February 13, 2018 – Decide To Not Be Distracted! – Pr. Noleen Mendes
10 Paul went down, threw himself on the young man [Eutychus] and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” 11 Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. 12 The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted. – Acts 20:10-12 (NIV) (Brackets, mine)
Given the scope of that prior event with Eutychus (vs. 7-9), you would think that Paul would have taken a hint that his preaching was just a bit long. Nope! Instead, he heals the young man and continues talking until daylight! Does anything ever distract this guy? You would think that he would have taken this seriously. After all, Eutychus died before being brought back to life. But for Paul, it was no big deal. He now had another sermon illustration! So it was time to get back to the business at hand: preaching Jesus! And because he did, the people were “greatly comforted.”
Sometimes I think “distraction” is my middle name because I’m so good at it! To most people, the event with Eutychus would have been a big deal, enough to distract them away from their task at hand, even from ministry work. If there’s anything that I’ve picked up from the life of the Apostle Paul it’s that he was a task-oriented guy! Even as a persecutor, he was mission-minded. I believe it was this character trait that Jesus was after when he knocked Paul off his donkey. Whatever he was as a persecutor, he could become as a preacher! He was not a guy easily distracted. (Read Acts 14:1-20)
So how do I minimize my distractions? How do I know what’s a distraction or a re-direction? Sometimes we are re-directed, just as Paul and Barnabas were when the disciples led them away from danger. At other times, we are just distracted. Jesus himself said, the spirit is willing but the body is weak. (Matt 26:41) Right here is a clue as to how I, along with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, could combat this weakness of mine: Make A Decision!! Decide to not be distracted! I’ll admit that many times, I’ve been distracted while doing devotions and never returning back to it. This year, however, I have been intentional…really intentional in finishing my devotionals. Even if I am distracted by one thing or another, I’ll make it a point to come back to it, to come back to my time with Jesus. It’s not always easy but it is important and necessary, especially if I want to continue to grow and thrive in my walk with Jesus.
Father God, You know that I’ve struggled with being easily distracted in the past. Becoming more task-oriented has really helped me to focus in and struggle less, especially when it comes with spending time with you. Holy Spirit, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I, especially when I wander away from where I need to be. Let me put on the spirit of Christ, who was not distracted in His mission to the Cross but chose to lay down His life for the world. In Jesus Name I pray…Amen!