Stay focused on what really matters

Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Resilience”
Our Bible verse for today: “Then he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Stay focused on what really matters”
This morning I want to continue our thinking from yesterday because I’m convinced that in the months and years to come, it will become increasingly important for Christians in our nation to be strong, resilient, and focused. In yesterday’s devotional I said that I believe our nation is slowly drifting towards a situation similar to that of the nation of Israel during the days of the book of Judges. They had experienced a complete breakdown in the social order; there was no effective government; and the people of God had virtually no positive impact on their society. Therefore, “every person did what was right in their own eyes.” It was chaos bordering on anarchy. It was one big Gotham City.
I also noted that one of the reasons our society today has become so dysfunctional is because the church has become so ineffective. Too many Christians have lost focus and become sidetracked and distracted by secondary issues. They commit far more time, attention, and emotional energy to political and social issues than they do to God’s Kingdom agenda.
Is this a problem in your life? How would you know if it is? Let’s take a little test. I encourage each of us to spend a few moments in honest self-reflection.  Answer these two questions about yourself:
After people have had an encounter with you and have listened to what you have to say, do they now know about your politics or about your Lord? And, once people have had an opportunity to observe your behavior, did they see you simply going about your own business, taking care of yourself, or did they see you serving others in acts of kindness, mercy, and compassion?
Of course, we have to live life and we have to engage in regular everyday activities. We can’t always be talking about Jesus and we can’t always be engaged in acts of service. But those two activities are so powerful and impactful that they will make a profound impression on the people we encounter. So, we need to dedicate more of our time, attention, and emotional energy to those things rather than to political and social issues. (This can be tricky because I personally believe that in general, conservative ideology does in most cases more closely reflect Biblical principles than does liberal ideology. So, wouldn’t that then mean that simply advocating for conservative causes is by extension advocating for Biblical principles? More about this tomorrow.)
Jesus didn’t call us to be Republicans or Democrats. He called us to be witnesses and servants. Resilient Christians have the discipline to stay focused on the Lord’s agenda and to keep those other things (as important as they may be) in their proper places.
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2021 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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