Day 14: Single-Mindedness


     As we approach the mid-point of our study on BELIEVE at FBC Killeen and also the mid-point of the second act of the Think, Act and Be Like Jesus theme, I cannot think of a single lesson in all of BELIEVE that would be more appropriate for the weekend before Christmas than “Single-Mindedness.” Just look at the key question:

KEY QUESTION:
How do I keep my focus on Jesus amid distractions?

     No, the readings from BELIEVE this week may not be from the Christmas story, but it is a hard thing to focus on Christ at Christmas, despite the frequent reminders of Him being the “Purpose for the Period” (just go with it, you know how to use a thesaurus too).

     But it is not just the trappings of (dare I use another cliché?) the hustle and bustle of the shopping, the terrible traffic that exists everywhere even in places nowhere near a mall, the intense pressure of buying things we can’t afford with money we don’t have to impress people who won’t remember what they got and from whom they got them in less than a month. It’s also the darkening of the skies earlier and earlier, the colder temperatures that chase people to spend more time indoors, all these things combined with less than perfect memories from the ghosts of Christmases past which lead to the least wonderful time of the yearn (with all due apologies to Andy Williams).

     As we look to the Belief of being Single-Minded, we must remember the first of the ten commandments (You shall have no other gods before me) and the greatest commandment as taught by Jesus (Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength) both focus our worship and our love towards God.  

     What King Herod missed, the lowly shepherds found. What all but the inn keeper in Bethlehem rejected, the wise men traveled from afar to not only receive but also brought treasures to give. Keep the Christ in Christmas this year (yes, I just had to throw in another cliché, didn't I). Don’t let anything, especially Christmas, eclipse your focus on Christ. 

The following devotional comes from Zondervan's BELIEVE, chapter 14 which focuses our attention on the belief of being Single-Minded.


     In the first of the Ten Commandments, God commanded the Israelites to serve him exclusively because he was worthy of their trust, as he had proved by delivering them from Egypt. Later, just before Moses died and the Israelites entered the promised land, God inspired Moses to remind the people of their single-minded calling.

     God’s people needed to submit fully to his authority and believe he could provide all they needed. It’s this kind of trust that Jesus calls us to demonstrate as his disciples.


     Unfortunately, Jesus’ disciple Peter had a bit more trouble retaining his single-minded focus when he was met with distraction. Peter’s experience is a good reminder of how we are to think about Jesus, and keep our eyes on him, even when our thoughts get sidetracked or we feel frightened. (See Matthew 14:22-36).

KEY VERSE
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)


KEY IDEA
I focus on God and his priorities for my life.


We set goals informed by God’s agenda and will. We don’t ask God to bless our plan but to bless my alignment to his plan. We trust God to meet our needs and desires.

YOUR TURN

Paul tells us “whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17). What does that admonishment mean to you? 

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