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LOOKING UNTO JESUS AND LOOKING AWAY, Deuteronomy 6: 3-11, Matthew 14:23-31, Hebrews 12:1-3

Study Objective:

  • At the end of the study, participant should be able to clearly see that anyone even the godly can drift off, if not focusing on Christ consistently.
  • Participants should be able to identify practical steps to take to stay focused on Christ.

INTRODUCTION

Looking away means to avert one’s gaze/to turn your attention from something/someone. It is the opposite of focus.

 

If one is not anchored or consciously steered to their intended direction, the normal motions of life such as, attending to duties at home, church, work, society, etc. can move one away from intended destination, even the godly have slipped. How much more trials and temptations from the enemy. The enemy has one major purpose, to get everyone on earth to look at every other thing but one’s Savior and Redeemer using any means necessary. Jesus is the beginning and the end of our journey, and yet he is the Way to the destination, the truth (that helps us see) and the true Life we all desire to live. In this study, we will learn how to stay connected to Jesus and win in every situation.

 

In one of the above texts ( Matth. 14:23-31), Peter was doing fine when he had his gaze on Jesus. However, when he averted it, he realized the winds were boisterous and started to sink. This is the experience many of us have; once we ‘look away’ from Jesus, we begin to fall prey to all sorts of distractions.

 

QUESTIONS FOR CONSIDERATION

A. What are we to ‘look away’ from?

  1. Sin – Gen 39:7-13, 2 Sam 11:1-4, 12:7-19, 1 Thess. 5:22.
  2. Fear/doubt- Matt 8:26, 14:30, 2 Tim 1:7, James 1:6-8.
  3. Cares of the world/worldly affections- Mk 4:18-19, Luke 12:16-23, 21:34, Romans 12:2, 1 John 2:15-17.
  4. Busyness with no effectiveness (misplaced priorities) – Luke 10:40-42.
  5. Spiritual laxity/lack of depth- Matt 15:8-9, Mk 7:6-8, Rom. 1:28-32.

 

B. How do we stay focused?

  1. Focusing on the ONE we serve (Jesus Christ) – Isa 26:3, Luke 11:34, 1st Thess. 5:24, Heb. 10:23, 12:2a.
  2. Constant study and application of the Word- Josh 1:8, Ps 119:9, 11, Col 3:16, 2 Tim 2:15.
  3. Praying always-Phil 4:6, 1 Thess 5:17.
  4. Obedience and total love for Him, Deuteronomy 6: 3-11
  5. Daily fellowship and remain in Him, John 15: 5-11

 

CONCLUSION

We all face distractions in form of trials (John 16:23), temptations and even ‘seemingly right’ things. The only way to ensure we do not lose the plot is by running our race with patience and the aim to meet our end goal which is pleasing God here on earth and obtaining a crown of glory in heaven (1 Cor. 9:24-27).

 

Above all, we should always remember that God loves us, the grace of Christ empowers us. So we should stay focused and enjoy the companionship of the Holy Spirit. Have a personal quiet moment with God each day. Study The Word. Pray using God’s word and Praise God always. He will keep in perfect peace all whose hearts are stayed on Him. Stay Connected and Win in every situation.

Memory Verse: Col 3:1-2.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.