Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0196
STAY FOCUSSED ON JESUS!
The Christian life is all about a personal, living relationship with Jesus Christ. He is risen from the dead and is alive today to meet with us and to lead and guide us in the way He has chosen for us.
This is the most wonderful ongoing experience we can have this side of eternity.
Jesus came to be Lord of our lives ~ not to fit-in with our plans and busy day-to-day living. When Jesus is Lord then life is very different than our trying to live it in our own strength.
The Bible is full of many warnings to those who have received Jesus Christ into their lives that we do notstray away from the truth that is in Jesus. Christianity is a simple walk with Jesus. Let us not make it complicated for ourselves ~ or others by adding a list of “do’s and don’ts” that bring people under the law and into bondage. Consider this: “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity (and purity) that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). We are warned that, having come to know Jesus in reality, that we do not get led astray by the world, the flesh and the devil (1 John 2:15-17). In Galatians we are warned: “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him Who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert (“distort”) the Gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed (“a thing devoted to destruction or given up to the curse” – Bullinger’s; excommunicated” – Strong’s). As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-10).
These verses show us how vulnerable we can be, even though we have experienced a personal and real relationship with Jesus. The Parable of the Sower reveals that, after experiencing the reality of God, that we can be led astray ~ or a life not fully committed to Jesus can cause “the thorns of life” (which are “the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches”) to choke us, and we become unfruitful; we lose what we have gained through giving our lives to Jesus Christ if we are not fully committed to Jesus (see Matthew 13:1-23; Luke 8:4-15). Luke 8:14 declares: “Now the ones that are among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked (“to suffocate by crowding” – Bullinger’s) with cares, riches, and pleasures (“sensual pleasures, pleasures or lusts of the flesh” – Bullinger’s) of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.”
If these problems were real in the early Church days, and they were, then how much more should we guard ourselves today?
We must at all times keep our focus on Jesus!
There are so many conflicting voices and views in life, and we need to know that there is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ His Son (Acts 4:12). Let us encourage one another to keep our relationship with Jesus fresh and real. He loves us and wants the very best for us. But it has to happen according to His will for us, and not how we think it should happen.
When we lose that personal relationship with Jesus, then we slip into a religious mind-set that robs us of the abundant life that Jesus came to give us (John 10:10). Religiosity kills the power of God and locks us into forms and ceremonies, traditions, etc. And the world is full of it. Let me remind you that the world is not anti-religious, it is anti-Christ.
Scripture truth must take precedent over books, meetings, men’s teachings, opinions, etc. If we do not know the Scriptures, then we are opening ourselves up to deception and being led astray from Jesus Christ.
These warnings keep being told us throughout the Bible.
We must heed what it is saying.
God has placed them there to show us how vulnerable we can be if we do not listen to the voice of Jesus and follow Him.
He is the only Way, the only Truth, the only Life, and the only way to the Father (John 14:6).
To stay focussed on Jesus means we need a daily relationship with Him. He should be our first love, which means He takes priority in our lives. When we truly love someone we desire to be with them as much as we can. We demonstrate our love for Jesus by spending time daily in prayer and in the reading/searching of His Word the Scriptures. Jesus is the Best Friend we can ever have. Let us appreciate Him more and more by a daily devotion to Him. Do not allow other people or things to hinder you from developing that love relationship with Jesus. He holds all the keys to your life and future.
Let us not forget that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and is alive today ~ right NOW! ~ to show Himself strong on our behalf.
A genuine and real love relationship with Him will enable us to keep our focus on Him, and to receive all the benefits of that which He came into this world to provide for us.
May we all demonstrate our love to Jesus by drawing closer to Him today.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:7).
God’s richest blessings be yours as you draw closer to Him today. ~ Rodney W. Francis.
Prayer: “Dear Lord, I come to You in that Name which is above every other name, the name of Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God. I ask You to help me to live according to Your word and to demonstrate by my life and actions that You are truly the Lord of my life. Help me to show by my actions that You are truly the Lord and Master of my daily life. I love You, Lord, and I desire to serve You more and more with every passing day. Help me to walk in simplicity of life-style, always seeking to glorify You. I pray this in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”