Focal Point

Focal Point
Focal Point is more than a blog. It's purpose is to help us stay focused on Christ through Gods Word as we navigate through life and today's culture.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

There is Freedom in Jesus

Unfortunately many are bound by past failures, and as a result feel that they can never succeed.  There are those today bound by sin and think their situation is hopeless - so why try?  I am reminded of the experiment done with the Great Northern  Pike where the fish was placed into a tank with its favorite food..minnows.  The problem was that a glass divider was inserted into the tank between the Pike and the minnows.  Every time the Pike went for the minnows he bumped his nose into the glass divider.  Finally, convinced that the minnows were beyond his reach, he gave up.  When the divider was removed, the Pike did not go for even one minnow.  Sometimes, we are like that Pike.  We've been convinced that we could never break free from the patterns of defeat and failure that have bound us.  But that is not true! There is freedom and forgiveness in Jesus Christ.  Jesus came to break the chains of sin that bind us, to set us free and give us new life in Him.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Are you wearing a mask?

There are alot of deep needs that we have, but to be loved hits at a very basic human need.  Your greatest need is not money, success, fame or to get another job.  Your greatest need is to be loved.  Not with sentimental love, not sexual love, but Gods love.  And because we so desperately want to be loved we are willing to do desperate things to get love.  Infact, many put on what I call 'love masks'. What love masks are, are things we put on to disguise our real need for love.  I grant you when we wear these we do get a little bit of love but nothing that really lasts.
Recently my wife and I went to San Francisco and attended the Broadway production of Phantom of the Opera. What a fantastic production. One of my favorite songs in the musical is the song 'Masquerade'. The lyrics are:
Paper faces on parade . . .
Hide your face,
so the world will
never find you!
Every face a different shade . . .
Look around -
there's another
mask behind you!
How true are those words. So many people today wearing a mask, hiding who they really are and never letting the world see the real person. But not only do we wear masks to hide behind, but we also hide behind the ‘love masks’ so desperately trying to find something to fulfill the love we seek and need.  ‘Look around, there’s another mask behind you’ yes look around and you will see another person seeking real love but hiding behind a mask that doesn’t satisfy.
Some of the Masks we hide behind might be:
The mask of performance: When we achieve and perform there are some people in our lives that will say, "look at what they achieved and we get a little bit of love and value from that.
The mask of people: Oftentimes we get love, affirmation and value from people. It might be from our own children when they accomplish good grades and we proudly display the bumper sticker that says, 'proud parent of a student at __name of school _____'
The mask of pity: Sometimes people will put themselves down only to have another pat them on the back and say, "poor you"...we get a little bit of love and affirmation that way.
The mask of position: Some feel that if they can just get to the next position on the job that will give them the value and love they need.
The mask of physical attention: A lot of times we equat physical contact with real love.
The mask of pleasure: If I could just have that next vacation, that next high, that experience.
The mask of Possesions: If I could live in that house, in that neighborhood, drive that car.
The problem with these masks is that they are temporary forms of love, pleasure, value, acceptance and appreciation. The problem also is that when we wear them, it creates a thirst for more love. But there is a love far deeper than any human love and what any of the ‘love masks’ can produce.  It is God’s amazing love.  So take off those paper masks of various shades, that fade away and don’t satisfy.  Take off the masks you are hiding behind that pretend to fulfill you.  And find real love that is found in the Love of God through Jesus Christ.