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Saturday, September 21, 2019
Baptist Church

Getting Our Faith In Focus

Wednesday, September 09, 2015 View Comments Comments (0)

Perspective artwork 2“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and received the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT).

I remember the day when I finally had to admit that despite my strong belief that someone was slipping in my office and changing out my books for ones with smaller print, that actually I might need glasses.  I went to Walmart to grab some cheap readers, but they weren’t doing the trick.  I reluctantly went to the eye doctor and he prescribed bifocals and something for seeing far off as well.  I remember the trip home and how clear everything seemed all of a sudden.  It was obvious I was not seeing as clearly as I thought.

Getting our faith in focus can be a powerful thing. Paul says that his focus was on one thing, the day he would receive that upward calling and stand before the Lord Jesus Christ. Keeping a proper focus is not easy, if it was, everyone would be doing it. Keeping a proper focus is really all about discipline and Paul knew all too well the importance of a disciplined life.

The imagery Paul uses here is of someone keeping their eyes on the finish line in a race; running toward a goal, running to receive a prize. Paul used this same imagery in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete experiences self-control in all things…” There are many good things we could occupy our time with as Christians. Getting our faith in focus means discovering that things we thought were big are really quite small to God and things that perhaps we thought were small are really quite big to God.  This doesn’t mean that some things are necessarily wrong, they just aren’t necessary. With our focus on that upward calling and our hearts tuned to God’s Word we learn exactly what to say no to.

If you’re thinking, “You know what, I do lack focus in my life, but what can I do about that?”  Take a look at your feet because you might have careless feet. Proverbs 14:16 says, “A wise man is cautious and turns from evil, but a fool is easily angered and is careless.” The idea behind the word “fool” here is someone who never learns. He just keeps making the same mistake over and over again.

The immediate response of our culture today is, “Hey, everybody makes mistakes. We all fail from time to time.” I’ll be the first to say that sometimes my failure seems to be more frequent than just time to time. The Scriptures are not labeling the person who makes a mistake as foolish, but rather the one who keeps returning to that same mistake and habitually choosing wrong in exactly the same way over and over again. That is careless feet, that is a fool, repeatedly choosing the wrong words, wrong friends or the wrong use of our time or money.

Hebrews 12:1 says, “Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress.” The Bible is filled with examples of people who began the race with great success but lost focus and failed in the end because they disregarded the instructions or rules, if you will, of God’s Word. It happened to Lot (Genesis 19), Samson (Judges 16), Saul (1 Samuel 28, 31), and Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). And it can happen to us!

Don’t wander through life with careless feet, but get your faith in focus and let go of those things that aren’t a big deal to God and start embracing the things that are. Run this race called life to win and bring glory to the only one who deserves it, Jesus Christ. He gave His all for you; will you give your all for Him?

david  ><({‘>


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