Distractions occur constantly in this journey we call life! They may be from our own thoughts and concerns or from outside stimuli. One area where they can be extremely bothersome is in a church service. We have instant replay in sports, pause, and rewind on our television remote, but if we are unfocused at a moment God directs His word toward us, we may have lost an insight, a glimpse of an eternal truth! A glimpse that, at that very moment, may have created a spiritual connection with eternity. We should all come to service with the anticipation of being spiritually nourished, yet we allow so much to interfere! Was that song too fast or too slow for our personal taste? Look who’s sitting up front why they have a lot of nerve. Is the (fill in your own pet peeve)? Maybe our minds are still at home, “Did I leave the coffee pot on?” “Did the kids lock the door?” “I need to get out early today – I have company coming over!” or “I hope the message isn’t too long – the game starts at 1:00 “Ever have one of those thoughts? The apostle Paul, in Romans 12:1 encourages us “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, (and sisters) in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship”. We are told over and over in Scripture to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Jesus even calls this the greatest commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38) His word when spoken forth will accomplish it’s purpose and not return empty (Isaiah 55:10-11), yet if we are not receiving it properly – it’s purpose may be fulfilled through someone other than ourselves. Don’t be the one spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 13, who receives the word spoken but doesn’t let it take root, or who allows the worries of life to choke it. Prepare your hearts to receive it and have it produce a crop. That word, as it grows in your heart, will allow God to use you to nourish others and be drawn closer to Him!
Rev. Larry Sassmann