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IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – June 11, 2020

IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – June 11, 2020

Focus

 

By Jodie Montgomery

 

I’m struggling with my vision right now. One of my eyes is corrected for distance and the other for near, but right now all seems foggy. I’m trying to make life clearer by wearing readers, but I find that life involves a lot of looking near, looking far and looking everywhere at once. The readers go on and off. I’m thankful for vision; I know some people are not able to see as clearly as I do or even at all. But, it is disconcerting to have what was normally so clear, be so blurry. I’m uncomfortable.

 

Sometimes life seems more blurry than usual. This may result in frustration, confusion, even headaches. For some, this involves enduring suffering. The apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5 helps us to focus. He says:

 

Remember what is eternal. “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (verse 1)

 

Remember the struggle is real. “For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.” (verses 2 to 4)

 

Remember He is with us and has even indwelt us with His Spirit. “Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.” (verse 5)

 

Remember courageously pleasing Him, by faith, is deliverance. “Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord — for we walk by faith, not by sight— we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.  Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (verses 6 to 10)

 

Remember we are united in living for Him. “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences. We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart.  For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;  and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” (verses 11 to 15)

 

Remember in Christ, every person is made new. “Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (verses 16 & 17)

 

Remember in Christ, our focus is on reconciliation. “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (verses 18 & 19)

 

Remember righteousness is through Christ, not through comfortable and clear vision. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (verses 20 & 21)