Welcome to Focus on God



The name "Focus on God" is significant. Jesus came saying, "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father." He came to a divided religious world intent on focusing lives on God. He preached the kingdom of God was at hand. His message and miracles were about God's presence in a lost world. Focusing lives on God was the only means to salvaging a lost world. The message continues to be relevant to the 21st century.


The Bible came into being as God revealed himself through the lives of real humans, as they sought to focus their lives upon him. God wants to reveal himself in your personal world, through you, as you focus your life upon Him. It is absolutely essential that believers look beyond the divisive issues and focus on God. This requires a personal focus; it is something for which each of us must strive.


Christ came to give us a clear picture of God. Lives focused on Christ are focused on God. He is the expressed image of God. To know Christ is to know God. Jesus prayed to his Father saying, "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" (John 17:3 NIV).

Have you ever walked into a church and ask yourself, “Where are these people coming from?”  Or, “What’s at the center of what they are doing?” This is not unusual. We need a reference point so we can put it all into perspective. It may be hard to engage, if I don’t really know the general scope of all that is going on. I need a reference point to begin the journey. This may be why Bible study is so difficult for the beginner.


Church doctrines seek to give points of reference, but all too often a person starts trying to fit the entire scope of biblical teaching into a few steps of a predigested formula. All too often the simple steps are followed without understanding or even investigating the full scope of what God desires to accomplish through his relationship with those seeking him.


The history revealed between Genesis chapter one and Revelation chapter twenty-two manifest the full scope of salvation’s history. The Bible reveals the full historical scope of God’s activity among human kind. The Scriptures reveal the story about God creating the world and placing his children in it. In the book of Genesis the story begins with the creation and the fall of humanity. Humanity is cut off from Eden’s paradise and the tree of life. The first six chapters of the Bible reveal the devastating power of evil as the world is destroyed by a flood. The very last chapters of the Bible, in the closing of the book of Revelation, John’s vision portrays a new Eden as God’s children regain access to the tree of life. Salvation’s historical story is unfolded before our eyes from its conception to its culmination. The beauty of it all is that God desires for us to be included in his book of life.


The main character throughout the Bible is God. The Bible is a story about God’s work to reclaim our lives to his original purpose—restoring what we lost in Eden. The creator of life is working through all the mess evil creates in our lives, to give us back the life he intended for us to have before creation. His work will culminate in eternal life for those who listen to him. It will be a life without evil, for evil will be destroyed.


If we miss heaven we will miss everything this life was meant to be—much more than we can ever imagine.


Discovering God’s Mercy


You have seen religious imagery in cathedrals of biblical characters molded into beautiful stained glass windows. It leaves the impression that the true followers of God on earth live in a surreal realm far removed from the temptations of ordinary people. Contrary to the opinion of many, none of God’s people of the past ever lived in a stained glass world. God’s people live under his rule, but they are not impervious to the realities of living on planet earth.


What you actually see throughout salvation history is God working in the lives of murders, adulterers, swindlers, thieves, homosexuals, drunkards, slanderers, idolaters, etc., to salvage their lives (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Many of the books of the Bible are written by murders—Moses, David, Paul. These men take innocent lives deliberately. Moses writes the first five books of the Bible. David is responsible for a major portion of the Psalms. Paul writes at least thirteen books of the New Testament. A nameless thief is dying on a cross beside Jesus. He asks to be remembered by Christ; Jesus simply says, “Today you shall be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Moments before he was cursing Christ as they both hung on their crosses (Matthew 27:44) These individuals are typical examples of God’s willingness to salvage his creation.


It is important that I strive to understand this basic message as I begin Bible study. Bible study will bring me face to face with the evil in my life. God doesn’t want me to turn and run from him every time I discover a new facet of evil in my life that I’ve never seen before. He is simply asking me to recognize it and turn from the evil and run to him so he can redeem the situation in which I find myself. God doesn’t want me sewing fig leaves together to cover my nakedness; he wants me to turn to him. God gave Adam and Eve animal skins to cover their nakedness; today he gives me his son, Jesus Christ, to cover my nakedness.


The theme of the Bible reveals that God doesn’t save us because we are righteous, but because he is merciful. In the story of Daniel we find Daniel praying to God, not because Daniel is righteous, but because God is merciful. He cries out in prayer, “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act!” (Daniel 9:18-19 NIV) A merciful God sent angels to answer Daniel’s prayer. This is the major theme of salvation history.


