Pay Strict Attention

A few years ago, each member of our church was given a free copy of The “Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. One idea presented in the book was to keep a notebook or journal of lessons learned; to write down the insights and lessons God teaches about life, relationships, and everything else. He suggested that you review the lessons and remember them so you can pass them to the next generation. 

There are many lessons to remember from last Sunday’s message on the series “Stories for the Road” at my church. Senior Pastor: Rev. Steve Ramsdell gave the sermon message and below is an outline of the message. To get the entire series or if you think it might be of some help for someone you know, there is a podcast of each sermon at this Link.

1. SURRENDER PRECEDES DIRECTION.

“The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.’” Psalm 32:8 (NLT)

This past week, I took my daughter to Dallas Fort Worth airport to go on a school trip to Washington DC. I didn’t pay close attention to where an exit was and got lost. I finally surrendered and had to go inside a store to get directions.

2. WHAT CAPTURES OUR ATTENTION INFLUENCES OUR DIRECTION.

“I Said, ‘What shall I do?’ And the Lord told me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that you are to do.’” Acts 22:10 (NLT)

I live in Waco Texas half way between Dallas and Austin. I’ve not been to the Dallas – Fort Worth airport in over ten years. Austin has a brand new airport so we’ve flown from that airport recently. On the trip up to the Dallas – Fort Worth airport this past week, I was amazed at how things had changed and my attention was on the new buildings instead of the right exit to take.

3. WE CAN CHOOSE WHERE WE GIVE OUR ATTENTION.

“If you pay attention to these laws and obey them carefully, the Lord your God will keep His agreement and show His love to you, as He promised your ancestors.” Deuteronomy 7:12 (NCV)

“Keep me from looking at worthless things. Let me live by Your word.” Psalm 119:37 (NCV)

I noticed on the way to the airport that the old Dallas Cowboy stadium was no longer there. They demolished it after they built the new Cowboy stadium a few years ago. I was more focused on something insignificant like the old “Texas Stadium” rather than on what was important.

4. GOD WILL HELP US CHOOSE.

“Keep your eyes focused on what is right, and look straight ahead to what is good.” Proverbs 4:25 (NCV)

“Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul.” Matthew 6:22 (NLT)

God helps us to focus on the positive and on what is right with the help of His Word and the Holy Spirit.

5. PAY STRICT ATTENTION.

“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” Hebrews 2:1 (NIV)

Two questions to ask are:

  1. What has my attention been on?
  2. What should my attention be on?

As I look back on life lessons, last Sunday’s message has helped me understand why things go wrong at times. When I’ve lost focus on God, that’s when I’ve gotten off track. The only way to get back on track is to surrender, get directions, and pay strict attention to God through His Word, other believers, and through the Holy Spirit.

About Mark Shields

Mark volunteers as a member of the media ministry team at his church. A few years ago, he started an on-line Bible study guide called “This Day with God Devotional”. He uses this as a tool in his journey through the Bible. We live in a very busy world with busy schedules so this tool has helped him continue with daily Bible reading and study. Each of the studies are designed to help apply our faith in the work place, at school, or at home. Join him on this journey or check in every so often to read his thoughts.
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1 Response to Pay Strict Attention

  1. Pingback: In-N-Out | Step Ahead

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