So often we discover that the challenge of the Christian life is to stay focused on the big picture of what’s eternally significant. While the demands of everyday life shout for our attention, it’s the issues of supreme importance that usually sit quietly in the back of our minds while we run to our next appointment. As any good time manager will suggest, the distinction between “the urgent” and “the important” has to be assessed on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the time management books fall short of accurately defining what is truly important. Jesus understood the difference. And while there were several onlookers whose expectations and demands weren’t met by Christ, at the end of his life he could confidently say to the Father, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do” (Jn.17:4). May God grant us the strength and the fortitude to pause often enough to see his heavenly agenda through the clutter of earth’s pressing concerns. May we strategically live our lives with our eyes fixed on divine priorities so that one day we will be able to say that we have fulfilled God’s call for our lives.
At Focal Point, one of our defining goals in the teaching we strive to produce is accuracy. Every word of Scripture was inspired by God and demands our careful attention. But it isn’t enough to know each verse in context. The living Word of God must have practical implications for how we live and guide our responses to life’s circumstances—the joyous occasions and the heart-rending tragedies.
How do we respond, for instance, when we are confronted by our fears? When we hear the devastating news that it’s cancer? When we suffer through painful losses? When we find ourselves face-to-face with our own mortality? As a pastor for more than twenty-five years, I have walked with many people through difficult valleys. These are the moments when our faith is put to the test, and our theology either sustains us or goes out the window.
When you give a donation to Focal Point this month, I would like to send you a copy of a book that demonstrates the practical relevance of the Bible to our lives: My God is True: Lessons Learned Along Cancer’s Dark Road. As a 28-year-old newlywed and seminary student, Paul Wolfe was stunned by his diagnosis of cancer. This book chronicles his journey and the questions he wrestled with along the way.
Perhaps you are currently facing a situation that is challenging you to come to grips with the biblical truths you acknowledge in principle. I pray that when you experience uncertainty, doubt, or insecurities, you will remember the unchanging truth of God’s Word. He is faithful to provide strength for today and hope for tomorrow.
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