Living Free - September 13, 2016

The Right Focus

Today's Scripture

"But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

Hopeful passion excites and motivates us to live a vibrant life no matter what our circumstances. The object of our focus in life can make all the difference. Yesterday's scripture (Philippians 4:8-9) exhorted us to focus on the positives.

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8 NLT)

Today's scripture says to focus on the Lord. Focus on Jesus. His love. His power. His strength. His peace. His joy. His plan for us.

Consider this …

Jesus said this: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 NASB). These words show us the source of hopeless passion (the thief, Satan) and the source of hopeful passion and abundant life (Jesus). Hopeful passion is God-motivated and God-centered.

Hopeful passion sometimes includes suffering. However, it is suffering with a purpose. Paul, a man whose passion to share Christ was seemingly inexhaustible, experienced much suffering. However, he considered the suffering a privilege. "For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him" (Philippians 1:29).

Hopeful passion motivates us to focus on accomplishing our God-given purpose. It prevents us from being controlled by our emotions or allowing circumstances to overwhelm us and detour us from the life God wants us to live.

And, of course, Jesus is our greatest example. No matter the circumstances or how Jesus felt, his passion for the mission of the cross was never deterred or extinguished. He focused on his Father and the mission his Father had given him.

Is your focus on circumstances? On what you are feeling? Or is it on Jesus? Only in him will you find abundant life filled with passion and abounding in hope.

Prayer

Father, when my focus drifts to circumstances, fear, anxiety, worry, or anything negative, help me refocus on Jesus. In his name . . .

These thoughts were drawn from . . .

Where is the Image of God in You? by Brad Rymer. The purpose of this study is for us to see how some of the different character traits we have can be used in constructive rather than destructive ways in our lives and relationships so that we are operating more and more in the image of God according to the way He created us. Also, this study can help us better understand others as we build godly relationships. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.  

 

 

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