“Another New Year, But The Same Old Distractions” …Or… “If God Seems Distant, Who Created That Distance?”

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For many, the New Year is a time of reflecting on ways they may improve their life. Resolutions are made to lose weight, exercise, quit smoking, eat healthier, and so forth. Some folks may plan to dedicate more time to their work, to further their career. Others may see family as more important and so they cut their time at work to be more with their loved ones.

The intent of the resolutions is most always for a positive change in one’s life. But, then the struggles that we have faced before come back around and the good intentions are laid to waste by the difficulties and distractions of everyday life. Stresses and problems, conflict and tension, anxiety and frustrations, the same old distractions that have interfered for years with our thoughts, hopes, plans, dreams or resolutions.

I would love it if everyone who pledged to make these positive changes would be able to fulfill them. It’s just not going to happen. As a pastor I see all the time how people, myself included, fall far short of the promises we make. There is an old says that “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”

I remember every time we receive New Members the words I ask members to pledge saying: “As a member of this church, I intend to continue in the confession of this Church, regularly attend corporate worship make diligent use of the means of grace, and lead a righteous and godly life. I will support the work our gracious Lord has given this congregation with my prayers, time, treasure and talent.”

That’s a lot of promises; regularly attend worship, lead a godly life, support the work of the church. Then the distractions; of company in town, a party that gets planned, a host of worldly events, and multiple excuses that interfere with our prayers, devotions and Sunday Morning worship. I don’t think we need to make any new pledges to serve the Lord, perhaps we just need a reminder of how much we need Jesus and need to live for Him as He gave His life for us and keep/return to the promises we have already made

I hear and see how things go so wrong in folk’s lives who are apart from the church. The loneliness of a soldier’s spouse, a parent’s struggle with a child not living up to Christian values, problems in a relationship, a tragedy that has hit a family hard. Certainly these things happen among the church’s faithful as well, but not with the same frequency as those who are constantly connected to the Body of Christ. Besides, those who are faithful among the family find themselves better prepared though a relationship with the church to deal with problems as they arise. They also have more support in coping with issues that life presents. When people are prone to ask, “Where’s God in this?” my thought would be “where did you see Him, worship Him, praise Him, and sing His glories last?” If God seems distant, who created that distance?

“’Return to me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Zechariah 1:3. If there is anywhere you plan to improve your life and make a positive change, if you start with the Lord, you’ll have Him on your side to do/be more. You wont ever wonder, “where is God.” You’ll be able to say, “I know this too will pass,” because God is with me. Steer clear of the distractions and stay true to your word to God. Rejoice that He is always true to us, through His Word, Christ Jesus.

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