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REFOCUS..... December 13, 2020

In our present-day do you find yourself easily distracted or having trouble focusing? Perhaps you do not have a problem focusing and are well focused upon the task in which you are presently engaged. Let me ask you a few questions... What were you thinking about just before you started reading this teaching? What dominated your thoughts yesterday, last week, the last month, or this last year?. What particular issue or task constantly consumes your thoughts? Are you focused upon convincing people to see things as you see them, or on working toward the task you believe to be of most importance? Perhaps you are disengaged and simply coasting through life because you have grown weary and want to disconnect from everything. Another description, in a word, for the last sentence is.... overwhelmed. Whatever scenario fits your life, if your focus is not centered upon the Lord, let me challenge you and myself to ... focus more or refocus upon...

God: You shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3 ESV Many times when we are experiencing stress or loss of focus, it is because we have allowed something else to become more important to us than God. Other gods can be a person, an object, career, or___________ (fill in the blank) Let me ask a simple question; is there anything in your life that you hold tightly or enjoy more than God? If there is, I would encourage you to loosen your grip upon it whether it is physical, mental, or emotional, and refocus on your understanding and relationship with God. This is not implying we become someone who doesn’t engage in the world with daily living, but rather we keep it in perspective, for as Christians this world is not our home. If then you have been raised with Christ, seek things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1 ESV

Jesus: In life, we can even become so busy with business that we can forget what is important. I also believe we can become so busy doing good things that we drift away from our relationship with Jesus. Think about the church of Ephesus in Revelations. They were doctrinally sound and working hard, but they had this complaint against them..... they had lost their first love. They lost focus and needed to repent and return to their first love. (Revelations 2:4-5). Another example of someone in the Bible that lost focus was Martha. In Luke 10: 38-42 it gives this account... Jesus entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord do you not care that my sister has left me alone to serve? Tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.

Holy Spirit: And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger clamor and slander be put away from you, along with malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:30-32. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit when becoming a Christian and thus become the Temple of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God, which lives in us, will convict us of anything in life which is contrary to how God will have us live. To understand the last statement, you can read Ephesians 4:17 where it begins teaching about the life we should live as Christians through the remaining chapters of the book of Ephesians. As you read this you may be quickened by the Holy Spirit to change some aspect of your life that you have lost focus in living well. When you live intentionally contrary to scripture you can experience some of what was mentioned in the opening paragraph. To live contrary to scripture is to live a life that is blurry and out of focus with how God instructs you to live.

Application: If focused and walking with the Lord is how he would have you to live... press on and stay focused. If you believe you may have lost focus, then make refocusing a matter of priority and of great importance. Read the word of God, pray, and listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Take the position of Mary and choose to be at Jesus' feet- to be still and listen. If you do not do this you will lose focus on how you are to live as a Christian and instead will walk in the ways of the world. This would be tragic, for the Lord has called us to live in the joy of his presence and this will only be experienced when we live purposely seeking to focus upon him. May we all live to ... Seek first the kingdom of God.... in our lives.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David