Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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April 20 – The Danger Of Distractions

“Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against Him during the supper and had said, ‘Lord, who is it that is going to betray You?’ When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If it is My will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!'” John 20:20-22

Devotional Thought For The Day

I suppose it is a common characteristic but I suspect it plagues some of us more than others – this whole matter of changing the subject and shifting attention. I know that I have been “derailed” on numerous occasions, sometimes for lengthy periods of time, by allowing my mind to turn to some peripheral issue and to lose focus on what is of paramount importance. I’m certain that Peter’s concern was legitimate, out of genuine love and concern for John, and in order to begin seeing the larger picture of what Christ’s resurrection and ascension would mean for the church. There is nothing wrong with such thoughts provided they do not distract and prevent us from doing what Christ has placed immediately before us, the blessed privileges and responsibilities of our following Christ by “feeding” His lambs and “tending” His sheep.

We all have care and concern for others serving in Christ’s kingdom, and we all have questions about the “big picture” and how our tasks and life fit into it. This is quite natural and is all part of love and enhancing our effectiveness.  But there is a great deal that we will not be privy to, a number of things that will have to be left as “mysteries.”  Our tasks and responsibilities are quite clear – even when they are quite difficult and painful, and involve us in conflict and perhaps even endanger us. We want some context, some understanding, some certainty of endorsement and support prior to taking risks and doing our duty. The Lord’s Word to Peter is important for us to hear: “Let me tend to the details – you follow Me.”

Others may also get “stuck” in a myriad of details and concerns, many of which will remain “mysteries.”  Following Christ means acknowledging that God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and His ways are higher than our ways. [Is. 55:8-11] It also means trusting that God’s Word is supreme and effective and will accomplish God’s will without our understanding or help, and regardless of the details which we cannot fully fathom. What we are privileged to do is participate in the speaking, teaching, and spread of His Word – in whatever small part of the kingdom we have been placed. It is not full wisdom and complete understanding that is “required” of us, but rather simple “faithfulness” to God’s Word. [1 Cor. 4:2] This is the Lord’s charge and advice to Peter, and it also serves us well.

So we are privileged to live by faith in the wondrous love of God, rejoicing in His gracious mercy and forgiveness and committing ourselves to what is clearly instructed in God’s Word. We are not distracted by speculation or “man-made religious inventions” – we have more than enough to keep us busy just remaining faithful to His Word and following Jesus!  When we fall or fail we repent and rejoice to receive His gracious mercy – just as Peter did on numerous occasions. May God bless each of us with strength of mind to remain focused on the blessed tasks Jesus has commended to us!

Scripture Cited

Isaiah 55:8-11  “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.'”

1 Cor. 4:2  “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.”

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, forgive us for the much time and energy we waste with distractions, fears, and speculation.  Keep us from allowing these things center stage in our lives, so that we fall off track in following You. Grant us strength and simplicity in fulfilling Your will and commission to us. Amen.