Monday, June 2, 2008

The Center

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus” (cf. Heb. 12:1) which, when you think about it, is a remarkable statement. It is well known that Paul suffered from some sort of “thorn in the flesh” which impaired him in his ministry somewhat. Many scholars agree that it probably had something to do with his eyesight, which would make sense since he was literally blinded on his way to Damascus when Jesus appeared to him and convinced him to change course. Even though he was healed from the blindness, perhaps he suffered some sort of residual effects from it the rest of his life… perhaps as a reminder of his spiritual blindness prior to conversion? That’s why it is interesting that Paul would say, “Let us fix our EYES on Jesus.” Did Paul have a problem keeping his eyes focused? Did he have a problem seeing clearly? Do we?

As I said on Sunday, there are all sorts of things that distract us in our world and cause us to take our focus off of Jesus. There are all sorts of things which cause spiritual blindness. If you are like me, then you are easily distracted. I’m distracted by a beautiful sunset when I’m driving down the road or by my children when I’m trying to write a bulletin article or any number of things! It’s a natural reflex even… my eyes automatically go to what is new, colorful or interesting… regardless of what I am trying to focus on. Is that how it is with our spiritual lives? Did the Apostle Paul lock onto something here? Staying focused requires… well… focus! It requires effort. It requires a deliberate, willful and intentional effort to stay focused.

As we began our study of Mark’s gospel this past Sunday morning, I reminded us of Paul’s words in Hebrews 12:1. Our goal as we read through Mark together is to “fix our eyes on Jesus.” He is the center of our faith… he is the author and perfecter of our faith… and he ought to be at the center of EVERYTHING we do! Is he? Join in on the discussion of the gospel, the man Jesus Christ risen from the dead and how we can help each other stay focused and centered on Him!

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Welcome to Jim's blog!

Thanks for visiting my blog... I hope you'll find it helpful, perhaps insightful or at least a little humorous. I hope to do several things through this blog... share pictures, thoughts, and funny stories... but also to converse back and forth about what we are reading in God's Word together. In preparing for Sunday's message each week, I am interested in hearing from you... what do YOU think about Sunday's text? What are your questions? Suggestions? Just click on the COMMENTS section and let's talk. I'll do my best to give you a "heads up" on upcoming lessons and I would greatly appreciate your thoughts. Thanks in advance!