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.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Jesus is the answer to your searching


John 1:14 announces, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." The phrase "became flesh and dwelt among us" literally means that He tabernacled among us, or, He pitched His tent among us.  All the glory that is God became a human being.  There is no greater truth in all the universe than the fact that we stand in the presence of both the full humanity and the full deity of Jesus.  He is the God-man.  He shows us what God is like.  He is the One who heals, loves, serves, waits, blesses, dies, and rises again-- this is the ultimate human being, and this is God.

Near the end of the gospel of John, John writes in chapter 20:31 "but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."  Jesus is the key to life.  We all want to live -- old and young alike.  We all seek the key to life.  We seek fulfillment.  These are the deepest yearnings in peoples lives.  And when we come to the end of our search (as Solomon did), we find Jesus waiting for us with open arms.  He is the goal of all our searching, all our desiring.  He makes us to be all we were designed to be.

How can you stand in the presence of this divine mystery, in the shadow of the God-man who made the universe, then died upon a lonely hill, and not feel your heart drawn to worship Him?  The great hymn of the faith says:

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in my Savior's blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love, how can it be
That thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
That is true worship--a recognition that Jesus is God, and that God has submitted Himself to death on our behalf!  And true worship leads us to action, to service, to obedience. As in the words of the hymn, "Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all."

Monday, January 11, 2016

When the stuggles come, seek the Lord first

We all have struggles and battles in life.  Some are small and some are big, but no matter what the size or shape there is a course that we need to take.  In 2 Chronicles 20 there is a story about King Jehoshaphat and a battle he is about the face.  In fact the battle that Jehoshaphat faces will determine the possibility of his future existence. 
We read in 2 Chronicles 20:1-4 these words: It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. 2 Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi). 3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord
The text emphasizes the sheer size of opposition Jehoshaphat faces.  The Moabites, Ammonites and Edomites have banned together against Judah.  Any one of these would have been a sizeable opponent.  But together they represent an impossible obstacle to remove.  So this is the nature of Judahs dilemma.  Judah faces this possibility: 'you may not be here tomorrow.' 'the enemy means busness'.   You know some problems we have are in a class of their own.  There are problems and then there are problems.  There are problems that leave you reeling and in disbelief and you don’t know what to do.  It might be a marriage that’s falling apart, perhaps a great financial difficulty, a personal relationship problem, illness, job or continual attacks from Satan on your spiritual life. 
Now think of this.  Jehoshaphat is a King, a military leader, a soldier from the ground up.  His first natural instinct, his trained instinct would be the organizational and administrative response.  The enemy is coming, so sound the alarm, round up the troops, hide the women and children, put the sandbags at the gate, get the horses and chariots ready, prepare for battle.  But that is not what he does.  He pushes back the natural and human instincts and instead seeks the Lord in prayer.  And not just seeking the Lord in prayer himself, but he calls all the people to come together and seek and pray to the Lord for help.  That's so hard for us to do isn't it?  We want to make plan A, B and C and then ask God to bless it.  What we need to do is go to Him first, seek Him and ask Him for help and direction.
The first response of Jehoshaphat should be our response as well.  Nothing shows how a life is oriented, or what it’s basically all about like what we do first when confronted by a crises, battle or problem, no matter what the size. 
There is a great old Hymn that has these words
I must tell Jesus, all of my trials,
I cannot bear these burdens alone;
In my distress He kindly will help me
He ever loves and cares for His own.
I must tell Jesus
I must tell Jesus
I cannot bear these burdens alone
I must tell Jesus
I must tell Jesus
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone

Friday, January 8, 2016

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.

Almost six years ago I added the title 'Focal Point' and picture to my blog. In fact, I had set up this blog for my thoughts and comments, on various topics that related to the Christian life.  At the same time I created a separate 'Focal Point' Facebook page to post encouraging devotional insights.  I realized there were other ministries that were called focal point at that time and others have started up since.  But, I really like the title because we all need that point of focus in our life to keep us on the right track, and Jesus is just that.   Now I don't consider myself a great or even good blogger, my gift is more teaching, preaching and sharing devotional insights.  So, I decided to combine my blog and devotional thoughts into one.  Thus, my blog is more than just a blog.  It's purpose as stated above is to help us stay focused on Christ through Gods Word as we navigate through life and today's culture. With this purpose more defined for me I believe I will be posting more often and I trust the words you read will be a help and encouragement to you as we stay focused on Christ.  So welcome to my re-focused Focal Point devotional 'blog'. I hope you will visit it often and if you get something out of it pass it on to a friend, or send them to my link.  May the Lord encourage us as we travel this road of life together.