This is a season with brand new expectations of God’s grace abounding over every area of our lives as believer in Jesus Christ. Let us be still in His presence and take notice that the great I am is amongst us. M.T.
Dr. Billy Graham said, “Only the forward-looking Christian remains sincerely optimistic and joyful, knowing that Christ will win in the end.” Is your focus on the problems of this world, or the eternal joy that is to come? If you find yourself focusing on negatives, redirect your thoughts to Jesus and the promise of heaven. For this purpose, we decided that our theme for Hope 1 Ministries in this season is the word “Focus.” According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, the word focus is a point of concentration and directed attention. Dr A. R Bernard said that, “Focus is confidence beyond the shadow of a doubt that you can do whatever you set your mind to do. In Luke 9:51 our foundational text for 2019, we see Jesus as one who was steadfast and focused on his journey to Jerusalem to face the most important and yet the most challenging time of His life. In fact, the Weymouth translation states “Now when the time drew near for Him to be received up again into Heaven. He proceeded with fixed purpose towards Jerusalem, and sent messengers before Him”(Luke9:51).
Consequently, we too must proceed with fixed purpose and set our mind as Jesus did with determination to finish the course that has been set before us. In Hebrews 12:1-2, the author encourages the believers through scripture to run the race with endurance. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
As Nelson Mandela said, “Running taught me valuable lessons. In cross-country competition, training counted more than intrinsic ability, and I could compensate for a lack of natural aptitude with diligence and discipline. I applied this in everything I did.” Equally important, let us be challenged to take hold of discipline and diligence in order to remain as focused as Jesus was to fulfill His purpose and finish His course. First, ’let us of strip off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive” (Hebrews 12:1,2). Secondly, we will have to focus on “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, we press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Phil3:13). Thirdly “Let us be the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Afterward, may we find ourselves focused on discovering and pursuing God’s purpose and plan for lives. Hebrews 10:20-21 (NLT) says: “May he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him.” Even now, God is equipping you with talents, knowledge, skills and experiences to do his will here on earth”. In summary, as the year progresses my prayer is that we move out of a place of apathy and neutrality. And a sense of lack of robust engagement and tolerance for tolerance sake into people who do more than think about it. We need people who have lively faith on fire for the kingdom of God, people who will mobilize into a world who is waiting for us. That we are not afraid to engage in a culture unlike ours and see Jesus exalted in the earth. May we find ourselves immersed in the things of God and become more and more like Jesus in our everyday lives! Let us not be a spectator Christian, exercise your faith to share Jesus and be a light to the world everywhere!
Whether, you are leading a small group bible study or community outreach event, preparing a meal for a new neighbor to welcome them into the community or visiting an elderly person in a nursing home. Simply, choose not to be a couch potato and sit on the pew another year and do nothing. And take it a step further have others to hold you accountable to join you as you exercise your faith this year to become something more than yo previously were. As we make this critical decision to invest in the lives of others keep this in mind. There are various opportunities that awaits us to help us be effective witnesses for the kingdom! For this is the heart beat of the Lord, and that is to see this in-time harvest of souls come marching into the Kingdom of God! We are all call to do something whether big or small no matter the size. We have to choose to be a light in a world where darkness prevails and allow our lights to shine everywhere! In closing, I leave you with this incredible quote from A. W. Tozer “Refuse to be average. Let your heart soar as high as it will.”
Grace & Peace,
Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. –1 Corinthians 1:3