Studying the Bible will allow me to see the entire scope of God’s work in the lives of those who failed miserably. I learn what God has done for others he will do for me because he does not esteem one person over another (Acts 10:34-35). God wants me to know he has provided for the forgiveness of every wrong that has ever been done or will ever be done; if only we could accept his forgiveness.


The Impact of One Life


The Bible opens with the story of Adam and Eve in Eden. We see them banished from Eden because of one wrong choice—to eat or not to eat. It may seem like a trivial choice until we follow the consequence of that one choice through the first six chapters of Genesis. There we see God salvaging humanity through the life of one man seeking to make the right choice—to build an ark for the benefit of God’s creation. The destruction begins with Eve’s choice, it led to Cain killing Abel, and ends in the destruction of the entire human race—except for God’s mercy.


Throughout salvation history we see the impact one person has on the entire human race. Adam and Eve had another son, Seth, who began calling on the name of the Lord. Seth’s decision to call upon the name of the Lord impacted the salvation of humanity through his descendant Noah. Seth’s choice influenced Noah to the saving of humanity. As we follow the historical progression we learn that Abraham’s decision in Genesis twelve is influencing a lost world today. The apostle Paul says it this way:


Galatians 3:26-29

26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. NIV


God promised he would bless all nations through Abraham’s decision to follow him (Genesis 12:1-3). Salvation history traces Abraham’s descendants to me through Jesus Christ. I am an heir of the promise God made to Abraham for his faithfulness. Abraham’s decision is having a direct impact on my life as I write this message. God’s faithfulness in fulfilling his promise to Abraham assures me as God offers the same promise to me through Jesus Christ.


Abraham’s decision reveals how my decision to accept God’s promise will impact future generations. We know our environmental decisions are having a devastating impact upon our planet. The question is, “Will the earth survive?” Transfer this same concern to all of our moral decisions looking beyond this world into eternity. Will we survive eternally? 


The Bible gives us the historical scope of God’s work as he seeks to reveal himself to a lost world through one life at a time. Genealogies of the Bible are filled with unpronounceable names, but they are there for a purpose. God’s historical record traces his steps through the lives and hearts of those he created. He doesn’t blush to trace his work through the life of a murderer or a harlot.  This convinces me that I am blessed to be able to call upon a merciful God. He desires to salvage my life from the devastating choices others have made for me. He will even salvage me from those I have made for myself; and those I continue to make through my own weakness and ignorance.


Where to Begin


Why not begin Bible study in the book of Genesis and trace the scope of God’s work through the history of humankind? Observe God at work through lives of real people, in real places as they live under the devastating consequences of their wrong choices and the wrong choices of others. Observe how God seeks to turn them to himself in order to redeem his creation for his own sake. Be led to dwell upon what this same sovereign God desires to do through your life to salvage you personally—to salvage generations yet unborn.


I must remember no one is so good so as to not need God’s salvaging work—not even Jesus. God is the only one who is good. Jesus doesn’t claim goodness for himself.


Mark 10:17-18

17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"


18 "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good — except God alone. NIV


Salvation history is little concerned about the timeline, the culture, or the scientific achievements or lack of them or even the sinfulness of those being called. God is concerned about a person’s decision to allow him to establish his rule in his/her heart.


Salvation history traces the lineage of faithful humankind to the birth of Christ. In Luke the third chapter, Luke turns it all around as he traces Christ’s birth backwards through David, Abraham, Noah, Seth and Adam (Luke 3:23-38). I like where he says, “. . . the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.” Imagine, ADAM THE SON OF GOD—this is his relationship with God in Eden. This makes every person on earth a child of God by right of creation. If Adam was a son of God so am I, so are you.


Think of the kind of relationship a concerned parent wants with his/her children. Is it any wonder why God wants to salvage the lives of all of his suffering sons and daughters? What kind of God would he be if he didn’t want to bring his children back to himself?




There is only one genealogy found in the New Testament. It is Christ’s genealogy which is traced backward through the hearts of those who followed God. The apostle Paul tells us when we allow God to clothe us in Christ’s righteous we become the offspring of Abraham and heirs with him of the promises of God.


Galatians 3:26-29

26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. NIV


God has purposed that our relationship with him be restored in Christ who has atoned for our wrong doing with his personal sacrifice.


This is the scope of salvation history in a nutshell. What will you decide—remember the future of the world—eternity—hangs on your decision?