Living Free - Dec. 14, 2012

Today's Scripture

"And the ones sown among the thorns are others who hear the Word; Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless." - Mark 4:18-19 AMP

Thoughts for Today

"You shall have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3). Anytime our relationship with God is strained or sidetracked, this commandment is broken.

We have discussed the distraction of sin, but sometimes behavior that may seem good in itself can become a distraction from our personal relationship with God and what he has called us to do. Hobbies are good . . . but they can distract us. Doing well in school or our career is a good thing . . . unless it distracts us from more important things. Friends and relationships can be good . . . until they draw us away from what God wants us to focus on.

And then there is serving God. Are we listening to his voice, doing what he wants us to do when he wants us to do it? Or are we rushing ahead on our own, or getting fully involved in a ministry that seems good, but maybe isn't what God is calling us to. And full-time ministry can be a great distraction. Ministers can get so caught up in putting out fires, making their church better, planning programs . . . that they don't have time for God. The words of Jesus in today's scripture make it clear that distractions can make our lives fruitless.

Consider this …

Where are your priorities? Are you putting your personal relationship with Christ first? Are you spending as much energy in pursuing him as you are pursuing success or other relationships?

Getting sidetracked from God and his plan for us can prevent us from being all he has called us to be and doing what he has called us to do. And it can be exhausting.

Think about it. Do you need a priority adjustment?


Father, I've been so busy I've been distracted from my relationship with you.  I know you have a good plan for me. Help me get back on track. Above all, help me to know you better. In Jesus' name . . .

These thoughts were drawn from …

The Ten Commandments: Applying the Foundations of Living to My Personal Life by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. Knowing that there are absolutes that define moral conduct and ethical decisions is essential for believers surrounded by relativistic values. This guide helps us understand God's boundaries. It shows how the Ten Commandments apply today. It also discusses the biblical laws on which the legal codes of every civilized society are based. This guide is written in a way that helps people see the Ten Commandments in light of today's problems. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.



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