Grace Immersion

Bonus Day 59

Distracted from Him by It

Read 2 Corinthians 11:1–4

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3

“I tried Christianity and it doesn’t work.”

“I don’t know how to do it.”

“It’s too hard.”

I listened as the man unloaded his frustrations in my office. Then I wrote down those phrases on a piece of paper as he watched.

“Look at the sentences you’ve been repeating,” I told him. “What’s the most common word here?”

He looked at the paper and answered: “‘It’”.

“There’s your trouble,” I went on, paraphrasing one of my favorite Bible teachers, a man who’d helped me through my own struggles with legalism. “The Christian life is not an ‘it’. The Christian life is Christ: A real relationship with Jesus!”

In today’s Scripture reading, Paul corrects the Corinthian Christians for being led astray by teachers who were peddling Christian “extras”. It was that same old “Christ Plus” teaching again. Sure, they said, believe in Jesus. But we have a new extra special secret to true spiritual power! And they taught the early believers all sorts of these new “secrets.”

The faddish nature of contemporary Christianity shows this dynamic is still at work. Christians seem to always want the latest spiritual fad. The new bestseller. The new teacher. The new worship style. The new church. In verse 4, Paul says he’s afraid they’ll be led astray from a simple and pure devotion to Jesus. The best way to ensure we won’t be led astray? Remembering your faith is a person, not a system!

This is a truth I’ve been rediscovering myself with great enthusiasm. Jesus told us, “I am the vine… remain in me… I loved you… Now remain in my love” (John 15:1, 5, 9). The Apostle Paul says that as we behold Christ, we are transformed incrementally into His likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18).

This is how grace works: As I fall in love with Jesus because He first loved me, I am changed — just as surely as falling in love with a human changes my priorities and my behavior. Just thinking about Jesus and what He did for me changes me!

How can Christians today be led astray from a “sincere and pure devotion to Christ”?

How can you keep a simple focus on Jesus? How does this relate to growing in grace?

In the spirit of today’s verse, spend some time in prayer simply thinking of how God first loved you. Then bring him any of your burdens.