As we begin to look forward to another year that the Lord has given us sometimes we tend to look back in regret or remorse at the things we did not get accomplished for the Lord in the past year.
But we must not allow the failures of the past to cloud our vision of the future. We can never change the past. But by the grace of God, we can make the most of the future. So remember those things which will help you forward, but forget those things which will only hold you back"
(Philippians 3:13-14) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Because our hope is in Christ…we can let go of past guilt and look forward to what He will help us become. Don't dwell on your past. Instead, grow in the knowledge of God by concentrating on our relationship with Him now. Sometimes we, as Christians, stray from God in our hearts, grow weary in well doing, and grow slack in our commitment. It is during these times that our lives seem to get out of focus. We fail to see that we are heading in a direction contrary to God's direction for our lives.
Read: 2 Thess 3:1-5
I draw your attention to the final statement that Paul writes in v5. 'And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.'
The word direct in the Greek means "to be straightened fully." It implied that their focus had become blurred or not clear. Paul prayed that the Thessalonians would get refocused. That they might refocus their lives on Christ and His will for their lives. As we consider this New Year before us let's take time to refocus our lives on Christ and His will for each of our lives. It is time to refocus our focus.
I. Refocus Our Passion. (3:5a)
A. Defining our Terms
1. Passion is "ardent affection or love; a strong desire or affection for some object, cause, etc; and the object of such desire or affection".
(Psalms 63:1-2) O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. 
B. We Should Love God Above All Else.
Deuteronomy 6:5, "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."
1. To the Jews, this is remains the most important text in Deuteronomy.
2. According to the Lord Jesus, to love God is the great and first commandment.
3. To love God with all one's heart is the very soul and essence of Christianity.
4. If we love God as we should, we will willingly serve Him as we patiently wait for His Son from heaven.
C. We Often Fail To Love God As We Should.
1. We become like the church of Ephesus to who had left their first love.
2. What causes us to fail in our love for God?
a. Sometimes the world steals our affection.
(Matthew 6:24) No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
(Luke 8:14) And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
(2 Timothy 4:10) For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
b. Sometimes it is the attacks of the enemy.
(1 Peter 5:8) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1) Satan knows he cannot have our soul once we belong to God, but if he can get us to fail in our love for God, he still has accomplished his purpose.
2) Satan does all he can to cause our love for Christ to grow cold through death, disappointments, distress, and difficulties that come into our lives.
(Ephesians 4:27) Neither give place to the devil.
(James 4:7) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
c. At other times it is we that fail to nourish our love for God.
1) We don't spend time with Him in prayer.
2) We don't study His precious Word.
3) We grow weary in our service to Him.
4) We forsake our time of worship.
D. We need to refocus our focus on passion.
II. Refocus Our Purpose.
(2 Thessalonians 3:4) And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.
A. We Are To Glorify God.
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20) What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
1. If we are saved this morning, then we belong to the God!
2. We were purchased by His blood, that we might fulfill His purpose for us.
3. That purpose is to bring Him glory.
(John 15:8) Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
B. We Are To Go With the Gospel
1. Evangelism is not optional!
2. We are committed with the task of reaching this world with the Gospel.
3. Not just me…but we!
(2 Corinthians 5:19-20) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
C. The message is the Gospel
1. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. Believe that He died, was buried, and rose again on the third day!
3. Certainly we should help the hurting, and feed the hungry…but not without giving them the gospel!
(Mark 16:15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
III. Refocus Our Patience
"And the Lord direct your hearts…into the patient waiting for Christ."
A. Defining our terms.
1. The words "patient waiting" means " a patient endurance for Christ."
2. Not sitting idly by doing nothing…
3. But actively serving Him while we wait for His return!
B. Jesus is coming back!
1. As sure as He came over 2000 years ago to be born as the babe in the manger.
2. He is coming back again to this earth.
3. He is coming in the air to rapture or take away all who have placed their faith in Him.
(1 Th 4:16-17) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
4. Then He is returning at the close of the seven years of tribulation to end the rebellion of mankind and establish His millennial kingdom.
(Jude 1:14-15) And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
C. Are we ready?
1. Christians…we will stand before Him and give an account of how we have invested the life that He gave to us.
2. To those who do not know Him as Savior… Now is the day of salvation…Do not put it off!
3. Whatever your need…I invite you to come this morning.
4. Refocus your focus…as we begin this New Year!