FOCUS FOR EFFECT: Hope | Mac Hammond
 
Recap
 
Pastor Mac gave the second installment of his new series entitled, “Focus for Effect.” This series is all about focus, meaning where do you give your attention. This is important because whatever you give your attention to will determine how hard or difficult your life will be. And conversely, it will determine how easy and carefree it will be. Teaching on 1st Corinthians 13:13, Pastor Mac says you can gain the clarity you need to succeed in your life by focusing on matters of faith, hope, and love.
 
Dive Deeper
 
Being attentive to the right things at the right time is a major contributor to our success in any arena of life.
 
We should not examine our lives in light of secular wisdom or natural circumstance.
 
We need to look at and be attentive to the unseen realm through the Word of God. It is the Word that reveals the unseen realm to us.
 
There’s a war raging in the unseen realm—between good and evil, light and darkness, heaven and hell, God and the Devil. The good is in the spiritual arena. The evil is in the natural world.
 
The war, in effect, has already been won. The Lord has won the battle for us. But the battle we’re talking about now is the battle over your soul and your life. That’s what spiritual warfare is all about.
 
It’s a matter of which realm influences you the most. Whatever realm you are most attentive to will determine whether it’s darkness or light that influences you in a way that changes your experience of life.
 
When you’re in Christ and you’re functioning according to the revelation that comes in the eternal realm, then you’re going to experience the blessing and the will of God.
 
However, if your attention is distracted and your decision making begins to focus on natural criteria, you are being taken out of that realm of life and blessing into the realm of death and cursing.
 
That is the challenge in a nutshell.
 
Focus means to give something enough attention and concentration that clarity begins to come.
 
1st Corinthians 13:12–13, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (NKJV)
 
This scripture says that right now, we see as though through a glass darkly, meaning you can’t focus on eternity in a general sense. There are things you can’t possibly know that relate to the interaction between the unseen realm and the seen realm, resulting in our seeing “as though through a glass darkly.”
 
What that means is that we don’t lean to our own understanding. When we don’t understand why something happens, we need to just put it on a shelf. We don’t let that become definitive of our theology. When it’s appropriate, He will reveal it to us in due time.
 
The next verse gives us direction on how to focus our attention on that realm: “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (NKJV)
 
The New Living translation says “forever”: “Now, abides faith, hope, and love, forever.” Meaning this is the part of eternity that we are able to see clearly. We see through a glass darkly now, meaning everything’s fuzzy and we can’t get any good definition of a lot of things in general in this arena. But in the meantime, you can gain the clarity you need to succeed in your life on this earth by focusing on matters of faith, hope, and love.
 
Read About It
 
2nd Corinthians 4:17–18, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
 
1st Corinthians 13:12–13, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
 
Discussion Questions
 
In a nutshell, give the definition of what it means to “focus.”
 
In your walk with the Lord, has there been a time when you didn’t understand something and the Lord revealed to you the answer at a later time, when you were older in the Lord?
 
In your own words, explain what it means to “see through a glass darkly.” What was the apostle Paul trying to say?

Recent Sermon Notes

Grace Unveiled, #10: Credited to Your Account | Jim Hammond

Pastor Jim preached the 10th installment of his series entitled, “Grace Unveiled,” a study of the book of Romans. This message subtitled, “Credited to Your Account,” finishes up the study of the sin problem and then begins a study of the solution to man’s sin problem—which is Romans 3:21–22, “…faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.” Pastor Jim said, “The reason why Paul spent so much time talking about the sin problem is because you can’t understand the solution if you don’t understand the problem.”

At Wit’s End | Jim Hammond

Have you ever been “at your wit’s end?” When you’ve exhausted all your emotional and physical resources and have nothing left to give, what do you do? When the Apostle Paul was at his wit’s end, the Lord gave him direction saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Pastor Jim went on to expound on when we are at our wit’s end, how we can lean on His grace.

Grace Unveiled, #9: Established in the Gift of Righteousness | Jim Hammond

This past weekend, Pastor Jim taught his 9th installment in his series on the book of Romans entitled, “Grace Unveiled.” The first three and a half chapters of Romans, Paul talked extensively, driving home the point, on how no one can make himself righteous in God’s eyes. The Apostle Paul didn’t leave anyone out. He listed the Pagans in the secular world, people just trying to do good, and the zealous disciplined Jews… he made sure they knew that none of them measured up in God’s eyes. No matter what they did, they would never be able to escape God’s wrath… unless there is something that appeases that judgment. That was Paul’s way of working up to a point. Paul then introduced the righteousness of God through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.

The Principle of Connection | Mac Hammond

Pastor Mac taught a message entitled, “The Principle of Connection.” Oftentimes, we struggle with obedience to the Word, where our obedience to the Word is not done in faith but out of legalism. We don’t do it from our heart, but we do it out of obligation. However, as Pastor Mac pointed out, if the Word is going to work for you, it has to come from our heart. There is a remedy that puts an end to legalistic obedience: once you understand the principle behind a particular mandate, obedience to the Word becomes exciting. Pastor Mac goes on to discuss the Principle of Connection.

A Faith-Building Weekend With Nancy Dufresne

What a weekend we had with guest minister Nancy Dufresne. She shared on the power of faith and reminded us that God and the Holy Spirit should always remain our focus. That means when we face difficulty, listening to the Holy Spirit, our guide on the inside, is the best thing that we can do. You can walk in faith toward your miracle!