Focus on Effect | Mac Hammond
 
 
Recap
 
Pastor Mac began a new series entitled, “Focus on Effect.” He started off by telling us the topic of the new series is something we probably think we already know about, but in fact, we don’t know enough about it as we probably should. The scriptural reference was 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.” Though Pastor Mac has taught on this passage before, he said he’s “gotten a glimpse of a different side of this mountain. And I’m seeing it from a perspective that has really impacted me in a positive way.” He added, “And I want it to be that way for you all as well.”
 
Dive Deeper
 
2 Cor. 4:17, “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.
 
Verse 17, “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment.” Paul didn’t say “his” light affliction. He said “our.” He’s not just talking about himself. He’s talking about “our” affliction.
 
The word affliction is the Greek word thlipsis actually means “adversity, trouble, hardship, agony, burden, difficulty.” In other words, the hard or difficult places in our lives Paul called “light and momentary.”
 
He says our light affliction will work a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Meaning we will grow as a product of this in a way that we wouldn’t otherwise grow if we never encountered any difficulty.
 
Getting weighed down by hardship takes away the quality of life that God wants us to have. We should be able to experience peace and joy even in the midst of great difficulty and challenge.
 
Is that a contradiction of terms? It is not. If Paul can experience the hard places of his life as light and momentary, then we can too. We just need to understand the balance of this passage in verse 18.
 
If you’re not going to put into practice what it says in verse 18, then you’re not going to get verse 17. Verse 18 says, “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.”
 
There are two arenas upon which we can focus. The first arena is the “seen realm” which is the temporal realm. Temporal means “subject to change.” This natural world is all subject to change. We are not to focus on the temporal seen realm.
 
The other arena of life is called the “eternal realm.” If you’re a born again child of God, then you live in both of these arenas. However, we are to only be mindful of the unseen realm.
 
The unseen realm is the revelation of God’s Word. The Bible reveals eternity to us, the unseen realm, which can also be called the spiritual realm. And God says it is that realm that we are to give our attention.
 
Verse 18 from the Passion translation: “Because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary. What is unseen is eternal. Focus our attention.”
 
We know reading the Word brings faith. We know that renewing our minds will bring transformation once our mind and heart are aligned.
 
“But” says Pastor Mac, “this isn’t either of those things. This is what we give our attention to as we walk through the days of our lives.”
 
The enemy is a master of distraction. He understands that when we focus our attention on a thing, we will succeed. That’s why he works hard to keep us distracted, to break our focus.  
 
There will be things that occur that will distract you from where your focus should be.
 
Attention is what you’re looking at, thinking about, focusing on at the moment. To focus means to concentrate with such an intent that it brings clarity. And that’s what giving something attention will do for you.
 
If you’re focusing on the wrong thing, you will be off target in what you want to see occur with your life. If you’re “on target” with your focus, the effect you desire will be all of your hard places will become light and momentary.
 
Read About It
 
2nd Cor. 4:17, “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 Cor. 13:12, “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.”
 
Discussion Questions
 
What do you think Paul meant when he talked about “our light affliction”?
 
Make a list of all the things that vie for your attention. How many things would be on your list?
 
Is there something in your life that used to be an addiction, but you’ve overcome it?
 
Conversely, is there anything in your life that might fit under the category of an attention addiction?

Recent Sermon Notes

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!

GRACE UNVEILED: “All Under Sin,” #7 | Jim Hammond

Pastor Jim delivered his seventh installment in his series on the book of Romans, entitled, “Grace Unveiled.” The first three chapters of Romans focuses explicitly on the definition of sin. “Because,” as Pastor Jim says, “if you don’t understand what sin is, you will not understand the solution to the sin problem.” Paul wanted them to understand that all of mankind has a sin problem, and no matter who you are, you will never, ever be able to achieve righteousness through your own merit. If doesn’t matter if you’re a secular pagan who worships Zeus or a religious Jew who strictly follows the law, God will never see you as righteous through your own effort. Pastor Jim has much more to say in this message subtitled, “All Under Sin.”

They Brought | Mac Hammond

Last Sunday, Pastor Mac taught a message entitled, “They Brought.” He said, “If you’re in a relationship with the Lord, you’re in a covenant with Him. And that covenant is one of blessing.” Yet, many covenant believers do not seem to walk in the level of blessing the Bible promises. Why is that? Pastor Mac said walking fully in the provision and purpose of God begins by understanding what the definition of a covenant actually is.

Focus for Effect #4: The Resurrection of Christ | Pastor Mac Hammond

What a wonderful Easter weekend we had as we celebrated Jesus! His resurrection is the focal point for our faith, for it bridges the gap between the seen realm and the unseen realm. As you go through your day today, remember that the resurrection power of Jesus has the ability to raise your circumstances high above anything you can imagine. The touch of death does not need to destroy your life! God’s resurrection power is at work in you and through you to touch this world for Him.

Grace Unveiled: Everyone Is Guilty (Rom. 2:1–9)  | Jim Hammond

Pastor Jim gave the fifth installment of his series entitled, “Grace Unveiled.” The first three chapters of Romans can be summed up by saying people who rely on their own righteousness, their own ability, their own self-effort will not escape the judgment of God. It is only through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ can any man escape His judgment. In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul defines New Testament righteousness as the ability to stand before God without a sense of guilt or inferiority.