Focus on Your Goal

Text: Colossians 3:1-4


I.         In the fantasy, Alice in Wonderland, Alice came to a junction that led in different directions. The Cheshire Cat was nearby, so Alice asked for advice. “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” The cat said, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” “I don’t much care where,” said Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the cat.

            A.        The point is accurate. If we don’t know where we want to go, then any decision is basically the same.

                        1.         It could lead to a wonderful adventure or an absolute disaster.

            B.        Imagine running in a race, but you don’t know where the finish line is at.

                        1.         You could be the fastest person out there, but it won’t matter.

                        2.         To win, you have to be focused on the goal - Hebrews 12:1-3

II.        What we think about determines how we live

            A.        What we focus on becomes what we do - Luke 11:34

                        1.         Light is associated with righteousness. Darkness is associated with evil.

                        2.         Your behaviors tend to follow the direction you are looking (what your eye is filled with)

                        3.         If you focus on righteousness, then you will tend to act righteously. If you focus on wickedness, then you will tend to act wickedly.

            B.        Once we decide to live for Jesus, we make set a goal for our thoughts - Philippians 4:8

            C.        And it shows up in our behavior - Philippians 4:9

III.       It is intentional focus - Colossians 3:1-3

            A.        “Set your mind” is purposely giving consideration to something important. It is being intentional in our thinking.

            B.        The world is filled with distractions but we have to choose to focus on the good

            C.        People in the world set their minds on worldly things - Philippians 3:19

                        1.         They make their own desires of first importance.

                        2.         As a result they glory in shameful things

                        3.         And they never notice that path they’ve chosen leads to their destruction

                        4.         Notice that it is intentional focus – they have set their minds – though the result might not be intended

            D.        You choose what you focus your mind on - Romans 8:5-8

                        1.         You can’t focus on two things at once. The outcome changes depending on the person’s mindset

                        2.         The “flesh” is not simply the physical body. It represents the physical world, its feelings, and its sensations.

                                    a.         Being in a fleshly body is not sinful. Feeling physical pleasures is not sinful. There are proper avenues for these things that God has given us.

                                    b.         But when we are focused on physical desires and pleasures, our thoughts are geared toward fulfilling them, regardless of the morality of the situation.

                                    c.         Worldly thoughts crowd out spiritual thoughts and we turn against God in order to fulfill our desires.

                        3.         If we set our mind on the things of the Spirit, there is no condemnation awaiting for us at the end - Romans 8:1

                                    a.         We become a new person - II Corinthians 5:16-17

                                    b.         We see everything with fresh eyes, through the lens of the Spirit - Titus 1:15-16

                                    c.         Instead of death, the mind set on the Spirit leads to life and peace - Romans 8:6

                                    d.         Our hope then is in Christ and the life we live is being directed by the Spirit we focus upon - Romans 8:11-14

IV.      There is always the danger of losing our focus

            A.        The Corinthians were in danger of being led astray by false teachers - II Corinthians 11:3

                        1.         “Simplicity” here is in contrast to the complexity that arises from trying to focus on two directions at once.

                        2.         We cannot serve God with a divided mind.

            B.        There is only one way worth going. Only one way to focus our minds upon - Ephesians 4:1-6

V.        Set your mind on things above

            A.        Don’t be conformed to the world but be transformed by renewing your mind - Romans 12:1-2

            B.        Thus, we prove what is good, acceptable, and perfect – This is God’s will for us

            C.        Colossians 3:12-15

Ideas for this lesson were borrowed from Doy Moyer’s article “Set Your Mind.”

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