Summary: This message deals with the tendency for believers to develop the wrong focus in life.
Scripture: Hebrews 12:1-4
ETS: Paul encourages the Hebrew believers to keep focused on Christ.
ESS: It is of vital importance that believers keep the proper focus in life.
OSS: Christians will repent of having an improper focus in their lives; and commit to refocusing on Christ.
PQ: What do the scriptures have to say about the issue of focus in the believer’s life?
Topic: “A Problem of Focus”
A- It is important that you and I maintain the proper focus in life.
I. WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING THE RIGHT FOCUS?
A. The scriptures instruct the believer to maintain the right focus. (Text)
1. The instruction given is to look away from the world or anything else that can distract and fix your gaze upon Christ (Αφορωντες·).
B. The scriptures give examples of people that we can emulate (Heb. 11:3-32)..(READ)
1. Abel (Vs. 4)
2. Enoch (Vs. 5)
3. Noah (vs. 7)
4. Abraham (vs. 8)
5. Moses (vs. 23)
C. Focus determines outcome.
1. Jonah provides a classic example of the negative side of this principle
“1 But Jonah was greatly displeased and became furious.
2 He prayed to the LORD: “Please, LORD, isn’t this what I said while I was still in my own country? That’s why I fled toward Tarshish in the first place. I knew that You are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to become angry, rich in faithful love, and One who relents from [sending] disaster.
3 And now, LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
4 The LORD asked, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
5 Jonah left the city and sat down east of it. He made himself a shelter there and sat in its shade to see what would happen to the city.
6 Then the LORD God appointed a plant, and it grew up to provide shade over Jonah’s head to ease his discomfort. Jonah was greatly pleased with the plant.
7 When dawn came the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, and it withered.
8 As the sun was rising, God appointed a scorching east wind. The sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he almost fainted, and he wanted to die. He said, “It’s better for me to die than to live.”
9 Then God asked Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” “[Yes,] ” he replied. “It is right. I’m angry enough to die!”
10 So the LORD said, “You cared about the plant, which you did not labor over and did not grow. It appeared in a night and perished in a night.
11 Should I not care about the great city of Nineveh, which has more than 120,000 people who cannot distinguish between their right and their left, as well as many animals?”
2. Moses provides a classic example of the positive side of this principle
23 By faith Moses, after he was born, was hidden by his parents for three months, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they didn’t fear the king’s edict.
24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter
25 and chose to suffer with the people of God rather than to enjoy the short-lived pleasure of sin.
26 For he considered reproach for the sake of the Messiah to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, since his attention was on the reward.
27 By faith he left Egypt behind, not being afraid of the king’s anger, for he persevered, as one who sees Him who is invisible.
II. THE DANGERS OF HAVING THE WRONG FOCUS IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. (v.3).
A. Having the wrong focus will result in weariness.
1. Weariness from drawing on the wrong source of strength.
a. κάμνω = to grow weary, be weary
1) Physically weary
2) Mentally weary
3) Spiritually weary
B. Having the wrong focus will result in a defeated attitude.
1. εκλύω = to despond, become faint hearted
a) Defeated because of negative outlook
b) Defeated because of personal weariness
C. Having the wrong focus will result in falling into sin and its consequences.
1. Resentment builds up toward God and other people.
(Hebrews 12:15 ) “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many.”
2. Rebellion against God sets in.
(1 Samuel 15:23 KJV) “For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and defiance is like wickedness and idolatry.”
III. WHAT ARE THE SOURCES OF DEVELOPING A WRONG FOCUS IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE?
A. Making people the focus instead of Christ (v.1-2).