Ever wish you had paid more attention in seminary? Struggling with preparing a sermon? GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins wants to help pastors with useful resources to help them as they serve the Lord.
With more than a quarter century of pastoral leadership, Hawkins makes available some of his most popular sermon outlines for pastors, Sunday school teachers and other Bible study leaders. These free resources can help you as you prepare your sermon or lesson each week.
Focus. That single word holds the key for success in so many different endeavors of life. This was at the heart of Paul's own interest when he challenged us to "set our minds on things above" in the Colossian letter. It is at the heart of this message to the Philippians when he says, "This one thing I do."
Keeping the main thing the main thing in the midst of a multitude of other things is always a challenge for the follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the key elements to spiritual growth is the ability to obtain, and maintain, focus in the Christian life. Focus will lead us to do four things.
Focus Will Put Our Priorities in Order
Paul said, "this one thing I do..." Not ten things, not five things, not even two things. But, "this ONE thing I do." Focus helps us put our priorities in order. First, you define your goal, and then it begins to define you.
Focus Will Give Us a Forward Look
Too many of us today spend our time looking around us, or, worse yet, looking behind us most of the time. Focus enables us to begin to see our glass half full instead of half empty. It gives us a forward look. Paul goes on to say that he was "reaching forward to those things which were before" him. Paul's focus led him to possess a wise forgetfulness about the past and enable him to make sure his reach continued to exceed his grasp.
Focus Will Set Us on the Second Mile
Focus brings a passion to our work that instills within us a desire to do what is required, and then some. Paul said, "I press..." This word carries with it the idea of an intense endeavor; much like an avid hunter who is pursuing his prey. Paul was "pressing" because he had focus; he had "one thing" as a priority in life.
Focus Enables Us to Know Where We Are Going
One of the most valuable assets focus will bring to us is the ability to know where we are headed. Paul said he was pressing toward "the goal." This word translates the Greek work, skopos, from which we transliterate our English word, "scope." Like the scope on a rifle, focus will enable us to get our goals and priorities “in the crosshairs.” It enables us to know where we are going and how we are going to get there. It keeps our priorities in the bulls eye of our target.
Focus is the fountainhead of successful living. It helps us to begin our task with the end in mind. What is your goal in Christian living? What is in "the cross hairs" of your scope? Keep your life in focus by keeping Christ in the center of it.