Today, my boys and I are having what we call a “boy day.” My wife is away at a woman’s retreat until later this evening, and so we’re having a guys day out, complete with food and the outdoors. I think one thing can ruin it: if I’m on my phone and missing out on what they are doing. Too often, we have the best intentions when we plug in to social media, our phones, our computers, our televisions, but end up wasting so much time: a commodity we can’t ever get back. How often do we do the same thing to God? “Lord, I’ll get up early and study and pray, just let me finish this last episode,” which turns in to “sorry Lord, but this series is so good, I had to find out what happens next!” Often, especially in our modern day and age, we miss out on important things now for what we can do later, and every opportunity missed is one we can’t get back.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we need to quit binging, disconnect, and end the distractions. I don’t know how many times I’ve sat at funerals or visitations for the departed, and people say “I wasn’t ready, I wish I had more time.” All too often, this can translate in to “I didn’t take enough time, I wish I wasn’t so busy with my own priorities.” So many opportunities are wasted, squandered, and passed over because we can’t disconnect from our media or busyness for long enough to see what’s right in front of us! Beloved, let’s make sure we’re keeping our priorities straight, and Jesus says we’re fulfilling all God’s law and the prophets when we obey the great commandment: “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-21).
When we focus on loving God with everything we are, and focus on loving our neighbor as ourselves, we please God. And that, friends, should be our priority.
1 Corinthians 10:1-21
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?