There’s a wise adage that says, “What has your attention has you”. So the question is really obvious; what has your attention today? If our focus is anywhere other than on Jesus Christ, we are captured by something other than Him. Satan is a master of distraction. Since the dawn of time he has been parading a feast of temptation before our eyes (Genesis 3:1-6). He doesn’t care if you ever go his way; he’s content to just keep your eyes off of Jesus. We make it too easy for him.
Archives for January 2013
I’ve been struck lately with a preoccupation regarding the concept of mediocrity. It continues to come into my mind as I see evidence of it all around me and within my own life. Jesus gave His opinion of mediocrity when He said that He detested lukewarm faith. Using strong language, He said that mediocre Christians made Him vomit (Revelation 3:16). We’ve bought into a teaching that says as long as we say a certain prayer that Christ will welcome us into His Kingdom with open arms. But Jesus makes it plain that unless we have a “hot” faith, He will spit us out. This is not a picture of the open arms we have been taught to expect.
Did you ever fail to recognize someone because you saw them outside of their normal context? My wife recently saw our eye doctor shopping in plain clothes with her son by her side. Even though we have been going to the same optometrist for eight years, it took my wife several seconds to recognize the doctor. I’ve done the same thing with neighbors when I see them at a mall instead of around the housing area. The reason this happens is because we associate the face to a place. When we see someone outside of the usual and expected location, we have difficulty recognizing them. Sadly this same principle applies to seeing Jesus in the everyday moments of our lives.
Have you ever had periods in your life where you felt like you could relate to Job? There are seasons in all of our journeys where, to the best of our knowledge we are following well, yet everything seems to be crumbling around us. Maybe a job loss or financial difficulty will arrive. Perhaps we will lose someone close to us or have an internal battle threaten to rage out of control. We are doing the things God told us to do but still our lives seem to be spiraling downward and picking up speed. These are the times of character refinement, and it is these moments that determine our true loyalty. Will we give up because it is too hard? Or will we say with Job, “The Lord gives and He takes away… I will never curse my friend” (Job 1:21-22; Job 2:9-10)?
Please pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini, who was sentenced to eight years in prison following a sham of a trial in Iran. Pray for his wife and family, an early release, and that he may be strong and courageous during his time there. Pray that many will come to know Christ through his witness. A Facebook page has been set up by his supporters where you can get updates by visiting this page: https://www.facebook.com/PrayForPastorSaeedAbedini?ref=stream