A weekly Bible Lesson
Hope and Life Fellowship of Rockbridge
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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Are You Distracted?
John 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.''
What keeps us from a closer fellowship with our Heavenly Father?
What keeps us from growing in spiritual truth and knowledge?
Distractions - that’s what!
What is a distraction? A distraction is something that causes you to turn away from a focus of attention. In this case it is something that causes you to draw away from God. It is something that keeps you from a closer walk with Him. The enemy uses distractions to get your eyes and mind off of Christ and onto the problem. He uses distractions to keep you from praying, reading the Bible, meditating on It, and keeping It before your eyes.
Let's look at some of these distractions.
Envy is discontented desire for someone else's possessions. It is covetous, do you envy covet someone else's possessions, home, clothes, car, job, or whatever?
Proverbs 14:30: A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.
James 3:16: For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing will be there.
What counteracts envy? Repentance of envy. The Word of God will bring light to your spirit and show you the way out.
Walk in love! The Love of God flows in your heart casting out envy and strife.
1 Corinthians 13:4: Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
Anger is a feeling of great hostility or displeasure. Wrath.
Did someone offend you or do you wrong? Do you feel angry or are you just plain mad at someone?
Proverbs 15:1: A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Anger will get your eyes off of God!
We cannot let anger be the controlling force in our lives! Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we have forgiveness of sin, and have been made new creatures. Our sins have been washed away, they are no more!
If God can forgive us, how hard is it to forgive someone who has hurt or offended you?
Matthew 6:12: and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.
Matthew 18:21-22, 35: Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?'' Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. "So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.''
We are to ask God's forgiveness when we pray.
Mark 11:25: But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive you your sins too.''
The Word of God plainly states we will be forgiven if we forgive. Do not let anger rule you. Forgive those who have hurt you or done you wrong, and begin to walk in love toward them.
Worry is to feel anxious or distressed. Are you worrying about money or your job, or how to pay rent or your house payment, or where your next meal will come from? Or are you worrying about your children, drugs, alcohol, sex or school and grades?
Matthew 6:25, 30, and 32-33: "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you, O men of little faith? People without God put all these things first. Your heavenly Father knows you need all these things. and he will give them to you if you give him first place in your life and live as he wants you to.
Matthew 6:27: Will all your worries add a single moment to your life?
Worry does not solve anything!
It will not pay the bills, buy groceries, pay the rent or solve your children's problems!
Repent of worry and cast all your care upon the Lord.
1 Peter 5:7: Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.
Give God your problems, and tell Him they are no longer yours. Let God work for you!
How do we counteract these distractions? How do we overcome them, so that our only desire is to seek our Heavenly Father and fellowship with Him?
The first thing you must know is you must be saved. Are you a Christian, have you made Jesus your Lord and Savior? When we accept Jesus, and accept what He did on the cross for us, a wonderful thing occurs. We are born again we become new creatures. The old self is gone, it is dead, and we have the spirit and life of God in us.
2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Romans 5:5: Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
When we are born again we have the nature and character of God in us.
One of the strongest character traits we inherit is God's love.
When we have God's love anger, worry, and unforgiveness have no place in us.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8: Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out.
If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him. All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever…"
Let this love rise up and live in you. Ask God the Father to help you live in love, show love, and walk in love toward everyone. So that the love of God will be manifest through you.
Ephesians 5:1: Follow God's example in everything you do just as a much loved child imitates his father. Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins…"
The following is a prayer to walk in love and cast down distractions.
Father I admit to you now, that I have distractions in my life. I have envy and anger toward someone and can't seem to forgive them, as I should. Father I ask you now to forgive me. Your Word says that if we confess our sins you are faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Thank you Father for your forgiveness. Now Father I ask you to help me forgive others, help me to grow in your love toward others. Help me to develop your love so that I will not be offended easily, or have jealousy or envious, or not be able to forgive as I should. Your love is perfect, Father it is not impartial or judgmental, it is not easily angered. Your love does not fail. Thank you for your love that dwells within me, and help me to daily continue to grow so that I can fellowship with you without distractions.
Thank you Father in Jesus name. Amen.
Hebrews 13:1: Continue to love each other with true brotherly love.
1 Peter 2:17: Show respect for everyone. Love Christians everywhere. Fear God and honor the government.
1 John 3:11: for the message to us from the beginning has been that we should love one another.
If you want to know for sure that you are a child of God then pray this prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "…and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37), So I know You won’t cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "… with the heart one believes to righteousness…" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.