Updated: Mar 29, 2020
Keeping Our Eyes on Jesus
Written by Ron Rusten
The past couple of weeks have been very challenging for most of us and our country. The world has ramped up a lot of fear and confusion concerning the “pandemic” of COVID-19. When you turn on the television or login to the internet it seems to be all that you see, from how wide spread the virus is, how to try and stop the spread, to everyone’s ideas on the potential consequences we are facing.
We see the stock market plummet through fear and the government trying to come up with a stimulus package to try and stabilize the economy. People are being told to shelter in place, businesses are being told to close which is causing panic and hording.
All of this is based on fear! I’m not saying we shouldn’t have wisdom and not follow CDC guidelines, what I’m saying is that we shouldn’t be moved by fear and panic. So as Christians how should we react to what’s going on all around us?
The Word of God says in 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Praise God that we don’t have to receive the fear and panic that’s being spread around because our hope and our confidence is in Jesus! It’s in Jesus that we get our strength! It’s in Jesus that we have our peace! It’s in Jesus that we have our joy! Then as we go through the storms of life we can rely on Jesus and not the wisdom of men.
Jesus needs to be our primary focus no matter what’s going on around us, because if we take our eyes off of Jesus and focus on the problems we can easily get caught up in fear and panic when things like this are going on around us. But nothing should be more important to us than Jesus, amen!
Matthew 6:33 says; But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
That’s where our focus needs to be, not on the COVID-19 virus, not on the political and social divide, not on what the government can do, but on Jesus!
John 14:6 (NKJV) 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
It’s through Jesus that we can navigate through any situation that arises in our lives. It’s through Jesus that we can truth and stability no matter what happens around us because Jesus doesn’t change. Hebrews 13:8 tells us; Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! What an encouragement that is, as everything around us changes in ways we can’t control we have assurance in our relationship with Jesus.
Matthew 7:24-27 (NKJV)
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Jesus is our rock, our firm foundation and if we are wise that’s what we will build our lives on, amen!
As I was thinking about all this stuff going on, a fire analogy came to me, which is not a surprise to those who know me. When a fire starts it begins small, like a spark from a chain dragging on the road, a tossed cigarette, a spark from an exhaust system, or lightning. And as that small spark grows, how fast it spreads largely depends on how receptive the surrounding fuels are to catching fire. Because when the fuels are more receptive the faster the fire will spread.
With that being said the next step is how do we stop the fire from spreading?
Well some real smart people came up with the concept of the “Fire Triangle”. The fire triangle has three sides, heat, fuel, and oxygen.
And they figured out that if any one of those sides of the fire triangle are removed then the fire will go out. Fire physics tells us a fire can’t continue to burn if we remove the heat or oxygen or fuel from it.
Compare that to how the COVID-19 virus got started. It started small, but the people (fuel) were receptive not only to the virus itself but to the fear and panic that came later. And as long as we are receptive to receive the fear that’s being spread the longer and more intense this fire will be. The difference for us as Christians is that we have our hope in Jesus!
Psalm 107:20 (NKJV) 20 He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destruction's.
It’s time we turn our focus from fear and panic to Jesus, to put our hope and trust in Him. We have an opportunity to let the light of Jesus shine brightly to those around us, by reacting according to God’s Word. That’s how the church started to grow, the apostles of Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, began preaching the good news of the gospel and the people (fuel) were very receptive to the gospel of Jesus and it spread far and wide throughout the world.
Now the Bible tells us about the trinity, right? We have God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, which we call the Trinity, the three in one, or I like to call it the Trinity Triangle.
Well the devil didn’t like that very much and began to work on how to stop the spread of the gospel and I believe the devil began an assault on the Trinity. Because by breaking any of those sides, either the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit, in our minds through doubt, lack of faith, or unbelief, he could slow or stop the spread of the gospel.
Through that assault we began to see theologies like:
“There are many ways to god, you just have to find the way that works for you”.
Jesus was a great teacher and prophet, but come on, the son of God, not really, born of a virgin? I don’t think so, lived a sin free life? Just not buying it.
The Holy Spirit is not for today, He just got things started, there’s no speaking in tongues, no miracles of healing, or prophetic words.
And through that assault we have seen the spread of the gospel and the power of God through His people diminish which leaves us open to receive the fear and panic that’s in the world. That’s why it’s so important to be in God’s Word and not caught up in the craziness that’s going on around us today. And let’s be careful not to just skip over the basics of God’s Word and get caught up in all kinds of theological arguments and opinions that can lead us away from the truth of God’s Word.
That’s why I like what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:1-6 (AMPC) 1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
That should be the bottom line for us—it’s about Jesus Christ and Him crucified! Not persuaded by the eloquent speech of men but by the demonstration of the Spirit and of the power of God! Jesus should be more exciting to us than anything the world has to offer.
So, the question we all need to ask ourselves is—who is Jesus? who is Jesus to you? and who do you say Jesus is in your life? You may think that is a silly question, but it’s a question that Jesus asked His disciples.
Look at Mark 8:27-29 27 Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?” 28 So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 29 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”
So, who do you say Jesus is? Are you like those who Jesus’ disciples were talking about?
Is He a great teacher as some say? Or is He one of the prophets? Or do you line up with Peter and call Him the Christ?
The name ‘Jesus’ was explained in Matthew 1:21 “And she (Mary) will bear a son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.”
It’s Jesus who saves us, not the wisdom of man or the government.
There are 100 plus names for Jesus in the bible, so I listed a few to look at;
Who is Jesus?
Jesus is the Son of God.
He is the Holy one, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
He is our high priest and the chief cornerstone.
He is Emmanuel which means “God with us”.
He is the wonderful counselor, mighty God and everlasting Father.
He is the vine and we are the branches.
He is Jehovah, Messiah, and Judge.
He is the Christ, the Son of Man.
He is the bridegroom, master, and savior!
He is the Word of God and the Lamb of God.
He is the way, the truth, and the life.
He is the only begotten son of God
He is the bread of life.
He is the good Shepard, and the resurrection.
He is our mediator and advocate.
He is the head of the church.
He is eternal life,
He is the alpha and omega, He is God!
Jesus should be everything to us, because He IS everything. So be encouraged through these times we are living in knowing that no matter what happens we have Jesus as Lord and Savior in our lives! No matter what situations or circumstances we have in our lives we can rely on Jesus, build our lives on His ways, and have confidence in Him.