Tuesday, February 3, 2015

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American's are pretty passionate about their sports. And, you know, like which one is the one that takes the most brains, the most brawn, the most talent. I actually think my two sons might vote for basketball as the most exciting sport of all. And basketball action is pretty physical. It's constantly changing, it's intense, it's unpredictable. There's this one point where it does slows down a little, much to the relief of the players probably. If a player is fouled by someone from the other team, he gets to shoot one or two free throws.

And that down time is a time when nobody on the court is bothering you, trying to defend against you. Actually I really shouldn't say no one's bothering you, especially if you're the visiting team. Because when you're facing that basket trying to make your free throw, you're also facing all the local fans who, of course, want you to miss. They're jumping up and down, they're making noise, they're waving their arms, and they're waving signs in your face. If you're going to try to score some points, you've got to concentrate.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How to Beat the Fatal Distractions."

Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Hebrews 12:1-2. "Since we are surrounded" it says "by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith."

This passage from the Bible suggests an idea that's pretty common in modern athletics. You hear this word a lot - focus. Just like that basketball player. He's got to focus on making that basket; what it takes to sink it when you've got a thousand nuts out there trying to get you to look somewhere else. That player has all kinds of sights and sounds trying to get his attention. But he's got to tune it all out. His eye is fixed on the basket.

The Bible says, "We have a race marked out for us." The Lord has set the course for your life. You've got gifts to use for Him, you've got people to influence for Him, you have work to get done for Him, you have days that are yours with which to glorify Him and read His letter, and keep striving toward His prize. All that matters is getting to that finish line.

That player could look at the crowd. He could look at the competitors all around him. He could look down. But a champion, of course, always focuses on the goal. Now, as you're running your next lap for Jesus, there are plenty of distractions, right? It's easy to have your attention drawn away to a problem person, or your finances, or making more money, or a thousand little annoyances. You can be distracted by temptation, or as I often am, by an overwhelming "to do" list.

Maybe your attention is drawn to this conflict or to something you're afraid of, or something you're worried about. Whatever it is, it's yelling, "Look at me instead!" We have sure thrown away enough days by letting ourselves become frustrated, allowing ourselves to worry and panic and feel sorry for ourselves. What's the answer? Here we go again, focus, focus, focus. It begins when your day begins. You fill up with Jesus in the waking moments. That's a conscious choice you make. You listen to worship music, Christian radio, go to Christian websites. You take time to listen to the Lord in His Word, and then you refocus on Him several times during the day consciously.

That's why I actually get a practical benefit from giving thanks for my meals during the day. That's not just a ritual. Those actually, again, allow me to acknowledge His presence and His provision in my life and to stay in touch with Him. Determine that you're going to look for the Lord at work. In your day, thank Him every time you spot Him doing something. We call them "God sightings" in our family.

How many times have you seen Jesus in your day and thanked Him consciously? Whisper His name as you answer the phone, as you answer a letter or email, as you look at Facebook, as you answer the door, as you answer a question. And when you feel the urge for you to take over, think about the cross, about you at the cross, about Jesus being worshiped in heaven by a hundred million angels.

Refocus on Jesus. All the distracters will always be there waving, shouting, and screaming for your attention. But a champion knows they've got to make the difference. They've got to make the basket. They've got to make the goal.

Make sure your eyes are stubbornly focused on the Christ who is Lord over every distraction.



Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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