Keep your Focus On Jesus

Before I delve into the word, I would like to share a revelation the Lord has imparted to me concerning today's proceedings. This insight will help set our expectations on the right course.

October 2, 2023

Before I dive into the word, I would like to share a revelation the Lord has imparted to me concerning today’s proceedings. This insight will help set our expectations on the right course. In the Scriptures, we learn of a pivotal moment when Jesus endured a grueling 40-day, 40-night period of temptation in the wilderness. Upon conquering these trials, angels descended to minister to Jesus, providing him with strength and encouragement. I believe that today, we are also poised to experience a ministering of angels. If you find yourself in need of strength and encouragement, anticipate their divine presence.

Additionally, I draw inspiration from the account of Peter’s preaching in the Bible. As he spoke, those who listened received the Holy Spirit. I am confident that as God’s word is spoken today, a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit awaits you. If you come with an open heart and a willing spirit, I assure you, as the word is proclaimed, you will experience the transformative power of the Holy Spirit.

In my spiritual vision, I perceive the hand of the Lord—a colossal and magnificent hand—descending upon your life. Today, I want to affirm that this is a day of significant impartation. I’m telling you, whatever you’ve been longing for, it can be received in a single moment of impartation. In the kingdom of God, blessings are not earned through actions or deeds; rather, they are received as a divine gift. The only criteria for receiving these blessings in the kingdom are humility and a willing heart. This is why we often see Jesus asking those who are sick, “Are you willing to be healed?” It’s your willingness that opens the doors of your heart to receive these blessings. So, if you carry that willingness within you today, rest assured that the hand of the Lord will descend upon you.

Consider the prayer of Jabez: “Lord, I pray for Your blessings to overflow in my life. I pray for Your increase, and I ask that Your mighty hand be upon me.” Just imagine what it means to have the hand of the Lord upon you. In our daily lives, many strive to show that they have support or influence in various situations. However, we are talking about the King of Kings, and His hand is upon you. His divine protection and favor surround you. No harm shall befall you; nothing shall touch you. This level of protection and privilege is what you will experience.

Colossians 1:12 – Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[b] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

It’s indeed good news! We didn’t qualify ourselves; God did. No matter how much you think about whether you love God enough, serve Him enough, or show enough appreciation, remember this: God has already qualified you. God has done the work.

Does it matter how much we love God compared to how much He loves us? The answer lies in our awareness of His love. We love because He first loved us. Without knowing and embracing God’s love for our lives, we cannot truly love Him. So, don’t stress over whether you love God enough, considering all that He has done. Instead, focus on His love for you.

If you desire victory, holiness, righteousness, and a genuine love for God, shift your attention from yourself to God’s love. It’s not about how good you are; it’s about how good He is. Therefore, the crucial question isn’t, ‘Do I love God enough?’ but rather, ‘Do I understand that God loves me enough?’

When this understanding moves from a theological concept to a heartfelt reality, your love for God will become an automatic response. It will transition from being a concept to a lived experience, becoming an innate and automatic part of your life.

By the way, speaking of falling in love, let me share a story. When I first heard Betty’s voice after our arranged marriage was introduced, I fell head over heels in love.

But, here was the problem—I was over the moon, so smitten with love that I couldn’t help but share my excitement with everyone. I enthusiastically told my friends, ‘I’m getting married! This is it!’ She hadn’t even said yes yet, but I acted like it was a done deal. I had found ‘the one,’ or so I thought. Then, within a week, she said no, and suddenly, I was faced with the daunting task of telling my friends that it wasn’t happening. I felt ashamed and embarrassed. How could I break the news? I had been so confident before.

However, I didn’t give up. I spent another week wooing and pursuing her, and finally, she said yes. It was like I was on cloud nine for the very first time in my life. I woke up to the sound of birds chirping and saw the brilliant blue sky in a way I had never seen it before. Life felt different—colors were more vivid, and I had a newfound appreciation for the world around me. Love had transformed my existence. I was overflowing with it. Love became the lens through which I saw life, and everything appeared wonderful. Even in traffic, when someone cut me off, I’d just smile and let them go, wishing them a good day. If someone overtook me, I didn’t mind at all. Why? Because I was living in a different reality. Physically, I was in Delhi, but my heart was in Bangalore, where she was at the time. I constantly daydreamed about our life together after we got married. My thoughts, emotions, consciousness, and awareness were all fixated on her. She wasn’t even in Delhi with me, but in my mind, she was always by my side.

