Summary: God has told us we need to be different. If we truly want to follow God in the way He wants us to follow Him, then we must be different in the way we speak, the way we think and the way we act from many people in the world today.
Our preaching theme for this year is Dare to be Different and it is a theme that will cause each of us to examine ourselves.
God has told us we need to be different. If we truly want to follow God in the way He wants us to follow Him, then we must be different in the way we speak, the way we think and the way we act from many people in the world today.
Today I want to encourage you to Dare To Fix Your Focus on God. Over thousands of years, God inspired men to record and write what we now know as the Bible. God revealed Himself to them and God was revealed to others in their lives as they followed Him and focused their lives on Him.
In the Bible, God has commanded us to keep our focus fixed upon Him, on His will and purpose for our lives.
For us to really honour God, we need to follow His direction in every aspect of our lives.
It’s not about our opinion or preferences, if we are disciples of Jesus then we must follow all of God’s commandments, precepts and ways.
At times that will mean that we are very different from some of the people around us.
Honouring God, following Him, keeping God at the centre of our lives, requires us to keep our focus on Him.
God, His Word and His commandments must be the centre of our attention. We must both love and obey our Lord. Listen to these words from Deuteronomy chapter 11:
Love the Lord your God and keep His requirements, His decrees, His laws and His commands always... love the Lord your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul... Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them... Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds... Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up... carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow – to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to Him and to hold fast to Him... See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse – the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods... be sure that you obey all the decrees and laws I am setting before you today.
God commands His people to keep their focus fixed on Him, Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds, another translation says commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine.
Is the focus of your heart and mind fixed on God?
Do you seek His will in prayer?
Do you seek His will in the word of God?
Do you express your love for Him in the way you are obedient to His requirements, decrees, laws and commands?
We may fall short, if we are honest, all of us fall short, but that does not mean we should not try.
Listen to the advice of Proverbs 4:24-27, “Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”
Wise words, true words, we must walk in a different direction from many in this world.
We are commanded to walk the right path, to fix our gaze on following God’s ways, not sidetracked by the distractions of the world. We must stand firm in our faith, instead of wandering onto the broad way of destruction we must follow the narrow way, the pathway to Heaven.
2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
This is a reminder to dare to keep looking through the eyes of faith to God, to dare to focus on the things of heaven. The things of this world will pass, but the eternal things of God will never fade or pass away. We must fix our focus on God, we must fix our focus on Christ.
The writer of the book of Hebrews put it like this in Hebrews 3:1, “brothers and sisters who belong to God and share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we declare to be God’s messenger and high priest.”