Good morning to all. Just a reminder that Lenten service will start at 7:00 p.m. tonight via ZOOM.
Sister Cheryl Clinton has opened her eyes for a few seconds. The monitor that measures the swelling in her brain indicates that the swelling is coming down. Doctor says the blood on her brain is still draining and looks good. All three tests they took to check for infection came back negative. Her temperature is good now. Blood pressure is good also. Keep praying. (Jerry Clinton)
Thirdly, please see today’s message below:
When I woke up this morning, I thought about how easy it is to become distracted or to lose sight of what is truly important in life. The adversary has been busy since the beginning of time creating distractions. Even in the Garden of Eden, you know the story, Satan distracted Adam and Eve to the point that they ate of the forbidden fruit. That one distraction was a game changer, and the Garden of Eden lost its original purpose. What we must come to realize is that distractions can be the trick of the devil. It will do whatever is necessary to cause us to lose our concentration on God and godly living. Sin is nothing but a distraction, for it causes us to be disobedient to the will of God. Satan’s job is to lure us into the traps of distraction.
Once upon a time, there was a president who was a mastermind when it came to creating distractions. The distractions were so bizarre sometimes that we lost sight of what the real issues were in society. The distractions caused the public to concentrate on things that were so outlandish or irrelevant that reality became secondary. What became so sad was that many fell into the trap and believed in the distractions.
Attractions can sometimes become distractions. If we are not careful, those distractions that are attractive will begin to consume us. Think about a casino. It is an attraction that tends to lure Christians into its game rooms.
Let me just share with you a recent major distraction. What happened to Will Smith and Chris Rock at the Oscars is a distraction. Do you think the people of Ukraine are interested in Will Smith slapping Chris Rock? The outcome of the distraction will end up being a promotional exercise for both men. Chris Rock will continue to have sell-out crowds for his shows and Will Smith will continue to make popular movies. It was indeed a foolish act by two grown men, but let’s move on to what is truly important. I knew this was a distraction when I heard a reporter ask the White House communications director what the White House’s response was to the incident. Do you think President Joe Biden has time to tweet about these two men when Russia is slaughtering people? The distraction has caused us to lose focus on the atrocities in Ukraine. Let us not be distracted to the point that we forget Mrs. Clarence Thomas’ involvement with the insurrection. May we also realize that the appointment and confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson is certainly more important than these types of antics.
“For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrow” (1 Timothy 6:10). I share this passage of scripture because I often think about Judas who was distracted by money and how he betrayed Jesus. A case of an attraction becoming a deadly distraction.
The story of Martha and Mary can add credence to my thoughts. “And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister named Mary who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to His teachings. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?” Tell her then to help me. But the Lord answered her, “Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary, Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42, ESV). One writer put it this way, “Martha was so concerned with doing things for Jesus that she missed being with Jesus.”
The danger to Christians is when we allow attractions to cause us to stumble in our faith. Even King David fell prey to an attractive woman, and he gave in to his desire. He was distracted to the point that he committed murder and adultery. His lust distracted him to the point that his devotion to God was weakened.
We can fight off these distractions that cause us to fall by staying focused on Jesus and remembering that He is our Savior. Let nothing else get in the way of us remaining faithful, for He can give us victory over our sins and give us eternal life.
I ask each of us this morning, “Are there distractions that may be causing us to shortchange God and ourselves?” If so, may we reset and begin to focus on what is of utmost importance, our Christian walk.
Not a sermon, just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor