Focus Requires Forgetting

Screenshot 2018-09-12 at 3.30.53 PMFocus requires Forgetting.

I want to focus.

But I find myself distracted.

There are thing that need my attention. There are things that need by best leadership and focus.

But I find myself distracted.

I want to focus on what God wants for me, what is best for my family, for the congregation I serve. I want to focus.

But I find myself distracted.

Other concerns keep intruding. Other desires keep interrupting.

So, in order to focus, I am choosing and willing myself to forget, forfeit, and let go of those things that are a distraction to God’s best for me.

Focus requires forgetting everything that isn’t the focus.

Focus

Heaven-Bound People

Screenshot 2018-09-10 at 2.15.43 PMI recently spent 5 weeks staying at a Airbnb in Bangkok.

The place was incredibly convenient. It was literally steps away from the Bangkok BTS (sky train connecting the city), surrounded by fantastic restaurants and coffee shops. It was clean and a perfect place for me to read and reflect. I absolutely loved my time there.

The place was amazing but was missing some very important things.

I am a coffee drinker. The place had no coffee maker. It can’t be just any coffee maker. I prefer to make my coffee with a french press. Speaking of french press, I like to grind my coffee beans right before I brew it in the french press because I love the way freshly ground coffee smells when it is brewing.

So imagine a conversation I might have with my wife where I might say, “Helen, I am going to get a french press and a coffee grinder for the condo. You know how important coffee is for me. It just doesn’t feel like home without it.”

Another thing. Look at that picture again. Hello?!?! There is no TV in the condo. Who doesn’t have ESPN these days?

“Helen, the place doesn’t have a TV and you know how I need my ESPN. I so I am going to get a TV for this place. And you know how I like the big screen HD TV’s. So, I’ll get one of those.”

Another thing. The place is barren. There are no pictures, no art, no plants. The place just doesn’t feel like my space. And I need it to feel like my space so I can get work done. So, I’ll invest in some art frames and pictures to make it feel more homey.

Finally, that couch has to go. Not only is it an eye-sore but it is giving me a back ache. That definitely has to be replaced.

Now, if I were to do that for a 5 week condo, wouldn’t that be silly? Wouldn’t that be a royal waste of resources? That would just be plain ol’ stupid.

Why? Because, the 5 week condo is not my home. Why would I invest in a condo that I am renting?

I wonder if God ever looks at us and says, “You do realize this isn’t your home. You do know that you’re only passing through here. You do know that you were created for eternity. Why are you acting as if this is your home?”

If heaven is for real, if God is for real, if Jesus is for real…it changes everything. This single reality changes our values, priorities, investments, and how we steward everything God entrusts to us.

So friends. You do know that we are only passing through, right?

Do People Go to Hell Anymore?

Screenshot 2018-09-06 at 1.50.23 PMHeaven.

It’s great! It’s, in fact, heavenly!

Everyone loves heaven. And the way most people speak about loved ones who die, everyone goes to heaven. Going to heaven has nothing to do with God, with Jesus, with the cross. As long as we deem a person to be a good person, they’re going to heaven from which they smile down upon us.

Christian! You know this is not how it works.

Right?

Jesus made it crystal clear, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

The scriptures are crystal clear, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

The reason Jesus came to take on human form was to die for our sins that those who believe in him will not perish in hell but be transferred into the kingdom of heaven.

Here’s news…People are going to hell.

That’s the Biblical truth.

Even the church is afraid to claim this. Perhaps this is why our passion for preaching and proclaiming Jesus is so weak and pathetic.

How can we not take the words of Jesus and the words of God seriously? Jesus is the only pathway to salvation and life. Without Jesus, people go to hell. There is no other explanation for the cross. If we take hell out of the equation, then there is no need for the church, the gospel, a Savior.

People are going to hell without Jesus. But this is not the end of the story!!!

The church gets to share in the incredible ministry of proclaiming and telling the world about what God has done for us in Jesus Christ! No one need to go to hell. Jesus has paved the way for every person to receive eternal life.

That is incredible news! That is good news! That is gospel.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16)