Check out this message from my brother in Christ, Dan Luck, from last Sunday morning's worship service.
If there’s anything we could have learned from our experiences this year, it must have been how to fight the overwhelming adversaries the world posed in our life — to put it more bluntly — how to eliminate the works of the devil in our Christian life.
Deception by the enemy; distraction from serving God; and division in our family, community, and even the nation, have been the theme of 2020. And for us as Christians, whose desire is to center our lives to God and His glorification, have we really eliminated these three Ds that hinder us from focusing on our walk with God and toward Christlikeness?
The waves of information we are getting from all forms of media have been immense these past few months that we often get lost and deceived by them. Deception works by making us think that truth is relative. That truth can be had from one source only to be torn apart by another. This process only offers confusion, and thus, makes people believe lies instead of objective truths. Even Luke was aware that even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following in Acts 20:30. The world indeed can be a deceptive place. Our only response to this, as Christians, is to focus on the genuine Truth —our way, truth, and life (John 14:6).
No form of deception can sway us and sow in us doubt and confusion if we intentionally devote our time and energy to reading, understanding, and following the Word of God.
No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. Matthew 6:24
Matthew specifically pointed out that we cannot serve two masters. Either we serve God or we be enslaved by whatever it is that we put in our heart other than Christ. We need to approach distractions radically by seeing them as evils in themselves. Our time is only limited on earth and we cannot be consumed by other things that hinder us from fulfilling our calling to serve God. In this age and time where comfort and convenience are people’s number one priority, we need to turn to God to seek those and trust in Him completely that according to His will alone, those will be provided to us.
God wants us to live in His grace and mercy separate from any distractions. Good things will come if we prioritize Him and live according to His purpose. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28
Paul, in his letter to the Christian community in Corinth, appealed that by Christ’s authority, they should live in harmony with each other and let no divisions rise among them. He urged them to be of one mind and united in one thought and purpose for God’s glory. 1 Corinthians 1:10
This has never been more relevant to us right now. This current crisis doesn’t only cause the secular world to fume in anger and hatred over their warring ideologies and political beliefs, it also created a lot of anxiety and despair that ultimately affect everyone, even us Christians.
Again, our response to division —be it cultural or spiritual cleaving— is to focus our attention on Jesus. Unity among us is achieved when all our eyes are fixed on Christ. We must pay close attention to what God is telling us. We read His Word; we listen and pray to Him. We read in Mark 4:24 that if we pay close attention to what we hear, more understanding will be given to us. This is the same when we are attentive to Christ and His Word. His ways are set not for us to be scattered but for us to be united in one thought and one purpose.
As we flip the page to another age, let us ask ourselves, have we really learned to avoid any divide in our family or community? Have we learned to not let distractions get in the way of serving God? Have we intentionally sought God’s help in determining lies and deceptions? May the Prince of Peace be the sunlight that guides our transition to the following year.