Stop Distractions and Get Focused for the Lord

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

One day you will come to the end of your life. It may come sooner than you hoped or thought. I almost lost my life twice—once in a traffic incident and once in a near miss on an airplane. By the grace of God, I wasn’t hurt in either but I honestly believe there was miraculous intervention in both. After each of those incidents, it was almost like I went into a type of shock. I just couldn’t stop thinking about how my life had almost ended.

The first time I almost lost my life, I didn’t know the Lord except through the religious upbringing I was brought up in. Religion confused me, created questions I couldn’t find answers to, and eventually led me away from God because of my disappointment to find real answers. My thoughts after the first near death experience were completely different from the second. After my car incident, which was the first incident, I didn’t think much about what would have happened to me if I had died. I blocked those kinds of thoughts out because my path in life was hell-bound and I knew it. Saying, I don’t believe in Hell, somehow made me feel better although deep down I didn’t believe that either. What I did think about was that the two people in the car with me were almost killed. I had fallen asleep at the wheel and it almost cost us all our lives. It triggered the beginning process of a self-examination of my life.

Then in the aircraft near miss, our plane missed a head-on collision with another aircraft by a short distance. I had received Jesus as my personal Savior by that time. The thoughts I had after that incident again triggered this long season of reflection. I knew I would have gone to Heaven to be with the Lord if I had died, but what bothered me most was that I had no confidence that I would hear those words from Jesus —“Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” (Matthew 25:21) I kept flashing back through my life over and over, going back to the day I had given my life to the Lord. I began to feel great regret that I wasted this new and precious life in Him by caring more about my own personal happiness than being focused on my purpose in life and being a blessing and influence for Him. I would not have been satisfied. I felt like I would have been embarrassed and a disappointment to the Lord.

I believe that most Christians occasionally get distracted and lured off the course of living a purpose-filled life. Why do we? For a variety of reasons including, our own selfishness, personal desires and lusts, and even sometime for being persecuted by friends and family for your faith. Since Satan is out to stop the gospel of Jesus Christ and the blessing of God in a believer’s life, he’ll do what he can to help accommodate those distractions.

Jesus, who had done no wrong, always face persecution. He was always lied about. His enemies plotted evil and wicked plots to stop Him. Judas betrayed Him over his lust for money. And His disciples fled and deserted Him in His worst hour over fear of their own lives. The Apostle Paul faced the same thing. His enemies vowed not to eat until they killed him. Paul had liars continually persecuting him and reciting false charges against him. He ended up in prison having done no wrong—being innocent of every charge, yet many of his followers were too embarrassed of their leader being in prison. They backed away from Paul and eventually their life in God. Paul had to write to his followers, “Be not therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be a partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.” (2 Timothy 1:8)

I regret any time I have ever let myself get distracted. I regret any time I’ve ever wasted precious time from that which is so important in this life—to that which I will stand before Jesus at the end of my life. I want to stir up what God deposited within me and focus my life to making a difference for the Lord. It is my calling and it’s every Christian’s calling! How about you?

2 Tim 1: 8-10 (Message Bible) “So don’t be embarrassed to speak up for our Master or for me, His prisoner. Take your share of suffering for the gospel along with the rest of us. We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, who first saved us and then called us to this holy work.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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