We've spent the last 8 weeks in a sermon series called "Focused". Our vision behind this series was to enter into a season where we intentionally regained our focus on who Jesus is and who He has called us to be as a church. We spent these weeks studying the character of Jesus, the Holy Spirit and His gifts, discipleship and evangelism. It has been a powerful time!
When we focus on Jesus, transformation in our lives and the lives of those around us is inevitable. We desire to look like Jesus and in order to do that, we must set our eyes on Him by spending time with Him and learning about who He is in His Word. Spending time with Jesus leads to intimacy with Him which in turn allows us to experience abundant life. He is inviting us to take a risk and join Him in the greatest adventure of all time. Yes, there is a cost to following Jesus, as we see in Matthew 16:24-25, but the joy of life with Jesus is worth every sacrifice.
Focusing on Jesus also brings freedom in our lives and allows us to see His purposes for us. In any area that we are struggling, as we set our eyes on Jesus, we will receive power to overcome those areas of weakness. Sometimes life can feel chaotic and unclear, but when we are looking to Jesus, all that is unclear becomes clear.
One of the most powerful illustrations in this sermon series was one you may remember. Jake started with an empty jar and filled it up with little rocks, then filled it with big rocks. When he did this the big rocks weren't able to fit in the jar and were sticking out the top. But when he placed the big rocks in the empty jar first and then poured in all the little rocks, everything fit. In this illustration, the little rocks represent all of the things that can easily fill our time and energy: work responsibilities, to-do lists, entertainment, school, etc... If we put these things first, we won't be able to fit the big rocks: Jesus, the church, and the things Jesus is calling us to do in our lives. But if the big rocks come first, all of the little ones will find their place. That is what it looks like to live a focused life. Jesus Himself lived a focused life. He was concerned with completing the task that God had given Him (John 17:4) and He was able to do that by keeping the right focus. In our lives, if we don't start first with Jesus, everything else will get out of line. As we first say "yes" to Jesus, the church, and the things that Jesus calls us to do, everything else will fall in the right place.
It is so encouraging when people share with us ways they have been impacted by the current sermon series. One man in our church shared that after hearing the illustration about the rocks, he began to view his life differently and put things in the right order. Specifically, he saw that in his life he had been putting some things at work first, but that day he decided to change his focus. He was looked down upon and even ridiculed by some of his co-workers for his decision to rearrange his priorities, but he said: "the peace and joy that I experienced with my family and my wife have been some of the best moments of my life." Amen! It's so encouraging to see the transformation that can happen when we focus first on Jesus and what He calls us to.
We hope you were challenged and encouraged by this sermon series. If you missed any of the sermons, check them out here! Our prayer is that as a church we can continue to focus on Jesus by daily saying yes to Him.