Posts Tagged ‘ Focus ’

VerseD: Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34, NIV

Life throws many problems at us, and it can be difficult not worrying.

The key is focusing on Christ. It is not easy, but worrying only makes things worse (at least in our minds.)

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 10/12/2014

Find the old wisdom with a new perspective at Proverbial Thought!

One of my favorite Michael W. Smith songs is Missing Person. That song was partly inspiration for this poem.

It occurred to me, though, that with just that song it can be easy to miss the point.

For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
Philippians 3:8b-16, ESV

For a Christian who has grown stale, who feels like the passion and the power of Christ is gone, trying to get back to who we once were as a new believer is not the right focus. Our focus must always be on the One who changes us through His power and resurrection: Jesus Christ. Only then can we find that passion and power we once felt.

 

   finding the old new self

most of us believe in power
then get comfortable and stale
we then begin to look for
that faith that now looks so pale
we start looking for that person
whom we were when we were younger
perhaps there is a reason
we are unable to get there
we are trying so hard to
get back to who we used to be
that we neglect the full truth
and our focus is on “me”
we had that power at first
because we gave up our lives
realized that it took rebirth
and giving control to Christ
let us stop trying to find ourselves
and return to what can save us
through faith a grace from God above
manifested in His Son Jesus

The Core Values: Engrossed Existence

Here is another friendly reminder to head over to Proverbial Thought for today’s devotional thought from Proverbs!

We now continue our look at the Four Core Facts and the Four Core Values, having examined the desperate pursuit of God, diligent prayer, and a consecrated heart.  If you are interested in a more in-depth look at the Core Facts and the Core Values, look up my wonderful youth pastor, Jesse Bollinger, at Fervent Youth.

As I said before, all of the Core Facts and Values flow together. The Values are useless without the truth of the Facts. Without a desperate pursuit of God bathed in diligent prayer creating a consecrated heart, we play a dangerous game with the fourth Core Value:

A Focused Life

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified . . . For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
1 Thessalonians 4:3, 7

Why would I say we play a dangerous game with a focused life without the Core Facts and Values?

Perhaps you have heard that line that goes something like “Those who believe in nothing will fall for anything.” People can devote their lives to just about anything out there (read the tabloids, news, and/or history books).

Some people even dedicate their lives to God without considering the possibility that God will come collect. Then they are surprised at what God wants.

It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly
and only later to consider his vows
Proverbs 20:25

This is why we need a foundation based on the reality of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, the Son of God, and a value-system based on the truth revealed in the Bible.

FOCUS!

Have you noticed how easy it is to be distracted? Humans have always found a way to distract themselves, but Modern Man has really excelled in this area.

We have access to an entire world in ways barely imaginable 100 years ago, from cars to trains to airplanes.

We have access to an entire world through the internet.

We have access to endless entertainment through books, movies, television, video games, sports, the internet, and various other entertainment-industry options too numerous to list here.

We have access to friends and family any time of the night or day around the world through telephones, cellular phones, e-mail, Facebook, the internet (noticing a theme?), and so many other things.

We have more than enough to distract us, and we have even made it possible to stop using our own imagination.

But what do the most successful people in our world have in common?

Focus.

Their lives are dedicated to one major thing (which can include many smaller things, but usually related things), and they do not let anything get in the way of their dreams and goals.

They each have a focused life.

This is basically what God has called all who would follow Him to do. Be focused.

On what?

The answer comes in a rebuke of Peter by Jesus:

“You must follow me.”

We have to focus our lives on Jesus.

However, I will take this a step further.

There are a lot of people who claim to follow Jesus, and they show up to church regularly, tithe, donate, and volunteer.

They live good lives.

While their lives are engrossed in Jesus, I would posit that their entire existence is not engrossed in Jesus. (See the title of the post worked in there?!)

In truth, these people (and even many people engrossed in following Jesus can succumb to this) are distracted by serving.

How do we know when we get distracted by service?

One of two things is usually what happens:

  1. We are not going where Jesus is going. We find ourselves in the church building all the time, or at church functions, and we know everyone we see or know someone who knows that person well and we are all Christian. We rarely encounter anyone who is hurting, mourning, in desperate need, or stuck in sin (of which we are aware).
  2. We are exactly where Jesus is, but we are “pulling a Martha. Sometimes, we are so busy serving Jesus that we forget about actually serving others, and we are surrounded by people who really need Jesus.

The Problem and Solution

We are not fully engrossed in following Jesus. That is just the way it is.

This is where the other values come in. To be fully engrossed we must desperately pursue God by reading the Bible, learning what it means through teachings and fellowship, and seeking where God is working. To effectively pursue God, we must be in constant communication with Him through diligent prayer, and this helps us grow in a desire to study the Bible and find where God is going. As we pray and study, we find our hearts are growing ever more consecrated to God, and our desire to seek Him and talk with Him grows. The more consecrated our hearts become for God, the more we find our life being focused on God.

The only other step is that we must put it all into practice.We must be with those who are hurting and in need. We must show love and grace. We must forgive ALL people.

We must effectually become like Jesus Christ.

Our focus in life must be to be completely engrossed in living and loving like Jesus, pushing aside distractions and pushing on in faith, grace, and love.

Next week, I will briefly discuss The Core Mission.

What are your thoughts? How are you doing?