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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)

TITLE: Concentration Is A Choice We Make
By
07/29/08


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Regardless of the weather, traffic, time, day, speaker, topic, what our hair looks like, who else is going to be there, how we feel, how comfortable the seats or the room temperature, I maintain that if it were made known that at the next worship service the first one hundred persons through the doors would receive $100,000.00 and an additional $10,000.00 for every mispronounced word by the speaker during the course of the sermon, the church would be packed to capacity and those present would pay very close attention to every word spoken. No one would be seen dozing off or slipping our early.

Some might even consider camping out on the sidewalk to assure their admittance and some would be seen taking along tape recorders and dictionaries. For the opportunity to make easy money, any obstacle would be quickly overcome.

Yet, for the opportunity to praise and glorify God, bring into remembrance the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ via Communion, and/or the edification of one’s soul, we often make all kinds of excuses to justify our truancy (1).. Other times, we attend, but our minds are miles away.

Some believers have legitimate reasons for not always attending Church services, but many more cite things that are no more than a self-justifying cover story to conceal the fact that they just don’t have a genuine desire to be there.

When an individual does not have an ongoing appetite or the ability to hold down food, it is an indication that something is going wrong in the natural realm. Malnutrition and dehydration of the body will eventually bring on poor health conditions and even death.

When a born again Christian does not have an appetite for, or the ability to concentrate on the teaching of the Word of God, it is an indication that something has gone wrong in his/her post salvation spiritual life. Is it the “menu” or is there an issue between the believer and God that has taken the appetite away? Whatever the problem may be, it needs to be addressed.

Spiritual malnutrition of the soul will not result in the loss of salvation, but will lead to the temporal death of the post salvation spiritual life. Temporal death occurs when a born again believer is outside of the plan of God resulting from living in known sin(s) that have not been confessed (2) and forsaken (3), or when the believer has been distracted by either the problems or pleasures of this life (4).. Sin disables(5) us and distractions change what we focus on.

Just as a physically dying person can lose the desire for natural food, a Christian who is slipping into a state of temporal death can lose the desire for spiritual food (the Word of God).

To metabolize natural foods requires ingestion and digestion. To metabolize spiritual food requires the power of God the Holy Spirit (6) and the concentration of the believer.

There is a major difference in “reading” the Bible and “studying” the Bible under the teaching ministry of a pastor teacher that God has gifted for this purpose. It is he who is responsible for presenting the entire realm of doctrine to the members of his assigned congregation. It is the responsibility of the congregation to concentrate on the teaching.

Many cults and religions claim The Bible as their source of spiritual edification. Satan (7) and company (8) have a history of quoting and misquoting Scripture.

Religion, although appealing to pride in Man, is nothing more than a collection of everything that Man has added to or deleted from the Word of God, or a distortion of it.

The Lord Jesus Christ taught the principle of concentration when He warned us to take heed as to what and how we listen to concerning the edification of our souls (9). Just because something comes from a pulpit does not mean that the information is necessarily from God (10).

Concentration is necessary if we are to follow the example of the ancient Bereans (11) and be able to discern what can and what cannot be Biblically substantiated and then make the necessary adjustments.
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(1) Heb. 10: 25 (2) 1John 1:1 (3) John 8: 11 (4) Luke 8:14 (5) John 15: 5 (6) John 15: 5 (7) Luke 4 (8) 2Cor.11: 14-15 (9) Luke 18: 8 (10) 2Tim.4: 3 (11) Acts 17:11.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Marlene Austin08/02/08
Many valuable truths here. Thank you for not forgetting (3) - as so many who are in sin seem to do. I have a family member who confesses the sin, yet continues in it, stating "God has forgiven me." My heart breaks for her refusal to recognize repentance as one of the steps to His forgiveness. Hopefully someone needing to know the information you included in this piece will be helped just by reading it. Thank you. :)