Keeping Focused On Jesus

Keeping Focused On Jesus                                                   April 10, 2022

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses (faithful witnesses mentioned in Hebrews 11) surrounding us (with their faithful examples), let us also lay aside (as they did) every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God.  For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Have you ever had an in-depth study on the life of Jesus Christ?  There was no one like Him.  He was different.  Different in the way He thought and acted with people and different in the way He felt about others.  When mistreated He did not take His own revenge but trusted His life to God who would judge all matters against Him in a righteous and just manner (I Peter2:21-25).  He was a man on a mission, God’s mission and He was determined to not allow anything to get in the way of Him accomplishing just that.  No matter what Satan put in His path He would meet it head on.  Like a charging locomotive going down the track, nothing would get in His way.

As mentioned above, Hebrews 11 contains a list of many faithful men and women whose example surrounds us and cheers us on to remain faithful regardless of what we face in life.  Like lava rushing out from an erupting volcano the faith of these people flowed when they encountered tremendous opposition and affliction because they were Godly, focused people.  They would rather live for God than live for self no matter the consequences. 

Today the key to remaining faithful to God is to keep focused on Jesus.  Never take your eyes off of Him especially when facing difficult situations.  In faith, the apostle Peter got out of the boat during a storm  on the Sea of Galilee  and began walking on the water to Jesus.  However, when he took his eyes off of Jesus and looked at the wind driven waves of the sea he became afraid and began to sink.  Jesus quickly took his hand and said to Peter, “O ye of little faith, why did you doubt” (Matthew 14:22-33)? 

What would you have been like if you were in Peter’s shoes?  Would you have said to Jesus, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water” (Matthew 14:28)?  After Peter began to sink because he saw the wind, Jesus didn’t say to him, “O ye of no faith” but rather, “O ye of little faith.”  That’s important to recognize.  Peter had enough faith to walk on water but he didn’t have enough faith to continue his walk because he took his eyes off of Jesus.  Neil Armstrong may have been the first human being to walk on the moon but Peter was the first and only human being ever to walk on water and did so during a windblown wave-tossed storm. 

Peter’s faith was incredible but to Jesus it wasn’t enough for there were going to be days ahead for Peter when he would need more faith than what was required to walk on water.  And he would never have enough faith to face those days ahead unless he learned to always keep his eyes focused on Jesus as taught in Hebrews 12:1-3.  Whatever situation Peter faced he would have to know what his Lord would do in that situation.  That holds true for all Christians today.

Whenever one reads the book of Acts they see a man of great faith; the prime speaker and defender of Christ and His church on the day it was first instituted and that man was Peter (Acts 2:1-47).  He later became an elder of the Lord’s church (I Peter 5:1-5).  Peter went from having a little faith to one having great faith and so can we when we keep our eyes focused on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.

Brian Thompson

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