Focus; August 17, 2018

Acts 5:42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.[

In Acts 2:42-47 we have a description of what the believers did, but here we have a succinct description of what the leadership did. They had incurred the wrath of the political/religious leaders by insisting they were less important than God. (verse 29, 33) However, their purpose wasn’t to make political waves, but to obey God, and this is what God wanted them to do. There are all sorts of things Church leadership can be involved in, some of them very legitimate and some not so much, but this should be the core. Whether in public or in private (temple courts and house to house) their activities need to be consistent in pointing people to Jesus as Lord and Savior. Too often they seem to be aimed at boosting the church as an institution or boosting the leader personally. Leaders should be working for the good of their local congregation, but that isn’t the ultimate motive or even the ultimate goal. We need to remember that the kingdom of God is far bigger than any local congregation, and stay centered on Who it’s all about. More personally, when a pastor or other church leader starts focusing on what is good for them personally (as they see it) it lays them wide open to temptations for greed, lust, and the like. Sometime, opposition or even persecution is a blessing from God to keep us focused on what is really important.

I had a period of several years when my focus was very diffuse, to the point that the church felt more like a hobby than why I was in Omura. It was a period when we lost our prayer covering, as the church that had been praying for us dissolved over the pastor’s sins, but the effects came in gradually and I didn’t recognize them. When the Lord brought me back to my senses, things came into much sharper focus. Right now, I am at an age when many people are wondering when I will retire. I do need to shift responsibilities to others organizationally, but for me personally, I pray that this verse expresses the rest of my life. I hope to never stop teaching and proclaiming that Jesus is the Christ, in public settings and private, to make as many disciples for Him as He desired, for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for yesterday and all it held. Thank You for the blessed interaction with former members of the church who came to the show. Thank you that I could call one man to repentance, and that he was honest enough to say that he wasn’t living as a Christian. I ask Your convicting mercy for him. I pray that our every interaction throughout the rest of the show would indeed draw people to Jesus as Lord, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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