Focus

When you take a picture of something and there’s a lot of other distracting stuff in the background, there’s an editing feature you can use to make the background fuzzy and ensure that the intended subject of your photo is clear.

Good analogy for life. Sometimes the little things start to take the focus off of what matters and we need to do some editing to make sure we’re seeing more of the big picture.

As Christians, what should be our focus? Fortunately, God provided us with some answers to that question in his Word.

Be sure to have focus. Godly focus. Don’t go through life wandering aimlessly. (Luke 9:41)

Focus on what lies ahead, not on what’s already passed. (Philippians 3:13-14)

Focus on all that God has in store for you as you live your life for him, and ultimately receive eternal life through the blood of Jesus. (Philippians 3:15)

Shift your focus off of you and on to God through time each day in the Bible and in prayer. (Matthew 6:6)

Focus on Christ’s strength in your weaknesses, rather than on the weakness itself. God works all things to good somehow! (2 Corinthians 9-10; Romans 8:28)

Focus on those that God has placed in the world around you, not on yourself. That’s what Jesus did. (Philippians 2:4-5)

Focus on good things. Don’t let the bad in this world draw you in. (Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:2)

What are you focusing on?

A glad heart makes a happy face… (Proverbs 15:13)

Conscience

What is conscience? One way it’s defined is as the “inner sense of what is right”.

I find it amazing that the fact that humans generally have an “inner sense of what is right” isn’t enough to prove that we were created and didn’t just evolve from amoebas. How can something evolve to the point of having a conscience?

The Bible says that the Holy Spirit takes up residence in those that accept Jesus as their Savior (1 Corinthians 6:19) and provides us with Godly understanding. It also says that The Holy Spirit provides conviction to the World. To non-believers. (John 16:8, 9) To convict is to provide with a sense of guilt.

It appears that mankind’s “conscience” comes courtesy of the Holy Spirit.

But as time goes on, and everything is being declared to be “right” based solely on how we feel about it – the conviction of the Holy Spirit is being drowned out by the great lies of Satan. If it feels good, do it — if you believe it, it’s true — right and wrong are relative concepts.

So many sins are being justified. So many things that God detests are being condoned, even glorified. Deceptive spirits, the lies of Satan, are killing consciences. (1 Timothy 4:1-2). All the things that the church is accepting as good are leading many astray. It is the great desensitization of mankind.

The direction the world is heading is not good – which is exactly how God said it would be. At some point, he will have had enough. God’s amazing mercy is evident in the fact that he hasn’t reached that point yet. He’s still waiting for someone to open their eyes and see the truth. He’s still waiting for someone to confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and to believe in their heart that God raised him from the dead. (Romans 10:9). He’s still waiting for someone to be saved and sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30).

Is that someone you? Will today be the day?

Abundant Life

Jesus said he came so that we could have life. And “have it more abundantly”. (John 10:10)

The dictionary defines abundant as “more than adequate…over sufficient…abounding…richly supplied”. If you are a child of God’s through the blood of his Son, you know exactly what this means. When you come to understand that you’re a sinner, helpless to save yourself – and you start to see the world through the light of what you don’t deserve – you become much more aware of the abundant blessings in your life.

Throughout Scripture God promises abundance for his children. – From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. (John 1:16 NLT)

He promises abundance to those who use well what they already have. (Matthew 25:29 NLT)

He promises abundant grace – big enough to cover up people’s sins. (Romans 5:20 NLT) & (1 Timothy 1:14 NIV)

He promises an abundance of knowledge to those who listen to his teaching. (Matthew 13:12)

He promises abundant joy to those who ask in Jesus’ name and receive. (John 16:24 NLT)

He promises abundant provisions to those who will work. (Proverbs 12:11 NIV)

He promises to bestow good things in abundance to those who take refuge in him. (Psalm 31:19 NIV)

He promises to bless you abundantly with all that you need so that you can overflow in every good thing you do.
(2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV)

And I can tell you from personal experience that the kind of abundance you receive from your Heavenly Father far surpasses anything this world has to offer. It’s real! It’s sustaining! It’s eternal! And you won’t want to trade it for all the money or fame in the world.

Are we paying attention?

Do you watch the news? It can be a bit depressing – one tragic story after another. Tragic accidents, horrific acts of nature, massive fires… Do you ever wonder if God is trying to get our attention?

Have you read the story in the Bible of Moses and the Egyptian Pharaoh? God was definitely trying to get the Pharaoh’s attention. Moses even stood before him and warned him time after time that if he did not do as God instructed, bad things were going to happen.

Now I am obviously in no position to state with certainty that God is behind the things that are happening in our world today, but is it that hard to believe?

For 2,000+ years we’ve had the answer to salvation. And from the moment of Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension to heaven – his disciples and other witnesses to all he said and did spoke boldly about who he is. Many, many Christians have died for sharing the truth. There is only one way to salvation and eternity with God. There is only one way to avoid eternity in hell. That is by confessing with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believing in your heart that God raised him from the dead. (Romans 10:9)

God’s message has always been clear. Repent!

Now 2,000+ years later the truth is being hushed. People who dare confess their faith in Christ are shamed for not being more inclusive. People who dare stand up for God’s laws as clearly defined in the Bible are ridiculed. And although many might have never believed it would happen in America, it is becoming less and less “politically correct” to state your beliefs – that is, if you are a Christian.

So when I watch the news and see the crazy events happening around us – I really do wonder if God is trying to wake us up. And I wonder … is anyone paying attention?

From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. ” (Matthew 4:17 NLT)

Lord, you are searching for honesty. You struck your people, but they paid no attention. You crushed them, but they refused to be corrected. They are determined, with faces set like stone; they have refused to repent. (Jeremiah 5:3 NLT)

“God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. (Acts 17:30 NLT)

Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief. (Revelation 3:3 NLT)

If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me. (Ezekiel 3:19 NLT)

Gather before judgment begins, before your time to repent is blown away like chaff. Act now, before the fierce fury of the Lord falls and the terrible day of the Lord ’s anger begins. (Zephaniah 2:2 NLT)

Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. (Luke 3:8 NLT)