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Thursday, March 30, 2017 other day's devotionals

Today's Devotional Reading
Burdened With Externals

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Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light (Mt.11:28-30).

I come from a family of bowlers. I can remember sitting on the ball returns at my Grandfather's bowling alley at the age of three. My brother and I use to straddle the center hub of the circular ball return table and use it as a sit-n-spin. I don't remember how many people were involved in teaching me how to bowl, but by the age of twelve I had bowled a 245 due to the guidance of those who coached me. The things they had showed me to do stayed with me and became a natural part of my bowling style. But the most important thing I have learned is that one must always keep his eye on the mark.
There are so many variables involved in bowling: speed, stance, approach, armswing, etc. And it is amazing how if one area becomes difficult to manage it quickly effects every part of the workings. What's more, it would seem at times that the bowler would have completely forgotten how to do a particular part of what was once routine, practically having to learn it all over again. Only to find out that it was not really forgotten but instead, had become the center of focus when it should have been kept in focus in the back of the mind.
There are many elements to the Christian life. We go to church, read our Bible, pray, perhaps serve in the Church in some fashion, or witness or go to visitation. We continue to increase awareness of the do's we should do, while at the same time avoiding the dont's. If one was to step back and look at all that must be done and all that must be avoided, he might just become exhausted trying to keep a handle on all of it. There are so many things to keep in mind, and if we are not careful--we will.
That is to say this: as much as it is important to do what is right and avoid what is wrong, if we put those things in the forefront of our thoughts, thereby making them our focus, we can easily become so distracted by our good intentions that we loose sight of our mark. Simply put, if our focus is on the do's and don'ts, then Christ (our mark) becomes a blur and He might even escape our sight completely.
The Christian life that is focused on all the do's and don'ts becomes cumbersome and virtually impossible to live. In bowling I remember times when I was so focused on my mark that everything else fell into place. As Christians, among all of the "we need to's" and the "stay away from's," we need to do only one thing--keep our focus on our mark who is Jesus. As we do we will see everything else become a blur compared to Him, and we will notice our Christian life become a joy rather than a burden as everything else starts falling into place.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. . .(Heb.12:2)

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