“Come let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
While perusing a weekend pop-up market last Christmas, I saw a plethora of choices to buy for the special people on my list. A variety of natural scented soaps, cast iron hooks depicting different animals, fruit jellies galore, yard treasures and signs, wooden stars in three sizes and colors… so many options! The variety of visually appealing gifts were quite distracting! I hopped from item to item trying to decide which ones to purchase. Then I spotted the most beautiful red knitted gloves! “FOCUS!” yelled the salesgirl. I did need to focus. I just couldn’t make up my mind on what to buy for my loved ones and my mom was waiting for me. If I didn’t focus, I would be walking away empty handed or looking for a ride home!
Do you ever need to just stop and focus? Does your attention get diverted from your tasks at hand? The world offers a plentitude of distractions that encourage our eyes away from ministry and our focus off of Jesus. No longer do we have the perfect 20/20 vision, but impaired perception of what really matters. It is like wearing a pair of old glasses that are no longer relevant to our current situation; lenses that are crudely scratched, a bow that is missing and the frames teeter on the bridge our nose, or spectacles that now only help us see fuzzy images instead of objects with clarity.
Fortunately, God’s unconditional love is, was, and always will be perfectly focused on each of us. Be encouraged by the Hebrews verse and fix your eyes on Jesus. Refocus when you need to do so (potentially many times each day!). Beware of being blinded by shiny objects that steal your attention or cloud your vision (make your personal list here).
Focus! For reminders, be in God’s word and pray every day. Give thanks and praise regularly in all circumstances. Focus on the ministry that God has called you to do. He is leading you; equipping, encouraging, and reminding you to sit at His throne. Focus on Him. He will keep His promises to you, even when your vision fails. Christ purchased you by enduring the cross and then fleeing from the tomb alive! He is focused on you; you are clearly His!
"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. " Phil. 3:14
Dr. Cari Chittick - Concordia University, Irvine