Rev. Robert Hudson, Littleby Baptist Church
If we are focused on Jesus, we should be aligned with Christ in every aspect of our lives and in everything we do. It would be great if on day one of following Jesus, that we would understand how we were to live our lives and that it would become easier day by day. If you are like me, you know that it is not that easy. When we first choose to follow Jesus, all we really know is that He saved us and that we want to learn more about Him. If we add the challenges of life on top of learning to walk with Jesus, it is hard and maybe impossible to stay focused on Him.
Work can get the best of us and pull us in another direction, after all we have to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Family activities, as important as they are, can also cause us to not be aligned with our God as they begin to interfere with our time with Jesus. Those hobbies we make time for to relax can also be a problem if they become a higher priority than being in fellowship with our God.
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. Do not have other gods besides me. Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. Do not bow in worship to them, and do not serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, bringing the consequences of the fathers’ iniquity on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commands.” Exodus 20:2-6
In Moses’ day, the worship of other gods and idols was common practice in Egypt and surrounding areas. These Commandments were part of God’s plan to make His people different from the rest of the world. They were to worship the One True God. The Commandments were one of the ways that God was teaching His people to leave the wicked practices behind.
Chances are if you are reading this, you are not actively practicing other religions, worshipping other gods, or bending down before their idols. The struggle we have today is that the gods or idols are not always as obvious as they once were. There are a lot of things in this fallen world that have become gods or idols in our lives. Most are not religious based, but they are still idols. Anything that takes our focus off of our God is an idol.
So, what do we do if we see that we have an idol in our life, something that is preventing us from staying focused on and aligned with our God?
“Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:4-7
What do we do? We are to Love our God with all of our Heart, Soul, and Strength. We are to Love our God with everything that we have. We cannot hold anything back. If we are loving our God with all that we have, He will be front and center of everything we do. He will be at the forefront of our thoughts.
These verses tell us that we are to keep the Word of God in our hearts. That is, we need to be spending time in God’s Word. Reading our Bible needs to be a habit. If this is something new, simply start with one chapter a day and add more chapters as time goes on. We need to make talking about Jesus and what He has done in our lives a priority. This does not mean that every conversation is to be an attempt to convert someone, but we should be letting the Word that has entered our hearts come out of our mouths during the conversations we have.
As we spend time talking about our Jesus and reading His Word, we will find that our focus is where it should be… on Him!