This One Thing – Feb 2019

Life today is full of distractions. I’m not saying that there haven’t been distractions throughout the history of the world but that there is more reaching out to grab your attention than ever before. When I was growing up, I had tv, radio, books, sports and friends, but generally you had to go to your distraction. Now we carry our smartphones everywhere so we can be distracted by social media, email, texts, games, streaming services and whatever other apps you install … not to mention the phone itself. Plus, we can have these apps push for our attention. Even when using computers or smartphones for valid reasons, we get advertising and spam emails that pop up.

We can be just as distracted and interrupted emotionally. We can be distracted by unforgiveness and resentment. Negative self-talk can distract us from accomplishing the things we should be focussed on. Wishful thinking about the future instead of concentrating on the present is a distraction. (I’m not referring to thoughtful planning and goal setting; this is about emotional distraction.) Dwelling on the successes of the past while struggling with the present is a distraction.

The apostle Paul wrote: “… I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.” (Phil. 3:13-16, NLT)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the church cannot afford to get distracted in 2019! We have been charged to “focus on this one thing.” To be spiritual superstars … oops, no. To have our destinies fulfilled … hmm, no again. To feel significant and satisfied in life … um, a no again. We cannot afford to be distracted by even the good things that may come as a by-product of doing the one thing. The one thing we are tasked with is making disciples (Matt. 28:18-20) and to do so means that we must be good disciples of Christ ourselves, since disciples follow and imitate those who disciple them. The church must focus on this one thing and let Jesus worry about the rest (in line with Matt. 6:33).

Journeying with you,

Pastor Merril


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