No Distraction

Read This Week: Mark 9

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. – Mark 9:42-50 NIV

As of 2021, the United States ranked 3rd in the world with over 313 million active internet users nationwide. Over 90 percent of Americans have access to the internet, with many responding that they could not imagine a life without it. Additionally, 296 million people in this country use social media, and 82 percent of those individuals use it mostly on their mobile phones. Mobile platforms and devices consist of over 50 percent of internet access. All of this does not account for TV viewing, time spent at work and school absorbing information, participating in extracurricular activities, and interacting with family, friends, and co-workers. 

We are bombarded with information, data, and distractions to last a lifetime. There is so much white noise and obstacles to clear thinking, mindfulness, and concentrating on things that will enrich and transform our lives. It takes a tremendous and concerted effort to stay focused on what matters and stay consistent in pursuing God and an intimate relationship with Christ. We have enough to contend with and do not need additional barriers to hear the Gospel, absorb the truth, be encouraged, and continue serving the Lord. 

This idea of being a stumbling block to others is what Jesus addresses at the end of Mark 9. He just finished teaching that anyone who gives a cup of water in my name belongs to the Messiah (v.41), and He is intent on instructing believers to be sure they are not preventing others from knowing and following Him even in the little things that we may take for granted. Jesus says in verse 42:

If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.

These little ones referred to in this passage are all God’s children and those who follow Christ. This teaching is a sobering and direct challenge to the danger of causing others to stumble relationally, stop serving God, or walk away from faith altogether with our words, actions, and behaviors. 

The way we conduct ourselves and treat others in the family of God and the world is essential to a life that honors Jesus and makes a positive impact. When we have pervasive sin issues in our lives, do not get along with each other, and are at enmity with people, it can be an unnecessary distraction to truth and a stumbling block that impedes the path to salvation.

Jesus is pointed in his message to us that whatever may be in our hearts and lives that cause us to stumble and therefore causes others to stumble must be taken out and removed. We must deal with these things drastically so that our lives are not on the list of hurdles, diversions, and confusing elements that keep people from the Good News of Christ and from being built up and edified in the Spirit.

Serious matters like being a stumbling block require serious measures to prevent and change it in our own hearts first and then in the Christian community as a whole. We should constantly examine ourselves to make sure we are not a distraction to the purposes God has for our lives, for His church, and for those He loves that are far from Him. As Jesus taught us here, we should be committed to doing whatever it takes to remove things that will take away from His glory and harm His mission. 


  1. Jeri Centers on January 23, 2022 at 12:34 pm

    God gave me a word this week from Mark 9 verse 24:

    Weakness allows in us, Jesus
    Strength to flow makes us meek
    So His power we will know.

    It makes us proclaim, when I’m weak, I’m strong
    It makes our faith firm when trials come along.

    Weakness allows in us, God’s grace
    To be sufficient each day for everything we need.

    What that means to me is in our times of tests and trials and in times of our weakness, it keeps Jesus’ grace moving. So His strength in us can continue improving.

    • Jason on January 27, 2022 at 4:18 pm

      Your post is so good, Jeri. This part really resonated with me:

      It makes us proclaim, when I’m weak, I’m strong
      It makes our faith firm when trials come along

      I love the requisite flow of this thought and truth. When we realize that when we are weak, He is made strong, our faith is always increased in times of challenge and trial. Because we have the recognizance that His strength is all we need in difficult circumstances.

  2. Jeri Centers on January 23, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    During the Wednesday night bible study, God gave me this from Mark 9 verse 23:

    All things are possible
    When in God you trust
    All things are promising
    When you see He is just.

    All things have meaning
    When in God you believe
    All things have a purpose
    When His spirit you receive.

    All things work together
    When your life to Jesus you give
    All things are beautiful when He’s the reason you live.

    What that means to me is anything is possible if a person believes in God.

    • Jason on January 27, 2022 at 4:24 pm

      You really should start a collection of these, Jeri. There is so much meaning and truth packed into the rhythm and rhyme of this poem. My favorite part is how you point to the existential meaning of life through a relationship with our Creator:

      All things have meaning
      When in God you believe
      All things have a purpose
      When His spirit you receive.

      This is essentially all human beings need to understand their finite and eternal purpose. To know God and to have a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ brings ultimate and lasting meaning to our lives and activities.

  3. Heidi on January 23, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    Mark 9: 23 Jesus said to him, “[You say to Me,] ‘If You can?’ All things are possible for the one who believes and trusts [in Me]!” 24 Immediately the father of the boy cried out [with a desperate, piercing cry], saying, “I do believe; help [me overcome] my unbelief.”

