Summary: This is the first in a series of two sermons on “Fixing Your Focus” from Hebrews 12 which has to do with the Kingdom of God from The Exchanged Life perspective.
How is your focus this morning? Can you focus your sight on what this crocheted sign says? Can you see what it says? What does it read? JESUS ! You’re right. Now, how many of you cannot focus on that & don’t see the letters JESUS? Well, to see it you simply need to fix your focus.
The truth is as leaders, as ministers, as spiritual leaders, as well as a church – we are out of focus! When I say that I’m including myself. And when I say spiritual leaders I’m using that term in this sermon to speak not only of Deacons as spiritual leaders, but Sunday School officers & teachers, Discipleship officers & leaders, Missions leadership as well as those leading in Ministry involvement. We’ve lost our focus! Now, I don’t mean that leaders are out of touch. I think most of us as leaders live at the crossroads of life with our people aware of their dilemmas, struggles, victories, joys & grief. I don’t think leaders lack calling or character. I’m convinced the problem is focus.
If we as a church, as ministers, as spiritual leaders lack a kingdom focus in our work, it’ll show up everywhere. The truth is we’re busy at an unprecedented pace – but, our results aren’t what we expect. We have more methodologies, styles, conferences, resources and programs than ever before – however, we lack a foundational focus. Of course, this lack of focus doesn’t mean there’s a lack of intention. We haven’t intended to confuse or distract our focus. But somehow we’ve allowed our focus to be misplaced or displaced and anytime that happens we pay a high price for it. So how can we go about fixing our Kingdom focus? First of all I suggest we ask:
I. What was the focus of Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ came to earth to fulfill the work of the Father in saving people from their sin. He came to live His life and to give His life in order that we might have forgiveness of our sin and receive His “zoe” life – divine, eternal, abundant, overcoming, more than conquer life. Then He left a church that He called into being to fulfill what He began on earth. He gave us as believers a Great Commandment and a Great Commission so that we might always know what to do. The truth is, He left no doubt about what to do, but He left the how to in our hands. In fact, I would venture to say that every church, every minister and every spiritual leader realizes the importance of the Great Commission because it’s the grand statement of Christianity and forever stands above time and place.
But, the Great Commission isn’t the focus of our lives and work. It wasn’t the focus of the life of Christ. Nor was church growth, discipleship, evangelism, ministry, preaching or teaching. While all of these are crucial to fulfilling the Great Commission, Jesus focus was on one thing – the Kingdom of God! So, the Kingdom of God isn’t a necessary ingredient to add to the other things I mentioned above. Rather, it’s THE necessary ingredient to which we add to the Great Commission, evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, ministry, worship and prayer. All the good things we do in church make sense only in light of the Kingdom of God. To Fix Our Kingdom Focus there’s a second question we need to ask:
II. What is this Kingdom of God Focus?
The Kingdom of God is the reign of God in today’s world. God is ruling in the world today through Christ and Romans 5:17 says, that we who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life. The kingdom is the ultimate reality. Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute in Luke 11:14-20. Some said that, “By Beelzebub the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” Jesus concluded the discussion by saying, “But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.” The truth is the kingdom of God is ultimate reality and it’s a present reality. The powers of evil were being overthrown then and they still are today. The kingdom of God is the ultimate reality and the sovereign movement of God in the universe. God is moving in the world today and the movie “The Passion of the Christ” is one evidence.
The kingdom of God is ultimate reality and the sovereign movement of God in the world. That’s expressed in the transforming truth that Jesus Christ rules over all things and is evidenced by God’s supernatural work in and through believers in the local church. The kingdom of God must be the central life focus that each of us should seek and align with in order to know the full and abundant life God placed within us to experience in Christ. Redemption of our lost soul and dead spirit is the first part of that focus and Christ ruling through our obedience to the will of God follows upon that. “To seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33) puts us in the flow of the sovereign movement of God in this world.