4 Maintain Your Focus

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Reach for the Goal.doc                                                                            SD21

August 24, 2008                                                                                              File E (Hebrews)

Go for the Goal (part three)


Hebrews 12:1-4

We are in a race—A MARATHON—


We are running to win—not just to run!!!

      We are developing a “Go For The Goal” mindset---

            Learning what it takes!

WE have learned that those with a goal for the goal mentality:

·         Remember the witness—the great cloud of witnesses—past and present who have run or are running

·         Remove the hindrances—take off every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us—hinders our progress toward the goal.

·         Run with Endurance—they stick with it—they don’t give up just because it get hard and difficult—they persevere through the pain

Today we look at the next few verses:

Read Hebrews 12:1-4

You can see it in their eyes…their step…ipods in their ears, music to help them tune out the rest of the world as they walk into the venue of their competition…swimmers, runners, gymnasts, … they are focused on one thing—the race that is before them…

These athletes are concerned about one thing…

This ability to focus—to stay centered, to bring to bear intense concentration—is a key factor in Olympic competition.


To desire one thing above all others

David – the great King and Psalmist of Israel said in Psalm 27:4, “One thing I have desired of the Lord…”

One thing—Focus!

      What is most important????

            What is the one primary goal of your life!

                  And can we keep that goal in focus!!!

                        What do you want to be remembered for when your race is over? What do you want the people who stand around your coffin to be saying about you…or even more...to be thinking about you…?

      What is the most important thing in your life!!!!

To a rich young ruler who came to Jesus wanting to know how to gain eternal life—Jesus said, “One thing you lack…”

      One thing is hindering you!

            You have the wrong focus!!!

“What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world?

Mary and Martha (sisters)—both loved Jesus…one was hurrying about busying herself with preparations, becoming frustrated…Mary however, sat at the feet of Jesus and worship him…

      Martha complained… “tell Mary to help with the dishes…”

Jesus responded, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part,”

A blind man…healed by Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees…his response?  “One thing I know, though I was blind, now I can see.”

      Words echoed by John Newton, writer of Amazing Grace…

We learned that there are many distractions—and we talked about removing the hindrances and believe God for each day to walk in victory…

The apostle Paul came to a point in his life where he said, “This one thing I do…”

       “…one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,…I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Today I want to talk about focus…

One thing—Focus!

      What is most important????

            What is the one primary goal of your life!

                  And can we keep that goal in focus!!!

I Corinthians 15:3 (NLT) I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said”

Hebrews tells what our focus must be:

Hebrews 12:1-4 (NLT)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.

Keeping our eyes on Jesus—

      And particular

            The reality of His death, suffering, resurrection and power

Jesus is our example---but MORE—He is our savior

      WE will never be a savior—

            But we can learn by his example how to live as champions

What does it say?

1.  Who for the joy set before him…

      There was a goal that would bring Him great joy!

            He looked to the end result of his suffering and pain

            He decided that what he was enduring in the race was worth it because there was a prize…

      What was that prize???


                  He endured so he could spend eternity with you!

You are the prize!  You bring Him Joy!

      Who me!  I am so week and disgusting…I can’t and don’t bring him joy…

      Listen—he died for you!  When you run to him that fulfills his mission---When you come to him His purpose is completed

      That is the joy!  When you come to Him…and rely on the power of the cross and the sacrifice He made for you!!!

Come to Jesus!!! AND LIVE


Let me give you two practical ideas for how you can keep your focus on Jesus--- “fix your eyes on Him…”

1. When you wake up in the morning---practice thinking about Him as the first object of your day…

Don’t let your mind drift to your worries and cares—your kids and your job—your list of undone projects—the grocery list or the PG&E Bill

            Practice setting your mind—the first thing in the morning on Jesus—Talk to him first thing!!!

2.  Do the same thing before you go to bed—let your mind---NO—TRAIN YOUR MIND!    To ending your day with thought about Jesus and His death and resurrection…just think about His creation---his provision—his greatness and glory!

3.  Throughout the day—train your mind—when you find it drifting – you know—during those times when your not particularly thinking about anything…train your mind in those moments—to think about the LORD…

When I think about the Lord…how he save me, how he change and, how he filled me with the Holy Ghost---When I think about the Lord—How he picked me up and turned me around, how he placed my feet…on solid ground---it makes me wan to shout, hallelujah, Thank you Jesus, lord you’re worthy, of all the glory, all the honor and all the praise…

Oh, My---what a difference that would make in our sense of purpose—satisfaction—just our general sense of well-being…Because if we do that we will walk in more victory that we have seen yet…we will be overcoming the obstacles and the hindrances—the weights and sins that so easily ensnare us…we will learn to delight in the times of endurance….because we too have set our hearts on the goal---what is the goal?  Heaven????  NO!  The goal is Christ!  To know Him and to live forever with him!

If you are going to do this you must commit yourself to a process!

Turning to Him every chance you get…

You are going to have to get His Word in you!  In your mind and in your spirit!!!!


If you could boil your life down to one thing

      One main objective!

            What would it be!

What is the chief thing?

      What do you want more than anything else?

Don’t get overly religious or pious about it!

      Just think about it!

            Does what your life demonstrate—through your values and reflect what you say is of primary importance?

And how many of you would have to say today that Jesus is not the chief desire of your heart…

Perhaps it is time to make some course corrections

      To come and surrender once again to priority living

            Focused living

Looking unto Jesus—the author and finisher of our faith!

The old prophet Isaiah said, to God,
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!    Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)

Perfect peace—in all of life’s storms---while running this marathon we call life!!!!

Listen to this testimony of someone whom I believe ran it well. He was a young African pastor, and this note was found tacked to the wall of his house.

I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I’m a disciple of his. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on his presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till he comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till he stops me. And when he comes for his own, he will have no problems recognizing me. My banner will be clear!


Go For the Goal

Part Four

Maintain Your Focus

Hebrews 12:1-4


Believers with a “Go for the Goal” mindset:

1.  Remember the                                                 

2.  Remove the                                                     

3.  Run with                                                         



4.  Maintain their                                                      

How do we run with endurance and remove the hindrances and remember the witnesses?

Hebrews 12:2 (NLT)  “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus…”


Three practical ideas on how to keep your focus on Jesus:




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