Monday, August 31, 2015

Fatal Attraction - Martin Wiles

So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them. Hebrews 13:9 NLT

The attraction almost always ends in death. 

Native to the wetlands of North and South Carolina is the Venus Flytrap. What makes the plant odd is that it’s a carnivorous plant, which means it eats meat—particularly insects and arachnids. The leaves of the plant are bright red, but the leaves are also decorated with tiny hairs. If an insect brushes two of the hairs within twenty seconds, the leaf closes, trapping its prey. The trapping mechanism is so sophisticated it can distinguish between a drop of rain and the prey that will provide sustenance. The meshwork of hairs allows smaller prey to escape, while encasing larger and more nutritious prey—subjects of a fatal attraction. 

The early church preached a simple message: Jesus Christ was the Messiah, he died for the sins of humanity, and God raised him to life. Unfortunately, fatal attractions lingered. The main one was preached by Jewish legalists who insisted observing Jewish ceremonies and customs was necessary for salvation. Believing this distorted the pure gospel. 

I’ve witnessed quite a few fatal attractions in my lifetime—beginning with the hippie movement. Some of their religious ideas were unbiblical and proved fatal. Mixed in were the Hare Krishna’s, along with a number of other attractive cults. Also in the mix were Christian legalists who weren’t much unlike the Jewish legalists of the first century—just with a different list of do’s and don’t’s. 

Fatal attractions still attract. They’re embodied in anything that attempts to draw my attention away from the pure gospel of faith in Jesus Christ. 

The uncontaminated gospel is encased in the two greatest commands: love God with my entire being and others as myself. My strength to avoid the fatal attractions—or distractions—comes from God alone. I can’t muster it nor can any person or substance deliver it. God’s grace, however, is always sufficient. 

Are there fatal attractions attracting you?

Prayer: Father, turn our eyes away from the fatal attractions that would distract us from serving You.

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