This is LIFE: Focusing on Others

Mission Statement: Embracing the responsibility to lead everyday people to new life and new possibilities. 

1 Kings 17:8-12 - Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.” So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.” But she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.”
  • This is what our Hearts fear. That God is going to put me in this position. How do I make that decision?
Mark 12:30-31 - You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
  • He wants you to love Him and then love others like you do yourself. 

What about my problems?...

  • This is our consumer church mentality. I need help. I need to be appreciated. I need affirmation.
  • I need to fix myself first. I have problems. I need to focus on them.
  • There is a Time coming that all these things will forever be healed in you. You will be perfect and that time is coming, and the truth is God is already enjoying you like that right now. 

What happens when I focus on others?

1 Kings 17:13-16 - But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!” So she did as Elijah said, nd she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days. There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.

1. God gets involved.

We unleash the power of God in our lives if we can ungrasp our hand so that he can fill it again.

Galatians 6:7-10 - Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.

>>> When we focus on others, God acts on our behalf not just theirs.

2. You get what you give.

Proverbs 19:17 - If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord and he will repay you!
Luke 6:38 - Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.

Our culture is free with criticism and advice. We need to be free with acceptance, affirmation, kindness, and second chances. That’s what we want. That’s what we have to give.

God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves.
- D. L. Moody.

>>> When we focus on others, anything given is not lost. It comes back, pressed down and shaken together, to make room for more.  Running over!

3. We become more like Jesus

Matthew 20:28 - "For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 25:23 - "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
2 Timothy 4:6-8 - "As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing."

>>> Focusing on others puts us in the center of God’s mission on planet earth. We become his hands and feet. We become like Jesus.

4. It leads others to New Life

Matthew 20:26-27 - But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 
There are two kinds of people in the world – those who walk into a room and say ‘Here I am’ and those who say ‘There you are’.
– Abigail Van Buren, Dear Abby columnist
  • Do you understand before trying to be understood? Do you take the time to listen and learn about others, or are you focused more on your own agenda?
  • If we are going to lead people to New Life and New Possibilities, then we need to be leaders.
  • You can’t lead effectively without focusing on others.
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
- John Quincy Adams

 "How To Be Miserable." 

"Think about yourself. Talk about yourself. Use "I" as often as possible. Mirror yourself continually in the opinion of others. Listen greedily to what people say about you. Expect to be appreciated. Be suspicious. Be jealous and envious. Be sensitive to slights. Never forgive a criticism. Trust nobody but yourself. Insist on consideration and respect. Demand agreement with your own views on everything. Sulk if people are not grateful to you for favors shown them. Never forget a service you have rendered.  Do as little as possible for others."

  • When you take the focus off you and put it on others God can use you to satisfy the needs of two people--You and them.
  • As this happens, we not only become the instrument of change for those around us, we change.

If we decide to embrace the responsibility to lead others to new life and new possibilities, we will begin to focus on others. God will get involved in our lives. He will make sure we get what we give, and we will become more like Him, and we will be leaders to our everyday people. To all the people around us.