1Cor 7.35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to The Lord.

In this section of his letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul is writing about issues of marriage, vocations and other practical issues. Our verse this morning presents us with a very important principle of effective Christian living. And that is the decision to serve The Lord with an undivided devotion. The old King James puts it, serve The Lord without distraction. This exhortation follows the reminder of Paul that the time is short.

Many years have passed since this letter was written,which makes the urgency of it being heeded even more vital. The time on earth is short. The time left before Jesus returns is short. How then shall we live? What should our priorities be? Paul already answered that question for us earlier in the letter when he wrote, you are bought with a price, do not be a servant, or slave of men. That includes yourself. A slave to what? A slave to this world’s way of living. A slave to this world’s values. A slave to the “suicidal pleasures” of this world. Why? Because God says so. Secondly, because the fashion of this world is falling away.

Yes we must conduct ourselves properly in all phases of our lives as lights shining in a world of darkness. But we must also seek the strength and grace of God to be weaned off of this fallen world’s attractions and distractions in the midst of being responsible, fruit-bearing followers of Jesus. In His parable of the sower, our dear Lord Jesus said, “and that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of [this] life, and bring no fruit to perfection.” An inordinate obsession for the things of this world will choke the life of God out of us, beloved. Because the time is short, Jesus also said, “take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares.”

Like Mary, we need the wisdom of God to help us establish kingdom priorities in this life. We need to avoid being pulled away from The Lord by the cares of, love for, or attraction to the things of this world. The Psalmist prayed for an undivided heart. So must we beloved.