Category Archives: Faith

Living by Faith

And without Faith, it is impossible to please Him. Heb 11:6

What does it mean to live by faith? Are there examples of others living by faith which we can learn from? Of course there are! Tons!

Our afternoon lesson begins a series entitled “Living by Faith” and, after this introduction lesson will look the lives of some who we consider to be examples of “living by faith”

You can listen to the lesson here

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Obedience leads to preaching the whole Gospel which leads to Obedience to God

Jer 7:22-24 For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. (23) But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’ (24) But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.

When it comes to pleasing people, we often want to know “What is the most important thing you want?” We like to prioritize and assume that if we do the most important thing that we will be O.K. even if we don’t get the other “lesser important things” done. Sometimes though, we elevate the less important things above more important things.

In Jeremiah’s message, God reminds Judah that when He brought Israel out of Egypt, that his first words to them were not about burnt offerings and sacrifices. This is not to say that He didn’t command sacrifices. He most certainly did! However, here in Jeremiah and in other places such as 1 Sam 15:22, the message is clear that it not the Sacrifice by itself or in and of itself that God wants…..what God wants is Obedience to His commands.

1Sa 15:22 And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.

The problem in the days of Jeremiah, Moses, the Judges, most of the Kings, the days of Christ, and well….even today is that people want to offer sacrifices but not obedience.  People will spend time, money, and resources in sacrifice to God, they will do many things in the name of the Lord, even teaching people about Jesus,  but I am afraid they also forget the words of Jesus:

Mat 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

I wish to challenge everyone who reads this to be obedient to the Gospel of Jesus and, for those who preach the Gospel, to be obedient to the commission of preaching the Gospel which is God’s power to save. How will they be saved if no one preaches it and how can they obey it if no one tells them what is required?

Obedience never earns salvation. If you obey the traffic laws, you don’t get a reward but you do avoid the penalties of disobedience. Salvation is God’s gift and it is from Grace not by works but if God tells you He wants to you to write 500 times “I will not sin” to be saved, even after you do it…guess what? All you did was Obey…you didn’t earn salvation. In the same way, Obedience to the Gospel message does not EARN you salvation, it shows your faith and trust in God, it shows your obedience to Him, but doesn’t earn it. Yet, again, just because salvation is not earned by obedience, doesn’t mean you don’t have to obey!

Jesus will return to bring judgement to those who do not obey the Gospel…

2Th 1:7-8 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels (8) in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

The Gospel is the power of God unto Salvation:

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Peter preached the Gospel on the day of Pentecost and told those who believed his message what to do:

Act 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Those that received his word were baptized:

Act 2:40-41 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” (41) So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

And notice WHY Peter told them to repent and be baptized: Jesus told him to.

Mat 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Yes, that is right: Somewhere between the Resurrection and His ascension Jesus gave the above command.

Peter was obedient to the command to make disciples baptizing them in His name. The hearers were obedient by being baptized based on their faith in the Messiah.

So when preachers are disobedient to Christ’s command today, people cannot be obedient to the Gospel.

There is a command to make disciples by baptizing them. There is an example of a Spirit led Apostle, commanding hearers to repent and be baptized.

There is NO command, or example of anyone being told by a preacher to pray a sinner’s prayer to be saved or of anyone in the scriptures doing so.

Will you offer sacrifices? or will you be obedient?

The Word of God-what is it?

When someone talks to you about the Word of God, do you imagine a book…or do you imagine a person?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  (Joh 1:1)
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  (Joh 1:14)

I am intrigued by the usage of the the word “Word” for both Jesus and what we commonly call the Bible. Actually, it is more accurate to say that the phrase “word of God” also applies to the teachings that come from God.  But then Jesus also came from God. It is as if God said, “I can tell you” or “I can show you” and He choose to do both.

Jesus is not just the messenger but the message as well. Moses said that God would send a prophet that we need to listen to and those who do not listen will be cut off. (Dt 18) Jesus taught that he was the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father except by him (John 14)  and so it is important that we listen to the Word. No, it is not important…it is essential.

We all have ideas of what God says or wants us to do…but if you really want to know what God wants from us, why not consult his Word? Paul wrote to Timothy that:

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2Ti 3:14-17)

The Word of God is not just words on a page, it is living and active….it teaches and corrects, it teaches and equips. But it can only do that for those who choose to expose themselves to it.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb 4:12)

It can be painful or challenging to us to learn things we need to correct. Sometimes being convicted about this or that activity causes us a lot of difficulty but it is all for our own good…our eternal good.

This post has one purpose…encourage you to read your Bible! Listen to Jesus!

 

Lessons from Geese

geeseThe Bible often uses different creatures to teach us lessons. Sometimes we can lessons in nature, all by ourselves, by watch God’s creatures.  Here is a sermon in which you can learn five things from Geese that will help us have a more cohesive group.

Lessons from Geese

7 Scriptures that encourage us to read the Bible often, if not daily

Bible cover

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If I were to ask you to describe the activities of a good Christian, you would no doubt mention actions such as praying and reading the Bible often. Of course, often for some people is every day, others several times a week, others read a chapter or two a day.

