Sunday, April 30, 2023

Your Focus as a Christian



Well, praise Jesus today, everyone. Our main focus as Christians and as disciples of Jesus should be pleasing the Lord Jesus with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. It's easier to say though than to do. It's very easy to get distracted by politics, by church events, by making money, our business, our family life. And it's easy to compartmentalize our life to where God is no longer part of our business, and we segment it into our business and God's business. And that is what has happened in the Christian culture today. They have their church business that's all about going to church on Sunday, bible study, their Christian gatherings. And then they have their political business that's all about getting the people politically elected that they want. And then they have their personal business, their shop or their merchandise that they're selling, or whatever it is that people do. And people compartmentalize their heart instead of being fully dedicated to Jesus Christ. Now, obviously, depending on where we are, we have to take into consideration how we share Jesus.

When I was teaching in the school district, I couldn't just speak Jesus openly without an invitation, because as a schoolteacher you can get yourself fired. And I actually really didn't like that element of teaching, because as soon as you walk onto the campus, you give up some of your amendment rights as a civilian and as a citizen of the United States, no longer can you speak freely about your faith. And our first focus in life should not be teaching eighth graders or high schoolers Math; our first focus in life shouldn't be making money; our first focus in life shouldn't be getting some political guy in office or any other worldly pursuit.

Our focus in life should be on hearing Jesus Christ, having ears that hear and eyes that see. Most people are chasing after religion. That is why they spend so much time looking for a church. They call it fellowship, they call it bible study, whatever they call it, they're chasing after religion, guys. But it's a very different thing to chase after Jesus Christ, after pleasing Him, after hearing His voice. In fact, most people just give up on it because they say “God must have stopped talking during the bible, and it's much easier just to follow a set of principles from the bible. So, I’m going to look over the ten commandments. I’m going to look over the Gospels. And I’ll pick the ones that seem easy for me to keep and that will be my focus.” So you have all these different denominations of churches and they all have their set structure of what the most important doctrines are to keep in order to get to heaven. It becomes legalism. So for the Baptist, they think you have to be reading your bible every day because we're more like the Bereans. We're more noble than others who are lazy, they don't read their bible. We go to church on Sundays. And they make a big deal about being in big church and reading their bible as if that will save them. For different denominations is different things. For the Pentecostal group, their focus is on speaking in tongues. So they make the entire faith experience about this feeling that you've received the Holy Spirit from your feet up and that you speak in a tongue that their church imitates.

So you have all these different focuses. But people get their focus off of what really matters, which is the love of Jesus Christ. The greatest commandment, guys, is to love the Lord or God that is Jesus Christ with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. And the next commandment is like it, which is to love your neighbor as yourself. The focus isn't on just looking like a good person on the outside, having a big church or being a big pastor. It's not about that. It's not about memorizing all these scripture verses to look good as your some kind of a preacher.

Knowing Jesus is about being genuine before God and then genuinely living your faith for Him in complete holiness. If we are holy, it's because the Holy Spirit is working in us, not the spirit of the world or selfishness or greed or pride. But if the Holy Spirit is in us, we will be holy because we are His body, we are the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He is living in us and we are the true church, so that needs to be our focus. Most Christians don't even hear from God, so they're not the true church. They're false believers. They're false jews as they're called in scripture. They have false churches, false synagogues. They are the synagogue of Satan. And their focus is on 1 million different things other than hearing Jesus.

But what it all comes down to is, do you hear Jesus Christ? Is that your main focus being led by the Spirit of God, receiving the Holy Spirit and making Him your One and Only teacher? Not 1000 other people or ten other people or whatever number of mentors and brothers and sisters you have. But who are you hearing and listening to and obeying? Is it the pastor in your church who creates whatever focus he wants for you? Or is it the Spirit of God who is the only one qualified to lead you and guide you?

So I want to pray for those who do want to be led by the Holy Spirit, not by a pastor of a church, not by a bible study, not by a set of mentors that think they know best. But I want to pray for those of you who do want to hear the Holy Spirit and have His love in your heart always. So “Lord Jesus, I do pray for the body of Christ. I pray for those who want to get their focus on you and who want to be led by your Holy Spirit. I pray for your body of Christ, the true church that they would have ears to hear and eyes to see and their hearts and minds would be open to your truth and shut off to everything else in the world. We want to make ourselves the people who only take direction from you and never take direction from others, because you tell us to make you are Christ and our one and only teacher. So that's what we want to do today and forever. In your name we pray, Lord Jesus, amen.”

Get your focus on Jesus. Don't be distracted by politics or who the next president is going to be or how the end of the world will happen or end day prophecies, apocalyptic speeches. Don't get your eyes on the things of this world that so easily menace with your spiritual walk. Keep your eyes on Jesus Christ, focus on him, not on the world, and you'll be walking the straight and narrow path. But as soon as you start listening to so-called prophets, brothers and sisters, even if they say they are the children of God, you will be listening to people. Who are we listening to? And who are we obeying? May the grace of Jesus be with you.