Robert Read's Thoughts

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Vertical Focus

John 15:5-14

5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. (ESV)

Point and click! Digital cameras today have made taking a photo as simple as that. And yet sometimes the image returns with the background in perfect clarity and the intended subject fuzzy. The key is to position the camera in such a way that the main point of interest is centered in order to ensure an accurate focus.

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer (Romans 12:12).

Today’s verse is a reminder that no matter what the picture – whether one of joy or trial – to capture it in prayer. The use of the word constant implies a sense of being steadfastly attentive. It’s not an ongoing “snap and go” approach, but one of continuous awareness and powerful, purposeful petitions.

Oswald Chambers states, “We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.” What are your prayers concentrated on? Is the emphasis on the background or the main subject? In all things, prayerfully keep a vertical focus with God as the center point.

Spend time today abiding with the Lord and placing Him at the core of your prayers. Ask that He be glorified in the midst of your personal circumstances and pray also for His will to prevail for our current situation in our congregation, our community, our state, and this country.