Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0154
KEEP THE FOCUS ON JESUS!
By Rodney W. Francis
One does not have to look very far today to realize that we are living in the last days. Far too many are “lost and undone, without God or His Son.” Yet within the ranks of Christianity there are also many ideas and teachings that really do not profit those who are seeking to walk with God through Jesus Christ. To stay on that “narrow road that leads to life” (Matthew 7:13-14), one must keep firmly focussed on JESUS CHRIST and what He has taught us. Listen again to the simplicity of what He says to us: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Every teaching of truth will always glorify JESUS CHRIST as the Supreme Answer to all of mankind’s needs. Jesus Christ came into this world and paid the price for our Salvation. Salvation from our sins and separation from God can only be found in the Person of His Son, Jesus Christ. We come to God on His terms, not ours! “. . . There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). No one can have a real relationship with God without Jesus Christ coming into our lives. We are deceiving ourselves if we think we can “please God” by our good works, church attendance, giving of money, etc.
TEST THE TEACHINGS BEFORE YOU BELIEVE THEM
With so many dubious beliefs and teachings about today, how does one know for sure if what we hear is right or wrong? For me, every new teaching that comes my way I refer back to the teachings of Jesus. What did He teach? Remember “He is the way, the truth and the life.” If I am still in doubt after searching out what Jesus taught, then I also refer to the Apostle Paul’s teachings because he was the foremost teacher of the New Covenant Revelation of Jesus Christ after Jesus went back to the Father in heaven. I also seek to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, for He will always confirm what Jesus, Paul and the Scriptures teach us. He is “The Spirit of truth” (John 14:15-17, 21-26). Another thing we need to know is that the things of God are essentially simple ~ everyone can obey and keep the teachings of Jesus.
Let us be aware that one of the strategies of Satan is to try and get us to take our eyes off Jesus and onto something else that resembles or looks like Jesus. When we are side-tracked then it is easy for us to start believing other things that seem right and “of the Lord,” but as they develop further it is found out to be a form of deception that can rob Christians of their power with God and get them caught-up in non-essentials of the Christian life. My observations over the years have been that often deception is brought to us by someone who has “a winning personality,” i.e. they make it sound so right and obvious. But time and the fruits show us otherwise. Every one of us knows of Christians that once were on fire for Jesus, but today they are silenced and mute. Their “guidance” took them away from Jesus rather than closer to Him. And that is very sad.
Even in Jesus’ day there were numbers of His followers who turned away from Him. They found that following his teachings were “too hard”. So Jesus asked the twelve main disciples, “Do you also want to go away?” And Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (see John 6:59-69). If those mind conflicts were happening back then, you can be sure that today the enemy will also be at work to make us doubt the truth and simplicity of the Gospel and teachings of Jesus Christ!
Both Jesus and Paul warned us of the dangers of an enemy that seeks to distract, side-track and take us away from the Centrality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Be on guard! If it was happening back then, you can be sure it is happening today ~ right now! Make sure that Jesus Christ is your very best Friend, and be committed to listening to His voice, with a commitment to doing whatever He asks of you. It really is as simple as that; so do not make your faith in Christ complicated with a lot of “do’s and don’ts,” etc.
LEARN FROM THE BEREANS
In Acts 17:10-12 we read of the Bereans who were a people who “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” They did not “take for granted” or believe what they heard until they lined-it-up with the principles of the Scriptures. They even tested what Paul had to say and because he spoke the Scriptures they believed what he preached to them. It is when we take our eyes and focus off of Jesus that we get side-tracked and into trouble. So, dear Friend, keep your focus on Jesus Christ, knowing that “the words He speaks unto us are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). We cannot afford to live without Him! Listen to Him today, and keep focussed on Him! ~ Rodney W. Francis.
Bible Reading: Galatians (the whole Book) Chapters 1-6 .
Prayer: “Dear Lord, I come to You in the name of Jesus Christ Your Son, and I ask You to help me to break free from every person and thing that comes between You and me. I repent of my listening to the wrong voice(s) and ask You to please release me from the effects of every one of them. My desire is to walk daily with You, Lord Jesus, and to be open to hearing Your voice of truth, so that I can be a true and living witness of You. Help me to do what is right in Your sight, so that I will be quick to obey You, and prove that indeed, You are Who you say You are. Help me to be a more positive believer in what You have spoken. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for hearing my prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”