Yesterday, I preached a message from Acts 1:6-11 on the discipline of focus. Churches in America are especially notorious for lacking focus. Their works and actions often resemble this target (which was made by a shotgun blast). In the pursuit of excellence and success many churches try to hit everything. They make lofty and often unattainable goals (goals that God may not even want for them). They shoot for everything and hit everything. But in the end all they’re left with is a blown-up target or a hole in the wall.
Focused churches are churches that are committed to making disciples without chasing rabbits and daydreaming. This discipline is very much easier said than done. Yesterday I presented one overarching way that we can keep focus for 2015.
That way is to exalt the name of Jesus. On the surface this seems like a rather broad way to focus. But if we think about it, the more we focus on solely exalting the name of Jesus, the less we feel the need to exalt ourselves, our specific church (as opposed to Christ’s kingdom), specific ministries, or specific people. Everything we do should be for His glory and should be done through the lens of “is this exalting the name of Jesus?”
For instance even in writing this blog post, I’m having to ask: does this blog post exalt myself or does it exalt Jesus? That goes for any social media post, blog entry, cute video, or any method we may felt drawn to use to ‘make disciples.’ To whom are we making disciples? For whom are we seeking allegiance?
I read just today on another pastor’s blog post that he desired to live by the mantra of not sinning because when we sin we hurt ourselves. This is certainly true. But we should seek not to sin because first and foremost sin is an affront to God. It is breaking His law. Yes, sin injures us. But it is most importantly an affront to the most Holy God. That is why we need Jesus to forgive us! Not because we’re injured. But because we’re guilty.
But I digress. In order to focus in 2015 we need to be all about exalting the name of Jesus. This is what will draw people to His church. This is what will change lives. This is what the church can offer to the world that it doesn’t already have.
Focus on exalting King Jesus in 2015. More to come on this in the future.