Summary: We have lost our focus. Our spiritual vision is blurry. We need corrective lenses to re:focus. That corrective lens is PRAYER.
re: Sermon Series Part 1
The number 8 in the Hebrew is the number of new beginnings; the start of a new era. It really has a connotation that brings up the prefix re: to do again.
Words from the Bible that denote a new beginning are words like re:surrection, reconciliation; re:generation, re:freshment; re:demption.
AS I began to look at 2008 and heard Pastor preach the first message of the year, I was stirred! Stirred spiritually because God had been dealing with me about the same subject but in a different way. One of the biggest things about a New Year is we all make resolutions. Things we probably have tried to do before but had no success, so, we are doing them again. Excitement and Anticipation are brooding in my spirit. God is going to do some marvelous things this year. Are you ready?
As we start the year I am doing a 3 week sermon series on this subject, RE:
The first thing the Lord showed me is we need to re:focus. Our focus and attention has been blurred.
Psalms 6:7 (NLT) My vision is blurred by grief; my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies. My vision is blurred, my eyes are worn out. Sounds like to me we need to re:focus.
Hunters do it every year. The sighted in their guns and bows last year for hunting season but they will refocus them again next year. It will be at the beginning of a new hunting season.
Businesses do it too. The VP’s and CEO’s of companies get together and refocus their goals and attention on the priorities for the new fiscal year.
My uncle is a business owner and he recently told me something that was in this vain of thinking. He is in the food industry. His restaurant focused their attention on certain combos and prices for specials last year. He is refocusing his attention on different items this year with special prices. He himself spent until 3Am one day recently changing prices on the drive thru menu.
These examples show us how important it is to re:focus at the start of a new year. What has popped up in your life in 2007 that has caused your vision to be blurred: what is it that has broken your focus?
Hebrews 12:2 (MES) says, “Keep your eyes on Jesus.”
How do we re:Focus and get our attention back on Jesus? Good question. When we have failing sight or blurred vision in the physical we go to the optometrist and he/she will prescribe corrective lenses to correct our blurred vision; to help us re:focus and bring clearness to our sight.
Spiritual corrective lenses are prayer.
Matthew 6 (Mes) The Model Prayer 5 "And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat? 6 "Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. 7 "The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. 8 Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need.
Remember those hunters as they re:focus? You know what they call that thing inside the scope you use to focus on the target?
It is called a Cross Hair.
Galatians 3:1 (MES)
“You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for it’s obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. His sacrifice on the Cross was certainly set before you clearly enough.”
The devil’s scheme and plan is for us to lose focus of Jesus. Your new beginning, the start of your new era will begin in 2008 as you re:focus your attention! It is so obvious that we as Christians in the 21st Century have lost our focus? Have we taken our eyes off of the cross of Christ? Sadly, we have.
We must re:focus
From Worry to Worship
From the past to the present
From fear to faith
Get your attention of the problem and re:focus on the promises of God
Get your eyes off of pleasure on the people (to help them)
From the negative to the positive
From the temporal to the eternal.
The Cross must come back into focus for Christians in 2008!