Weekly Podcast- Five To Focus

Take 5 minutes every week to focus on your faith and life. Think of it as a mini biblical counseling session. Each episode will explain a concept from Scripture to help you find freedom in Christ and dig your roots deeper into His purposes for you.

Your Attitude When Financially Supporting Ministries

Here’s a quick, powerful lesson on the purpose of financially supporting ministries. At this time of the year, many ministries are asking for your year-end gift. Once you’ve discerned which ministries to support (which I hope includes your church!), you need to make sure you have the right attitude when giving.

Philippians 4:17 says, ““Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.”

Paul made this statement after acknowledging the Philippians’ financial support to his ministry. Here’s the lesson:  We give because we want to see fruitful ministry. It’s not about the money we give; our motivation should be the ministry fruit that will be produced.

A perspective for ministries:

Be good stewards. Don’t just seek the gift to say look at what we got, but set your hearts on how to use that money for the most ministry effectiveness.

A perspective for givers:

Don’t boast in your gift (the amount or the fact that you gave). Boast in what the Lord does (the fruit) with the gifts of the faithful.

Let’s be generous and see more ministry fruit!

Five To Focus 54. Four Reasons For Stagnant Faith (Part 2)

The glory of the past and shame of sin are the first two reasons discussed in last week’s episode (#53) on why you might be stagnant in your faith. This week’s reasons: You are consumed by their past to the point of being blinded to your future, and you are overwhelmed by all that needs done in the future. Let this be an opportunity for personal reflection to see if you are pressing on for the what the Lord has for you (Philippians 3:13-14).  

Feedback

If you have a suggested topic for an episode of Five To Focus, simply fill out this form. If you would like to discuss this episode, you may comment on this post or interact with @rstro on Twitter.

Are You An Enemy of the Cross?

You need to make sure that you are not an enemy of the cross. There are dire consequences.

Let me explain from Philippians 3:18-21. This passage teaches us the difference between enemies of God (or the cross) and citizens of the kingdom of heaven.

Some walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. They have enmity with, are in opposition to the cross of Christ–not just that they don’t like it or just refuse to accept the message of the cross, but enemies conveys that they are actively opposing the message of the cross.

What is the message of the cross? It is at least:

  • the shed blood of Jesus Christ;
  • the forgiveness of our sin;
  • the breaking of the bondage to sin;
  • the release from eternal torment and damnation apart from Christ;
  • the fullness of life on this earth, filled with hope and guidance from the Holy Spirit.

And yet, some live in opposition to this!  Philippians 3:19 describes the enemy of the cross.

Their end is destruction.

This makes sense because the cross represents the release from eternal torment. If you live as an enemy to the cross of Christ, then you are heading down a road to destruction.

Instead of destruction, though, Jesus made a better way: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, ESV)

Their god is their belly and they glory in their shame.

Belly is a way to refer to appetites/desires of a person. Those who live as enemies of the cross are letting their desires take the place of God. “They glory in their shame” can be understood in at least a couple ways:

They glory or boast in things they should be ashamed of.

We see this today:  

  • The high school student bragging about girls he slept with;
  • The drunkard celebrating his activities from the past weekend;
  • People not only engaged in sinful behavior but parading it around.

They improperly boasted in glorious things

Some commentators think this passage refers to those who claimed to be associated with God but truly were not. They lived under the law and found their worth there.

Some Bible translations say “their glory is their shame.” The understanding is that they were boasting in things like circumcision and dietary laws they followed—things that would have been to their glory as the people of God—but because of how they spoke about it or because of their pride, they were actually shaming themselves.

Their minds are set on earthly things.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?  The enemy of the cross doesn’t have an eternal perspective, so they can only set their minds on earthly things. Life is all about their desires, and the current situation becomes life or death to them because they have no other framework from which to evaluate it.

This is the life of an enemy of the cross. Does it describe you?  If so, the good news that God has graciously allowed you to be a citizen of the kingdom of heaven. The next post will describe how that status affects your life.

 

Five To Focus 53. 4 Reasons For Stagnant Faith

The glory of the past and shame of sin are the first two reasons discussed in this episode on why you might be stagnant in your faith. Next week, Ryan will discuss another two reasons. Let this be an opportunity for personal reflection to see if you are pressing on for the what the Lord has for you (Philippians 3:13-14).  

Feedback

If you have a suggested topic for an episode of Five To Focus, simply fill out this form. If you would like to discuss this episode, you may comment on this post or interact with @rstro on Twitter.

Five To Focus 52. Press On Despite the Past

A race in 1954 is a good illustration of what Paul is talking about in Philippians 3:14. Take five minutes to focus on pressing on in your faith in Jesus without looking back and possibly missing the blessing of serving Him.

Feedback

If you have a suggested topic for an episode of Five To Focus, simply fill out this form. If you would like to discuss this episode, you may comment on this post or interact with @rstro on Twitter.

Five To Focus 51. A Concise Meaning of Life and Death

In one short sentence, Paul tells us what life and death are all about! Let this episode encourage you that whether life or death, it is about Jesus.

Scripture: Philippians 1:21-24.

 

Feedback

If you have a suggested topic for an episode of Five To Focus, simply fill out this form. If you would like to discuss this episode, you may comment on this post or interact with @rstro on Twitter.

Scroll to top
WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com