We have heard a lot about what matters lately. There is a group getting a lot of press conveying how black lives matter. An opposing group showed up at a rally to get their message out that white lives matter. Then there are the folks out there stating the obvious that all lives matter. Maybe they are trying to give voice to the millions of unborn of all colors that do not get to voice what matters to them.
What matters is what the focus is on. Jeff Fisher, coach of the St. Louis Rams, felt it necessary to sit his football team down and explain how to show proper respect during the singing of the national anthem at the start of every game. He explained that the opportunities they enjoy ride on the shoulders of those that have gone before them, men that stood for something bigger than themselves. Respect matters to Coach Fisher.
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15. What mattered to the Israelites had a lot to do with what they were facing in the promised land. It was in fear that they crossed over into the new land. They faced issues with foreign peoples and with other gods that had strongholds on various aspects of life. There was doubt in who they could trust but it all came down to a focus on their situation – on self. Joshua made it very clear that his focus would remain on the One who had seen them through the years with Moses and had granted them so many victories in claiming the promised land. He stood firm for what mattered – the Lord.
All lives matter indeed. All marriages matter and all families matter. Respect for our nation and all the people in it matters even when a variety of opinions contrary to individually held beliefs percolate in the media. As Christians, what matters above all is keeping the focus on Jesus the Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb.12:2). With every issue we face be it a marriage dispute, family dysfunction, racial tensions, moral grounding, etc., we also face a choice in deciding what matters – self or Jesus. Everything is a Jesus issue. If we look down and focus on self, shadows will envelop and isolate. As we look up and obey, His Light blasts through the shadows of a plethora of issues. What matters is the Light of Jesus the Christ being reflected by all Christians facing any issue.
Prayer guide: I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work with in us, to Him be glory in the Church and in Jesus the Christ throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:16-21)
A faithful father focuses on what matters – reflecting the Light of Jesus the Christ in marriage, family and beyond.