What you love becomes the reality of your life. It’s not about whether you love God; it’s about whether you know that God loves you. Do you realize that God loves you unconditionally? That He loves you perfectly? If you become aware of this reality, even the devil might start loving Jesus. No one can be so bad that they remain untouched by such unconditional love. The issue is that we often grasp the concept—’Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so’—but fail to truly internalize it.

Why are you feeling down? Remember, Jesus loves you. Yet, I understand that sometimes, this truth can feel more like a concept than a reality, something that hasn’t quite sunk in. We often don’t live our lives from the perspective of that reality. How do we do it? How was it that I, living in Delhi, could be so deeply in love with a woman I had only seen once and who was residing far away in Bangalore? The key lies in our awareness, our consciousness, our imagination, and our thoughts. In everything I did, I always pictured her with me.

God loves you. Can you see that He’s with you right now? Because that’s the truth. He loves you. He’s closer to you than the clothes you’re wearing. Can you grasp that? When I hear the Lord most clearly, without a doubt, it’s when I’m feeling hopeless, when I’m deep in sin, or going through a profound and depressing mental struggle. It’s in those moments, when I feel that nothing is redeemable, that I hear the Lord saying, ‘I love you, my child. You are perfect.’ Even in the midst of my worst sins, I can hear the Lord saying, ‘You are beautiful. You are amazing. I love you.’ If I can hold onto that word from God, I can immediately overcome whatever I’m facing.

My friends, the Father is speaking a beautiful word over your life. He’s saying, ‘You are my beloved, and in you, I am well pleased.’ You might wonder, ‘But I haven’t done anything to please God.’ He’s well pleased with who you are. You are His son. You are His daughter. He’s well pleased with you. Even if your actions are sinful or seem bad, He can’t deny you because you are His child, and He is faithful. He loves you unconditionally.

The greatest blessing we’ve received from the Lord isn’t our achievements, our spouses, or anything else. It’s Jesus. Remember John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.’ God loves you even when you were a sinner, even when you were His enemy. If He loved you then, how much more does He love you now that you’ve been reconciled to Him through Jesus? When you feel far from God, remember that He loved you enough to send Jesus to the cross. His love for you is beyond measure.

When you’re reconciled to Him, you’ll witness even more of His love. We often see the cross as a symbol of His love, and undoubtedly, it is. However, I want to emphasize that the ultimate symbol of His love isn’t the cross; it’s your life—what He is doing in and through your life.
God redeemed you. Ephesians 2:4 tells us that He made you alive together with Him, raised you up, and seated you at His right hand so that in the coming ages, He might reveal to you the immeasurable greatness of His love.

Why did He do all this? He did it so that in the future, throughout the ages to come, He can continually show you how much more He loves you. If you think you’ve grasped the depth of God’s love, you’ve only scratched the surface. You’ve seen just the tip of the iceberg. In the coming ages, He wants to unveil more of His love to you.

You might be thinking, ‘I used to be so devoted in my faith two years ago, but now I’ve fallen short.’ Remember, it’s not about your faithfulness; it’s about His. He is committed to you. He’s committed to loving you through thick and thin. When you make vows in marriage, you promise to be there for each other in health and sickness, in poverty and riches. If humans can make and keep such commitments, how much more committed is the God of heaven, who never breaks His word? He says, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you. I am committed to loving you.’

So, shift your focus from your love to His love. Don’t dwell on what you’ve done for God but on what He has done for you. Now, I’ll share a secret with you, my secret to remaining consistent in God’s love, and it’s worth a million dollars.

The secret to consistency is focusing on His consistent love for you. Keep your attention on His unwavering love that continuously flows toward you.

So, let’s say I’m sitting on my couch, watching Netflix, and I start feeling guilty because I haven’t prayed or read the Bible today. Instead of dwelling on that guilt, I can shift my focus and say, ‘God, I know that You love me. I know Your love is unchanging.’ The moment I do that, it lifts me from my self-pity, and I begin to worship automatically. Worship isn’t a struggle; it flows naturally when you can see God’s mercy over your life.

Imagine this scenario: Jeremy needs 10,000 rupees desperately. He’s worried, wondering if his mom received her salary, and how he’ll ask her for the money. Then, out of the blue, I meet him and say, ‘Hey Jeremy, let me give you 10 lakhs.’ His need was only 10,000, but I gave him so much more. What would be his response? He’d be overwhelmed with gratitude and love.

