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The Focus is Jesus – February 7, 2024

Wednesday, February 7th

Devotional written by Pastor Jason McMaster, Executive Pastor

 

THE FOCUS IS JESUS 

To read today:  Hebrews 12

 

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2

 

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Lilias Trotter is a name most readers will not recognize. She was an amazing artist from London, England, in the late 19th century who walked away from her promising career to share the good news of Jesus with unreached people. She felt God’s call to minister to the people of Algiers. Leaving everything behind, she fully relied on and trusted God to provide for her as she spent nearly forty years of her life ministering to people there. While there, she journaled daily, wrote poems, drew sketches, and painted the beauty she saw. She led an amazing life for Christ. 

At the end of Lilias’ life, she asked the nurses, who were caring for her, to sing her hymns and explained that she saw a chariot with six horses. They asked her, “Are you seeing beautiful things?” She answered, “Oh yes, many beautiful things!” One of the poems Trotter wrote, titled “Focused: A Story and A Song,” would have a long-lasting impact today, especially on another artist, Helen Lemmel, who later read Trotter’s poem. Lemmel decided to write her own version of that poem and turn it into a song. To this day, many churches sing part of her poem that we now call “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” 

Here are the first two stanzas:

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Final Thought: I love how Helen describes that the things of earth will grow “strangely” dim when our focus is on Jesus. I believe she realizes that when her focus is on Christ, the things here that seemed so important pale in comparison to the lordship of Jesus Christ. There is a calming peace in this simple yet often missed truth. 

 

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