Finish With A Focus (Part 3)


Running The Race
Part 3: Live With A Focus
By Larry D. Wright
People who run and finish well are people who live with a focus.
The writer of Hebrews helps us understand the place of focus with a powerful and poignant phrase, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.” The verb form found in that phrase occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. Weymouth translates this, “Looking off unto Jesus”. There is a movement involved here. With vision that comes through faith we gaze at the great encouragers mention in Hebrews 11. Then our eyes move from these imperfect instruments to the perfect One who is the “author” and “perfector” of our faith. The movement stops, as our gaze becomes a stare. The idea behind this phrase conveys the idea that ones mind is so captured as to make one mindful of nothing else. Wiersbe says of this phrase, it “describes an attitude of faith, and not just a single act.” (Wiersbe, Be Confident, Hebrews, p. 136)
“It has its root significance, a looking which can only be described as that of staring; not a casual glance, not the looking of complete apprehension, not the look of investigation, not the look of critical activity, but the look that suggest amazement, the seeing of something that has completely captures the mind.” (G. Campbell Morgan, God’s Last Word to Man, p. 129)
In the sports arena this is called “focus”.
The key in running a good race and finishing strong is unlocking the secret of a fixed focus, that is, keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus Christ. Indeed, He is life’s perfect summit! All human sources of encouragement fail to compare to one significant glimpse of Him. As you look in His eyes you will be reminded that your purpose is “to run”, your persistence is “to run with endurance”, and your prize is to receive the approval of the Father.
In the Spring 2005 issue of Stewardship Strategies John Maxwell has a feature article entitled The Marathon Mindset. He sites the origin of the marathon, a race of 26.3 miles, and describes seven attributes that makeup the “marathon mindset” and among the traits is “a focus on the goal”. He adds, “Completion is the objective, reaching the line and knowing that you gave it your all.” I like the words of Billy Sunday who said, “More men fail through lack of purpose than lack of talent.”
Maxwell concludes his article with these words, “And let’s de-clutter our lives of all that hinders, running patiently yet forcefully. And, above, let’s look to Jesus, who is there waiting to say, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant’.”
Florence, Alabama


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   May 2019   
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