Focus On The FATHER
Our Sunday school topic for today focuses on the importance of keeping our focus on the Lord Jesus.
Handout: Focus On The FATHER
1. Ask the students - What is your main focus? Take a moment and think about your days away from church. Do you focus mostly on the tasks that are before you? Do you focus on the problems that you're facing? Do you focus most on yourself or others around you? Maybe you focus more on circumstances? In order to live and do well, we must focus on tasks and family and things that are important to us, however, our main focus should be upon Christ, allowing Him to lead us and obeying his voice. Whatever we allow our minds to focus on, that is what controls us. Think about that for a minute. Proverbs says as a man thinks in his heart so is he. Some of you know what it's like to be depressed, some know what it's like to lose loved ones to death, some know what it's like to feel like no one cares or that you just don't fit in, others know chronic physical, mental, and emotional pain well. Some of us know loneliness, and despair. Sometimes we know the feeling of helplessness and self anger. These things come in our lives. Sometimes we cause them, and sometimes they just happen. Whatever the reason, it is all heartache. It's not fun, and it makes living life almost unbearable. However, by living we have also come to know that the more focus we put on our circumstances, the more hopeless it seems, the more it consumes our lives. However, on a more positive note, by living we have learned and know that the more we focus on Jesus, the smaller all these hard things seem, because our God is bigger than anything we must face or go through. Hallelujah give HIM praise!
2. We find in the Bible, in the book of Numbers, chapter 14, when the children of Israel were going to Caanan, 12 men were sent to spy out the land that God had already promised to them. He had already promised them victory, but they had to fight. Out of all the 12 men that were sent to spy out the land, only two of them, which were Joshua and Caleb said that they could be victorious. It was all because of what each man had their focus on. The other 10 men that were sent were focusing on the task and the obstacles ahead of them. They were focused on the giants that were before them. However, Caleb and Joshua were focused on God, his promises and trusting Him. They knew that nothing was bigger than the Lord. When we look at our circumstances, our pain, our fianances, our sicknesses etc; whatever it may be that we may be facing in life, when we focus on those things we see just how helpless we truely are in comparison. We can see that they are much more than we can cope with or deal with and we begin to doubt and have fear, and we allow satan to get in our minds and get our focus away from our strength which is CHRIST. We must be like Joshua and Caleb, we must keep our focus on God rather than the tasks before us. He is bigger than any battle, mountain, problem, circumstance or obstacle. He is all powerful and can do all things. We must trust Him. With Christ we can do anything He leads for us to do or go through. We can recieve and stand on the promises that He has already given us in his word. 2 Timothy says in 1:7 "For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of sound mind." Satan knows that the thing we focus on is what controls us. This is why he always attacks God's love for us. If he can keep us in a state of fear and doubt or focusing on other things, than we can never fully learn to trust and let our faith grow in God. When we worry, or fret, when we allow stress and anguish to fill our minds instead of focusing on our Almighty Father then we will fall everytime. We must keep our Focus on Him. He will NEVER fail.
3. Self hatred, worry, self pity, those things are painful, but they are all a form of self absorption. We learn this from experience. they keep your focus off of God and it is a sin. Anything we put before God in our lives is an idol. It is wrong. Life is not about us, life is not about you or I, and I do not mean that in a negative way. The simple truth is that life is all about God. He is the one that we should always be focused on. The sad truth is, bad things happen in life. Trouble is relative. Job said man is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. Sometimes we have to learn this next statement the hard way, and that is, Worry and self pity do not stop bad things from happening or make them better. I'm not speaking of burdens. Praying with a burden about something and worrying are two very different things. Worrying and self pity only steals our joy for the moments, hours, days, or weeks we allow it to consume our minds and hearts. It is a trick from satan. When we do pray for something with a burden, we pray still in faith knowing that no matter what the outcome will be, good or bad in our opinions, God is still in control and is taking care of everything. He is working all things out for good for those that love Him and are called to his purpose. (Romans 8:28). Some people tend to think that they cannot control worry. That is false. God gave us the power over our own minds through Christ. We can choose not to worry, we can choose to be happy no matter what circumstances we are in. We can find peace in the most difficult of times or in the most painful situations through CHRIST. We can be happy in our lives right now, knowing that we might not be exactly where we want to be, but that GOD is in control and where we are right now, He knows, understands and is leading us further along with Him. We are winners either way. Stop worrying about who is going to take care of you. He promised that he would never leave or forsake us and that He would always supply our need. (Hebrews 13:5, Philippians 4:19) Stop worrying about who is going to help you in life. God has, will, and is always taking care of you. Trust HIM! Instead find others that you can help and take care of. God will lead you to others that you can help for His glory. The Father wants us to trust Him completly no matter what. No matter how deep the waters of life get for us, no matter how rough the way, no matter how steep the climb, and no matter how much pain we must go through, be it physically, internally, or emotionally, Praise the LORD, it's never over His head, and HE WILL NEVER LET US DROWN!!! Hallelujah!!!
4. Glory to GOD we can trust HIM and know that any circumstance that comes in our lives, are not wasted, HE allows them to bring us to our purpose PRAISE YOU FATHER!!! If only we can humble ourselves before HIM and ask for wisdom and understanding, patience, and knowledge that only comes from HIM, study the word, pray, and ask HIM to help us to surrender and learn what it is that HE is trying to teach us in this time, how much peace we would feel and know in our hearts even in the times of storm. It's amazing...the CREATOR of the universe...is our FATHER and HE loves us more than we could even ever imagine...HE will never let us go...It is my prayer that I as well as all who read will focus on HIM instead of the circumstances in our lives...HE IS IN CONTROL!!! We can trust our FATHER!!!
5. What does the Bible say? Proverbs 3:5 & 6
6. Describe the joy and personal reward of humble dedication - the indwelling Christ
7. Challenge students to serve others in humility this week
Look up and read outloud Ephesians 6:11 - 18
Discuss ways that you can do in order to keep your focus on the Lord Jesus Christ. Asking the Lord to renew the mind daily is very important. (Helping others for His glory and spreading the good news of the gospel is a good way to keep focus on the Lord.)
Philippians 4:8 " Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
We humbly bow before you yet another week gone by.
We thank You for loving us and protecting us. We thank you
Almighty Father for the way that you lead us so gently and the
comfort you give to us when we come to you in dispair.
Father we know that without you we are nothing and can do nothing,
but we thank you that through Jesus we have strength and power to
overcome satan and evil and we can say no to sin. Thank you that your
promises are true and that if we draw closer to you, you will draw
closer to us. We pray that we can show others your love every day
that we live, spreading the good news of the gospel to others.
We thank you for making a way for us to have relationship with you.
We thank you that we see truth and ask you to help us be a light for
others to see your truth. Please help us every day to keep our main focus
on you Lord that we may follow your ways and live in your peace. We ever love,
praise, and worship you Father because you are most worthy.
(In the name of JESUS...Amen.)