Summary: In this lesson, we explore what it means to have a rightly or wrongly focused heart. Jesus had a rightly focused heart, and we can have a heart like His.
A. The story is told of a man who was out golfing with a few friends.
1. As they stood on the tee box looking toward the next green, the man said, “Sure seems like a long way off.” No one responded.
a. As he teed up his ball, the man said, “Sure is a narrow fairway.” Again, no response.
b. He continued, “How do they expect us to hit over those trees?” Still no answer.
2. The silence didn’t disturb the man.
a. Years of ruthless competition against his friends had taught him to be wary of their tricks.
b. They were trying to psych him out.
3. He stepped up to the ball and took a swing and hit a great drive – a high arching fade over the crop of trees to his left.
a. He could hear the other guys groan, and he assumed they were jealous.
b. After watching their drives, he knew they were jealous.
c. None of them made it close to the trees.
d. Rather than hit left, they each hit it right and ended up miles from the green.
4. They walked down their side of the fairway, and the man walked down his.
a. But rather than finding his ball sitting up on thick fairway grass, he discovered it hidden in the weeds, surrounded by trees.
b. “This is a tough hole,” he muttered to himself.
c. Nevertheless, he was up for the challenge. He studied the shot, selected a strategy, took out a club and hit a great shot.
d. You would have thought his ball was radar controlled – it narrowly missed one branch, swept around another and hopped toward the green like a jackrabbit.
e. If it hadn’t been for the steep hill, it would have rolled onto the green.
5. The man was sad that no one had been there to photograph his great shot.
a. None of his buddies were watching, they were on the other side of the fairway, looking in another direction.
b. So he shouldered his clubs and started walking to the green.
6. Only when he neared the green did he notice something unusual.
a. There were some players on the green who were already putting, and they were players he didn’t recognize.
b. The man thought to himself, either these guys are horribly slow or they are very lost.
7. As he looked around for his buddies, he finally spotted them. They were on a different green.
a. That’s when it hit the man – he had played the wrong hole!
b. He had picked out the wrong target.
8. All of the sudden everything made sense.
a. The groan he had heard after his drive was one of pity, not jealousy.
b. His buddies had hit to the right because they were supposed to.
c. No wonder the hole seemed hard – he was playing the wrong hole.
9. Golf is tough enough as it is, and it is even tougher when you’re headed in the wrong direction.
B. The same can be said about life.
1. Life is tough enough as it is.
2. It’s even tougher when you’re headed in the wrong direction.
I. Jesus Had a Rightly Focused Heart
A. One of the incredible abilities of Jesus was his ability to stay on target.
1. His life never got off track.
2. Not once did we see him walking down the wrong side of the fairway or hitting toward the wrong hole.
3. Jesus had no money, no computers, no jets, no administrative assistants or staff; yet Jesus did what many of us fail to do – He kept his life on course.
B. As Jesus looked across the horizon of His future, He could see many targets.
1. Many flags were flapping in the wind, each of which He could have pursued.
2. Jesus could have been a political revolutionary.
3. Jesus could have been a national leader.
4. He could have been content to be a teacher and to educate minds or be a doctor and heal bodies.
5. But in the end, He stayed the course and is a Savior who saves souls.
C. Anyone who was near Jesus for any length of time heard him talk about His mission.
1. John 4:34, “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
2. John 6:38, “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.”
3. Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
4. Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”