TODAY'S WORD FOR Tuesday, November 28, 2017:
The act of diverting attention; mental distress or derangement; a person or thing that prevents concentration.
Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the Word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word, and he becomes unfruitful. Matthew 13:22.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Jesus, when He spoke using the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:22 above), is really simply saying that the cares of this world chokes the Word. In other words, the cares of this world is a distraction to many that attempt to follow Jesus.
When we think of distractions cell phones come to our mind. Everywhere we go we see people talking, texting, playing games or listening to their cell phones. Truly in today’s culture there is no greater distraction. When you are with your family or friends it would seem common courtesy to turn off your cell phone and spend time communicating, talking and listening. That does not seem to happen in this day and age.
We have sat in restaurants and witnessed couples at table’s right next to us not saying a word while they eat their whole meal. They eat and their eyes never leave their cell phone. This is how easily we can be distracted, whether it is in our relationship with others or with the Lord.
In Matthew 13:15, Jesus told His followers that spiritual distraction begins with hearts that have grown dull, ears that are hard of hearing, and eyes that are closed. In the parable used above, Jesus uses the illustration of a farmer scattering seed. Jesus compared the seed that fell among thorns to a person who hears God’s Word but whose heart and mind is focused on other things of the world around him or her. The Word of God never takes root in their lives so that it can bear fruit because it is choked out by the distraction of the responsibilities of life.
There is great value in having times in our lives throughout each day when we shut out the distractions of the world and focus on the Lord.
This was a lesson Jesus had to teach Martha in Luke 10:38-42. Jesus and His disciples often came to visit in the home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. On one such occasion Luke tells us that Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. Martha was a worrier about all the details. When Jesus and His disciples arrived, Mary sat down with them. Martha thought she was left to do all the work and so she asked Mary to help her. Jesus gently corrected Martha’s attitude by showing her that the personal attention that Mary was giving her guests was just as important as the physical comforts Martha was working hard to provide. Mary was focused on Jesus and spending time with Him.
Focusing on Jesus our Lord and Savior and spending time with Him puts everything else in perspective.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Philippians 2:4.
Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also the interests of others.
Help me to not allow the distractions in life to hamper my relationship with You. May You direct me and my family daily in a way that keeps our eyes focused on You and our ears hearing Your Word and our hearts desiring to serve You.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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