When you truly see God’s goodness, you’ll be overwhelmed. You can’t help it. That’s why Paul says in Colossians 1:12, ‘Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you.’ Thanksgiving isn’t mechanical; it’s automatic when you have a revelation of what the Lord has done for you. You can’t be a robotic, mechanical person who mechanically thanks God every morning. Your thanksgiving comes naturally when you realize what God has qualified you for.

God did incredible things for me when I was living a less-than-ideal life. How can I not be moved by His love? It’s like what the Psalmist says, ‘Who am I that You are so mindful of me?’ It’s not about diminishing ourselves; it’s about being overwhelmed by God’s love. ‘God, who am I that You think of me, that You care about even the smallest details and desires in my life?’

Why? Because He’s committed to loving you. Just imagine a God who is wholeheartedly dedicated to loving you. Picture your Heavenly Father, deeply committed to your well-being. He loves you.

Often, when we backslide, we mistakenly think that it’s us who bring ourselves back to God. We might go for weeks without attending church, and then we decide to push ourselves back, patting ourselves on the back for making the effort. But let me tell you, it’s not you who finds your way back; it’s God who finds you every single time you get lost. He’s the one who keeps pursuing you, relentlessly, regardless of your offenses, hurts, anger, or jealousy. God keeps pursuing you until your life reflects the image of Jesus. That’s the committed God we have. He’s committed to loving you.

Worship is automatic. Giving thanks is automatic. Yes. So, shift your focus away from yourself and back toward God. Be aware that the devil will try to use your spirituality to make you feel disqualified. He’ll say things like, ‘You haven’t prayed enough. How can you minister? You haven’t read the Bible enough.’ But you need to respond to the devil by saying, ‘I am not qualified because of what I’ve done. I am qualified because of what Jesus has done. He is my perfect sacrifice. He is my perfect high priest. My worth isn’t based on my actions; it’s based on the sacrifice that represents me. It’s based on Jesus, the better sacrifice, and Jesus, the better high priest. This is why you should have confidence all the time. Know that God loves you, regardless of how your week, month, or year has gone. Take the focus off yourself and put it on the goodness of God. He loves you, He cares for you, and His love is for your life. He’s with you, sustaining you, and His blessings are upon you.

Any message you hear that shifts the focus back onto you and away from Jesus is not from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will always direct your attention to the goodness of Jesus. His role isn’t to emphasize how unworthy you are but to reveal how good God is. So, when you listen to a sermon, ask the Holy Spirit, ‘What am I seeing in Jesus today?’ Not ‘What am I seeing in myself?’ Because the more you focus on yourself, the more likely you are to feel discouraged.

The easiest way to fall into depression is by constantly focusing on yourself. Don’t look at yourself; look at Jesus. As you fix your gaze on Him, your life will begin to transform into His image. You become what you see. If you see Jesus, you’ll become more like Jesus. On the other hand, the more you focus on yourself, the more you might feel discouraged. So, see Jesus today, knowing that God loves you.

In 2012, I had a life-changing encounter with the grace of God and the revelation of His unconditional love. This revelation turned my life around completely. I proclaimed that I don’t backslide because even when I stumble, I fall into the hands of God. It was a paradigm shift in my thinking. Consequently, when I listened to sermons, I started asking myself if they were pointing towards Jesus. If not, I’d tune them out. I didn’t want to hear messages that focused on how sinful people were.

When I began preaching, I was intentional about this. I’d pray to the Holy Spirit, asking that every word I spoke would reflect who Jesus is, not emphasize how broken people were. I prepared messages with this in mind. However, despite my best efforts, after preaching, some people would tell me that they felt filthy and inadequate, that they needed to pray and read the Bible more. I’d wonder if they were even in the same room or listening to the same message. It took marriage for me to understand what was happening.

One day, my wife, Betty, pointed out where to put the dustbin and explained how to use specific tools for washing different utensils. I initially thought she was accusing me of being stupid or lacking common sense. But then the Holy Spirit gently reminded me that she was merely giving instructions, not accusing or condemning me. I learned that, no matter how well-prepared a sermon is, it’s the condition of the heart that can lead you to focus on yourself. You can hear the most beautiful sermon about Jesus but still leave feeling filthy and frustrated with your spiritual life if your heart hasn’t fully embraced the good news of the gospel.

I’m telling you, this realization is incredibly liberating. It’s not about me. For the longest time, I carried the weight of the world, thinking that if I didn’t shoulder it, the earth would stop spinning. But that’s just not the case. It’s not about me. The world doesn’t revolve around me; it revolves around Jesus.

Galatians 2:20 puts it beautifully: ‘For I have been crucified with Christ.’ When you’re already crucified with Christ, don’t try to resurrect your ego; let it die. The Greek word for ‘I’ is ‘ego,’ and you know what happens when that ego comes to life.

