What’s the difference between an eye test and an I test? One measures the ability to interpret visual images; the other our ability to perceive and interpret truth. And the problem with the truth is we often do not want to hear it. Have you ever been more comfortable with the lies you tell yourself than you are with the truth? We’ve all been there and we all need the challenge of the I test!
Important: An Eye Test
These following verses are very familiar. You may even be able to quote them. But take a look anyway:
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress,and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:27
The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine,even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:40
Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ Matthew 25:45
Easy enough to read, right? Even though your eye sees the print, what truths do they represent? What do you see with the eyes of your heart? (read Ephesians 1:8) Open eyes should see that these verses point our attention to others, not ourselves.
The I Test
The first question on the I Test is this: What is the opposite of love? Most of us would answer: hate. That is not an accurate answer. Jesus took issue with the people He addressed in Matthew 25:45 (above). His words do not indicate anyone had any ill will toward others. Jesus’ issue wasn’t anything they actually did, but what they failed to do.
To answer our first question, we need to know something very valuable. In Jesus’ day, the rabbis taught this maxim for living:
Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you.
Sounds reasonable, right? Not really. In fact, there is so much wrong with that statement that Jesus taught something radically different. I like to think of it as one of Jesus’ major Life Lessons posts! We know it as the Golden Rule:
In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12
To obey the rabbi’s teaching, one could simply do…nothing! In order to obey Jesus’ teaching, one must take action. Let me say it another way. The teaching of the rabbis could be done by people who were completely indifferent. Love is a verb and Jesus’ Golden Rule emphasizes that. We must take action on behalf of the least of these. We cannot be indifferent!
Now, let me ask the question again. What is the opposite of love? Answer: Indifference.
Cost of Failing the I Test
This ‘test’ is really about that I word: indifference. As we see in Matthew 25, indifference has a very steep price tag. Those Jesus condemned were undone by their own indifference to Jesus and those He called His own. Can anyone afford to be indifferent regarding:
- Jesus’ return – we must always be watching and ready
- God the Holy Spirit – we must always heed His warnings and guidance
- Jesus’ resources which have been placed in our care – we are His stewards!
- The needs of people around us – Jesus saw the crowds and had compassion on them
- Jesus’ desire that none should perish but that all should come to repentance
Eye Test: The Point
Vision is the point of an eye test. Prayer is the point of my I Test. I don’t know everyone who happens by these pages. I know many of you and from time to time I hear from some of you I have yet to meet. The readers I know are not indifferent people. I doubt that most are indifferent – at least not all the time. So the first thing I’d like to ask you to do is expand your prayer beyond yourself. Our prayers and actions ought to include big, Kingdom items. Jesus said: Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).
There are many ministries and missionaries we should pray for. Adding this ministry to your prayers is just ONE way to pray for the Kingdom. We need some mission volunteers for this November. There is a church to build. Please pray about that.
And let me ask a curiosity question (for you, not me). How many churches ,other than the one you attend, do you pray for? You might want to expand that answer. The Kingdom is MUCH more than a single congregation!
More Than Prayer AFTER We Pray
And what if you could do MORE than pray for these congregations and their Kingdom work? The expanded facet of this ministry is equipping U.S. pastors. And who do pastors equip? Believers in their congregations. What should those believers be equipped for? Kingdom work!
Our part is to write and provide materials suitable to help pastors do that job. Your part is to join hands with us by becoming a sponsoring member. You can help equip yourself, a pastor, their congregation, and expand Kingdom work. It’s a win all involved, and most importantly for the Kingdom!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Thanks for being engaged. We can’t meet the opportunities we have without you!