Archive | April 2017

The Good Part

Ever been watching a movie or reading a book and have someone interrupt just when you’re getting to the good part? We know that the best of what we’ve been seeing or reading is getting close, and we don’t want to be distracted and miss out on enjoying a single moment of it.

Take that feeling and think of it in terms of listening to Jesus. Have you ever felt that way about what He’s saying to you?

When we listen to Jesus, we intentionally come close to Him. We tune out other voices — people, music, devotionals, commentaries, podcasts, television, worries, schedules, deadlines — to concentrate on Him.

Often, though, we are so distracted that we sometimes forget to really listen to Him.

“But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came to Him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.’” (Luke 10:40)

What Jesus says to us is enough. We don’t need to frantically seek other input or keep busy with life’s activity.

“But the Lord answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.’” (Luke 10:41-42)

When we deliberately draw near to Jesus and allow the distractions of life to fade away, we discover His presence. And in His presence we find the “good part” because in nearness to Him is when we truly hear Him.

Focused Living

For thousands of years, farmers had to focus on a fixed point in the distance in order to plow a straight furrow. Looking backward meant getting off track. It meant crooked lines.  Today, most farmers use GPS to plow straight, but they still must operate the tractor.

What we focus on in the distance determines the overall path of our lives. Looking backwards too long or dwelling too much on what’s right in front of us can get us way off track. We so easily get distracted from His instructions.

Jesus talked about focused living in Luke 9:57-62, and it’s not the most comfortable of teachings for any of us. After all, he says we must be willing to give up comfort, prior commitments and family obligations in order to follow Him.

Jesus was not advocating for neglect of responsibilities, but he was speaking to the excuses we often make for delaying what we know He wants us to do. He’s reminding us that there is a cost to following him, and we must be ready to serve even if it requires sacrifice.

Ultimately, Jesus was speaking to our long-term focus. He was plowing through excuses and asking for total dedication, not half-hearted commitment. He was asking us to focus on Him and allow nothing to distract us from living how He desires.