Bible · Christian · Faith · Grace · Jesus

What was I saying?

enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures’ (Titus 3:3 NIV)

Do you get easily distracted by some things?

As I am writing this blog, the television is on, and even though the sound is low, there is a flickering as the images change, and I keep looking up, and suddenly, Pointless is on, and 10 minutes have passed!

Why do we get so easily distracted?

We all seem to have such busy lives these days; there is so much stuff around that can to distract us from what we were originally doing, stuff that can distract us from Jesus and his purpose for us.

When I pray, I can suddenly find myself thinking about something or someone at work, or a friend at church, or a situation with the family that I need to resolve, or even the fact that the car needs a service or that the MOT is due, and then less than 5 minutes later, I am not praying, I am doing anything but!

Buddha, is said to have referred to this as the human mind being a ‘monkey mind’, or rather, the human mind has a big tendency to bounce around from one idea to the next idea, from one worry to the next worry, and we need to get our mind under a proper semblance of control (https://www.potential.com.au/new-blog/2015/self-improvement-thursday-got-a-head-full-of-drunken-monkeys-me-too – accessed 08/03/19).

Distractions are everywhere, but Paul reminded the church in Corinth, and thereby us, that they and we should live full lives, devoted to God, with as few distractions as possible;

I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord’ (1 Corinthians 7:35 NIV).

Some people are easily drawn to the desires that the world seems to produce in such abundance, but we should remember that where our treasure is, that is also where our heart is;

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’ (Matthew 6:21 NIV).

Again, Paul reminds us that we should not be drawn into the pleasures that the world has to offer, but we should set ourselves apart from it; not in an attitude of ‘we are better than you’, because we are not, we are ALL sinful, and we ALL fail God regularly (Romans 3:23), but we should be different in both our outlook and attitude to life;

present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God’ and we should also, ‘not be conformed to this world’ (Romans 12:1 & 2 ESV).

John also wrote about not loving the things of this world;

Do not love the world or the things in the world’ (1 John 2:15 ESV).

It is very easy to say something like, ‘do not be conformed to this world’ (Romans 12:2 ESV) but it is sometimes very difficult to do.

We need to remain focused on Jesus, on what he taught, and the path that he wants us to take, for God has a plan for each and every one of us (Jeremiah 29:11), and in our lives, we need to not be like the seed that grew and got choked;

Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants’ (Luke 8:7 NIV).

But what does that mean for our lives, when we read that the seeds grew and got choked?

The seed that fell among the thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature’ (Luke 8:14 NIV).

We need to focus on Jesus;

looking to Jesus’ (Hebrews 12:2 ESV).

The writer of Proverbs also had some good advice for us, on how to live our life;

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you’ (Proverbs 4:25 ESV).

So in this world with its distractions, Facebook ‘pinging’ every five minutes, e-mails arriving and notifying us via a sound, text messages, Whats-App, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and many more, how do we concentrate on what is important?

We need to look to the source of everything, Jesus;

Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith’ (Hebrews 12:2 ESV).

Focus on Jesus, listen for him, shut off the television (yes I have now), mute your phone, or ‘perish the thought’ turn it off! Calm yourself down in a quiet place, concentrate on what is important, on who is important. Remember the promises of God, that he will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5), that we are new creations. Remember that you are God’s temple (1 Corinthians 3:16). There is nothing that God does not know about us, and we can hide nothing (Psalm 139). Silence the monkeys jumping around in your head, and focus on the light of the world (John 8:12).

We can try to remember something that I saw written on a Christian website;

‘God has no phone, yet I talk to him every day. God does not have a Facebook account, yet we are friends, and God does not have an Instagram account, yet I still follow him!

Make friends with the most important person you can, talk to him, and follow him.

Talk to, be friends and follow Jesus.

Down in the valley with my Saviour I would go,
Where the flowers are blooming and the sweet waters flow;
Everywhere he leads me I would follow, follow on,
Walking in his footsteps till the crown be won.

Follow, follow, I will follow Jesus,
Anywhere, everywhere, I will follow on;
Follow, follow, I will follow Jesus,
Everywhere he leads me I will follow on.

Down in the valley with my Saviour I would go,
Where the storms are sweeping and the dark waters flow;
With his hand to lead , me I will never, never fear;
Dangers cannot frighten me if my Lord is near.

Down in the valley, or upon the mountain steep,
Close beside my Saviour would my soul ever keep;
He will lead me safely in the path that he has trod,
Up to where they gather on the hills of God.

Follow On

William Orcutt Cushing (1823-1902)

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Father we thank you for not giving up on us, for sending Jesus to redeem us, even though we did not deserve it. You know all things about us, how we get easily distracted from what you would have us do. Help us to try to focus more on you, on your ways, and on what you want us to do for your kingdom.

Amen

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