Posted by: Larry Hoekman | March 1, 2015

Words in Red – Focus not Hocus Pocus!

Day 1510: Taking a trip to visit Mom and Mom-in-law – have to stay in touch!

Context:  Jesus began to tell His disciples about His impending death.  Peter reacted by rebuking Jesus, who turned and rebuked Peter.  Then he called over the crowd to talk with them!

Scripture:  “Get behind Me Satan, for you do not have the things of God in mind, but man’s.”    “If anyone wants to be my follower, you must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it!  Mark 8:33b, 34b, 35

Thoughts/questions:  Focus!  What an important word!  In fact, I thought a good title for a Christian self-help book would be ‘It’s Focus, not Hocus Pocus!’  Living the life of a dedicated Christ follower does not magically just happen, but it takes a life that intentionally focuses on the things above, not on the things of earth.

The most compelling desire we seem to focus on is self – only having our concerns in mind and only concentrating on doing whatever it takes to save our lives!   Jesus gives us ways to counteract that:  1) have the things of God in mind; 2) deny ourselves; 3) take up our cross; 4) follow Jesus; 5) lose our lives for Jesus’ sake and the gospel’s!  All five help re-focus our lives, but today we’ll ‘focus’ on #2 – deny ourselves!

Denying ourselves is acknowledging that it is not about us – we become nothing, Jesus becomes everything. Let us all deny ourselves, so that our focus changes, and we prioritize as number one the things of God and make ourselves a distant second!

Suggested Prayer:  Jesus, my desire is to follow You completely!  Help my focus to be on the things of God . . .

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