Where isYour Focus?

May 26, 2015

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

Where isYour Focus?

There is an old song that goes, “Set your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will go strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” I believe this is what this scripture is, in effect, telling us to do. The attitude of a Christ-minded person is going to be focused on the things above and not on the things of this earth.
Our heart is to be honest and forthright in our dealings with others, because the Holy Spirit is honest with us in love as He deals with us. Our heart is to see justice, to uphold a righteous standard and integrity, judging and discerning all things out of the mind of Christ and not our flesh or earthly perspective. Our focus is on purity, putting away all defilement of flesh and spirit. In every area of our life we want to line up with God’s standard of holiness. This isn’t self-righteousness or an attitude of being more spiritual than everyone else is it is simply a mindset that runs everything we do through the purifying filter of the Holy Spirit. “What would Jesus do?” What is the attitude and position of the Word in what and how I do things? Often times our purity can be helped by accountability that helps us to see ourselves through the eyes of others and find areas that we have become blind, deceived or indifferent too. We can help wash one another’s feet by voluntarily guarding one another’s souls. We deal with each other like we would want to be dealt with, not in judgement, but in love. The enemy does his best work in the darkness of our hearts and where things are hidden. Are we doing anything that we wouldn’t want to be shouted from the rooftops? If we are able to keep all things out in the light, the enemy has nothing to work with in temptation or condemnation.
It is often so easy to see and major on the faults that we see in others and in those things around us. Here we are exhorted to look for the best, the lovely things in people and in our circumstances. Focus on the good and how God can use it to make something lovely out of that which may not be so lovely. Look for the positive attributes in people and focus on those things, being patient, longsuffering, forgiving and self-controlled concerning the areas in others that present themselves as offensive, selfish and hurtful.
Seek out the good news that edifies others and glorifies God, not on gossip, slanderous speech and backbiting. Turn away from those that only want to create dissention and find fault. We are builders and creators, not destroyers and wasters. Look for the things that are of good report, those things that speak graciously and out of a kindly spirit. How often we gather to find common ground for our negative feelings and viewpoints rather than to extol the virtues of another. If we can find any virtue and good in a person or a situation then set your mind there. Isn’t it amazing how our minds always want to gravitate to what is wrong with a person or a situation rather than what is right about it? When we see the wrongs they should compel our prayers and not our criticism.
We are in the midst of changing our paradigm and mindset. This passage definitely goes against the grain of what we have grown up with and the direction our own speech and point of view has gone. We are worshippers with praise and rejoicers in the truth. How can we rejoice in iniquity and evil? The worshippers that are filled with praise and rejoicing are focused on the goodness of God, His sovereignty and ultimate justice and righteousness ruling. We are now a kingdom people living in the kingdom of God and ruled in our hearts by kingdom principles and ways. We are exhorted in Christ Jesus to put away our negative, our pessimism, our criticism, our judgements and our impure ways. We are exhorted to set our eyes upon Jesus; ‘to look full into His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace’.

Blessings,
#kent

Advertisements

Acts 14: 1-3
At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed. 2But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. 3So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.

That Which Fills You, Spills Out of You

God hasn’t commissioned all of us to be apostles and prophets, be we all do have a mandate to share the Lord. While most of us will agree upon the commission that was given to the believers in Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”, many of us don’t feel qualified or comfortable sharing the Lord with others. How is it God would have us to share Him when preaching and teaching may be so far from who we are? What does this word preach mean? The word “preach” in the Greek here is kēryssō. It means, “to be a herald, to officiate as a herald, to proclaim after the manner of a herald, always with the suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority, which must be listened to and obeyed. To publish, proclaim openly: something which has been done.”
A herald is a messenger making a public proclamation. Some of us may say, I don’t feel comfortable or knowledgeable about talking about the Lord. That is something we need to work on getting over. The best witness is the one who is filled with the Spirit of God. Why are they filled with the Spirit of God? Most likely they are filled because they spend a good deal of time in His presence. They feed upon the Word, they are worshippers who spend time in His presence and they are intercessors who stand in the gap for others.
Why is it we don’t have any trouble talking sports, TV programs or who has the best bargains? We easily talk and converse about the subjects that we are most saturated in. If we are to more easily converse and share the message of the Lord of glory with others what is going to give us the comfort, the gravity and the authority to share that message more than saturating ourselves in Him?
The Word says, ‘that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.’ What are we filling our mind and heart with? If it is the things of God, then it should be spiritual things that flow freely from our conversations. We should easily acknowledge God’s working in our lives even in normal conversation. Even when we are not speaking verbally we are communicating non-verbally with our actions and attitudes. Paul declares in 2 Corinthians 3:2-3, “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. 3You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
Some have taken this commission to preach the gospel of the kingdom as being ‘in your face’, dogmatic, judgmental and often rude. That attitude probably drives more people away from Christ than it ever draws to Him. All we need do is look at our example Jesus, to see the kingdom of God operating out of Him with love and humility, and yet with authority and confidence.
If we would be the epistles of Christ, read of all men, then what are our life and our words communicating to the world around us? That, which fills you up, will spill over in all you do and say.

Blessings,
kent

%d bloggers like this: