Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 27, 2019
I want you to be free from anxieties. I say this for your own benefit, not to put any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and unhindered devotion to the Lord. 1 Corinthians 7:32a, 35 (NRSV)
It used to be that the second you walked out of your front door you were confronted with advertising campaigns via the radio, billboards, magazines, and places you shop. As a result, your home provided a degree of escape, relative sanity and peace in an otherwise chaotic world. Now in the age of the Internet and iPhone, we are always accessible and therefore constantly bombarded with distractions and temptations of countless types. Are there any places left where we can truly disconnect and enter into places of genuine silence and solitude?
While the ancient world of Paul’s day knew nothing of Facebook, Snapchat, or Netflix, they were human beings and therefore knew the reality of distraction and the power divided desires can have over our hearts and lives. In this case, given specific details and cultural pressures facing the Corinthian Church, Paul encouraged them to consider singleness as a form of undistracted devotion to God. And while Paul also upheld marriage as a faithful way of life and path to godliness, he was keenly aware that it presented the possibility of distraction and keeping people from giving themselves fully to the pursuit of God.
This example brings up an important point for us to consider. In life, even good and holy things carry the potential of being distorted or pulling us away from Christ and his Kingdom. It isn’t just the obvious list of vices that threatens to steal our joy and happiness. We can be immersed in Christian community, faithful friendships, intimate relationships, and actively serving those in need, yet still find our desires broken and our motivations mixed.
For some of us, we may need to take time to pause and reassess certain areas of our lives. What would a time audit reveal of your life priorities? Likely, there are habits and practices in our lives that we should choose to leave behind, either for a season or indefinitely. Yet there are other realities in our lives that require us to pursue deeper devotion to Jesus through these commitments, not by abandoning or rejecting them.
If you are married, your marriage is an opportunity to invest in your spouse, not for what you get, but as an opportunity to give in regular and sacrificial ways. If you are single, your season of life isn’t to be lamented but is to be celebrated as a gift from God and an opportunity to model for others a life fully devoted to Jesus and fulfilled in him. The same is true for the recent graduate and the empty nester, for the child caring for an elderly parent and for the sleepless parent caring for a young child.
Wherever God has you today, press in with a heart full of faith and pursue a truly unhindered and undivided devotion to Jesus.
“Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name” (Psalm 86:11).
Father, give us the discernment to see where our hearts and lives are divided and out of alignment with your will for our lives, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
What do you need to say “no” to today as a step of faithful devotion to Jesus? Where do you need to reaffirm a “yes” today as an act of unhindered faith and love for God?
Love presses in with a heart full of faith and pursues a truly unhindered and undivided devotion to Jesus. #devotion #WisdomHunters
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