Faithlife Sermons

Focus

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 42 views
Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Scripture

Hebrews 12:1–3 NIV
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Introduction

Today, I want to encourage and speak to you on the subject “Focus.”
Have you ever been walking somewhere while you were focused at looking at your phone, at someone, or at something else and ended up tripping over something because you were not focused on where you were going?
Have you ever been walking somewhere while you were focused at looking at your phone, at someone, or at something else and ended up tripping over something because you were not focused on where you were going?
Where you are walking is your purpose.
Your phone, that someone or something else is the distraction.
And tripping over something is the result of you allowing the distractions to take your eyes off your purpose.
Inside this race called life, where we are running to is Jesus, what we spend most of our time thinking about or looking at is our distractions, and the truth is that many of us find ourselves tripping over a lot of things in life because we allow the distractions of life to take our eyes off the One who gave us life.
The truth is that many of us find ourselves tripping over a lot of things in life because we allow the distractions of life to take our eyes off the One who gave us life.
We trip over not getting our way.
We trip over people who talk to us the wrong way.
We trip over friends that betray us.
We trip over daddy not showing up to your basketball game.
We trip over momma working too much and feeling neglected.
We trip over feeling unloved and unwanted.
We trip over feeling overwhelmed with school, church, activities and life.
We trip over feeling insecure about the way we look on the outside.
We trip over feeling lonely and unhappy.
We trip over feeling like an outcasts because nobody wants to be your friend.
We trip because we have allowed the distractions of this life to take our focus off the One who gave us life.
And so instead of tripping over not getting your way, Jesus says “I am the way, the truth and the life.”
Instead of tripping over feeling unloved and unwanted, Jesus says “I love you and I want you to be my daughter and my son.”
Instead of tripping over feeling overwhelmed with school and life, Jesus says “Cast all your cares on me.”
Instead of tripping over how ugly you THINK you are, Jesus says “you are fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Instead of tripping over not having any friends, Jesus says “I’ll be your friend.”
We trip because we have allowed the distractions of this life to take our focus off the One who gave us life.
Let Go
And so today we are going to try to see how we can place our focus on Jesus.
In our passage, the author describes life as a race. And he says while we are running this race called life, we are to run the race that is marked out for us. In other words, all of us is running a race, but the question is are you running the race that is marked out for you? Everybody is living a life, but the question is are you living the life that God intended for you to live? And if you are not living the life that God intended for you to live, then you’re not really living, you’re just wasting time. How many of you like wasting time?
Well if you don’t want to waste time running a race that is not marked out for you, if you don;t want to live a life that is not marked out for you there is a couple things you need to do.

1) Run With a Particular Focus

First, when you run this particular race called life, you need to run with a particular focus. The passage says that when we run this race called life we ought to run with our eyes on Jesus. In other words, the point is to not just run, but the point is to run with a particular focus. Every day you wake up, you continue to run the race called life.
The reason why it sometimes become difficult to run this Christian race is because we are trying to focus on Jesus and everything too. Let me tell you a story
There was a master archer who was teaching his student the art of archery (bow and arrow). So he took them to a forest and he got a wooden bird and placed it as the target and asked them to aim at the eye of the bird. The first student was asked to describe what he saw. He said enthusiastically, "I see the trees, the branches, the leaves, the sky, the bird and its eye.." The master archer told this student to wait. Then he asked the second student the same question and he replied, "I only see the eye of the bird." The master archer said, "Very good, then shoot." The arrow went straight and hit the eye of the bird.
The truth is it’s hard for many of us to hit our targets.
It’s hard for many of us to walk in our purpose.
It’s hard for many of us to become more like Jesus because we are trying to focus on Jesus and every thing else.
You run to school.
You run to school.
You run to do extra-curricular activities.
You run to do homework.
You run to girl scouts.
You run to basketball practice.
You run to hang out with your friends.
You run. You run. You run.
But in all of your running, the question is are you running with your eyes fixed on Jesus.
And if not, you have to ask yourself what are you running for?
Because unless you begin to focus your eyes on Jesus, running this race we call life becomes pointless.
Can you imagine running a race with no finish line, playing basketball with no hoops, playing football with no in-zone, playing baseball with no home plate, or playing soccer with no goal?
That’s exactly what life looks like without Jesus in our lives.
It’s the finish line that gives purpose to the race. Without the finish line, the race becomes meaningless. Jesus is our finish line, which means he is the one that gives purpose to this race we call life. Without Jesus life becomes meaningless.

2) Run With a Fixed Focus

Not only should we run with a particular focus, but we should run with a fixed focus.
The author says we should fix our eyes on Jesus. And when you fix your eyes on something, that means you direct your eyes, all of your attention, and all of your mind steadily or unwaveringly toward whatever that something is. In the case of life, it’s Jesus. It means that you are not focused on anything else anything else but Jesus.
In the original language, when the writer of Hebrews says we should look at Jesus, he is literally saying we should “fix our eyes on” Jesus. And when you fix your eyes on something, that means you direct your eyes, all of your attention, and all of your mind steadily or unwaveringly toward Jesus. In other words, you are not focused on anything else but Jesus.
The reason why it sometimes difficult to run this Christian race is because we are trying to focus on Jesus and everything else too. Let me tell you a story...
There was a master archer who was teaching his student the art of archery (bow and arrow). So he took them to a forest and he got a wooden bird and placed it as the target and asked them to aim at the eye of the bird. The first student was asked to describe what he saw. He said enthusiastically, "I see the trees, the branches, the leaves, the sky, the bird and its eye.." The master archer told this student to wait. Then he asked the second student the same question and he replied, "I only see the eye of the bird." The master archer said, "Very good, then shoot." The arrow went straight and hit the eye of the bird.
The truth is it’s hard for many of us to hit our targets.
It’s hard for many of us to walk in our purpose.
It’s hard for many of us to become more like Jesus because we are trying to focus on Jesus and every thing else.
I’m trying to focus on Jesus and how to be the best basketball player.
I’m trying to focus on Jesus and how to be the best student.
I’m trying to focus on Jesus and getting the most likes on social media.
And there is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best player on the team. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best student in the class. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be liked. But when the focus of being the best player on the team becomes centered around you and not Christ you will find it difficult to stay in the race that God has marked out for you.
And when you are

3) Run Without Hindrances

And when we have a fixed focus on Jesus, the text says we ought to remember how he endured the cross

3) Run Without Hindrances

I’m trying to focus on school

1) Let Go of Weights

As such, is our passage.

