Summary: Using the disciple Andrew as a model, we should all avoid the daily distractions of life to keep our eyes on God and his work.
I. According to history, the disciple Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist, yet as soon as Christ came in to his life, his focus changed.
A. John 1:35-40. He left the ministry of John the Baptist immediately and followed Christ.
B. In John 1:41 he introduced Jesus to his brother Peter.
C. Matt 4:18-20 Jesus called Andrew, and he dropped his nets and followed Him. No distractions, no delays. He just did it immediately.
D. After the crucifixion of Christ, Andrew went on to preach the Gospel in Russia, Byzantium, and finally Greece. He led the wife of the Emperor to Christ in Greece and was crucified as a result.
E. He was crucified by being tied to an upside down cross shaped like an X, thus giving rise to the universal symbol of St. Andrew, the X. (He is the patron saint of Scotland, and is what the X represents on the Union Jack, the flag of Great Britain.)
F. While he was being crucified, he preached to the crowd for 2 days, leading many to the Lord. When he was about to die, the crowd came to his rescue and tried to get him down, but he refused. His eyes were pointed toward heaven, and he refused to take them away. He did not want to be distracted.
1. God has given us commands about what we should be doing, but we are distracted, instead doing things that will pass away.
a. When is the last time we witnessed?
b. When is the last time we did something for the poor?
c. Do we pray without ceasing?
II. What are distractions? Anything that gets our attention off of what it should be on.
A. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev used to tell of a time when there was a wave of petty theft in the Soviet Union. To curtail this, the authorities put up guards around the factories. At one lumber factory in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), the guard knew the workers in the factory very well. The first evening, out came a worker with a wheelbarrow and, on the wheelbarrow, a great bulky sack with a suspicious-looking object inside. "All right, Petrovich," said the guard, "what have you got there?" "Just sawdust and shavings," he replied. "Come on," the guard said, "I wasn’t born yesterday. Tip it out." And out came nothing but sawdust and shavings. So he was allowed to put it all back again and go home. When the same thing happened every night of the week the guard became frustrated. Finally, his curiosity overcame his frustration. "Petrovich," he said, "I know you. Tell me what you’re smuggling out of here, and I’ll let you go." "Wheelbarrows, my friend," said Petrovich, "wheelbarrows" (The Devil’s Gauntlet by Os Guiness).
III. What is our focus?
A. Neh 6:1-19 He was busy building a wall, and would not be distracted from his work. Are we as diligent to do our work for the gospel?
B. In 2 Cor 6:4-10 we are told to keep on, even though much “stuff” may happen to us, both good and bad.
C. Matt 19:16-22. 16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honor thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
1. The rich young ruler was distracted from his walk with God by his wealth. It was his main interest and he obviously placed importance on it over all other things at the moment. This was a major distraction away from what was commanded of us. Our focus should be on God.
D. Luke 10:38-42 Martha complained to Christ because her sister was doing all the work, but as Jesus said, that stuff doesn’t matter. It is all just distractions that will pass away.
E. Matt 8:24-27 Sometimes life can through some very large distractions your way. Remember though, Jesus can calm the storm, or He may calm his child. Either way, the storm itself is a distraction devised by the enemy to keep you from doing what is commanded.