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Eyes on Jesus

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Recently, I’ve been thinking about what it means to keep my eyes on Jesus. Several events, combined with the Holy Spirit’s work in my heart, have encouraged me to meditate on the simplicity and significance of these words from the writer of Hebrews: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus . . .” (Heb. 12:2). Framed by the metaphor of running a race, these words can easily be applied to twenty-first century Christians living in a constantly changing world.

In almost every direction I look, changes abound. Our nation recently elected a new president, and we anticipate political change. Our economy continues to fluctuate. Dear friends have passed into the presence of the Lord, leaving loved ones to deal with their loss. Even in ministry settings, we constantly adjust to allow the Spirit to fill our sails and move us forward.

In the years ahead, our world will continue in a state of transition, and we must adapt to take the gospel to the lost. The Christian and Missionary Alliance has always been on the cutting edge of completing Jesus’ Great Commission, and we’ll continue until the work is finished and Jesus returns. That is who we are. One of our core values states: Achieving God’s purposes involves taking faith-filled risks. This always involves change (see Heb. 11:6).

Today, we rejoice that Alliance leaders of past generations took faith-filled risks to send workers to evangelize remote regions. Many of those fields now contain established national churches that are sending their own workers around the world, including places where Americans are unable to go. As these fields mature, U.S. Alliance workers are lifting their eyes to the last unreached parts of the globe.

Reaching the lost in fields that are closed to traditional missionary efforts will once again require faith-filled risks—and change. In addition to strong relational skills, which have always been required to reach those who don’t know Jesus, future international workers will also need vocational expertise to enter and remain in “closed” countries. The numbers of these “tentmakers” will continue to increase. Today, our force of international workers—including traditional overseas staff, tentmakers, relief and development personnel and those sent by C&MA partner churches around the world—numbers more than 1,400, our highest total ever!

As stimulating as the challenge to complete Christ’s Commission is, I believe The Alliance faces an even tougher test in the years to come. Will we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus? If our efforts are to have lasting value, with the Kingdom expanded and Jesus glorified, we’ll need to keep our eyes on Him and say no to other things.

When I veer off course, it usually isn’t the result of some great spiritual attack or diversion. It is more subtle than that, and far more deceptive. Sometimes I take my eyes off Jesus and put them on me. It becomes about my comfort zone or my agenda. Instead of dying, my self wants to dominate. But when Jesus is my focus, His will prevails, not my own.

My own focus often becomes sidetracked by the many tasks—even good ones—of ministry. Busy-ness can squeeze out the simplicity and significance of the presence of Jesus. At other times my attention can be diverted by the trappings of life. Things can make life more productive and easier, but when they distract our attention from Jesus, they simply become clutter.

I hope you’ll join me in resolving to fix our eyes on Jesus. Let’s determine not to be sidetracked by the subtle distractions that surround us. Let’s see and hear the One who is the object of our worship and our service.

Past Alliance Life Issues

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