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Fixing our eyes on Jesus

Friday 18 November 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Church Talk, Features


Fixing our eyes on Jesus
Repent, that your love for Him has grown cold, writes Pastor Paul Kauri. Picture credit: GOD TV/22111706

In the first edition of this topic, Finishing Well, we looked at Paul’s testimony near the end of his life; he had fought the good fight, he had finished his race and was looking forward to the crown that would be awarded to him, by Jesus. And we also looked at two kings who started well in their zeal and service to God, but they ended in witchcraft and worshipping other gods. Sadly, they did not finish well. By Paul Kauri, lead pastor at The Arepua Gateway Assembly of God Church.

We identified two keys that can cause people to fall away from God.

  1. What They Focused On:

When they took their eyes off Jesus and focused on other pleasures or pressures they began to sink, as was the case with King Solomon who was distracted by the pressure to keep all his wives happy, and who eventually led him astray. A sober warning for us considering Solomon was a very wise man.

  • What They Ignored:

We also looked at people who don’t deal with the offences in their heart, and the devasting consequences to them and those around them. When we ignore the offence or insecurities by burying them under the surface of our heart, then like seed sown on the rocky soil* its roots don’t go deep enough for his Word to grow in us, killing the plants when the heat of life is turned up! (*Matt 13 Parable of the Sower). King Saul never dealt to the insecurities in his heart and it cost him, his son, and all the men who followed him, their lives!

I will wrap up this mini-series on Finishing Well, by looking at two keys that are within the Words of Jesus that can help us, finish our race, fighting the good fight, and wait on the One who will award our crown – Jesus Christ himself.

Key #1A Child Like Innocence

The first key is childlike innocence. Look at what Jesus said;

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 18:1-3

There is an innocence about children that Jesus is drawing our attention to. He isn’t calling us to be childish, but rather to remain childlike! The words, ‘change and become’ is not in the past tense, it’s in the present. It is constantly changing and becoming, constantly learning, having an attitude of ‘never arriving’ but always growing up in our knowledge of God and His ways, this child-like innocence of always learning, and being taught from someone else. Nobody likes a know-it-all.

Also, children don’t worry where the food is coming from, they don’t worry about the bills. They live in a world where they know, mum and dad will take care of food and clothes. It is us learning to trust God in all things, so that our priority remains seeking first His Kingdom and His Righteousness.

Also, children have a heightened sense of conviction, when an adult addresses them about the wrong behaviour, which usually leads to remorse and tears, but always a desire for reconciliation (at least with mum and dad, if not their brother or sister). King David displayed this aspect when he was confronted by the prophet Nathan and we see his remorse and repentance in Psalm 51.

Key #2 – Keeping our First Love

The second key is keeping our first love. Let’s read Revelation 2.

“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endure hardships for my name and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love, consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do what you did at first.” Rev 2:2-4

There are eight key words I will elaborate on later – Consider, Repent, Do what you did at first.

This text from Revelation are Jesus word’s to the church, yet, it can also be applied to us individually. Jesus also warned us in Matt 24 that in the last days due to the increase of wickedness the love of many would grow cold.

When our love for the Lord grows cold, we’re on a dangerous path. When our love for the things of God outweigh our love for the Lord himself, we’re on a slippery slope. Notice how the church worked hard, how she persevered, endured hardships even tested those who said they were, but were not! They had not grown weary in enduring hardships for His Name! Yet, they fell short in what matter most to the Lord, their first love was lost.

It is a reminder that all we do for God should never supersede our love for Him. It’s a delicate balance but not a difficult one. We are called to do “good works” – we see that in Jesus parable in Matthew 24 where they were judged for what they did or did not do.

We read in Ephesians 4:11 that the five ministry gifts are there to equip the believers for “works of service”. However, when our love for Him has grown cold and we persevere in our works for him, then we have become the older brother Jesus spoke of in Luke 15

In closing this series, I see six keys (so far) that can help us Finish Well;

  1. Don’t be a know-it-all. Walk humbly before God and have teachable heart 
  2. Do not worry – Seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness and trust Him for everything else.
  3. Do not harden your heart – Today if you hear God convicting you, don’t harden your heart, rather apply Proverbs 4:23
  4. Consider – Remember what you use to do when you first fell in love with the Lord
  5. Repent – Repent, that your love for Him has grown cold
  6. Do what you did when you first fell in love with Jesus.

So let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus! Hebrews 12:1&2