Summary: Keeping our focus on God is quite difficult for some, especially with the great amount of distractions found in today's fast paced world. Yet, Paul calls us to keep our devotion and single mindeness.
FINDING FEARLESS FOCUS
(All my sermons use illustrations found on www.sermoncentral.com and all scripture is NIV unless otherwise noted)
Focus is a word we hear a lot in the media, in conversation and especially in sports. Having focus can insure success, being distracted almost always spells failure. If you saw the movie “Chariots of Fire”, then you may remember the great runner Abraham. He had won so many races. His coach continued to preach discipline to this young man. But, Abraham finally lost one of those races because he looked to the side. Just as he was about to finish the race, he looked over his shoulder to see where his competitor was. His coach said to him after the race, “that look cost you the race.” He was not single minded on the finish and the prize that lay ahead.
Our lives are filled with so many distractions that keep us from being single minded and keep us from finding our focus. This morning I would like for you to turn in your Bibles to 2 COR 11:1-15. I am going to show a few points in scripture this morning that might help us FIND & KEEP our focus where it should be. 2 COR 11:1-15 I see Paul calling our attention to being single minded toward the goal of becoming like Christ. There are many things that are good in life, BUT there is only one thing that is really best. Those are the things that have an impact on eternity.
2 Cor 11:1-15 I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness; but you are already doing that. 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. 5 But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those "super-apostles." 6 I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way. 7 Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so. 10 As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, nobody in the regions of Achaia will stop this boasting of mine. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! 12 And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
Paul is truly concerned here for the Corinthian church. He is worried that the devotion they have for Jesus and the church was in jeopardy because the Corinthian’s could be distracted. Paul did not want these believers, or us for that matter, to lose the single minded love for Christ that is essential for the Christian. Keeping Christ first in our lives, having the Lord as our only focus, can be extremely difficult at times. There are so many things in this world that threaten to distract us away from God’s plan for our lives and for our church. Just as Eve lost her focus by listening to the lies and false promises of the serpent, we too can lose our focus by allowing the distractions of this world to overcrowd and confuse our lives. Anything that weakens our commitment to keep Christ first in our lives, and in the church, is a distraction that we must get rid of.
So first thing this morning; let us see the need to:
I. IDENTIFY & AVOID DESTRUCTIVE DISTRACTIONS