Bella Vista Church of Christ



Jeff Grisham


Keeping Our Focus


  As we wrap up the graduation season we begin to reflect on the changes that will take place in the lives of our high school and college graduates. They will face new challenges and adventures as they begin to build upon this milestone. There will be new experiences as their focus shifts toward new academic pursuits or new financial concerns and stresses. In other words, these graduates remind us of the struggle that faces each of us.  With so many things going on within our lives, we are constantly faced with decisions of how we will spend the time we're given.


  Priority has to be given to selected things, and others will be neglected or omitted. Throughout Scripture we see the danger of neglecting our spiritual health. God continually warned the Israelites against forgetting who and whose they were. After the death of Joshua, we see the results of forgetting God. “And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that He had done for Israel. And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals.”


  Paul reminds us of the dangers of refusing to keep God at the forefront of our lives in Romans 1:18-32.


  How do we keep our focus? How do we continue to cultivate and grow our relationship with the God who loves and saved us? Three suggestions...


  First, we have to be intentional. Maintaining and growing in our relationship with God is a choice we make. It does not happen by accident. As we are looking at our to-do lists, which seem to have no end, we have to make sure that our time with God is at the top of that list every day.


  We have to be present. In a world full of distractions, it can be hard to be really present with one another, and to give our undivided attention. We have to be fully present with God. Spend time alone with Him in prayer. Spend time alone with Him listening to His Word. We have to be present with God’s people. Our presence with one another in corporate worship and Bible study is a place where we can give and receive the encouragement we need to become what God has designed us to be.


  We need to be protective. Even though we've made the choice to grow in our relationship with God, and even though we have decided to be fully present with God and his people, our enemy will still work to distract us. The time that we set aside to spend alone with God must be protected and guarded. It should not be given up. The time that we have to spend with God’s people needs to be guarded as well. 


  May God bless us as we commit ourselves to continued growth in our relationship with Him.


—Jeff Grisham