A Fractured Focus with Few Results

I have a fairly strong appetite for opportunity, so when it comes my way, I don’t often (if at all) turn it down.  As a result, I find myself overwhelmed with lots of tasks all at once, struggling to complete any of them well, spreading myself so thin that my tasks are not the best they could be.  Similarly, I have a related approach to learning.  I love to learn, but rarely enmesh myself into any one thing, and I end up knowing a little about a lot.  Jack of all trades, master of none.  We all tend to spread ourselves too thin, beginning a lot but completing nothing.  The same can be said of churches and their visions.  I know many churches that are good at a lot of things but not great at one thing.  When they sit down to plan their focus for the year, topics like mission work, giving more to the homeless and needy, supporting more charities, and developing new committees come up often.  However, despite being all good and noble pursuits, when a church is fractured amongst many missions, they often times don’t fully develop any to the end.  I recently heard of one church who decided to take their mission statement and boil it down to three words:  “Nothing but Jesus.”  In every effort and program they develop, their mission is not focused on how many people they can reach with the gospel, or how many homeless they can clothe and feed, or how to increase giving, but to be focused on nothing else but Jesus.  A focus like that in a church certainly changes your perspective on things, and this church’s efforts are no longer fractured but are geared towards one end:  Jesus.  In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he writes about his focus in establishing their church when he first arrived to found it:  “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (2.2).  For fear that the church’s focus might be elsewhere and in multiple places, he eliminated all other factors in the formation of their church, making His sole focus on Christ, “so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power” (2.4).  If we want to maximize our efforts, our faith, and our lives, we must have nothing but Jesus as our focus.  When that focus happens, the rest of the world that is pulling us away from our relationship from God, from our productivity, and from our growth as a Christian, takes a back seat to the pinpoint precise efforts towards growing closer to Jesus, both in good times and in bad.  In fact, during those bad times, when we have lost everything and are at the end of our ropes, when we have been stripped of everything that can be taken from us with nothing left to put our efforts into, there is great grace to be found at that point.  When we have nothing left to focus on, we can only focus on the one thing that is never stripped of us; we have nothing but Jesus.  If you are in this time of nothingness and struggle right now, broken to the point of total loss, there is good news: He is easily found.  There is great relief to be found in having nothing left but Jesus, as He is the only one thing upon which you can rely.  If you are in any other time, look to see what your multiple concentrations are, your fractured endpoints.  Consolidate them to one purpose – “Nothing but Jesus” – and refocus yourself.  Amen.

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