"Maintain Your Christian Focus"
by Pastor Larry D. Reed
Looking unto JesusHebrews 12:2
Question... What is the quality of your relationship with God at this time? Is it Spirit-filled, lukewarm, or ice cold? If it is anything but Spirit-filled, then you need to adjust your focus. The Christian life is not necessarily one of auto focus. Man does not automatically seek and obey God. We are not robots, but free moral agents.
True Christians lovingly labor daily to present their bodies to Him as living and holy sacrifices and to submit our minds to Him so that He will transform our thinking and our very lives. Our responsibility; despite detractors and distractions, is to look unto Jesus each day to maintain our Christian focus.
To focus means to adjust one's vision to render a clear, distinct image or to concentrate one's attention or energy toward a particular point or purpose.
We need to adjust our vision, correct our lens, and train our eye to see clearly, what God has shown us through the life of Jesus Christ. Then we need to concentrate all of our attention and energy toward living as He taught in His word through the empowering Holy Spirit. Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to live the Christian life.
As we begin to focus on the picturesque Christian life that is in Jesus, we will find that other things will compete to become our focal point. Issues from within and without will try to crowd out Christ. People, ideas, organizations, desires, and destinations will jockey in our hearts and minds, our spiritual lens, for our concentration.
Satan tries to obstruct what Christ wants us to do, know, see, or say. He wants to shakeup our soothing, tranquil spotlight on Jesus. He lobs fiery darts at us. He tries to magnify his defeated and limited power and influence before us. He tempts us through the allure of the flesh in many forms-honorable or lustful desires of the heart-money, nice things, power, prestige, or handsome or pretty faces. He comes in as a flood to overwhelm our view in an effort to blur our vision. If we are out of focus, we will waste time, miss our purpose, hinder our God given mission, and blemish our testimony in Jesus Christ.
So what do we, Christians, need to do to maintain focus? I am glad you asked.
Today, let us make every effort, press; strive for quality devotion with and to the Lord. Ask God to help us to develop a stronger prayer life. Paul said, "Pray without ceasing." Settle it in our heart and mind that throughout each day we need to pray for His will to be done in and around us and thank God for His goodness to us.
We need to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly, daily. We must make time to prayerfully read, meditate, and memorize the word of God. We should not live life and then give God the leftovers or run to Him only when we are distressed. He always occupies first place. We put Him first when we put His word first in our lives.
We need to attend a church where the bible is the central focus, the message of that church- the preaching, teaching, and rule of order. We need a place where we can grow in the knowledge of God, learn how to live out our faith, and serve using the gifts that the Holy Spirit has placed within us at our salvation. We are not to be benchwarmers, complainers, dividers, or sightseers but humble servant contributors to the health and growth of that church and the body of Christ at large.
We need to seek daily for God to order our steps, guide our activities, and determine for us the right fellowship of individuals or organizations for us and give us courage and conviction to quickly, turn away from any activity or association that would not please Him.
We need to recognize daily that our ultimate Christian calling is to testify to the lost by our upright Christian example and by words, as necessary, about the Good News of Jesus Christ and specifically what He has done and is doing personally for us. We must be keenly aware that as we look to Christ and away from the world, few will love us and many will loathe us that are adamantly opposed to Christ. We must resolve to please and obey God, rather than man.
Through economic uncertainty, social and political confusion, pestilence, droughts, disasters, and wars and rumors of wars let us maintain our focus. Christ lived in and through turbulent times and so have many other Christians-the great cloud of witnesses. You and I can endure as well if we only will maintain our focus on Jesus.
Let us tell the world how He came to save us from our sins-for all have sinned and come short. Inform them that He died on Calvary's cross for us. Let them know He was buried in a borrowed tomb, but early Sunday morning He rose by God's mighty power. Put in the picture that if they will confess with their mouth and believe in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead, they will be saved from the wrath of judgment to come.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.