“Spiritual Shortsightedness” by J. D. Jones

post date: August 14, 2010

“What lies nearest looms largest. We have no eyes for the distant and the future and the far off.”

“This is why men run into sin ; this is why they love this present world; this is why they fall into despair; they see only that which is near.”

“Why did WE sin? I can tell you. We were tempted by the bait sin held out to us. We saw the immediate advantage, the present gratification, the momentary pleasure; we saw that which was near; we had no eyes for the pain, and the punishment, and the remorse, and the regret that lay further back, but were bound to follow ; we saw only that which was nearest—the immediate gratification—and we sinned for that.”

“The devil said nothing about exile and homelessness and death; he emphasized the present and immediate advantage, and Eve, seeing only what was near, plucked and ate and fell.»

“Sin brings with it an immediate gratification.”

“The covetous man sees his growing heap of gold, and not his lean and shriveled soul. The drunkard sees satisfaction for his appetite, and not the drunkard’s grave. The profligate sees gratification for his burning lust, and not the profligate’s hell. Shortsightedness is the mother of sin.”

“Men sin because they only see what is near.»

“The minister has something better to do with his time than denounce and belabor sins which do not exist; he has to deal plainly and faithfully with the sins that do verily beset and imperil the souls of his people.»

“The prizes that earth offers are palpable, tangible, immediate. They engross men’s attention, they absorb their thought, they fill the horizon of their desire. Heaven and the smile of Christ, and the well-done of God, seem remote, far off, uncertain. Money, pleasure, fame, banish them from the mind, and to the acquisition of these things men devote themselves, seeing only ’what is near.’”

“We must give heaven a larger place in our speech and thought. It is only as the thought of heaven is ever with us that we shall be emancipated from the thralldom of the world.”

“The thought of heaven is no dreamy unpractical thing ; it is the means by which we are to emancipate ourselves from slavery to the transient and the perishing.”

“Cultivate, I say, the long look. Follow everything to its ultimate issue, and see how it will look in the light of eternity and heaven.”

“What is it I see when I look out upon the world ? The nearest and most obvious facts are the facts of sin and wrong, and vice and selfishness, and irreligiousness, terrible enough to make any one despair. But I look up and away, and I see in the place of supreme authority and dominion the Man of Calvary, with the nail-prints still in his hand, and the spear-gash still in His side, the Man who bought the world by dying for it, and when I see Him there I cannot despair—no, despite the sin and vice and apparently impregnable strongholds of Satan, I cannot despair, I am full of radiant and unquenchable hope, for I know He will not fail nor be discouraged till He have set judgment in the earth.”

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