We often let our egos take center stage. When someone speaks or acts in a way we perceive as an attack, our ego flares up. ‘How dare they speak to me like that? Did the pastor use my testimony to address me personally?’ But the reality is, it’s not about you. The world doesn’t revolve around you. The pastor has more important matters to attend to.

Our egos are incredibly powerful. We sometimes catch onto comments or situations not meant for us and react as though they were personal attacks. But remember, that wasn’t for you. It’s not about you.

That’s purely our ego. Let me illustrate this with an example. When you take a picture of yourself, what’s the first thing you notice in that picture? It’s usually ourselves. We often fail to see beyond that. Do we look good in a huge group picture of a hundred people? At that moment, we tend to care more about how we look than how the other 99 people look. It’s not about self-centeredness, but about the way our perspective works. The world doesn’t revolve around us.

I’ve adopted a different perspective. I’ve been crucified with Christ, and now it’s not I who live, but Christ who lives in me. The life I lead in the flesh is guided by my faith in the Son of God. My confidence doesn’t rest on myself.

Do I pray? Absolutely. Do I read the Bible? Of course. But why do I pray and read the Bible? It’s for intimacy with God. However, even if I miss a day of prayer, does that mean I’m disqualified? No. I will always be His beloved child.

I remember a day when I stayed over at a friend’s place and didn’t go back home. Did that mean my father wouldn’t accept me? Absolutely not. I can return to my father’s house anytime I want because it’s my home. You can do the same with your heavenly Father. Amen. So, don’t place your confidence in yourself at all.

When you’re leading worship, you might wonder if the Lord is moving, if the Holy Spirit is present, or if people are receiving. But remember, it’s not about having confidence in yourself. Your role is to lead worship. Do your job and move on, believing that God has done it.

When I preach, if I’m worried about how people are responding, if they are listening, or if I see a few people appearing disengaged, it can affect my confidence. However, I must remind myself that I have been crucified with Christ. I should not put confidence in my own abilities. Instead, put all your confidence in Jesus.

You don’t need to pray for 10 hours to experience God’s love, although it’s powerful and can change your life. One instant of genuine surrender can bring God’s love into your life like a mighty rushing wind, leading to instant intimacy.

In our human relationships, after a conflict, there’s often a struggle over who will reconcile first, who will say ‘I love you’ or ‘I’m sorry.’ But your heavenly Father is not like that. The moment you give Him your attention, He will come to you like a mighty rushing wind to hold you. He is someone who pursues you relentlessly.

You might think, ‘But I’ve made mistakes repeatedly.’ Yet, He will pursue you because His pursuit holds the hope of your deliverance. So, take the spotlight off yourself and focus it on Jesus. Begin your prayer and Bible reading with the awareness that God loves you. You don’t pray or read the Bible to make yourself lovable to God; He already loves you because you are His son or daughter.

The blood of Jesus didn’t make you lovable; you were already lovable according to His standards. He deemed you worth His sacrifice, worth His blood. It might not make sense to our natural minds, but He saw your worth. So, let’s stop placing confidence in ourselves and start putting it in Him. He has qualified me. I give thanks to the Father who has qualified me to share in the inheritance of the saints. It’s not about me or what I’ve done; it’s because He has qualified me.

Now, regardless of how you feel, just believe in God’s love for you. Forget about whether you can love God; start by believing that He loves you. You’ll witness something within you come alive, something you thought was dead, stirring in your heart, and you’ll find yourself falling in love with Jesus automatically. We are lovers of Jesus not because of our ability to love Him, but because we can recognize that He loves us.

What a privilege it is to know that you are perfectly, unconditionally, deeply loved by God, while so many in the world live in insecurity, fear, shame, guilt, and condemnation. But you know, you know that Jesus loves you. So, lovers of Jesus, keep your focus on Him. It’s not about me; it’s about Him. Whenever the devil condemns you, remind yourself, ‘It’s not about me; it’s about Him. I’m not perfect, but He is. I am perfectly loved. Are you ready? Close your eyes and picture the Heavenly Father gazing at you with delight, speaking these words over your life: ‘You are precious, my son, my daughter. You are precious.’

About the author

Samuel Thomas

Samuel is a second-generation pastor with a rich heritage in the Holy Spirit. He has been the pastor of Lighthouse Church since 2017 with a two-word mission statement: transforming lives. Samuel's priority in life has been to know Christ and to grow deeper in His love.

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