced if outside disturbances like wind and vibrations shake it, so it is with those who have come to Christ. We have found the point of balance but up to the point of seeing Him we've grown to depend on what our minds can comprehend and our eyes can see instead of what faith can see. God has chosen Faith to be the eyes by which we see into eternity.

I guess you can consider it like a weeding out process. For God walked with Adam and Eve and yet they rebelled. God poured out miracles for Israel as they wandered in the desert but they also rebelled. Heaven was free from sin and satan had a position of great power and authority being in the presence of God's Glorious Kingdom and yet he too rebelled. It's not the miraculous that builds faith, but the hearing/engrafting of His Word into our hearts. For example, take note of the story of Lazarus and the rich man (please note especially the scripture in blue); KJV Luke 16: 19-31 19There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

God desires people with depth, good soil, and not shallow. Time and history has proved that the miraculous does not build depth of character but learning how to listen to and submit our pride to the obedience of His Word does. God is more pleased with people of depth even if they may be off track because their people of commitment to what they believe. Please note the following in the KJV Revelation 3: 15-17 15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Remember Paul who was all for the killing of God's people because he thought that they were not of Him. God gave him a wakeup call because he was one of depth and so Paul was used mightily for the Glory of God! Is it any wonder why His Heart desires us to grow in relationship with Him through faith and not by our small minds of understanding or our eyes of physical sight? It seems that we grow to depend on the blessings of God and forget Him. I love the scene as described in Revelation KJV Revelation 4 9And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 10The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. The part I'm focusing on here is where they cast their crowns before the throne. We as people tend not to cast our crowns/blessings back to Him but tend to clench our hearts around them. The moment we do that is the moment we begin to diminish the blessings He has given us. This same truth is what led to satan's downfall even though he was in Glory and in a Glorious position. His heart began to wrap itself around the blessings of God and he lost sight of God. So it is with our walk with Him.

We need to keep our eyes on the bull's-eye of the target of Life that He Himself has told us plainly within His Word without any parables involved. The following is from the KJV and as you can see, He is quite plain; Matthew 22 36Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. And, we all know that He has also stated that the second one is like unto it and that is to love our neighbor as ourselves. You know it's quite amazing when our hearts make the bull's-eye of God's Word, Jesus, our focus, how everything that pertains to life (Faith, Hope, & Love) takes its proper place within us. But, when we begin to focus on the outer rings of the target, (yes, even the second greatest commandment instead of the first) then we're not in perfect balance. Oh, we may have accepted Christ which puts the point of our being on the bull's-eye, but when we don't learn how to live the first commandment daily our lives become a skewed. You can picture a life like this like a plate on a point which has a little more weight on one side than another and the plate is still resting on dead center but is not resting flat but tilted. KJV 1 Corinthians 3 14If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 16Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? We can consider that which is burned up being that which is not in balance with God's Word, but the person is still saved because the center of their lives is still set upon Christ. And we all know how much easier it is for an object that is out of balance to continue leaning and eventually fall in the direction of imbalance. NIV 2 Peter 1:5-11 5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

What is sad is that those that God has so richly and wondrously saved begin to focus on the outer rings of the target of life. Satan is so upset that we found the bull's-eye but since he lost the first mission to prevent us from seeing Christ, his next mission is to make our lives unbalanced so that we will be unfruitful for the Lord Jesus Christ. If you picture a target with its rings in symmetry around the bulls eye you'll notice that the purpose of the larger to smaller rings are to direct our focus to the bull's-eye in the exact center. We can view that picture as our target of life with those outer rings being praying for our leaders, praying for those who use us, giving to those in need, working productively for our employers, respecting our elders, weeping with those who weep/ rejoicing with those who rejoice (sharing other people's emotional trials and triumphs), etc... All of these outer rings are beautiful for they are of God but they are not the Bull's-eye of the target. The gifts of the Spirit can be seen as outer rings of this target of Life but their purpose is to lead us into relationship with Him. Confessing with our mouth what God's Word speaks to our heart is good BUT, it again is not the Bull's-eye. Learning how to pray for the sick and give to those in need is very good but once again, it is not the Bull's-eye. There are so many Wonderful Truths in God's Word but it is so sad when God reveals one of these beautiful truths to our Spirit and the first thing we do is focus in on that and not the Bull's-eye of Loving Him with all of our Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength. It's quite beautiful how when one makes the Bull's-eye their focus then all of the outer rings take their proper place. You can't get hungry to know and love God and walk in anger with your brother, you can't get hungry to know and love Him if you see a brother in need and ignore it. There would be no need for us to try and get people worked up to witness if we would show people the joy of growing in Love with Him. If we would all give our entire being into lifting Him up within our lives than I feel there would be great revival, great healings, great miracles. John 12:31-33 31Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." 33He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. Isn't it interesting that although He said this to show the kind of death He was going to die, that it also is right on/dead center with the Father's Heart about putting Him at the focus of our hearts/lives? When we lift Him up within our individual lives, then every area of our life becomes balanced.

We were meant for this perfect balance for in so doing we display the image of God. I believe what grieves the Father's heart in these last days is so much teaching on the things of Christ and not Christ. He wants us to be prepared for the wedding feast of His Son and we're focusing on the outer rings of Who He is. Sure, tithing is great, praying is great, denying self is great, but why are we doing them? So that we can get close to Him? It's quite beautiful how these things will flow from our life when we put Loving Him first! And yet we teach about tithing, about prayer and fasting, about esteeming others more important than ourselves which are all good but there is a better way, and that is to lift up Christ! Let's hear about Who He IS. Let's hear about His Nature, His Love, His Giving, His emptying of Himself for others. It seems like we beat all around the Bull's-eye without hitting the target. God's coming is soon and He's not coming back for sleeping virgins with lamps that are not full of His oil nor the wicks of our hearts trimmed of complacency. NIV Matthew 25:1-13 The Parable of the Ten Virgins 1"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6"At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' 7"Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.' 9" 'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.' 10"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11"Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!' 12"But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.' 13"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

May our Lord ever teach us how to make Loving Jesus the focus of our hearts for in so doing the Bull's-eye of life will be hit perfectly and God will be Glorified!

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