I lost my focus on my family vacation. We loaded the car, packed the food, situated the iPad for the kids to watch movies, and a litany of other things before I took a deep sigh of relief knowing we were on our way. A few miles from home I turn to my wife, hoping to carry on a long overdue conversation, and chaos erupts. Kids fighting, crying, and interrupting each other flat out stole my focus. In Titus 3 Paul encourages Titus to remain focused and challenged others to do the same. Have you ever lost your focus? Let’s look at Titus chapter 3 and see what God’s word can do to help us stay focused on what’s important. Here is a brief commentary on verses 1-7.
There are times in all our lives that we need to be reminded of what matters. It could be a busy season of life, a life crisis, or being stuck in a rut, reminders help gain a renewed focus on God’s plan. Do you exhibit the character of Christ in your speech and actions?
We’re all human. Some of us are more likable than others, but the core of who we are without the transformational grace of God is dead. Our character in Christ should be so unlike our character outside Christ that the only resemblance to our old self is our physical appearance. Everything else should be drastically different. Do you recognize a difference in your attitudes, behaviors, perspective, and motivations?
The goodness and loving kindness of God is so much more than we can comprehend. His goodness is perfect and his kindness is complete. The appearance of God in the form of Jesus Christ changed everything. God’s mercy renewed the heart of man through Jesus’ sacrifice and gift of the Holy Spirit. By the grace of God, the sacrifice of Jesus, and the indwelling Holy Spirit we become recipients of God’s Glory. This is the gospel message.
Even in the midst of the gospel message we are caught in a struggle for control. We want to be right, wanted, and in charge. Titus 3 says there are two ways to handle this struggle. One is profitable and one is worthless.
 The saying (the gospel) is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. (Titus 3:8 ESV)
The truth of the gospel is a reward within itself. Fixating on what has been set in motion so that we may have life in Christ, freedom from sin and death, and adoption in the family of God fuels missional living.
 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. (Titus 3:9 ESV)
The advancement of self is a pit of despair. There is no reward in positioning to be the answer man, the go to man, the fixer, or the debate winner. Humbly walking in the light that God gives us, leveraging our time, talents, and treasures for the Glory of God frees us from the pit.
The Gospel commands us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him. Our flesh commands that we gratify ourselves, dismiss the cross, and follow our heart. If you’re anything like me you find yourself struggling with these polarized statements. Honestly they are both true in my life. So how do we move forward? We stay focused. Focus is faithful obedience to Christ’s ultimate sacrifice.
But it’s hard! This kind of Focus doesn’t come naturally. In the struggle we can make comparisons. We can find our focus to deal with the struggles of life by simply focusing on Jesus. Focus: faithful obedience to Christ’s ultimate sacrifice.
How can I F.O.C.U.S?
(Faithful obedience to Christ’s Sacrifice)
1. Eliminate Distractions
Hebrews 12:1 (ESV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…
Anything that weights us down is a distraction. God desires for us to be free of the burdens that we place on ourselves. If you are struggling to determine what a distraction is, ask: Does this develop or reveal the character of Christ in me?
Does this mean that we don’t pay bills and stop going to work because they are distractions? No, it means that we focus on Christ as we go about our day and allow him to be our focus rather than the tasks. It also means that if it is something that is in direct opposition to what God wants you eliminate it.
2. Intentionally Pursue Your Focus
Matthew 6:33 (ESV) but seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
God wants you to be free from sin, to feel renewed in Christ, but he will not do it for you. Following after God requires us to actively pursue him. He will not make us know him. We must intentionally pursue him to know him. This requires effort on our part – effort in study, prayer, repentance, confession, worship, mentorship, service, and devotion.
3. Think and Talk about Your Focus
Psalm 77:12 (ESV) I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.
We are a compilation of what we think and talk about. Character oozes. The quickest way to find out about a person is to listen to what they say. Thinking and talking about God, his word, his love, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, his church, evangelism, discipleship, and anything else pertaining to God’s revelation fills you with God.
- What distractions plague you? What steps can you take to become free from their bondage?
- How can you become more intentional in your pursuit of God? How can you sustain it?
- What would it take for you to make God the thing you think and talk about the most? Would the effort be worth the benefit?