Our focus plays a big part in the things we do and say, how we think and feel... Focus covers our behaviour...
We need to be focused on the Lord Jesus Christ and looking at the world through his eyes...
We live in a fallen, sin-cursed world yet there is so much beauty around us. We see the beauty in the sky, the forests, the rivers, streams, lakes, etc. God still left his fingerprints on his work in the world today even though the world is getting worse, and worse as time goes on.
Even in mankind, those created in the image of God, the ones who started the problem, have retained much of his God attributes that is still makes life worth living here since the world hasn't gone completely off the deep-end yet. That will be happening in the tribulation period... Nothing will hold back Satan and his minions to do their worst and then pay day comes.
I Chron. 16:8-12
8 Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.
9 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.
10 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
11 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.
12 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;
The bible tells us to give thanks to the Lord. We are to call upon his name as we see in Jer. 33:3, which is God's phone number... We are to sing unto him, and that means even me..." Talk of all his wonderous works...
"Glory ye in his holy name..." If we must "glory", "brag, boast, magnify" then let it be in his holy name... "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.", etc... Within our inner man, we will rejoice as we walk in the Spirit...
A few weeks ago, I was talking about "praying without ceasing." Now we see that we are to "seek his face continually." The same answer applies, we seek his face continually in the same way that we pray without ceasing. We walk in the Spirit in whatever we are doing... As we do that, we are obeying these commands.
Let's tie another verse with this one..
1 A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Once again. we see that we are to come to the Lord with praise and singing, serving him with gladness... He is the answer to this life and the one to come...
Notice, "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving..." I mentioned the need of thanksgiving before when I was talking about prayer and thanksgiving...
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
We will not be full of care, worrying about other things if we are in prayer about those things with thanksgiving, knowing God is in control...
"18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."
Our main focus in groaning should be a desire to escape this body of death that we live in, we have been delivered and long to see our bodies redeemed, set free as a son of God...
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
To have a body like the Lord Jesus Christ, not subject to death or pain, aging or any other negative thing...
I Cor. 15:22-26
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
We also saw in Rom. 8 (above) that all of creation (nature, animals, whatever else) has been affected by the fall. Your body wants to be set free from its bondage like your spirit has been set free, like your soul is being set free. The body wants to be set free from death and the things that come before death such as aging with its benefits like hair loss, weakness, tiredness, maybe even plumbness... Being subject to depression, distress, anget, hatred... Remember the body acts those things out...
I John 3:2,3
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
The blessed hope is to see him, to be with him and to be as he is- uncorruptible.
I John 4:16-21
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19 We love him, because he first loved us.
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
We see the same principle here... To dwell in the love of God is to dwell in God, hence, being perfect...
And as we are doing this, the fear falls to the wayside, it can't stay when we are moving in the love of God.
Remember when I was talking about moving in the love of God is fulfilling the law completely.
For example, the golden rule,
"12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."
"35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Ah yes--The love of God, we need to submit to him, look to him, study him by studying his word, feed on him, live him.. The law and the prophets are summed up in walking in his love...
II Cor. 5:17-21
"17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
The Lord left us here after he saved us for a purpose and that purpose is to reach the world for his glory...
I Cor. 12:27 says,
"27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."
He works through us, we are the body of Christ now. When he walked this earth, he walked in a perfect body but now he walks in an imperfect body, his people, those born of his Spirit, washed in his blood..
We need to act like we believe it... What the world is going to see of Jesus Christ is what they are going to see in us...
"3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."
The guy on the front of the bulletin has his focus correct, he is considering the Lord Jesus Christ and the things that he went through for us to set us free from sin...
WATCH THESE LAST TWO VERSES...
Acts 1:8 says,
"8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
We are to walk in that power by walking in faith, believing the Lord Jesus Christ...
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