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Distracted - texting and driving

What’s It To You?

Believe it or not, Jesus asked a form of this question in John 21:20-22.  “What is that to thee?”

Peter had just received forgiveness for his triple denial that he even knew Jesus.  Jesus had asked him three times, “Do you love me.?.  Each time, Peter affirmed, yes, I love you.  Each time, Jesus responded by recommissioning Peter.  Feed my lambs.  Feed my sheep.  Feed my sheep.  Then Jesus prophesied that Peter would die in the service of the Lord.  Then, Peter notices John following them and asks, “What shall this man do?”  Jesus responded, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?”  In other words, Peter, it is none of your business.  You are to follow me.

Peter had a problem with distractions.

Distracted by fear: When he started to walk on the water to the Lord, he did fine until he looked at the waves, felt the strong wind, and was afraid.  In his distraction, he started sinking and called on the Lord to save him.  (Matthew 14:25-32).

Instruction: Peter, it doesn’t matter what the winds and waves are doing.  Look at Jesus.

Distracted by his own idea of who the Messiah is: When Jesus revealed, in Matthew 16:21-23, that he would suffer and be killed and raised on the third day, Peter rebuked him.  “This shall not be unto thee.”  Jesus, in turn, rebuked Peter with, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me.  For thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”

Instruction: Peter, find out who the real Jesus is.  Forget YOUR ideas about Him.  He doesn’t fit into your mold for Him.

Distracted by his own grandiose plans: After seeing Jesus transfigured, Peter was distracted by his own visions and grandiose plans.  Let’s build three tabernacles – one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah.  God the Father intervened and said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”  (Matthew 17:5).

Instruction: Peter, it doesn’t matter what your plans for the Master are.  Get your plans from Jesus.  Hear him!

Distracted by pride: When Jesus said in Matthew 26:31-34, “All ye shall be offended because of me this night.”  In his pride and self-sufficiency, Peter said, “Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.”  Before that night was over, Peter had denied three times that he even knew the Lord.

Instruction: Peter, get over your pride and self-sufficiency.  Listen to Jesus’ warning.

Distracted by others: Now, on the seashore in John 21, Jesus had restored and recommissioned Peter.  But he was immediately distracted because he saw someone following them who had probably heard their conversation.  “Lord, if I’m going to die for you, what about John?  What about the other disciples?

Instruction: Peter, I’m talking to you, says the Lord.  You need to follow me.  My plan for John is not your concern.  My plan for the other disciples is not your concern.  Follow me.

How often do God’s servants get caught in the same traps as Peter today?  (We are all weak, just like he was.)  We have our fears and our grandiose plans.  We get confused about who God is and try to bring Him down to our level.  Because we desire recognition for ourselves, we get distracted by pride.  And we tend to be overly concerned about how God leads someone else.

Ignore the Distractions and Serve God in His way for you.

You are you.  God didn’t make you to be like anyone else.  He leads every Christian by the Word and by the Holy Spirit.  But Jesus doesn’t lead us to be a copy of some other Christian.  He doesn’t lead us to be successful in the eyes of the world.  He calls you and me to be His servant within our own personality.  Let Him choose and direct you to the best vocation and the right location for you.  “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” (Psalm 37:23).  Focus on Jesus and follow Him.

About Dale B

I am a born-again Christian who loves to write and share the Good News about Jesus. Raised on a small Wisconsin farm and saved at age 12, I have been active in Christian service since that time. My many years as a pastor, accountant, and lay worker in the church have equipped me to help those in need. In retirement now in Texas, the Lord has led me to writing as a means of winning people to Christ and helping Christians grow in the Lord. By God’s grace I hope to be a blessing and encouragement to you.

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3 comments

  1. This is just what was needed for me today, Dale, thank you for this encouraging article.

  2. Dale,
    This was such a good article and your message is right on point with all of which you’ve said. Especially your wrap-up, great job.
    Thank you.
    God Bless~

  3. Thank ;you Jennifer and C D for your encouraging comments. Glad it was a blessing. The lessons of this article are hard to learn. I hope I’ve learned them and can live like I learned them.

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