Written by His Grace,

Kevin K. OíConnor 

Apr. 08, 2004

 

Main thought: to examine the wonder of how our own focus determines how rich or poor we are in the blessings of Christ.

Refining our Focus

 

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Whole Chapter: Matthew 6 In context: Matthew 6:20-22)

 

Matthew 6:22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. (Whole Chapter: Matthew 6 In context: Matthew 6:21-23)

 

Matthew 6:23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (Whole Chapter: Matthew 6 In context: Matthew 6:22-24)

Luke 11:34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. (Whole Chapter: Luke 11 In context: Luke 11:33-35)

Acts 26:18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.' (Whole Chapter: Acts 26 In context: Acts 26:17-19)

Ephesians 1:18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, (Whole Chapter: Ephesians 1 In context: Ephesians 1:17-19)

 

Have you ever noticed that there could be two objects directly in our line of sight and yet only one of those two (depending on which one weíre focusing on) will be clear while the other will be just a blur? Our spiritual growth will also be directly related to how we focus upon Christ and His Word and not our fantasies of Who God is. Who we become spiritually will be a direct result of Who or what weíre focusing on. Just like Christ said in Luke 11:34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. (Whole Chapter: Luke 11 In context: Luke 11:33-35)

So, how is it that we can see clearly to walk in the light of Christ? First of all we need to realize that there is absolutely no revelation apart from the Spirit of Christ. There is no amount of self-determination that is going to produce in us eyes that can see clearly. I like the following verse in Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. (Whole Chapter: Revelation 3 In context: Revelation 3:17-19) Notice here how Christ Himself is telling us where to get these things that allow our eyes to see, our bodies to be clothed and our accounts to be full of wealth, from Him!

Many people try to use the wisdom of Godís Word as a tool by which they grow themselves into holiness, but, the Law of God is to show us how incapable we are of being holy and how much we need a deliver. Praise God for His Deliverer to us being His Son! Just as our birth into His kingdom has absolutely nothing to do with us and everything to do with Him, so it is with our growth in Him. And yet, many times God shows us our wretchedness and the beauty of His Precious Son, and the next thing you know, weíre getting all puffed up with the revelation of His Love and Grace and begin trying to take the reins of our lives back in our own control and grow ourselves within Him. Why will there be no reason to boast in Heaven? Because everyone who has much in heaven will be those who have learned how to listen to the Fatherís heart and apply His Word into their lives by obedience to it. James 1:25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing itĖhe will be blessed in what he does. (Whole Chapter: James 1 In context: James 1:24-26)

So, all rewards will be a direct result through the surrendering our will to His and the applying of His word to our lives. Nothing of manís pride and arrogance will be in Glory but the nail scars in our Saviorís hands! In this journey of growth and maturity in Christ, weíre constantly being attacked by satan and his laborers of sin and destruction. The only way weíre going to come out the other side of this life with shouts of victory is when we can learn how to wrap our hearts around His Word and stand upon it no matter what happens. I like the following verse of†† 1 Peter 1:6-8 6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

Most of us enjoy a good game of competition. Why is that? It seems that the spirit of God is continually challenging us to reach into higher heights of Love and relationship with Him. That just doesnít happen but is made to happen by the enabling power of Godís Spirit within us. His heartís desire is to align Himself with those who are not satisfied with the status quo of living a halfhearted existence of complacency but are hungry for the Way, the Truth, and the Life of His Son living and reigning in their lives. Godís heart delights in those who know how to persevere for those things that are of eternal worth. Take note of these next 4 verses of scripture;†† Revelation 2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (Whole Chapter: Revelation 2 In context: Revelation 2:6-8)Revelation 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it. (Whole Chapter: Revelation 2 In context: Revelation 2:16-18) Revelation 2:26 To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nationsĖ(Whole Chapter: Revelation 2 In context: Revelation 2:25-27) Revelation 3:21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Whole Chapter: Revelation 3 In context: Revelation 3:20-22)

Have you ever noticed how easy it is just to go along with the flow rather than against it? Sure it is, but there is a joy waiting those who are learning how to press in against the flow near to the heart of God. Why is it when we hear music, many times it becomes stuck in our heads, probably because the language of heaven will be music? And it seems that everything God has made, satan has made its counterfeit. There are those who donít believe that some music is inspired by satan while other music is inspired by God.God is the one Who has made all things beautiful and pure and weíre the ones who have taken those blessed gifts and corrupted them. Just like sexual intimacy within marriage, satan lies to us that sexual intimacy is beautiful outside of marriage as well and it is not. Satan lies to us that music any music is good and it is not. Just as there is a spirit within anything that is done or said, so there is with music. Rhythm and the words of a song should be like a picture and itís frame. They say a bad frame is one that draws your attention to it rather than the picture. I believe music that draws your attention to the beat or the rhythm rather than to the words is just like a bad picture frame. If your spirit is not hearing the words of a praise or a worship song and is being lifted up in adoration to Who God is and What He has done, in my opinion itís wasted air. Of course there are songs that are not meant to be songs of praise and worship and those are not the ones Iím talking about. But I am talking about those songs that are meant to be songs of praise and adoration and instead of the person of Christ being the One magnified, the beat or the rhythm of the song is. Even if what overcomes you during a worship service is the volume of the music rather than the message of the song being Who Christ Is, than that too I believe to be wasted air. I believe every single thing we do has a right and a wrong way to go about it and our heartís drive should be to do all things unto His Glory, Honor, and Praise; Romans 14:7-9 7For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

I feel that what is going to be sad in heaven will be those who just did the bare minimum to inherit eternal life (1Co 3:15  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.) rather than those who once they were saved, filled their rewards in glory with much love and service to Christ. We need to listen to Godís Word as spoken to us in Romans 12:2 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. Many of Godís people will rob themselves of much reward in glory by only doing the good will of God and not His perfect will.

 

May our Lord ever teach us how to stretch for excellence in our service to Him, in the music we choose to listen to, in the thoughts we choose to entertain, in the habits we choose to do. All things will be brought to account and everything will have a measure of worth attached to it. It seems that the more intently we focus on anything, the clearer it becomes and the more blurry those other things around it. We as Godís people need to kick up the intensity of our heartís fire for Him so that more Grace and Power to live for Him will be ours and less attention will be given to the many lies of hell that continually try to rob us of the riches God desires to lavish upon us.

Heavenly Father, ever teach us how to intensify our focus on You that Jesus may be lifted ever higher in our lives. In Jesus Glorious Name, Amen,

 

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