Keep Focused

Weekend Series: Promises, Promises

DreamTeam Writer: Karen Peck

Friday, March 3, 2023

Everything happens for a reason.

Last weekend, Pastor Andy unashamedly shared two personal incidents/accidents with power tools that many would never reveal to another soul. Well, at least, I most likely wouldn’t. Truth? I may be too vain to reveal the details of my REALLY questionable—dare I say stupid—decisions. Who among us hasn’t done the same?

In spite of my well-over-60 years of striving for perfectionism—guess what? I have yet to achieve it. Knowing without a doubt I will never achieve perfection has certainly not kept me from painstakingly striving to achieve that impractical goal. It appears that, long ago, I believed the cliché, “Practice makes perfect.” But my years of wisdom have made me realize that even with practice, no one makes “perfect” decisions all the time, nor can anyone do things “perfectly” all the time. Everyone knows that, right?

I am grateful to have reached a place in my life where I know spiritual maturation is a process and striving for perfection is unrealistic. Maturation is not one giant step. It may include taking a giant step away from a habit, hurt, or hang-up or a giant step into realistic spiritual disciplines, but it will definitely take more than one step. Maturation requires taking deliberate steps in the right direction and owning up to missteps when they occur. For me, a follower of Christ, the right direction is to focus on Jesus, only Jesus, every day.

Hebrews 12:2
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Like the Old Testament heroes referenced in Hebrews 11, it is possible to live by faith. The heroes who are displayed in the “Hall of Faith” didn’t attain great faith overnight. They didn’t take one giant step into faith. Nor do any of us. It is through daily living and daily decisions that faith grows. Where our focus is and where our focus remains is an indicator of whether we possess real faith.

The most difficult times I have faced in life have been when I failed to keep my focus on Jesus. When I spend too much time focusing on my problems and attempting to resolve life’s biggest struggles under my own power, my faith shrinks and doubt races in. The best antidote to shrinking faith and doubt is to focus on Jesus and his promises daily.

Lean into the ultimate promise of God and this week’s bottom line: God will make right what is not all right!

Have any clichés left you with a feeling of betrayal? What are the overused phrases in your life that have failed to deliver the genuine hope needed to face another day? Who are the people on your life path who are best able to offer you guidance?

Next Steps:
Align yourself with other Christ followers facing the daily struggles of life. Replace the misspoken/misrepresented clichés with the promises of God. Text “promises” to 419-419-0707 to receive the one-time resource on the promises of God.

Participate in GrowthTrack and discover God’s purpose in your life. Read about the meaning of perfection in the Bible to gain a healthy freedom from defects and faults.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the many promises offered in your word. Grant me the courage and strength necessary to carefully examine myself in the light of your holy Word. Bring me clarity to root out any deeply ingrained falsehoods and replace them with the hope available in you and your written Word. God, help me arrange (and rearrange) the personal relationships in my life to encourage godly interactions that are best able to combat the evil in this world. Guide me in replacing any stinkin’ thinkin’ with wholesome thinking based on the promises of Jesus and his followers. Thank you for the great love you offer. Thank you for loving me as I am and for loving me too much to leave me in my current brokenness. I am grateful I can trust you in all things at all times, to bring healing and wholeness to my broken soul. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.

Series Theme Verse:

2 Peter 1:4
And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

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