Laser Focused

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To follow after Jesus isn’t easy. It requires a laser-sharp focus.

“From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.  Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Matthew 16:21

I learned something fascinating this week.  Did you know that it is impossible to multi-task?  True story, the human brain cannot multi-task. Now, I know there are people thinking, just like I did – “No! I am a ‘multi-tasker!’” In reality, you’ve just become proficient at the art of shifting your thinking from one thing to the next rapidly.

Jesus understood from the very beginning the human brain cannot multi-task.  In fact, if you think back, He said, “No one can serve both God and money. You’ll love the one and hate the other. You’ll be devoted to the one and you’ll despise the other.” Jesus taught over and over again the beauty of a simple, focused life on loving God and following Him. Not only did He teach that, He lived that. Think about it. Jesus was always locked on to the heart of His Father. But we get so distracted so easy. And sometimes, we hear what God has to say and we respond, but a lot of times, we only hear what we want to hear, or even hear things we don’t want to hear. And when that happens, we move on. We stop listening. We shift our thinking to the next “thing.”

We get set on the things of God for just a minute and then we think about things like, “Well I’ve got to eat and I’ve got to know what to wear and I’ve got to do all these things.”  Jesus said, “If you’ll set your mind on Me, things are just going to work themselves out.  The Bible is full of significant promises that tells us to what is counter intuitive and lock on to Jesus. Proverbs 3:5-6, tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make
straight your paths.”

You know, the Bible doesn’t tell us how to set our minds on things of God. It just says to do it. But here is the deal. You really don’t need help figuring out how to set your mind on something. You’re pretty good at it and so am I.  For instance, nobody told you today, like, “Hey, when it gets near lunch, start thinking about lunch.” We’re pretty good about setting our mind on things. We can set our minds on work. We can set our mind on guys and girls. We can set our minds on where we want to go on vacation. We can set our minds on all kinds of things. But, the Bible tells us, instead of doing all that, why don’t you just set your mind on God?  Let Him be the frame by which everything else you have in your life is built upon.

This morning, I thought about a beautiful, old song. I heard it for the first time when I was in college working on my undergrad studies, and I just kind of fell in love with it then. The song is “I’d Rather Have Jesus.”  Rhea F. Miller wrote the words and the tune was written by George Beverly Shea. She left the words on a piano in the Shea home, who wanted her son to find it and change the course of his life. And it did. This hymn is about dedication and commitment. To follow after Jesus isn’t easy.  It requires, not multi-tasking, but sharp, laser focus. And an abiding love for Him.

I’d rather have Jesus than anything. 

I’d rather have Jesus than riches or gold 

I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands

I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand. 

I’d rather have Jesus than anything. What about you?


Taken from sermon preached by Thomas Nelson, Teaching Pastor, JFBC

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