Thursday, July 14, 2016

Distracted and deceived

Something happened to me this week that really caught me off guard, but the real problem came after that. So many emotions rose to the surface. Questions flooded my mind as to how I was going to respond to this. I became so distracted it was hard to function.

The whole experience got me thinking about the enemy and his tactics. Many have heard that he uses discouragement to weaken us, but distraction is another oft used weapon of his too. Luke uses the word distraction in his gospel in the account of Mary & Martha. Chapter 10, verse 40 says, "Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made." Many people (including myself), can relate to Martha. We think "If she didn't do all that work, how would they eat?" I heard someone say, "I think Jesus could've taken care of the meal if necessary." OK, true. Back to the point. Martha's sister, Mary, was not distracted. In fact, she was at the feet of Jesus doing nothing but listening (verse 39). And Jesus left no doubt that Mary had chosen the better way (verse 42).

So, I need to ask myself how the enemy is distracting me today. What is he using to pull me away from the one thing that is needed (to listen to Jesus)? Is it something simple like preparing a meal for guests? Is it taking on another project, or watching another episode of a favorite show, or is it something totally different - like fear over the latest terrorist attack? None of those things are terribly bad, but if they are distracting us, pulling us away from the one thing that is needed, then I believe we need to choose a better way.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Do any lives matter?

Terrible news this week. First, we heard about 2 African-American men shot by police. Then, this morning, we woke up to the news of 11 police officers shot at a Black Lives Matter rally. All this violence because one group is acting out of fear and another group is desperate to know their lives matter. The Word of God has the answer for both those groups. It shows us how not to fear and it shows us that every life matters to God because He created all of us. As Christ-followers, we have an opportunity today to share those truths.

We must share the gospel with everyone. The gospel or "good news" is that God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to be born (in the flesh) into a world just as tumultuous as our is today. Jesus Christ showed us (in the flesh) how to live and how to love.

I used to think that if we lived a long time ago, when life was simpler and people had better morals, everything would be better. Then I realized that things were really no different then either. Morals didn't change slavery, segregation, fear or hate. Neither did a civil war or better laws. There is only one solution and that is for us Christ-followers to act like Jesus Christ. People who were around Jesus did not live in fear and they understood they mattered to Him. Likewise, we Christ-followers refuse to give into fear. We refuse to be part of any group built on the hate of any other group of people. We love. We lay down our lives.