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If only my life had auto focus, instead of my camera!

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Today’s scripture:  Luke 12:41-48 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Mark Shoup):

Look Busy!It is hard for me to read this parable and not think about a t-shirt I once saw.  It had this design on it. >

All bad t-shirt humor aside, this actually isn’t too far off from what we are being called to do in this scripture passage as Christ’s followers.

Unfortunately, the language this parable uses leaves much to be desired, at least in my mind.  It’s hard to relate to a scripture that seems to advocate both slavery and the beating and “cutting to pieces” of those slaves.  It makes the human rights activist in me cringe, and it’s hard for me to get past that to see what is being said here.

But when we get beyond all of the harsh language, it seems that what we are being called to is to always keep our focus on the Lord, so that God’s works will not catch us by surprise, and the Lord’s coming (or presence) will not catch us off guard.  By constantly keeping our focus on “the one who is worthy of our praise,” we are never really apart.  Therefore, we should never find ourselves in a position of “returning.”

However, this is much easier said than done.  For my part, I usually find myself repeatedly “coming back around” after unplanned excursions outside of God’s presence.

I think it is a soul-destructive pattern that is easy to fall into for those of us in this age.  There is far more distraction and diversion coming at us now than ever before.  But don’t think that this is just an accident.  The evil one knows exactly what he is doing, and that anything he can throw at us that can take our focus off the Lord is a small victory against our soul.

What we have to do is to realize this is going on and to make stronger our efforts to keep God at the center of our lives.  When we stray, we have to be honest about it.  When we “get drunk and beat the other slaves” (hopefully metaphorically), we have to come to God with sincere contrition.  Pretending we didn’t fall off the path will only hinder us from coming back into the fullness of God’s presence.

Prayer for the day: God, I have blown it!  I have let things take my focus from You.  Forgive me and help me to resist those distractions.  Amen.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading.  If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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