1) Let Go of Weights

Not only should we need to run with a particular focus, and not only do we need to run with a fixed focus, but we need to run without hindrances. A hindrance is anything that keeps you from doing something. The passage says that if we are going to run, that we must lay aside (or let go of) anything that hinders (other translations say “let go of every weight”) and the sin that so easily entangles.
Can you picture yourself trying to run a race with a hundred pound weight attached to your ankle or with your feet tied together? That’s exactly how sin operates when you allow it to stay in your life.
You see Jesus, and you want to get closer to Jesus, but you can’t run towards Jesus because there is a weight that’s hindering you from getting to Jesus.
And the truth is that we all have some weights that we need let go of so that we can get closer to God.
There are some friends we need to let go of.
There are some attitudes we need to let go of.
There are some nasty habits we need to let go of.
There are some thoughts we need to let go of.
There is some sin we need to let go of.
There are some weights in our lives that we need to let go if we want to get closer to Jesus.
But sometimes we try to run towards Jesus while we are still attached to the weights. And we are running to Jesus still attached to weights, not because we want Jesus to free us from the weights, but because deep down we don’t want to let go of the weights. And what happens when you are trying to focus on Jesus while you are still attached to weights and sin is that you do things that is suppose to get you closer to Jesus, but nothing about you will change.
What happens when you are trying to focus on Jesus, but there are weights and sin in your life. I’m going to Bible Study, but nothing is changing. I’m going to Sunday School, but nothing is chnaging. I’m a youth usher, but nothing is chnaging. I sing in the choir, but nothin is changing. I pray, but nothing is changing.
I go to Youth Bible Study every Wednesday, but nothing is changing.
I go to church every Sunday, but nothing about me is changing.
I go to Sunday School, but nothing about me is changing.
I serve as a Youth Usher, but nothing about me is changing.
I sing in the Youth Choir, but nothing about me is changing.
I pray, but nothing is changing.
If we want to get closer to Jesus, then we must let go of the weights.

4) Run With a Team

Cling - Comes from a Greek word meaning in control of or skillfully encircling on all sides to attack or inhibit action
Cling - Comes from a Greek word meaning in control of or skillfully encircling on all sides to attack or inhibit action
Identify what the weight and sin is in your life.
Lastly, not only should we run with a particular focus, not only do we need to run with a fixed focus, and not only do we need to run without hindrances, but we need to run with a team.
In verse 1, the passage says “Therefore, since we are SURROUNDED by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off anything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run the race...” That great cloud of witnesses is referring to the long list of people who had BIG faith in Jesus. So when the passage says we are surrounded by by such a great cloud of witnesses, it’s saying since we are surrounded by people of faith.
5) Run With a Team
Focus on Jesus
Who is surrounding you as you run towards Jesus? Who do you have on your team? It’s going to be hard for you stay focused on Jesus if you are surrounded by everyone else but people of faith. And I want you to know that part of your team are people in this room. The people you are sitting next to is a part of your team. The adults over at the church is a part of your team. Paige and I is a part of your team.
And not only do you have people that is on your team, but you have Jesus on your team. The passage says that in this race, we ought to fix our eyes on Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith. That means that he is not only the one that gave you life, he is not only the one who is the focus of life, but he is the one, even when nobody else will, that will help you live life.
Today I encourage you to make this commitment: That from this day forward I will fix my eyes on Jesus and get rid of every distraction that takes my eyes off of him.
The reason why it sometimes become difficult to run this Christian race is because we are trying to focus on Jesus and everything too. Let me tell you a story
There was a master archer who was teaching his student the art of archery (bow and arrow). So he took them to a forest and he got a wooden bird and placed it as the target and asked them to aim at the eye of the bird. The first student was asked to describe what he saw. He said enthusiastically, "I see the trees, the branches, the leaves, the sky, the bird and its eye.." The master archer told this student to wait. Then he asked the second student the same question and he replied, "I only see the eye of the bird." The master archer said, "Very good, then shoot." The arrow went straight and hit the eye of the bird.
You run to school.
You run to do extra-curricular activities.
You run to do homework.
You run to girl scouts.
You run to basketball practice.
The truth is it’s hard for many of us to hit our targets.
You run. You run. You run.
But in all of your running, the question is are you running with your eyes fixed on Jesus.
It’s hard for many of us to walk in our purpose.
And if not, what are you running for?
It’s hard for many of us to become more like Jesus because we are trying to focus on Jesus and every thing else.
Unless you fix your eyes on Jesus, running this race we call life becomes pointless.

5) Run with endurance

Don’t run with just any type of endurance but run with the same type of endurance Jesus had on the cross.
2)When you get tired of running, remember the cross
2) Let Go of the Things That Are Controlling You
Cling - Comes from a Greek word meaning in control of or skillfully encircling on all sides to attack or inhibit action
Identify what the weight and sin is in your life.
Unless we focus, we cannot achieve our goal. It is hard to focus and concentrate, but it is a skill that can be learned.
Related Media
Related Sermons