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Your Attention Please
We get distracted by the world and must be diligent to pray for a mind set on heavenly things
But Jesus, turning and looking at His disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Mark 8:33
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things. Philippians 4:8
There is a meme making the rounds which lists a number of bad things currently going on in the world, but points out that men are getting ready for fantasy football. Indeed, more and more (men especially) pay attention to their pretend teams than to their favorite team.
But either way, their time and energy are spent on entertainment, ease, enjoyment. We are so often distracted by the lure of leisure. It is all around us, and within reach of a remote. Not that a hobby or a family outing to a ballgame are evil or sinful. But if we are not careful, we can become too involve and preoccupied, or even obsessed. These things can easily capture more of our attention, which takes place of attention on things above, on heavenly things, on the Lord God, His Word, and prayer.
Perhaps this is why, when the Lord—in Exodus 23, sent an angel to go before ancient Israel to protect them and guide them, He told them to Pay attention to him (verse 21), and listen carefully to his voice and do everything I say (verse 22). The Lord knows how prone they were to turn away from Him.
We, too, get distracted by the world and must be diligent to pray for a mind set on heavenly things. So today, and everyday, pray specifically giving your attention to the Lord your God. Fix your thoughts on things above, and directly ask our Lord to fill your mind with holy things, that which is heavenly, Godly, righteous, true, and good.
Paul’s instruction is to think of anything that is excellent or praiseworthy. What is that? More specifically, Who is that? Why, of course it is Jesus! He is all these things: true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable. Think on our Savior, the Bright Morning Star, the Lamb of God, the Lion of Judah, the One who came and is coming again; He who took our place on the cross, our great Physician, who is King of kings, the Bread of life, the Bridegroom, and so many more.
Can we ever exhaust the list of Who He is, or reach the end of Him? If we could fix our full attention on Jesus every moment, it would not be enough all our days.
On our prayer list is a series of A’s, and the first one is Attention. Pray to give your attention to the One to whom all attention is due. Be as the Psalmist says: I will meditate on Your precepts, and regard Your ways...I will not forget Your word. Turn my eyes from worthless things; I remember Your name; I do not forget Your law...it is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of gold and silver; I will ponder Your testimonies; All day long is your law my meditation; My zeal has consumed me; I have not forgotten; Seven times a day I praise You; I long for Your salvation.
(Psalm 119:15. 16, 36, 55, 61, 72, 95, 97, 139, 153, 164, 174)
By opening His word and praying from it, we will have in mind the things of God above and not the things of here below. Therefore, be on watch, keep alert, seek first the kingdom, and be not distrac---squirrel! Ahem, distracted (enticed) by the lesser things.
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Until Thursday, grace and peace…