Archive for the ‘Focus’ Category

I am.” I  sure most of us have played the game “hide and seek.” I always like to hide because I could be clever in hiding but I quickly got bored looking for someone. Occasionally, Jesus would leave the crowds but that was to reflect and rest. It was never to hide-you never had to look very hard to find Him. All you had to do was look for the dust that a few demons made as they were exiting someone Jesus was having a conversation with. Often everyone’s attention was drawn to a hill or lake where Jesus just healed someone and the applause and yelling was so loud you had to go check it out-but you knew Jesus was in the house or on the hill.

Jesus lived with intentionality. He got up just like you and I but everything changed in a flash because He was talking with the Father about the day-where He should go and who He should talk with. He knew His conversations would alter someone’s vocation or scare the spank out of them but one way or another, they would not be the same. There were times He knew his match would light the dynamite in someone and they would put a contract on Him to eliminate the hard stuff He was talking about.

In Matthew 4:18 &19 Jesus challenged these guys to think about a new job. He aroused Matthew’s curiosity to such a place where he stopped focusing on the extra money he was going to get for that Mediterranean villa. Look at Matthew 9:9,

And then Zach was perched in a tree so he could see Jesus when he walked by. They had dinner together that night. Luke 19:1-6. And there were times that the mood of some of the listeners was so filled with hatred, that you wondered why Jesus was there. He never missed a beat-He always knew where He was going and who would be in the crowd. Matthew 12:22-37.

Jesus lived with intentionality. How does your day start? What would living with intentionality look like for you? It really depends on if your purpose is the same as Jesus’.

Maybe you have had the experience of having one or more of your fingertips go numb. For whatever reason there is just no feeling there. You touch it or pinch it, but nothing. Your fingertips have just lost the sense of feeling. There is no connection to pain or heat.

We are made for a longing for God alone but our insatiable craving is usually misdirected toward the consumption of stuff that on the one hand  lasts for a few days, but continues rampant throughout our lifetime in our “misplaced values” culture. This time of year we are convinced that if we just get that X Box, sweet jacket or take that trip we will have our longing satisfied. Oh, and there’s that Pickup…

All the time, God is working to remove the insensitivity we have towards Him by taking us through the class of “These things don’t ever satisfy.”

We are made for God alone. Psalm 42: needs to be checked out first thing each morning. David chases after God in a way that seems so foreign to us. Again in Psalm 73:25 David challenges us with “I’ve got heaven coming, got relationship with him: Nothing here on earth’s worth a second view!” Isaiah loudly agrees saying that his soul and spirit longs for God (Isaiah 26:9). Even Paul learned that a flat out trust in God is all that gets you through the stacked card game of life that is strategically set to disappoint and destroy us (2 Corinthians 1:8 and 9).

How’s your feeling for God? What do you need to stop chasing after in order to have contentment, satisfaction, or meaning? How can you begin to develop a heart for God alone? Talk about it with someone else.

Numb (U2 song)

Numb (U2 song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Focus (German magazine)

Focus (German magazine) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What if you found an old coin that was from some other country and since you could barely read it and definitely couldn’t spend it at any store, you tossed it into the trash thinking “what a useless piece of metal.” Then you read about someone finding that very coin, cleaned it up a bit and took it to a coin dealer who was so startled he almost fell out of his chair. The coin dealer knew this was a very valuable piece of metal that would allow someone to retire before reaching 50 years of age.

We frequently do this with a verse of scripture thinking either it has no applicable meaning for us today or it is just something too difficult to understand. What if this verse had some meaning we desperately need to understand and deal with in our culture?

Take for example Luke 9:58. We may have casually read the part that says “…the Son of man, has no place to lay his head” and quickly dismiss a significant statement that is pregnant with essential truth for us in this generation.

Jesus was homeless but always had a place to sleep. So why is this included in our Bible? We say we are following Jesus so where should our focus be if we are following a homeless man? The attractions of Jesus’ world were definitely different than ours but the truth is the same. This is not talking about selling our house and getting rid of everything in it (although it could), but rather it is talking about our focus in life that must be on what Jesus being homeless represents. Nothing in our culture will dominate our focus if we are following Jesus. If we are focused on our home, style of car, trips to take, a certain sports team, or the latest thing on sale we really don’t need, it can easily become idolatry.

We should not throw out scripture that doesn’t seem to relate to us, it may be more significant than we think. Don’t discard it when you really know that to act on it will change your lifestyle. Would we really want Jesus to show up to our small group and ask us if we wanted him to tell us what he had in mind for us and how we should be living today? Is that scary or exciting?

Focus Into Blue

Focus Into Blue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most people work hard for 40-50 hours a week usually Monday-Friday and are ready to relax, take in a movie or watch any kind of sporting event on TV or in person. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. The issue is that this is usually our only thought because we are focused on ourselves. After all, we deserve it after the week we have put in.

What if we woke up on Saturday morning and asked God what his agenda was for us that day? What if the first or second thought we had was”I wonder who I can help today?” We justify almost anything else that helps us “relax” or “enjoy” our weekend. Maybe that is one issue to resolve-whose weekend it is.

2 Corinthians 5:17 clearly says that when Jesus is our life (we began following him) everything changed for us. That includes the opportunity to see where God is at work and join him. It means we look at a day differently from how we used to look at it. What a different way to go to bed Friday night or wake up Saturday morning. Paul looked at his life this way. In 1 Corinthians 3:5 Paul’s focus is clear-he saw himself in a different way. He was thinking about others first.

James 3:14-18 shows us that God talk without God action is a waste of space on our part. Part of the freedom and outrageous life Jesus promises us comes from being freed from our whatever we want to not taking a step without talking to Jesus about it.

Get with a friend who will join you in living differently next weekend.