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Leaving a Legacy Ministries with Codi Gandee

Using the Word to Encourage Others

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focus

Cycles

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Have you ever felt like you were part of a monotonous cycle? Like every day was the same thing, just repeated over again and again?

The author of Ecclesiastes seemed to feel that way. The first eleven verses of the book are hard to read.

And then I noticed why: God wasn’t the focus. The problem was.

We get into ruts when we neglect to focus on Jesus. When we take our eyes off of Him to focus on our problems.

Focus on Jesus for purpose. He’ll fill your life with meaning.

A Mighty Minority

Luke 8:16-17

II Chronicles 29: 3-36

King Hezekiah called upon the priests and the Levites to clean up the house of The Lord, a large endeavor. But they came willingly. And they accomplished it…even though they were just two groups of people…even though they had to share responsibility to see that things got done. They worked together to make sure that God was honored and that He was glorified in spite of the few in number.

Maybe, as a Christian, you’re part of the minority in your workplace….and maybe you doubt that there is anyway that you’re light is shining bright into the darkness around you. Maybe you look at your church attendance and think that there isn’t enough people to really make a difference in the community you serve.

Instead of focusing on the people you don’t see around you focus on the ones that you do. People, no matter how few or how many, that are willing to serve The Lord together can accomplish mighty things in Jesus’ name.

Don’t limit God to a number. Work with who He has given you. He’ll bless your efforts.

Eyes on the Prize

Philippians 3:14

Keep your eyes on the prize.

Blinders

II Peter 3:14

Be blameless.

Go about your day abstaining from sin. Follow the Spirit’s lead. Glorify The Lord in everything you do.

The world might falsely accuse you but stay focused on staying pure in The Lord. He sees and knows all and will give a just judgment.

What If?

Matthew 6:21

Imagine that you’ve been beaten, thrown into prison and chained to the ground.

What would your prayer be?

Would you pray earnestly for an opportunity to escape? Would you pray diligently that you would be let go? Or would you pray for God to be glorified? Would you pray that The Lord would use you to lead others to Christ?

Paul and Silas didn’t have to imagine that scenario. They lived it. In the midst of their imprisonment we are told that they prayed and sang praises to God.

What did they pray?

The bible doesn’t record their words so instead we’ll look at their actions:

An earthquake came while the jailor slept. Paul and Silas’ chains were loosed off their feet. The jailor was ready to kill himself. And then Paul yelled out “we’re all here”.

Escaping must not have been at the front of their minds.

The jailor humbly fell before Paul and Silas. He wanted to be saved. Paul and Silas explained to him salvation. The man and his household were saved and baptized within the hour.

Leading others to Jesus must have been the bulk of their prayer.

The next morning Paul and Silas were free to go worship with their new brothers and sisters in Christ.

God has every situation working for your good. You focus on Him. He’ll work out the details.

Focus

II Kings 6:16

The servant of Elisha thought the Israelites were doomed. The entire camp of Israel was surrounded by the Syrian army. Worried, he went to Elisha and explained the situation as he saw it. Elisha prayed to God asking Him to open the eyes of the servant. The servant’s eyes were opened and he saw the army of The Lord surrounding them.

But The Lord didn’t give the victory to the Israelites through a battle with Syria. Instead he blinded the Syrians and had the Israelites to take them captive and lead them into Samaria. The Syrians’ eyes were opened in Samaria. Instead of destroying them the Israelites fed them. The Syrians realized the power of the Israelites and their God. They never came back to the land of Israel again. The Israelites had obtained victory.

When the servant of Elisha received his spiritual vision he was comforted. He knew the power of God was on their side. He also probably thought he knew how The Lord would give them the victory, through battle. But he was following The Lord’s lead and was now strengthened by the fact that he could see that God was with them. Seeing that the presence of God surrounded them gave him the courage to go on and defeat the Syrians.

Rarely do we get the details in the plans that God has for us. We make plans of our own to try and line up with what we think God might want. This isn’t a bad thing if we are flexible to when God shows us a different path. Because spiritual vision isn’t seeing every detail of the outcome in a situation. Spiritual vision is focusing on the fact that God is with you and allowing Him to lead.

Visualize

Psalm 27:1-4

Close out the world. Get quiet. Envision The Lord sitting on His throne in His kingdom looking directly into your eyes listening to you speak to Him.

That’s powerful. The Lord we serve is high above all else, using the earth as His footstool. Yet He cares enough about you to look into your eyes and to listen to what you are saying. As you imagined The Almighty God focusing on you notice that you weren’t seeing the trials or tribulations that you may be going through. You were completely focused on God alone.

David acknowledged The Lord as God. He was aware of all the turmoil that faced him. Yet David chose to focus on God. His desire to worship Him, seek Him and talk with Him took precedence over everything else that surrounded him. David’s spirit was made confident and peace prevailed when he sought The Lord that was hearing his prayers.

Ask The Lord to bring a vision like this to your mind when you become bogged down by the world or pursued by the devil. Focusing on God and the relationship that he offers you can bring you confidence and peace. Because it isn’t just our imagination. It’s reality.

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