Staying Focused

We have just celebrated the Spring Festivals of Passover, Days of Unleavened Bread and Pentecost. We have the long hot summer to contend with until the arrival of the next group of Annual Festivals – the Autumn Festivals. It is imperative during this period of time that we stay focused on the task and job we have been called to do. It is so easy to get sidetracked and/or distracted to the point where we become ineffective – by going around in circles and not accomplishing much or not working to our full potential.

Two Scriptures effectively summarize the reason for our calling in this day and age. The first Scripture, 2 Peter 3:18, commands us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Just how do we grow in Christ’s grace and knowledge? For a plant to grow it must be watered. God’s Spirit must water us on a continual basis. To be watered most effectively, we must continue to pray, study the Bible, meditate and – as unpleasant as it may seem – fast occasionally. These are the tools we can use to GROW. A tree stops growing when it is cut down or dead. This example from nature contains a lesson for us. In order to attain our goal (which is, to enter the kingdom of God), we have to keep growing throughout our Christian lives until the day of our death or change, at the return of Christ. We just cannot afford to let down, get discouraged and quit. Matthew 24:13 tells us, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” That’s the standard we need to work towards achieving.

The second Scripture to focus on, when considering the reason for our present calling, is Matthew 24:14. It reads, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Notice it says, the gospel WILL be preached. It does NOT say, it might perhaps be preached. This job will get done. It has not been completed since the end has not yet come. The only question is, “Am I going to be involved in this process of preaching the gospel?”

As part and parcel of our calling, we have been invited to be involved in this work God is doing, in sending out a warning message and in preparing a people for Christ’s return. We should not get distracted in our task, during this period between the Spring and Fall Festivals, but remain focused and true to our calling. Remember the words of Christ, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much” (Luke 16:10). Neither should we despise the day of small things (Zechariah 4:10; compare, too, Haggai 2:3-4). The parable of the mustard seed, in Matthew 13:31-32, explains to us that God, when He works through man, generally starts small, but huge results often follow.

Dear Brethren, as we go through the summer months and the early fall season, let us remain focused on the task ahead of us, not neglecting to do our part in the work, nor letting down in our responsibilities, including personal prayer, Bible study, meditation and occasional fasting. If we do these things, we will stay focused and we will be effective tools in God’s hands.

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