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Attention!
April 12, 2010
by Rev. Steve Thorson, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Cokato

What deserves our attention? How much time to we devote to the various demands and pressures we have on our lives? Who will we obey?

Sunday, we read from Acts 5:27, and following that passage is a debate between the then supreme religious authorities and some of the first Christian leaders (apostles). The religious authorities have arrested and imprisoned the apostles because they will not stop teaching in Jesus’ name. The apostles’ answer: “We must obey God rather than any human authority.” (Or, in another translation, “We must obey God rather than men.”)

This is not an excuse to just go around doing whatever our hormones or emotions tell us. Human authorities are normally there for our good (see Romans 13).

It’s even good to just be nice and try to get along with others (Romans 12:18).

But, when it’s clear, through careful study of God’s Word centered in Jesus (that’s important), that the authorities and human customs are just wrong, then we need to turn our attention away from those “earthly things” and focus our attention only on God.

And what a wonderful one to put our attention on! God loves us with an everlasting love, and He gave His son so we might live forever with Him.

So, if we end up suffering because we obey God, whether it’s ostracism or outright persecution, it’s worth it. Let “them” bring their worst! The final victory belongs to the Lord.