Summary: Keep focused and keep pressing on - Peter

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November 3, 2002

Living a focused life – part 1

Show video clip from Runaway Bride (…focus on Maggie…focus on your eggs)

Today we are beginning our discussion on “living a focused life”. As is demonstrated in the video clip we just say, it’s easy for some of us to become distracted and focus on the wrong things.

What is focus? (have people define it)

A central point of attraction, attention or activity.

What happens when we try to focus on two things at once? We look crosseyed.

Some people can focus on several things at once….others (like me) can not.

A significant part of our time today, will be spent looking at the life of Peter. If you have a Bible with you, please turn to Matthew 14. If you don’t have a Bible, the verses will be on the screen and you can follow along with us there as we read.

Peter was a lot like most of us.

· He was very impulsive at times

· He often spoke without thinking

· He failed often, even though he tried hard not to

· He was an average person

Matthew 14:22-32

Let’s spend the next few minutes looking at three different people with three different focuses.

What we focus on, has a lot to do with how others see us (pictures of dogs)

1. The focus of Jesus – The Father (vs. 23)

2. The focus of the disciples – Fear (vs. 24-25)

3. The focus of Peter – Faith (vs. 28-29)

It’s not that Peter was perfect, but rather that Peter was willing to try and when he failed, he was willing to try again. Peter often stumbled, but never failed to follow.

· In Mark 8:32 and Matthew 16:22 Peter tried to correct Jesus.

· In Matthew 26:51 he acted before thinking (cut off a man’s ear)

· In Matthew 26:69-75 he denied three times that he even knew Jesus.

But don’t be quick to judge Peter. He also accomplished some things that others did not.

· Walking on water

· He was one of the three closest to Jesus.

· Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 – 3,000 people committed their lives to Christ

When Peter met Jesus, he was an average person (a fisherman) but when he met Jesus he became a new person with new goals and new priorities.

He did not become a perfect person and he never stopped being Simon Peter. (himself)

I often wonder what Jesus saw in Peter when he chose him as one of his followers. Jesus was not looking for models, he was looking for real people. He chose people who could be changed by his love, and then he sent them out to communicate that his love and acceptance was available to everyone…even those who often fail.

What does Jesus see when he looks at you?

Most likely he sees an average, imperfect person, who is impulsive at times, and who often speaks without thinking. Jesus sees a person that he loves and someone that He wants to be his follower.

It’s better to be a follower who sometimes fails, than someone who fails to follow.

Poem from sonscape about running the race and falling

Many of us walk around in life feeling like losers, when Jesus knows that we can all be a winner. It all depends on our focus.

If you have committed your life to Jesus….be encouraged. He does not expect you to be perfect and never make mistakes. Just get up when you fall and try again. Keep your focus on Jesus.

If you have not committed your life to Jesus, you need to understand that there is no one else who accepts you and loves you the way Jesus does. When you accept Christ you become a new person with new goals and new priorities. He doesn’t expect us to change before we commit our lives to him. In fact he understands that we can not change until we do commit our lives to him.

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