8/26/2020 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –

Every year, tens of thousands of people are approached by “Focus Groups” to share their opinions about products, politicians, religion, and other topics, by participating in market research studies. These groups are not only used as a means to gather the opinions of the group members, but also to spread an idea (it can either be fact or fiction) across society with the help of the group members.

I heard this week that 68% of Biden voters are voting for him (or anyone else for that matter) just to get Trump out of office. If you watched the DNC convention last week or if you watch the RNC convention this week, when the politicians keep repeating the same points (often with the exact same words), you know that a focus group has told them that these points will resonate with their constituency. Much of what we buy, think, and how we act is often driven by the results of these focus groups.

We know that VP Joe Biden is focused on being president; why else would he run 3 times for this office? Watch President Trump at his news conferences and it is easy to see that his focus is having another 4 years in office. As people look at your life, have you ever considered what they would say has the obvious attention of your focus?

Where you and I place our focus will determine how we live. Our focus is at the heart of our spiritual life, so our focus will also affect how we will minister. When our focus (not just passing thoughts about God or a 5 minute quiet time with Him) is on God, it changes everything about us. How we live, what we think, how we respond, what is important and not important is determined by our focus.

An example of how our focus affects one’s spiritual life is seen in Acts 17. Paul & Silas are in Thessalonica teaching God’s word, but because of the riots caused by the Jewish leaders, we find them in hiding for their life. So when the Jewish leaders were unable to find Paul and Silas, the rioters decided that they would have to be content with dragging Jason and a few of his Christian friends before the city authorities.

We have no other information on Jason except what Luke writes about him…

But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.”

Acts 17:6

Imagine being known for one thing: turning your world upside down for Christ. If people were to describe your life in one sentence, would it have anything to do with your life making a difference for Christ? That will totally be determined by the focus of your life.

Paul is on the run, literally for his life, so he leaves the city of Thessalonica, and goes to Berea. When he arrives in Berea, Paul heads to the synagogue and when he arrived he found a group of people studying the scriptures. Paul was so moved by their “focus” that He wrote this about them…

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Acts 17:11

These Bereans were so focused on getting truth, that they were searching the scriptures every day to make sure that what they heard was truth. And it didn’t matter who was speaking, they were even checking out the Apostle Paul!

Are you focused on truth? I hope so, because Jesus said it sets one free:

Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32

In the craziness of this world, can I encourage you to be “Focus Driven?” Do not focus on the craziness, but focus on God, focus on the fact that one day you will be with Him, and be encouraged…

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

Choose today to focus on the eternal and not the temporal, and you have no idea how God will affect “your world.” Focus on this:

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

May focusing on this thought encourage you today…