When we take our eyes off of Jesus, bad things happen.
Song: All Hail the Power of Jesus Name (19)
1. Peter once learned this truth the hard way: he was walking on the water, but the Scriptures say that he took his eyes off of Jesus and became afraid when he, "saw that the wind was boisterous" (Matt. 14:29-30).
2. Peter ceased looking at the Master and chose to focus on the wind and waves - and he immediately began to sink and founder.
3. What a vivid picture of a spiritual reality!
4. Consider some of the effects of focusing on anything besides the Lord.
A. When we take our eyes off of Jesus, problems seem insurmountable –
1. Isn't it ironic to think that Peter had already "beaten" the wind and waves by God's power, and yet his change of focus caused him to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?
2. On an occasion just prior to His walking on the water, Jesus challenged His disciples to feed a crowd of more than 5000 people.
3. Again, the disciples focused on the size of the problem rather than the ability of Jesus (John 6:5-11).
4. There are too many Christians and too many churches today who believe they are facing insurmountable problems, when what is often truly needed is a renewed concentration on the greatness of Jesus Christ.
5. A wise man has said, "Don’t tell God how big your problems are, tell your problems how big your God is!"
B. When we take our eyes off of Jesus, we get wrong ideas about people.
1. Jesus puts everything and everyone in the proper perspective.
2. He considered Himself to be the servant of all (Mark 10:45) and a sacrifice for the benefit of everyone (Matt. 26:28).
3. By contrast, His disciples had more than one argument about which one of them was the greatest (Mark 9:33-37), and they even tried to forbid small children from approaching the Lord (Mark 10:13-16).
4. When a Christian is not properly focusing on Jesus, he will begin to compare himself to others and he will come to the conclusion that some people matter more to God than others.
5. Neither of these attitudes is Biblical, yet both are seen far too frequently among the people of God.
C. When we take our eyes off of Jesus, priorities get skewed –
1. The writer of Hebrews urges every Christian to look to Jesus as we run the race that is set before us (Heb. 12:1-2).
2. The Lord asked, "What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
3. Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:36-37).
4. Christians who lose their focus on the Lord often find that the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches quickly invade their lives, and God's word becomes an afterthought (Mark 4:19).
5. Greed, covetousness, doubt and worry are common in the lives of individuals who fail to focus on the Master.
1. Every congregation and every Christian needs to echo the request of John 12:21:
2. "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
1. There is also an antitype which now saves us, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (1 Peter 3:21)
2. I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3)
By Gary Murphy
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