Posts Tagged With: #focus

The Call to Action

As I have spent some time in quietness before God today, I realized how far behind I have let myself become in my readings. I have finished reading the book of Acts and know that I am a couple weeks behind in blogging what God is saying to me.

As I read each chapter I have been journaling what happened in the chapter, but have also asked the question ‘What is God saying to me?’ It is an important time of reflection and listening as I await God’s message. Eventhough I am behind the schedule, I do not intend to rush through the chapter. But instead take my time and concentrate on God’s message.

Today, I am going to summarize what God has been saying to me over the last several chapters of Acts (Ch.20-28).

Looking back over my notes I see words like: ENCOURAGE, FAITHFUL, KEEP MOVING, COURAGE, PERSEVERE, STRONG, OBEY, and FOCUS.

I think this is the first time I have read the book of Acts with such intention to listening to God. I am encouraged by Paul. He faced a lot of conflict and people doubting his message, but through it all he remained focused on God’s message and God’s plan. Never once in all these chapters did Paul focus on the negative things that were happening around him. How I wish I could be that focused. It is so easy to get trapped into the negative words and actions of others, of focusing on all that is wrong, instead of praising God for all that he is doing. Turning to God for strength and wisdom. My prayer is that as I will continue to listen to God’s voice and turn a deaf ear to those negative influences around me.

Paul was arrested, beaten and put in jail. He did not have a ‘pity’ party, but continued to witness and teach others about God. His location may have changed, but his purpose and mission remained the same. As he travelled to Rome, he did not waiver on his mission. He is a great example of a strong, dedicated soldier of Christ. He learned the importance of staying close to God in all circumstances.

Throughout these chapters, Paul takes every opportunity that is placed before him to tell his story, to witness about God and to provide a role model for us all to follow as we journey through life on earth.

As I read these chapters, I imagine Paul to be a quiet, simple man would not get stressed out or thrown off by the events that were happening around him. He did not scream or pout or blame others for his situation. He just kept focus on the task at hand.

I have been really challenged by Paul’s journey to keep my focus on the task that God places before me. To not get involved in the petty things in life, to avoid involvement in negative talk. It is not easy, but I am determined to be stronger in my commitment to God and focused on Him than on the things that are distracting me from his plan.

Prayers for me on this journey would be appreciated.

God Bless!

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Need to listen first, then preach and teach!!

The readings this week have not been done according to the plan, but my normal schedule is off as I am on vacation. I am on a cruise so there is so much beauty around me that I have not made the time to really spend reading God’s word.

But I spent some time one afternoon just catching up with God. It was great to sit on the balcony and just read God’s word. There was no distractions, except the beauty of the scenery.

And God spoke volumes to me as I read through the chapters 10 to 14 in the book of Acts. As I read through these chapters, I tried to put a word or two at the bottom of my journal page to just summarize the chapter. It really helped with my focus!

Chapter 10 was all about listening to God’s voice and treating everyone as equal. Both of these are challenges for me. First listening for God’s voice is difficult as I have too much ‘stuff’ in my life. I really want this year to simplify things as much as possible. This message is coming through clearly in many of my readings. I can only hear God’s voice when I am quiet. So for those who really know me, know that this can prove a little challenging. The second lesson in this chapter for me was the reminder to treat everyone as equal. It is easy to have favourites or people I avoid, but that is not God’s plan. In this chapter, Peter shares that God does not classify anything that he created as unclean, so why should we. Good point. Everyone is created by God and should be treated as equal!

As I read through Acts, I am reminded of the opposition that Peter and others faced in preaching the Gospel message. In Chapter 11, God reminds me to stand up for what I believe. To preach his message and not be quiet. It is so much easier to tell the message to people who are interest and actually come to church to hear it. But what about people that need to hear the message, am I using every opportunity to tell it. I was really challenged to stay focus on God’s mission for me. I need to stand up for him and not be afraid to meet with opposition. This chapter tells of taking the time to explain your beliefs to those who don’t believe. People are not going to believe just because I tell them to!

The importance of remaining faithful to God came through very strongly in Chapter 12. No matter what situation I am in or am facing, I need to remain firm in my faith. God will take care of those who oppose me. This chapter tells of Peter’s time in prison and his escape from prison (with the help of an angel). Things can get really bad, but have faith that God is in charge and will rescue me in his time.

During all the opposition and trials that I am going face I need to be focused on the truth. That is the message in chapter 13. Focus on his message and preach to those who will listen. For those who are stubborn and don’t want to listen/accept the truth, then I am to just move on. Do not get tangled up in the world’s or their views, but stay completely focused on what God wants me to do.

The message in Chapter 14 is similar to the previous chapter. Keep Focused! In this chapter Paul & Barnabas spoke boldly for The Lord (verse 3) even though many Jews did not accept their message. They spoke boldly. Not something that is in my comfort zone. I know that I need to be more bold! I am reminded lately of our younger generation and how they are bold in their faith. They are in 100% and are not afraid to share their faith in their daily lives. We often look to older generations for examples, but I think there is a lot to be learned from our younger generations.

God is moving all around me. As I continue to read through the book of Acts, I am opening myself to God’s message for me.

God Bless!

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