FEBRUARY 1: FOCAL POINT

FOCAL POINT
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Four truths.
Read them and consider what they have in common.
-----
If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account.
Philemon 1:18

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:14
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:19-20
Giving thanks unto the Father which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.
Colossians 1:12-13

-----
The commonality of these scriptures is located "behind closed doors."
Philemon, Philippians, Ephesians, and Colossians are identified as the "Prison Epistles to the Churches" because they were all written from a prison in Rome.
Remembrance of this significant reality can be aided by the letters themselves:
Double "P" (Philemon & Philippians / Prison,) followed by an "E" (Ephesians / Epistles,) followed by a little "C" (Colossians / Churches addressed.)
This little exercise is a concrete aid in our remembrance.
-----
Consider now the truths we are given:
-While Paul sat in prison he was concerned about the debts of another.
-While Paul sat in prison he was focused on pressing ahead.
-While Paul sat in prison he talked about transmitting a spirit of thankfulness.
-While Paul sat in prison he spoke to freedom and light obtained in Christ.
What was the key to Paul's state of mind?
His focal point.
While Paul sat in prison he furthered the Gospel by keeping his focus on Christ, reminding us that there is not a place in the world that God might lead us but that His power will most perfectly there enable us. Paul did not use his prison sentence as an excuse to dismiss himself from the work of the Gospel but rather he rejoiced that, with pen in hand, he could continue to be a most useful servant of Christ.
Did Paul's absence make any of these four epistles less powerful?
No, of course not.
They only served to enhance and demonstrate all the more ... the power of God.
These powerful portions of God's word were stroked and stoked by a pen adamantly at work for a beloved Savior who assigned Himself as sovereignly powerful and wondrously able to accomplish His plan through an ordinary man regardless of where he might find himself.
Prison may look like a problem and limitation to man but it isn't to God.
God defines Himself best in our difficulties.
God secures His mission in a man whose focus remains fixed on Him.
God secures His mind in a man whose thoughts are fixed on Him.
God is glorified through a man who is fixated on giving glory to Him.
Man's limitations do not pose a threat to God's unlimited power.
Keep your focus on Christ and take your eyes off of yourself and the "walls" that others may try to confine you to. God has got His hand on you and He wants to work through you in the precise place He has brought you to no matter what it looks like to you.
Feet follow focal point.
Keep your eyes on Jesus.
-------
Three Study Suggestions:
1) Select one of the prison epistles and read it through several times.
2) Highlight a "special" reality that seems impossibly difficult for Paul to have written from prison.
3) Consider whether your focal point is on yourself or on Christ and make necessary adjustments.