Keeping Your Focus
“Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.” (Isaiah 51:1)
The verse is for people who know Jesus as Saviour, who “follow after righteousness.” Saved people ought to follow righteousness, to strive to do right. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says receiving Jesus as Saviour isn’t just an improvement on your life, but the start of a new spiritual life: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
As life without Jesus was characterized by sinful conduct, a Christian’s life should be characterized by godly conduct. Romans 6:19 says, “…as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.” The “members” are the parts of the body. To put it another way, “In the past you had used your eyes to look at wicked things, your ears to hear wicked things, your mouth to say wicked things, and your hands to do wicked things. Now you belong to Christ, so use your members to do things that please and serve Him.”
Our opening verse can be a big help for believers in Christ when we’re discouraged. It says to “…look unto the rock whence ye are hewn.” One idea we can take from the clause “look unto the rock” is to look, or focus, on Jesus Himself. Jesus is the Rock, the solid foundation, of our salvation. 2 Samuel 22:47 says, “The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.” Hebrews 12:2 also tells us to be “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;”
We can’t look at Jesus visually, but we can “look unto” Him by thinking of Him. Maybe you’re saved but things aren’t going as you wish in your life and your faith is shaky or you feel mad at God. Maybe you see so much sin around you that living for Christ doesn’t seem worth the effort. Jesus specifically warned about that happening in the last times! “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12). Maybe you’ve had run-ins with Christians who didn’t act very Christian. That happened even in the early church era. Paul the apostle addressed a number of instances of “un-Christian” conduct by Christians in his letters to the churches.
Whatever you’re dealing with, does it make the Bible untrue? Does it negate the fact that Jesus suffered brutally for you, died for your sins, was buried, and rose again? Or that you called on Him in repentance and faith for forgiveness of your sins and He forgave you and gave you eternal life? That even now, He can guide you with His Word and help you when you need it? You know the answers: no, no, no, and no.
Here’s a police-related example: Your department policies may be so restrictive that you wonder if the criminals helped write them. Lawbreakers may defy you openly because leaders let them do it. Leaders may never take the time to ride in a patrol car and see the end result of their criminal-friendly policies. They may say they care about citizens, but to use Jesus’ words, “they say, and do not” (Matthew 23:3). When their policies leave decent citizens at the mercy of criminals, that’s their sin; not yours.
Yet all the bad press and bad politics doesn’t change the fact that decent citizens want and need you to go after lawbreakers. You can’t change bad policies, but you can still do your best. That’s what the Lord wants: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Colossians 3:23).
Did you ever see from the Bible how to know that your sins are forgiven and that you have a home in heaven when you die? If you haven’t but you’d like to, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, click “Helpful Links”, then “How Do I Go to Heaven?”
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822