“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

The late T.F. Tenney said in one of his sermons, “The main thing is keeping the main thing the main thing.” That’s fun to say, but what exactly is the main thing? As twenty-first century Christians our “main thing” is keeping Jesus Christ at the center of our lives and the focus of our attention. Jesus is the main thing. The weights and sins that “so easily beset us” are the things that are passing, momentary, and trivial. But the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ is lasting, eternal, and significant in our spiritual life.

So how do we keep the main thing the main thing? Well, let me tell you a story a minister’s wife tell during a conference.

Once upon a time there was a tiny brook…

… This tiny brook babbled along until it met and joined another tiny brook to create a small creek. The small creek meandered along until it met and joined another small creek made up of more tiny brooks to create a small stream. Then the small stream was joined by many other small streams to form a small river, which, as it flowed south, grew into a wide and powerful river—one that covers 2,350 miles and divides almost half a continent. This river is the mighty Mississippi River.

The great strength of the river is not due to the force of those small brooks that feed the muddy Mississippi; the gravitational pull of the Gulf of Mexico draws the water towards itself.

In the same way, the present does not propel itself toward the future; the future pulls the present toward itself.

Jesus painted a picture of the future He has envisioned for us. By allowing this vision of Jesus Christ to pull us towards our future, we can keep the main thing the main thing. Because in order to use what you have, you first need to determine what you want, which should be the main thing.


Angela Overton is a lover of words, nature, and coffee. She is an ordained minister with the UPCI, has a Masters Degree in Theology, and loves to teach Bible studies. She and her amazing husband, Michael, pastor in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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