Sunday, July 14, 2013

Distractions

What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace?  By no means!  Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.  I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations.  For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.  But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed?  For the end of those things is death.  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  
Romans 6:15-23

Dear Sisters (and brothers),

I'm here to confess that I have been distracted and that distraction has resulted in me neither spending time in God's Word as I ought to nor as I had planned.  I'm months behind with my Bible reading plan and world prayer plan.  I got distracted by a new devotional (it's not a bad one but I should have just added it into my Bible reading plan).  Moving has been a distraction as well.  Spending time with loved ones has also been a distraction.

God gently "kicked" me in the butt this week regarding these distractions.  He showed me that I wasn't placing Him as my top priority; I was just fitting Him in where I could.  Is this how my Savior who has poured out so much grace on me should be treated?  No!  Relationships take time and work and if I'm unwilling to put in the time and energy, what does that say about the relationship I have with God.

I'm not going to say that a person has to spend a specific amount of time at a specific time of day in the Word and in prayer.  That kind of requirement borders on legalism.  Nor should I suggest that one should not worry about being in the Word on a regular basis because that would take the concept of Christian liberty too far. 

God's grace should not be used to give me license to do whatever I want (Romans 6:15).  At the end of this verse, Paul says "By no means!"  I really like how the KJV says it: "God forbid!"  I should be so thankful and in such awe of His grace and love for me that I should desire to be in His presence through prayer and reading the Word all the time.  Think about when you were first in love with your spouse or significant other.  Did you want to hang out with that person ALL THE TIME?  I remember seeing this kind of behavior when I was in college.  I didn't understand it at the time and even thought it was funny, but through recent changes in my life I understand this behavior better now.

So I again, ask for God's forgiveness of my lack of effort and desire to be in our relationship.   I ask Him to help me to not let the distractions of this life keep me from our relationship.  Do I know that I will fail to be in His Word at many different points in the future?  Yes.  Does this mean that I should plan not to be in His Word?  NO!  I know I will fail.  I am a human being with a sinful nature.  But I know that God loves me; He chose me and covered me with His grace.  I should be seeking the fruits of righteousness which leads to sanctification which is a process.

Prayerfully yours,
Sister Jane
Romans 14:8

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