Distractions

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Distractions
Text: Matthew 14:23-33
Occasion: General
Audience: General
Theological Tradition: General
Topic: Focus, Faith, Distractions, Priorities
Author: WABuisman


Direction

If we take our focus off Christ, we are lost. But if Christ is always our focus we can do amazing things.

How to Get There

  • Peter jumped out of the boat, all fired up to follow Jesus, and it went great for a while.
  • Then everything went wrong, but what happened?
    • Peter knew there was a storm, it wasn't a surprise to him. He was a fisherman and knew what was coming.
    • He knew the risks and stepped out on faith, his faith in Jesus.
  • But Peter got distracted, and that was his undoing. As soon as his focus was off Jesus, he sank.
  • We can easily get distracted too. There are so many things clamoring for our attention.
  • For Peter, several things got his attention away from Jesus.
    • Fear in the storm, anything other than fear of God.
    • Doubt in Jesus' power.
    • A lack of faith in God's love and goodness
    • Too weak of a relationship with God.
  • Number 21:8-9 is a parallel story. The Israelites were not saved from the pain of snake bites, but only from death.
  • We are offered salvation from death, but we are not offered freedom from pain, or distractions, or fear.
  • Peter did a lot right. He made sure it was Jesus. He acted on his faith, and he turned to Jesus to save him when he got in trouble.
  • But Peter also got a lot wrong. He lost his focus on Jesus.
    • We need God to always be our focus. Sometimes its easy to get distracted and let other things take priority because they're flashier.
    • We need to seek God before we seek others.
    • We need to fear God more than we fear missing an appointment, or a tv show.
  • God should always be our priority, our focus. When we miss it, we fail. But when we remember God's power is in all things, when we remember how God has come through before, we can take comfort in those things and keep our focus.
  • When we keep our focus on God, striving to always grow closer, it's amazing. But if our focus is put in the wrong place, we miss out on so much.

Things to Watch For

This message needs a practical example of distraction or poor choice of something to focus on.

    • One option is is provide a distraction of some sort, cell phone ringing, something like that during the service.
    • Another option is to show a video that encourages the viewer to choose poorly with their focus. Here are a couple of videos like that. Both are British Public Safety videos:

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