Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

August 22, 2023

Recently, I heard a story about a family bringing their newborn baby girl home from the hospital. As soon as they arrived home, their five-year-old son asked if he could question his little sister in secret. Understandably, mom and dad were suspicious, but hesitantly agreed to the unusual request. As they walked away, they kept their ears on high alert toward the crib. They then heard their son say to his little sister, “Tell me about God. I’m starting to forget what He’s like.”

Beginning at a very early age, chronic distractions are all around us. These distractions compete for our attention from the time we wake up in the morning until the time we go to bed. Distractions are one of the main reasons many people struggle with focusing on God.
Our lives are too loud, and our schedules are way too busy, which often results in us forgetting about God; friends, we have got to slow down. Hurry is the death of our spiritual life.
Unrealistic schedules, emails, text messages, phone calls, social media and Zoom calls can eat up the day. My “smart phone” is so smart that it keeps me busy all day!

How can we keep our hearts pure and devoted to God while living in this hectic, fast-paced world? Jesus! He is the answer. He is our example!

Was Jesus busy? Did He have a deadline? Yes, He did—Calvary! Do you remember the following scene at Gethsemane? “Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” Matthew 26:38 (NKJV).

Have you ever been so stressed out and your heart so heavy that you felt like you were dying on the inside? I’ve definitely felt that way before. Jesus’ example to us during times like these is to pray. Think about what Jesus went through. How did He prepare His head? How did He prepare His heart? He prayed! He spent time with His Father.
To put it simply, for times “like these,” the most important thing we can do is pray. There are times when it is best practice to say no to all the demands and spend time with God in prayer and studying His Word. Doing this every morning is especially beneficial as it helps us tune into His voice more clearly.

God reveals Himself to us in many ways, but the clearest revelation of His thoughts and plans for our life is found in His Word. Stop waiting on a miracle and start looking for a verse. Connect to a miracle-working, life-changing God who loves you and has an eternal plan for your life.
Again, how do we keep our hearts and minds free from defilement with the bombardment of exposure from multiple media outlets? Paul gives some good advice: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:1-2 (NKJV).
Keep your eyes on the prize—Jesus is coming again!

By Rick Mercer

Ministerial Director