    Our mother went home to be with Father God, Jesus and all our loved ones on Tuesday after noon.
    for sometime I have been asking God if I could be with her when she went home to heaven.
    I had a dream I was with her. To make along story short she went to the hospital last week came home we got to celebrate belated Jesus’ birthday on Saturday then I got the call again she needed to go again on Tuesday morning.
    went to the hospital, they asked me to go into a room where the Dr sat me down and explained to me how they did everything they could but she died peacefully on the way to the hospital, First thing I thought of was my dream,
    I told him the dream he said I’m so sorry, I asked if my husband could come in he said he would make a exception.
    long story short they took us to her we were trying to say goodbye when they took her off the machine she talked, he said that happens I said mama are you in there? I love you she said I love you I said she is alive in their he checked her and he found a pulse!!
    Everyone was amazed!! she had been gone for 2 hours!!
    we were blessed with more time with mama that day! Jesus knows our heart, I know He gave me that dream and He brought her back to spend more time with everyone who came. they made special time for all of us, and she told us all she loved us over and over!!
    Jesus said all things are possible for those who Believe! In my heart I said help me Lord because I really believed I would be with her!
    There is so much more to the story, I just wanted to share how amazing Father God is to us.
    Thank you again Jesus for your love!! We love you so much !!!!

    • Heidi on January 26, 2022 at 7:34 am

      I forgot to add that my mom lived out 2 Corinthians 4:16, Therefore we do not become discouraged [spiritless, disappointed, or afraid]. Though our outer self is [progressively] wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day by day.

      She loved Father God and Jesus so much! She may have forgotten people and where she was now and then, but she never forgot Jesus. She shared Him with everyone wherever she went, right up to the last breath she called out to God.

      She always made it to church, through Covid she was a part of church 3 times a week and called in on the party line. She would sing songs to the Lord, and was an amazing woman of God who loved Him so much. I am thankful for my mama and her love for Father God, Jesus, and everyone. We will miss her until we see her again!

      • Jason on January 27, 2022 at 4:31 pm

        I love this testimony of your Mom’s love for God, Jesus, and the people around her. I am thankful that I had the privilege to meet your mother on a few occasions. She was always so kind and gracious and radiated the joy of Christ.

        As I read this tribute to her and her faithfulness to God’s word, I couldn’t help but think of Proverbs 31:28 where it says of the woman of noble character that her children will rise up and call her blessed. Truly she was and is in the presence of the Lord.

        Peace and love to you all.

        • Heidi on February 2, 2022 at 7:42 am

          Thank you, Jason, I appreciate you!

          • Jason on February 5, 2022 at 11:26 am

            You are more than welcome! I appreciate you all and will continue to pray for you and your family.

    • Jason on January 27, 2022 at 4:45 pm

      Prayers and love are being sent to you and your family, Heidi. I wrote some words in my other comment about your Mom. May God grant you all the peace and understanding that comes for people like yourselves that weep not as those who have no hope. What a joyous reunion it will be one day with her in heaven.

      • Heidi on February 2, 2022 at 7:48 am

        Thank you again, Jason. My mama’s celebration was awesome! Thank you, God. One day we will see her again and we can dance together and we will sing together too. We will know everything and worship together. It will be magnificent!

        • Jason on February 5, 2022 at 11:28 am

          I am so glad to hear this! Those following lines and images made me smile and my heart glad. What a time that will be for you all. Peace and love to you and Ken and your whole family.

  4. Kathy on January 25, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    In Mark 9, this was what God was saying to me, “Sometimes you get in trouble when you speak, not knowing what to say. You say foolish things out of fear, and without thinking. Sometimes My glory is shown in the way I correct you. When you trust Me as true, and all My promises are true, all things I promise, are possible. When you say help my unbelief, it is something that you can only say by faith. Once you get a little faith, you will begin to recognize the greatness of your unbelief.

    Your weakness may come from a lack of prayer and fasting. Prayer and fasting draw you closer to My heart. This puts you more in line with My power. It shows total dependence on Me, which is the remedy for many spiritual problems. To be disappointed in yourself is to have trust in yourself. My Son Jesus challenges you to be “last of all”, allowing others to be put first. True greatness is shown by how many you serve. When you are good at hiding yourself and deceiving others, you are not like Jesus.

    It is appropriate to show kindness to others in the name of Jesus. I remember the heart when you give, not only the gift. Sin is a matter of the heart. To follow Jesus means picking up your cross and following Him. Remove whatever is causing you to stumble, so that you don’t cause others to stumble. Stay on the path to salvation. Commit to doing whatever it takes to continue to glorify Him.”

    What this said to me was because of the trials I am going through, I am trying hard to believe God will heal me. I m asking Him to help my unbelief. Praying and fasting are ways to open up myself to Him working in me. I need to use this time to remove what causes me to stumble so that I don’t cause others to stumble. I have to press forward and continue to glorify Him.

    • Jason on January 27, 2022 at 4:43 pm

      Your post is so encouraging and deep in its meaning, Kathy. This part is such a fresh word:

      When you say help my unbelief, it is something that you can only say by faith. Once you get a little faith, you will begin to recognize the greatness of your unbelief.

      Praying to God to help our unbelief is, in and of itself, an act of faith. Doubt does not equal no faith, but as you said, when faith in God is exercised in our hearts, it exposes the feebleness of our unbelief and supersedes it. Just a little faith can overcome a lot of unbelief. Then we realize that all things are truly possible with the Lord.

Leave a Comment