Sunday, February 10, 2019


Scripture: Mark 1:35 (NIV)
Subject: "Avoiding Distractions"
I: During the month of January, I preached a month long series (4 part) entitled, "Defying Expectations." I shared in the "State of the Church" address a few weeks ago my unequivocal belief that God is going to allow the kingdom and people of God to do things no one expects them to do. In order to "Defy Expectations," one must possess the ability to stay focus and avoid distractions. One writer said, "You can't Do Big things if you are Distracted by small things." I have personally tried to live my life by the words of Winston Churchill who once declared, "You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks." According to multiple sources such as: Time Magazine, U.S.A. Today, The Guardian, The National Post and The New York Times, "the average attention span is down from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds in 2017. That is less than the 9 second attention span of the average goldfish."
II: Mark tells the story of Jesus beginnings quite differently than any other writer. Mark begins with John the Baptist preparing the way, then he proceeds to the baptism and testing of Jesus, to Jesus calling his first disciples and driving out demons. In our text, Jesus had become so popular that people were literally bringing their sick and demon possessed loved ones to the home where Jesus was staying. At that very moment, Jesus teaches us to be very careful not to allow success and popularity to become distractions. Jesus teaches us how we can avoid distractions.
III: We can avoid distractions by.........
#1) Finding a solitary place to retreat to 
-Jesus gets up early in the morning while its still dark and people are still sleeping to go to a place where he could be alone. The text calls it a solitary place. 
-Jesus understood that his strength did not come from the crowd. His strength came from prayer and spending time with God.
-We all need a solitary place where we can go in order to escape the noise, confusion and fast pace of this world.
-The solitary place is where you can "center yourself" and prepare for the moves that God wants you to make. 


 #2) Choosing purpose over popularity 

-Jesus was so far in the secluded area that Simon had to search for him.
-"Everyone is looking for you" implies, the disciples wanted Jesus to capitalize on his popularity in Capernaum.
-One writer noted: "Don't let the noise of the world keep you from hearing the voice of the Lord."
-Popularity will never give you joy like fulfilling your purpose will. 







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