Hey everyone! Man I feel worn out and almost thawed out from the craziness that we experienced this week with the weather. As promised, I wanted to follow up this past Sunday's message with a series of emails that will help us to take the message into action. If you were unable to be there and would like to listen, you can go here and listen to the message titled "Beyond Wishful Thinking." As the first service in 2014, I wanted to spend some time talking about what we can accomplish this year. We looked at Philippians 4:13 and learned the true meaning of this verse. We must remove the word "can't" from our vocabulary if we are going to have a year of life-changing impact. We closed the message by challenging us to focus our "I can through Christ" in 3 different directions - up, in, and out. Today, I want to challenge you in this idea of Focus UP. Read Psalm 42:1-6Psalm 63: 1-8John 4:10-14, and John 6:35, 47-51. In these verses, you will see a theme develop. Do you notice what it is? It is using the analogy of our relationship UP with God is as necessary as food and drink for our bodies. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself if that is how you view your relationship with God? What a tremendous opportunity that we have to be in a relationship with God! Yet for many of us, this opportunity feels more like an obligation. Yet, we probably eat and drink and don't view it as an obligation. "Well I guess I have to eat again. I better force myself to get this drink of water. What a drag!" If you are anything like me, you view eating and drinking as an opportunity - most often it is an opportunity of great joy. SO when you read these verses of hungering and thirsting after God, read them in light of the opportunity that we have been given to know God and be known by Him. Why would we ever allow this opportunity to be viewed as an obligation? As you focus UP and make some changes in your commitment and relationship to God, may they be changes that are driven out of opportunity and not out of obligation. Here are some FOCUS UP questions to keep in front of you for 2014...
  • What does God want to do in your life in 2014?
  • What areas could you allow God to enter into in 2014?
  • What discipline do you have the opportunity to start as a way to connect with God more deeply and passionately?
  • Could this be a year where you FOCUS UP and connect with God so intimately that He becomes the most important person in your life?
As you reflect on these questions and FOCUS UP, it is my prayer that you will have an amazing year! And I know... "you can through Christ"!