Eye Opening Experience! (Camp Meeting, 6/25/17)

Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in Pitman Camp Meeting, Sermons, Worship & Prayer | 0 comments

Rev. Bill Wilson

Summer!  When the end of May hits the calendar our senses are surrounded with a fresh set of experiences: The smell of burgers on the grill… The chlorine-laden breeze of a pool… The sights of sand and beach…  The smell of sunblock lotion… The quiet splash of whirling lake water as you paddle a canoe. 

But to experience all of that, our senses must be open.

The speaker at the first service of the 2017 Pitman Camp Meeting was Rev. Bill Wilson, and he focused on our sense of sight.  Actually, our sense of Spiritual sight.  Rev. Wilson’s sermon was based on Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 6:22-23…

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

 

Cataracts

Cataracts is a disease that affects many of us as we get older.  Our vision isn’t shut off.  But gradually, step by step, it becomes more and more clouded.  Eventually you get to a point where you can’t make things out.  Images are right in front of you but you can’t see them well enough to decipher their meaning.

The same thing happens to our “Spiritual Vision.”  Spiritual Cataracts cloud our vision and dull our ability to see God;  to make godly decisions, to take advantage of opportunities to show His love, or to see the hope He supplies in our own desperate situations.

Rev. Wilson opened our eyes to three “Spiritual Cataracts”…

 

1: Prejudiced Attitudes

Rev. Wilson opened with the following story…

A white man who lived in the Southern US was living a life that constantly led him to God.  His experiences built a love of Jesus within his heart, and he longed to tell others about it.  So, he was led to go into the ministry, and he traveled north to attend seminary.

After he arrived, his southern drawl attracted the attention of another seminarian who spoke with a mid-west accent.  He approached the new student and immediately lashed into him about the terribly bigoted ways of the South- “How could you dare to preach the Word of God when you’re so bigoted?!?”

The new student was flustered.  He loved the Lord.  He loved God’s people.  He was totally sold out for God, and his life had no room for bigotry.  Back home, he had friends who were African American, and he deplored the way that some of his white friends treated people of color.  By any objective measure, this man was NOT a bigot. 

Obviously, the person in this story who suffered from Prejudice was not the Southerner.  It was not the one who was being called a bigot.  The prejudiced attitude was coming from the mid-western student.

But he couldn’t see it.  Opportunities to grow and learn from a devout follower of Christ were lost because this man’s vision was blinded by the cataract of a Prejudiced Attitude.

 

 

2:Judgemental Attitudes

Each of us is a beloved child of God.  Each of us (as Christians) is infused with the Holy Spirit.  We all need to be loved, we all need to love, we all need to learn from eachother.  We all need God.

And yet, Spiritual Cataracts can cause us to not view others in the way that God views them.  Judgemental Attitudes can cause us to think that we somehow have a corner on God.  That we’re right.  That they’re wrong.

My Way or the Highway!

But God wants us to lead a life where we grow closer to Him by honoring those who He loves.  The Spiritual Cataract of a Judgemental Attitude limits our ability to foster a loving attitude which brings us into God’s likeness.

 

 

3:Narrow-Mindedness

Sometimes our minds are set on the things that won’t help us…

The General Manager of a baseball team was convinced that they needed to improve their run production.  As his scouts scoured the college and high school fields, the GM demanded that they find the best bat available.  They need to score more runs!

One scout returned and enthusiastically reported that he had found the best pitcher ever!  This guy could throw 100 MPH.  He had a devastating curve.  His slider was unhittable.

The scout said that he saw this prospect pitch a perfect game.  Not only that, he struck out 27 batters.  He was so dominating that only one opposing batter even made contact; a weak foul tip.  Signing this pitcher would be the best scoop of talent any baseball team had ever pulled off.

The GM patiently listened to the scout’s account.  The scout was sure that he had discovered a player that could turn their team around.  But the GM suffered from the Cataract of Narrow-Mindedness.  He wanted a hitter.  Pure and simple.  His team needed a bat.  And so he replied to the scout- “I want to sign that batter who hit the foul tip!”

OK.  A silly story; best pitcher ever…  But don’t we do the same thing?  We are so sure that we have the answer, that we know the direction we need to go in.  We’re on a one-track path, and when a different idea comes along we’re not able to process it.  We can’t take advantage of it because of the Cataract of Narrow-mindedness.

 

What if We Cleared up the Cataracts?

Jesus said that if our eyes are clear our hearts will be full of light.  Light.  Clear eyes allow us to see God’s activity in our lives… and to see the way we’re reacting.  Are we obeying God?  Are we willing to submit and to let His word be the truth in our lives?  If so, we’ll be able to enjoy the blessings of a life lived out in fellowship with God- the way He designed us to be.

 


 

Music

The evening’s music was provided by PUMC’s Chris Valianti, and Jennifer Andrade added depth to Chris’ music by signing it. 

Chris sang two Casting Crowns songs.  The first one (“O Glorious Day”) told us the Truth of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. 

The second  (“Voice of Truth”) told us to remove our own cataracts so we can fully depend on God for our strength and to live out the life He has called us to.

 

 

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The Pitman Camp Meeting services are held every Sunday evening in the summer at 7:30 PM.  They are located in the Bud Moore Auditorium located in the center of the Pitman Grove area.

For more information about the Pitman Camp Meeting, click this button:  Camp Meeting  

 

He talked about 3 “spiritual cataracts”

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