Tag Archives: focus

Treasuring God

There is one of those ice-breaker questions that asks what you would rescue from your house if it was on fire.  The idea being to show what is important to you.

My answer is always my car keys.  Not because I love my car, but I figure that if I have my car I have shelter and warmth.

Luke 12:32-40

Treasures in Heaven

32 My little group of disciples, don’t be afraid! Your Father wants to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell what you have and give the money to the poor. Make yourselves moneybags that never wear out. Make sure your treasure is safe in heaven, where thieves cannot steal it and moths cannot destroy it. 34 Your heart will always be where your treasure is.

Faithful and Unfaithful Servants

35 Be ready and keep your lamps burning 36 just like those servants who wait up for their master to return from a wedding feast. As soon as he comes and knocks, they open the door for him. 37 Servants are fortunate if their master finds them awake and ready when he comes! I promise you that he will get ready and have his servants sit down so he can serve them. 38 Those servants are really fortunate if their master finds them ready, even though he comes late at night or early in the morning. 39 You would surely not let a thief break into your home, if you knew when the thief was coming. 40 So always be ready! You don’t know when the Son of Man will come.

For those who think God is a grumpy old man, down on all humans, the perhaps startling thing about this passage is the opening part – God wants to give us the kingdom.  It’s not something he is grudgingly holding on to, keeping to himself, unwilling to let us in – he wants us to share in it.

The way to access it, is to make sure we aren’t holding tightly on to other things.  Like the Rich Fool last week, it is making sure your security is in the right place.  Not in assets, but in heaven.  Why?  Because what we treasure will always lead out hearts and lives.

So, do we treasure “things”, or God?  Are we busy polishing our treasure, or looking for his works and his ways?

What God offers to us is amazing – way more than anything money can buy or possessions can bring.  Nothing we can own offers us more.

What will I treasure most?  What will I seek to store?

Lord,
help me to appreciate
which things are truly of value
and worth.
Where to put my time and focus,
what I treasure,
the things I long for.

Lord I want to look for you,
to seek your ways,
to know your treasures.

Thank you that you want to share them with me

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Priorities

The things we talk about, the things we are proud of, say a lot about what is important to us.

2013-02-17 15.35.04This was a photo I shared on Sunday afternoon.  It certainly shows one of my priorities!

Philippians 3:17-4:1

17 My friends, I want you to follow my example and learn from others who closely follow the example we set for you. 18 I often warned you that many people are living as enemies of the cross of Christ. And now with tears in my eyes, I warn you again 19 that they are headed for hell! They worship their stomachs and brag about the disgusting things they do. All they can think about are the things of this world.

20 But we are citizens of heaven and are eagerly waiting for our Savior to come from there. Our Lord Jesus Christ 21 has power over everything, and he will make these poor bodies of ours like his own glorious body.

4 Dear friends, I love you and long to see you. Please keep on being faithful to the Lord. You are my pride and joy.

What are we proud of in our lives?  What do I worship?  To whom and to what am I faithful?

Lord,

may my priority be you,

my pleasure come from living out your ways,

may the important things in my life

be the things that matter to you.

May I hold loosely to all other things,

and never lose sight of you

obscured by them

Look Where You’re Going – Day 11

I was always told by my wonderful driving instructor

Look at the place you want to go

Don’t look at what’s either side, or in front of the bonnet, but up the road at the place you’re aiming for, then you’ll be on the right course.

It turns out, they were wise words, not just for driving, but for life and faith as well. Thanks Llew!  We can easily be distracted by things that aren’t important, or are only of temporary significance, when our focus needs to be on where we’re heading.  As we wait, as we journey through Advent and beyond how true that is.  Yet it can be so easy to be distracted by things that don’t really matter…

And so Henri Nouwen tell us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus – the one who behaves the right way.  Who isn’t looking for power and self-glorification, but touches the lame, the poor the weak; who speaks forgiveness and encouragement – and brings peace.

I don’t know about you, but in a world that increasingly frustrates me and often makes me despair, that’s somewhere I’d much rather be looking.  Yes we have to cope with the daily distractions around us, but we can only really achieve that by keeping our focus on Jesus.  That’s not a cop-out, or to be ‘other worldly’, or no earthly use, but to keep in mind what really matters, and to emulate in our lives the ways of Jesus.Perhaps that will make the world a little more bearable for others.

12 God loves you and has chosen you as his own special people. So be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient. 13 Put up with each other, and forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you. 14 Love is more important than anything else. It is what ties everything completely together.

15 Each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace. So let the peace that comes from Christ control your thoughts. And be grateful.

Lord,

there are so many distractions;

so many things that seem important

– but aren’t really;

situations that vie for attention

that are only temporary.

Help me not to be swayed by what doesn’t matter,

to forget what is really important.

Lord,

Prince of Peace,

forgiver,

encourager,

may my focus be on you,

and your ways

This year for Advent, some friends and I are using Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen.   You’re welcome to join us on this journey.  Feel free to comment here, or on Twitter using #adventbookclub