God is calling you (stay focused)

JESUS SPEAKING

          And he said to another, “Follow me.”  But the man said, “Lord, first allow me to go and bury my father.”  Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”  And another also said, “Lord, I will follow you, but let me first go and bid farewell to those who are at my house.”  But Jesus said to him, “No man having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9: 59-62.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

          Although Jesus Christ called many, few chose to answer his call.  The calling of God demands immediate and absolute obedience.  When Jesus summoned Simon and Andrew they were busy fishing.  How did they respond?  We read, “They immediately left their nets and followed him.”  The priority of the first man in this scripture was to attend to the burial of his father.  Jesus beckoned him to focus on the living, not the dead (the man’s Father was likely an unbeliever.)  The second individual desired to return home to say farewell to his family; thereby placing his loved ones ahead of God.  The Jewish people were very familiar with agricultural practices; plowing, planting, and reaping were intimate aspects of their existence.  Which is why Jesus used a farming illustration to express an important truth.  When driving the ox and plow, a farmer’s eyes remained focused on the field ahead; looking back served only to distract the driver from his necessary work.  The world today is full of diversions, obstacles, and enticements.  Distractions are dangerous; they can prevent us from accomplishing God’s will.

          According to the national highway safety commission, 80% of all car crashes involve driver distraction.  These statistics proved true for a man named Stephen in 1983.  One sunny morning he hopped in his new Mercedes Benz; with the top down and the wind in his face, he set out for an important appointment.  As he drove up the coast of Southern California, he passed by a certain beach.  His attentions unexpectedly turned to a young blond woman wearing a bikini.  As she jogged passed his vehicle, his mind, heart, and eyes, followed along with her.  The image of a complete stranger took priority over the road, his destination, and even his new wife Sandy.  Suddenly, he smashed into the back end of a Chevelle that had come to a complete stop in his lane.  Although Stephen’s body remained uninjured, his pride, and the front end of his Mercedes weren’t quite as lucky.  When driving, the road ahead must take precedence over everything else. To reach our destination, we must abandon every trivial distraction.

          Jesus Christ has called many; still, few have responded in the serious and immediate manner required for discipleship.  If you have felt called by the Lord, let go of this fading existence and grab hold of the plow.  Make God the priority.  Preach the gospel to all those you meet; accomplish the work of the Lord and avoid distractions.  This life is a passing dream; keep your eyes, mind, and heart, focused on God; and you will certainly reach your divine destination.

          “Lord Heavenly Father, we ask that You would be our first priority.  May our eyes be continually focused upon You. Take control of our lives and be our Master.  Help us to avoid distractions.  Give us the wisdom and strength to finish what You have started; until the day that we enter Your eternal Kingdom.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name; Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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