Do you ever become distracted? It’s interesting how often we may set out with some purpose in mind, only to find ourselves pursuing a different course completely. You know how this works... You walk into the bedroom looking for your car keys. There on the dresser (where you usually keep your keys) is a receipt from CVS - you know, one of those six foot long printouts of coupons and specials, at the bottom of which is your transaction noting the purchase of a pack of gum. That reminds you of the new Doritos flavor you saw next to the cash register, which prompts you to ask your wife if she’s tried them. She responds with a no, but asks if you remembered to get a card for your Mom’s birthday. You then walk to the kitchen and put a note on the refrigerator to remind yourself. You realize your coffee cup is empty, refill it, and notice the fresh loaf of sourdough bread on the counter. You’re hungry so you cut off a piece and get involved in the morning news on TV while you eat your bread. They are talking about the dramatic finish to last night’s football game, so you flip on the laptop to look at the highlights. The next thing you know, you’re reading about someone who rescued a dog only to realize it was a coyote when he got home and it attacked him. You laugh and show your wife, who asks if you ever found your car keys. You start over and find your keys under the CVS receipt. By now, you’re late to work. But it’s ok because your boss is at home watching YouTube videos of coyotes. He can’t find his keys either.
Some distractions are insignificant. Others are extremely significant. We are witnessing a change in this country when it comes to the acceptance, influence, and understanding of Christianity. Some of this is simply due to generational change. History bears out that values generally change as one generation passes and another comes along. Some of this is due to circumstantial change. Most adults in our present society have lived their entire life in a prosperous nation where the basic needs of life are met and the majority have never struggled. Christianity has always appealed to those in need. And I’m convinced that some of the present trending away from faith in Christ is due to simple distraction. Mainstream evangelical Christianity in America is very sensual. Worship appears to be geared toward sensationalism and entertainment. The message from the pulpit promotes physical, emotional, and economic prosperity and well-being. Religious bodies are increasingly given to toleration of activities and relationships that are condemned biblically - casual divorce and remarriage; co-habitation; sexual promiscuity; homosexuality; immodesty; dishonesty; covetousness. It is rare to find people who call themselves Christians that are focused more upon the spiritual than the temporal. Politics, pleasure, and prosperity seem to characterize the lives of so many “believers” in our day. Ours is an age of “God loves everyone and condemns noone”; “Let’s just praise the Lord”; “Come as you are”. Sacrifice, service, temperance, and righteousness have been dismissed in preference for comfort and narcissism.
In our distraction, we have forgotten what Christianity is all about.
In Act 24:24, Paul had the opportunity to talk to Felix and his wife about his conviction regarding Jesus. It is described in this verse in simple terms: “he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.” The phrase “the faith” is used almost forty times in the New Testament, and is the fundamental designation of Christianity because it aptly describes what God has asked of us. We are given evidence of the identity of Jesus so that we might decide whether or not we trust Him as the Son of God. He has made provisions and promises to those who put their faith in Him - things like forgiveness, hope of eternal life, and the anticipation of a resurrected and glorified body. He has asked us to follow Him as learners and imitators. Discipleship is a response to His identity. And His identity is multi-faceted as it concerns us. He is King, Teacher, Lord, Savior, Friend, High Priest, Shepherd, Judge, and God. It seems as though people have forgotten all of that. But we must not. If we are to be disciples of Jesus Christ, we must remember Who He is, and what He does as a result. Thus, in the coming year, it is our aim to give some focus each month to the Person of Jesus Christ, and the great provisions He makes as a result. We invite you to join us as we learn more about Jesus.
MORE ABOUT JESUS
“...the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
JANUARY - God
MV: John 1:18 Reading: John 1-6
FEBRUARY - Man
MV: Hebrews 2:14 Reading: Hebrews 1-5
MARCH - Fulfillment of prophecy
MV: Luke 24:44 Reading: Isaiah 1-11
APRIL - Savior/Sacrifice
MV: 1 Peter 2:24 Reading: Romans 1-6
MAY - Lord
MV: Acts 2:36 Reading: Ephesians
JUNE - Teacher
MV: Luke 6:40 Reading: Matthew 5-7
JULY - Servant
MV: Matthew 20:27-28 Reading: Philippians
AUGUST - Friend
MV: John 15:13 Reading: John 13-17
SEPTEMBER - Shepherd
MV: John 10:14 Reading: Psalms 23;3;4;17;27;37;91
OCTOBER - King
MV: Psalm 2:7-8 Reading: Acts 1-5
NOVEMBER - Priest
MV: Hebrews 7:25 Reading: Hebrews 6-10
DECEMBER - Judge
MV: 2 Corinthians 5:10 Reading: Matthew 23-28