Why Your Focus Matters
By Rick Warren
“His followers discussed the meaning of this, saying, ‘He said this because we have no bread.’ Knowing what they were talking about, Jesus asked them, ‘Why are you talking about not having bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your minds closed?’” Mark 8:16-17 (NCV)
When you focus on the wrong things, you miss what God is doing in your life.
When your attention is only on the here and now, you miss God’s long-term plan. When you just think about comfort, you miss out on character. When you concentrate on happiness, you forget holiness. When you just want to enjoy the moment, you may not prepare for eternity.
When you’re thinking is short-term, you miss seeing the spiritual work God is doing all around you.
This is what happened to the disciples in Mark 8. The Bible says, “Then Jesus left the Pharisees and went in the boat to the other side of the lake. His followers had only one loaf of bread with them in the boat; they had forgotten to bring more. Jesus warned them, ‘Be careful! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod’” (Mark 8:13-15 NCV).
But the disciples missed the point: “His followers discussed the meaning of this, saying, ‘He said this because we have no bread.’ Knowing what they were talking about, Jesus asked them, ‘Why are you talking about not having bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your minds closed?’” (Mark 8:16-17 NCV).
Using yeast as a metaphor, Jesus was trying to teach his disciples a lesson about pride. But they didn’t understand the deeper meaning—they thought he was talking about lunch!
While Jesus was talking about the need for maturity, his disciples were talking about their next meal. That’s short-term thinking.
Whenever you’re thinking short-term, you can’t see the larger picture of what God is doing in your life. So ask God today to give you a glimpse into eternity and to help you experience the hope that comes from seeing his long-term plan.
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“Perhaps the most important role you can play in the life of a child is teaching them to trust God through prayer. It’s the key to living with hope.” —Pastor Rick
That’s why it’s so important to strengthen the hope of kids by introducing them to Jesus’ model for prayer at an early age. And we’re excited to help you do that with Pastor Rick’s children’s book, The Lord’s Prayer: Words of Hope and Happiness.
Filled with thoughtful insights from Pastor Rick as well as stunning illustrations from award-winning artist, Richard Jesse Watson, this book brings the poetic scripture from the King James Version alive for readers young and old. It’s sure to become a meaningful bedtime ritual, a treasured memory, and by God’s grace, a legacy that bears good fruit for generations to come.
This book is a perfect way to share the beauty and richness of The Lord’s Prayer with the children the Lord has placed in your life. And it’s our thanks for your gift below to help Daily Hope take the Good News to more people everywhere. So please request a copy for yourself or a friend today, and thanks for your generosity!
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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