Your children have access to anything in your house. You are sure to let your children know that although you OWN the house, they have permission to use and enjoy anything in it.
Of course, there are some caveats: don't open the door to strangers and don't play with matches.
And then one day, after leaving them alone for just a few hours, you come home to a horror scene. YOUR HOUSE IS ENGULFED IN FLAMES!!
You see fire trucks at the scene. The firemen are arguing about who has the authority and position to hold the hose, while others are fighting over which ladder to use. While they argue, your house continues to burn, with your children inside.
The neighbors run up to you... because they are angry that the firetrucks have done damage to their lawns. While they scream at you about their stuff being ruined, your house continues to burn, with your children inside.
The TV news has arrived - and they are jockeying for the best "shot" of the burning house- which continues to burn with your children inside.
Where would your focus be? Would you join in with the firemen - trying to decide who has more seniority, who has the right to lead the fight against the fire?
Would you be apologizing to your neighbors and explain to them that you had nothing to do with their stuff being ruined?
How much time would you spend being sure the TV camera crews got just the right angle of your home? How much would you care about your reputation and how your home looked on TV?
Would you be standing there, telling anyone who would listen that you WARNED your children not to play with matches.. and they disobeyed you? Would you be concerned about not taking the blame for their sin? I doubt it.
I think your only focus would be to RESCUE YOUR PERISHING CHILDREN!!!
And maybe now we can "see" for just one moment the heart of God for the world.
ANYTHING that distracts us from focusing on HIS CHILDREN being rescued from the fire is distracting us from what truly matters.
God wants to rescue us... even though we have created our own disaster.
And there we sit - arguing about different worship styles, or different doctrines... or politics and the people running things.. or... our 'stuff'.. or our reputation....
What matters to God is rescuing His children from the flames. What matters to God should matter to His rescued children,
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."