The Power of Focus (1 of 5) by M. Kenneth Lyon

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The Power of Focus (1 of 5)
Series: Ancient Visions--Future Hopes
M. Kenneth Lyon
Nehemiah 6
July 12, 1998

I would ask that you keep your Bibles open and turn to the first and second chapters of Nehemiah so that you can follow along, that specifically where we're going to be dealing today. How many of you remember and maybe still enjoy that perennial childhood favorite Cracker Jacks. Yeah! Candy-coated popcorn, peanuts, and a prize. You know, I just loved Cracker Jacks. I loved getting down there to find out what the prize was going to be. Usually it was some little old book or strip of something, but occasionally, occasionally you'd get a really good box of Cracker Jacks and in it would be a magnifying glass. Actually, it was magnifying plastic, but it still worked. And you'd use this thing for all kinds of neat stuff. And one of the things you learned about the magnifying glass was that you could hold that thing over a piece of paper or a plant or your little brother or sister's arm and focus the rays of the sun. The power of focus! And as you did that things happened. Some of them got you in trouble. But you learned the power of focus. These days I operate with a different kind of magnifying glass. But no less impressed am I with the power of focus because the words have gotten so small in the pages of things that they're not distinct. They're kind of blurred until I put on the glasses, and then the contrast becomes clear. Things are brought into sharp focus and I can gain the power of what's present. The power of focus is vitally important.

And today I'm going to share with you and over the next coming several weeks how this important time in the life of our church, our congregation, this body of Christ, is really at a crossroads. And I want us to be able to share as we lead up toward the 26th of July, our camp meeting night when we actually have a town meeting about some of the things in our future. Today I want to share with you how God seems to, in Biblical fashion, bring about what God wants to accomplish. What is the process that God uses in the lives of those who are seeking to be faithful to God's claim and calling on their lives? Today we talk about Nehemiah, the man who had it made. He didn't need to do anything different in his life. He was secure. He had a position of status, prestige. He was the cupbearer for the King. Now in this time the cupbearer for the King served two vital functions. One is, if anybody tried to poison the King, the cupbearer got the first swallow, so you knew right away. But in addition, the cupbearer was also the chief steward who made sure that everything was fit for the King, that the food was in proper order, that everything was done according to the King's wishes and desires. You did not dare displease the King. Now Nehemiah would have had several folks who would assist him and I'm sure they would have tasted the wine for poison. And he would taste the wine then for its quality. ...

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