September 13, 2015
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honour beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you.
Our Life Always Expresses the
Result of Our Dominant Thoughts
In 1 Corinthians 7:35 we read how Paul out of concern for the believers warned them about becoming distracted by the cares of the world in their service God.
- God wants our undivided attention.
- Spending time with God is the most important time in our day is we are going to stay focused on Him and His will for our lives.
- God’s primary concern is what is in our hearts.
- We need to keep our hearts focused on God and His Word.
(v2) We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
The poet Mary Coleridge said “Beyond what is found in Christ, the human has not and will not progress.” If we have not put our focus fully on Jesus and wrapped our future around Him then our progress in spiritual life must be suspect. Now is the time for us to focus on Him. He wants to take control of our lives and to re-create us in His image. He died for us to make a difference in our lives, and He wants us to make a difference in the world in His name. He holds the key to each of our futures, but we hold the key to the door of our hearts and lives and need to give Him permission to have His way in and through us.
My message today I have titled ‘GETTING OUR FOCUS FIXED’
Isaiah 59:2 says “It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.”
When we focus on ourselves or other things we create self-erected barriers that stop us being the people God wants us to be and doing the things God wants us to do.
- Life is full of natural and artificial barriers.
In Matthew 8:5-13 We read the story of the healing of the Roman officer’s servant. Jesus said I’ll come and heal him, the officer said You don’t have to You can do it from here.
- Social and spiritual barriers in our lives are real.
In John 4:1-26 we read the story of ‘Jesus and the Samaritan woman’ Which highlights for us ‘the Gospel is for everyone.’ And if our lives are God focused we must be ready and willing to share it in any situation we find ourselves in and with anyone.
- Jesus crossed all barriers to share the Gospel
1 Corinthians 14:20 Brothers and sisters, don’t be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature in understanding matters of this kind.
Childlike trust towards God can sometimes seem impossible to us.
Spiritual growth in our lives involves hearing from, learning from and obeying God.
- Hearing involves listening to and accepting information from God
- Learning involves understanding what He says and it’s implications for your life.
- Obeying involves taking what you understand and acting on it
- Childlike trust is essential to kingdom living.
In Luke 18:15-17 We read the story ‘Jesus Blesses the Children’
Childlike faith is a gift from God, it can take time to develop. In the process of recovery we tell people to keep it simple because simple faith is necessary for complicated people.
Matthew 11:29 says: ‘Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls’
- Taking up a yoke implies being united to another in order to work together. Those yoked together must go in the same direction. When they do that’s what makes the work easier.
- God knows the answers to all our questions. He knows where wa rea going and what will happen.
- Jesus invites us to rest in Him and draw in His strength.
The Apostle John categorized followers of Christ in three categories.
- Little Children: eager, immature, spoilt, beginners, prospective
In 1 John 3:1 God offers the opportunity to be his children. Knowing we are His children encourages us and helps us stay focused in Him.
- Young Men: students, brash, impulsive, imaginative and uninhibited.
Ecclesiastes 12:1 is a call to immediate action – the younger the better. The older we get the harder it is for us to change.
“Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honour him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.”
- Fathers: mature, accepting responsibility, steady, devoted and sound.
- The goal every believer is spiritual maturity
Each of us has the power of the Holy Spirit working in us. Spiritual growth is a daily process, motivated by live for God. Staying focused on Him and His Kingdom is what will bring us maturity.
Luke 10:42 tells us Mary chose well when she chose to sit at Jesus feet.
There is a difference between being spiritually committed and being preoccupied with spiritual life. The story of Mary and Martha illustrates the difference. Martha was so busy ‘doing for others’ that she had no time of energy to simply focus on Jesus. Mary on the other hand made time to focus all her attention of Jesus.
In our daily lives, from our hearts we too need to make time to FOCUS ON HIM..