MONDAY MINUTES With Pastor Chris McCool (February 28, 2022)

Do you ever find yourself struggling to keep a focus upon Jesus? Have you ever left church on Sunday, and not long afterward felt your focus on the Kingdom of God start diminishing? I confess to you – this is too often my experience! And I believe if we are honest, we will ALL admit that this occurs more often than not!

How do we maintain our focus? How are we able to get RE-focused when we feel ourselves to be slipping? This is the question of the hour.

First of all, the word of God helps us refocus. In Romans 12:1-2, we read the following: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” The “renewing of your mind” is a direct reference to the need for continual bible study. The ONLY way to “renew our minds” is to continually fill our thoughts with Scripture!

Secondly, a steady practice of prayer helps us refocus. Paul told the Thessalonians, “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thess. 5:17. More directly, he told the Philippians, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Phil. 4:6. In other words, when the troubles of life get you down, go to God in prayer and thanksgiving. He will sustain you in ways the world will not!

Finally, regular attendance in church is essential to maintaining our focus on the spiritual Kingdom of God. In Hebrews, we are admonished to “hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Heb. 10:23-25. He tells us that church attendance is extremely important for us: we need to “hold fast” to our faith, and consider each other in our daily walk. In order to do this, we have to be present in church – otherwise, how can we “exhort” one another?

Furthermore, attending church is the only way we have of being spiritually “recharged” in the struggles of life. I never have failed to leave a church service without feeling at least a little bit better! As I write this on Sunday night, I am emboldened because of the wonderfully spiritual services we experienced today. And this “recharging” will help me face the troubles of life that are sure to arise tomorrow!

The struggle to maintain the proper focus is real, my friends! The world is doing everything it can to tear you away from devotion to Christ. We must be diligent to stay focused on Him as we navigate the spiritual pitfalls of this life! But thankfully, He has given us His word, His Kingdom, and a clear path into His presence through prayer. These are the tools we need to stay focused on the eternal instead of the material.

And remember the promise of Paul’s experience when we do this: “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:16-18.

I pray we all can remember this as we deal with whatever problems life throws at us this week.

May the Lord bless you is my prayer.

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor