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Rock Report by Pastor Paul

This is a blog that comes from my personal devotions each day. It will also include sermons as I have to delete them from the audio section of the website. This blog will also keep you up to date with what is happening at the Rock in Strathroy Ontario 

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  • Apr13Thu

    Day 44: “Keep Focused”

    April 13, 2017
                Once you get turned around, keep focused. If you have not turned away, keep focused. Make sure you compare what you have been taught with the word of God, then you will know whether or not you need to turn around. When the disciples in Luke 24 got turned round, they raced back to tell the others. “It is true! The Lord has risen.” Now they need to stay that way and keep the message burning in their hearts. They cannot forget and turn away. Israel was told Deuteronomy 4:5 “See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. 6 Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” Deuteronomy 4:39 “Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. 40 Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.
                Peter showed us physically what it means to keep your focus on Jesus. Of course it was Peter who said, 8 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus then responds, 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. Peter did not stand on the water just because Jesus was standing, he had to believe. Yes he did walk on water but then he took his eyes off Jesus and sank. This shows us the power that is available to all who believe in Jesus. Paul prayed, Ephesians 1:8 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” But what about all those who don’t even believe for the everyday events in their lives. How in the world do they expect to stand on the water? You are telling Jesus you do not believe him when he tells us I will be with you always! 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” If you doubt, stop doubting as nothing good can come from it. James 1:6 “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” John 20:27 “Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
                No one likes to be told they have little faith but it is true in the church today. Most do not even believe Jesus when he said, John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” Jesus is saying I am willing to give you great authority if you would just believe. In order for this to happen we have to keep our eyes on Jesus.   Hebrews 12:1 “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” This is a simple illustration but now that spring is here I have started riding my bike. Okay I thought spring was here but today was a little chilly. I like to ride through a conservation area that we have. To get to the upper level there is a set of wooden stairs that take you up about two flights. No I can’t ride up the hill, not yet anyway, (yes I am afraid to go down the hill) so I push my bike up the stairs.  What I find interesting is if I place my front wheel on the stringer, my back wheel will follow. I never have to look at the back to see if it is in line. But if I take my eyes off the front wheel the bike will fall off. Keeping with a bike theme, it is like riding a tandem bike. Yes you are pedaling at the back but you are not steering. No I am not going to say Jesus to take the wheel in this illustration. I think you get the point. We must run with perseverance and fix our eyes on Jesus and not turn away. If we do will sink. It will also mean we lack faith.
                Unfortunately many have fixed their eyes on who they think Jesus is. In most cases this Jesus is just a figment of their imaginations. They really don’t know Jesus because they do not know His words nor do they recognize His voice. They in fact are following other voices but not the voice of Jesus. John 10:3 “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” If we do not know God’s word, we will not know to turn and run from false teachers. 2 Corinthians 11:13 “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”  John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.”
                Many do not know God’s word and they stake their lives on what man says. Man’s word cannot judge the heart. Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Jesus warns us about following blind guides but David tells us Psalm 23:1 “The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
                If we keep our eyes on man we will fall, fail and be destroyed. Matthew 25:46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” If we keep our eyes on Jesus we will find eternal life. John 6:47 “Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.” Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” If we keep focused on Jesus we will not be deceived. Ephesians 4:14 “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.”
                Yes this weekend is Easter and yes it is a date on the calendar that we perpetually celebrate. My question for you this weekend is this. Do you really focus on Jesus or is every Sunday and every Easter just a date on the calendar? Are you willing to get off this merry-go-round? How important is the bible in your life? Do you know His voice when you hear it? Last Sunday you may have been shouting Hosanna and tomorrow you may be screaming Crucify Him. Take time to check if this is happening in your life. The word of God cuts to the heart but Hebrews 4:7 “today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” Take this weekend to adjust your focus. Paul teaches us in 1 Corinthians 11:23 “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 27 “So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.”