I had been working every day, leaving before the kids woke up and getting home after they were asleep, for weeks. My son who was 4 or 5 at the time was really missing me, which is probably why the sound of the door opening woke him up. He ran to me and said, “Can you play with me, daddy?” I tried to explain how busy work was, but he kept asking. This moment has burned itself into my memory because of his sagging shoulders, his face looking to the ground, his hushed voice and his words, “Ok, see you tomorrow morning.”
That was a turning point for me. I knew that I had to refocus or lose focus. And I knew that losing focus meant eventually losing everything that was most valuable to me.
When I arrived at the office, I quickly set up a meeting with my boss to negotiate both a day off and a home-study day. I left the office quickly and was back home just after noon. When I told him that I had taken the day off to play with him, my entire world got better.
I don’t remember what we did that afternoon, but I do remember that I refocused and gained everything that I was about to lose.
Hebrews 7:1-28 teaches us to Refocus Or Lose Focus (and risk losing everything).
i. The church had lost its focus
The church the letter of Hebrews is written to had lost their focus. I imagine they still liked Jesus, but He certainly wasn’t on their “Top 10 Favourite Things” list. They had exchanged the most important part of who they were for a number of distractions.
ii. It didn’t refocus
It doesn’t look like the church refocused. I really don’t know, it’s just my feeling.
When Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, he was writing to a church in crisis. However, and thankfully, he also wrote 2 Corinthians which confirms to us that the Corinthian church turned around. I notice that there is no second letter of Hebrews.
iii. It lost everything
I know that I’m guessing here. The Bible is silent about what happened to the church after the letter was sent. However, with the warning to the church about how much apostasy would cost them, it’s not hard to imagine the worse.
Actually, it gets even worse than what I could have imagined. Just a few years after this letter was written the temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed. The very thing they were apostatizing to was taken away from them.
Here’s why it got so bad…
iv. The church wasn’t aware of its loss of focus
The loss of focus isn’t something that screams at anyone. Focus silently drifts away as it’s muted by the sounds of all of life’s distractions screaming for attention.
How’s Your Focus?
In my opinion, this text is just as relevant to us as it was to the first readers. They lost focus because of distraction (and lost everything because of it). We are the most distracted generation of people ever to have existed, partly because of the technology at our fingertips. We may not be considering apostasy, but if we were to give ourselves a time-audit I think we’d find that Jesus doesn’t make it to our “Top 10 List Of Scheduled Things.”
If you don’t refocus you will lose Focus. And if you lose focus you risk losing everything.
Here are three points to help you self-diagnose and refocus:
1. Think about Christianity as a limited guarantee
It’s easy to think of a number of reasons why we would want an oath from a person. But, it’s unthinkable that we should expect an oath from God. Yet, God has given us one. He has appointed Jesus as our saviour, forever, with an oath.
Jesus is our eternal guarantee. There is nothing else that you can invest your time in that comes with the guarantee that Jesus comes with. But, if you lose your focus on Jesus you’re at risk of casually drifting away and losing your guarantee.
What gets most of your focus these days? What has made it onto your Top 10 List of things that get your time and attention? Is messing with your guarantee really worth it?
2. View choices as consequences or rewards
The author takes some time to talk about a man named Melchizedek. Well, actually, that’s not entirely true. The author isn’t really talking about the man, he’s talking about the information that is missing about the man. When Genesis mentions Melchizedek, there’s no mention of his parents, his birth, his death, how he became a priest, or when his priesthood ended. The author uses the missing details about Melchizedek to redirect his church’s attention back onto the greatness of Jesus.
Melchizedek reminds us that we have options. You can choose to focus on something as wonderful as Jesus, or you can choose to focus on something less. I’m not suggesting that there’s no value in your house, car, vacation, wardrobe, or iPad. But, if the greatest part of your focus is on something other than Jesus, there are consequences for that.
Christianity isn’t about a solitary choice. It’s about a friendship we choose to grow every moment. If we’re no longer focused on choosing to grow the friendship then we’re in a friendship that is regressing, and may one day cease to exist.
Refocus or lose focus. If you lose focus you’re at risk of losing everything, just like the original readers probably lost everything.
3. Remember, rewards are actually rewarded
There’s more than a warning in these verses, there’s also a promise. Yes, if you don’t refocus you’ll lose focus and lose everything. However, if you do refocus you’ll gain everything. Jesus really wants to give you eternity as a reward for your friendship.
Refocus or Lose Focus
This passage shows us that we can either gain eternity, or we can lose eternity. Eternity becomes a matter of your focus. Will you focus on growing of your friendship with Jesus, or will you focus on something other?
This is the text I’m working on for this coming Sunday. If you see something else in the text, or if you want me to speak to something specific, please leave a comment.
Did you see something different in the text? Let us know by commenting.
Sharing helps other busy people connect with Jesus, too.