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Stay Focused, Even When Distractions Are Many

This morning, I’m rather hungry. I woke up late (I chose to sleep in), did my personal and family Bible studies and rolled out of the house 5 minutes late. As I was leaving, my 2nd Oldest, who’s a rather good cook, was making eggs for him and his brothers. There wasn’t anything I could grab and go make easily for breakfast (on days like today, I usually grab a hot pocket, but we’re out!), so I did without. I still smell those eggs. I had a hand full of nuts, a bottle of water, and a cup of coffee, but I keep thinking about those eggs. And I’m distracted from everything else in the process.  As I’m writing this, I’m late, according to the schedule I set for myself. I have a list of things to do before my Wednesday coffee buddy arrives, and I only have myself to blame that they are not all done. I got distracted. I let my mind wander from my goal, and I’m having to play catch-up because of it.


Isn’t following Jesus like that? Sometimes, we have smooth sailing. Often, though, we feel like we’re just blundering along. We’re not where we want to be, we’re thinking about other things (than follow Jesus), and we’re frustrated, cranky (in my case, hangry), and not at all where we want to be. But that is all the more reason to stay focused on Jesus! The enemy will try and choke us out with the cares of life. He’ll try and keep us from staying on task. We’re sojourners in enemy territory. We’re the resistance against an Enemy, not of flesh and blood, but of our souls, and the war is not just for you and me, but our families, neighbors, and, yes, even people we consider to be our enemies.  So stay focused on Jesus, even when distractions are many. Help is on the way.


Matthew 13:18-23


“Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”


2 Timothy 2


You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.


Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The saying is trustworthy, for:


If we have died with him, we will also live with him;

if we endure, we will also reign with him;

if we deny him, he also will deny us;

if we are faithless, he remains faithful—


for he cannot deny himself.


Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”


Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.


So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

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