Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: You can make a difference in this world if you’re focused like Jesus.

You can make a difference in this world if you’re focused like Jesus.

How’s Your Focus?

After hearing and reading all the health warnings the media consistently blesses us with, someone wrote this tongue-in-cheek observation.

"Brace yourself.

Somewhere, they’re plotting the scare of the week.

Air is polluted; water is too.

Fish that swim in it are not good for you.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, ’Delicious," you say?

Don’t eat them. They’re loaded with pesticide spray.

Avoid dairy products. Say ’no’ to red meat.

Cholesterol levels must go in retreat.

The rays of the sun will most certainly fret you.

Stay in the house, and radon will get you.

If you walk in the woods, you can really get sick.

Lyme disease is spread by a pinhead-sized tick.

If one thing won’t get you, another one will.

But don’t worry; be happy, because worry can kill."

Well, there’s a list of things to watch out for that’s growing ridiculously long every day. Let me add to the list one great thing to beware: Watch out for the “fuzzies.”

Your life will never be fulfilled until you are clear of the “fuzzies.”

Some years ago, I was having a real problem with one of my eyes. It would not focus. It was as if there was something clouding my eye. I went to the Opthamologist, and he told me I had a cataract. I was troubled by that, because I thought you were supposed to be a Sr. Adult before you had problems like that.

I told him I was too young, and he wasn’t impressed at all. As a matter of fact, he told me that even some babies have cataracts. After surgery and after the trauma of surgery, he fit me with new glasses. And there was an added dimension ... now I have to have bifocals, because the lens implant in my eyes ... and five years later they fixed my other eye ... but I have to have bifocals because the lens is not as flexible as a natural lens. Before the operation, there was nothing the doctor could do by way of glasses that would enable me to focus.

Without a proper focus you live in a distorted world. Some lives are out of focus and people are living in distorted worlds.

Harvey Pennick, the legendary golf guru, wrote the best-seller entitled The Little Red Book. In it, he gives philosophical, simple approaches to the game of golf. One of his major teachings is: "Take dead aim." Don’t just try to hit the ball in some general direction. Take dead aim. Attempt to put it in a specific place. The people whose lives make a difference take dead aim. They are focused and pointed at some worthy goal. Anyone who tries to infect us with a fuzzy, non-defined approach to living is an enemy.

Focus on the Fact That You Are a Child of God

Jesus had a head-to-head encounter with the enemy. In the very first days of His mission, He encountered His enemy and ours. It is very evident the devil simply tried to fuzzy His thinking about Himself and His activity. The same way old Red Legs tried to blur the life and impact of our Lord is the way he infects us with the “fuzzies.” So we need to keep a sharp focus on who we are.

In Luke 3:21-22, just before facing the encounter with the tempter, Jesus was baptized and He was praying. Heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove. And the Father said, "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." Every Christian has the same experience. We ask Christ to come into our lives to save us. In His Holy Spirit, He comes, and we become children of God. John 1:12 says, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name."

Focus on the fact that the Heavenly Father has said to you, "You are My child. I love you. In you, because of Christ, I am well pleased." Keep that focus.

Remember who you are because the enemy will try to take that confidence away from you.

Three times, the enemy said, "If you are the Son of God..." But Christ could say, "I am the Son of God," and stand firm because He remembered the Father had said, "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." When you are focused on the fact that you are a child of God, you can be focused on helping others become children of God.

Those who are not clearly focused in their relationship to God become fuzzy in their activities for God. Look at Luke 4:3: "The devil said to him, ’If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.’" He said, "Think, if You’re here to help people ... so many of them are hungry just like You ... if You will make bread for them, You’ll have them eating out of Your hand. Become an economic Messiah, a bread king." But He would not do that. Why? He did feed people on occasions. He will identify His people in judgment as those who fed him, a.k.a. "the least of these, My brothers and sisters." But He knows there is a starving in the soul of people much more serious. He said, "I have come to give life, and life is not in food alone. You ask Me to become benefactor.

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