Today, and ever since the Gutenberg press was invented, we have truly been living in an age of feasting, if only we would come to the meal. The Bible is there and it is available for us to read, to meditate upon and to nourish us. There are many proverbial reasons that can be given to encourage us to read daily but what does the Bible say?

I will list 7 scriptures but want to hear from you what your favorite passages are.

  1. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 Scriptures serves many purposes in our lives: Reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness but at the end of it, the man of God is thoroughly equipped for every good work by the Scriptures. Don’t be ill-equipped, Read!
  2. Deuteronomy 17:18-20 The King of Israel was instructed not just to write himself a copy of the law but to read from it every day. Leaders (ministers, elders, etc.) especially need the promise of this passage. Reading God’s word will keep us oriented, on the right path, and most of all, Humble!
  3. Amos 8:11 God warned of  a famine of His word among His people. He would take away the prophets and His words because they wouldn’t listen to Him. Today, we have great access to God’s word. If you don’t read it, you create your own famine. Who is worse off? The person who can read and doesn’t or the person who can’t read at all?
  4. Psalms 1  More than just reading God’s word, meditating on it is important. If you don’t wrestle with the application of it in your life, you may just think “Mmmm, nice thought” and go on with your life unchanged. Meditate and prosper!
  5. Acts 17:11 The process of learning is also a process of searching the Scriptures. We have so many people who will tell us what God wants of us but until we begin the process of examining their (teaching/motto/philosophy) with God’s word, we won’t be able to know if it is Godly or only sounds Godly.
  6. Psalms 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to God’s word.  When we pray “lead us not into temptation” many times God is saying ” I am trying to tell you but you won’t listen”. Reading God’s word instructs in both the ways of righteousness and the ways of error.
  7. Psalm 19:10-11 They are more valuable than gold and silver. When we truly bring the world of God into our lives and allow it to be written on our hearts, we find true wealth and contentment beyond the rat race of this world and its egotistical purposes.

So much more could be said on each of these passages. They are worthy of a blog post all their own and may yet get them.

Question: What Bible verse(s) help you draw the conclusion that Christians ought to read God’s word often…or even every day?

Turning 50; worse than the alternative?

So I have noticed something about birthdays…if you live long enough, another one comes your way! (It only took me 5 decades to figure this simple fact out.)  Surprisingly, people, as we approach 25 or so seem to want to deny their age. I, could, for example simply deny being 50. I might say “I am 18 with 32 years of experience.”  Of course, that doesn’t change the fact. 🙂

My favorite way people use to cope with another birthday is to say “Well, it’s better than the alternative.” This is a clear indication that the alternative is death! I might even agree with this if death were, indeed, the alternative. However, when one thinks about it, what is the alternative? Life here is good. But the alternative?

For the Christian, one who follows God faithfully, the alternative is eternal life. So, is living worse than the alternative?

This was the dilemma that Paul found himself in when he wrote to the Philippians while he was in jail waiting to see if he would be executed.

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. (Php 1:21-24)

Faced with an uncertain future, Paul was torn between his desire to depart this world and be with Christ (“which is far better”) and the desire to stay in this world to help encourage those in Philippi (‘which is more needful for you”).

The clear lesson to be learned is that there is work to do in this life. However, this life is not the best we will have. When we act, say, or think that dying is not preferable to living we miss the whole point of being in Christ!

One of the things we say is, we want to go to heaven but not today. We have more life to live. One friend (many years ago) said “The Lord can return but I hope he waits until after I get married.” Marriage is an honorable institution but really, are the joys of being married to be compared to being in Heaven?

In many ways, we are this short-sighted. We are told to set goals and most of the time, those goals are earth bound: Job, marriage, possessions, travel, etc. We want to go to Heaven but how much of a goal do we make of going to Heaven?  Three things should be on our mind in relationship to going to Heaven.

  1. Make sure we get there-Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Are you seeking God’s ways or your own pleasures? If you are poor in this life, you will still be rich in the life to come. You may, or may not, be poor but let God bless you in ways He knows you can handle and be content on your journey.
  2. Make sure others get there-Not all of us are preachers and teachers but we can  till the soil for the evangelist through hospitality and by letting our light shine in the way we live our life.  We can also support the preaching of the Gospel. If you were to send $20 a week to someone who preaches the Gospel, it may not be a lot but when coupled with 10 others, it would have an impact.
  3. Long to get to Heaven. Develop the desire that Heaven is where you want to be and the sooner you can get there, the better! Live like you are going to Heaven at any moment. Be like Fred Flintstone (who, while working hard) waited for that quitting time whistle so he could head home. This longing will help you to refrain from doing some things in life that you might otherwise engage in while thinking, “I can repent later”. It will allow you to tell Satan to take a hike when he whispers how much more fun his way is than God’s.

There are other things to keep in mind, of course, but mostly we need to learn to think, eat, drink, and sleep going to Heaven.

So the next time someone says “I woke up today, I guess that is better than the alternative”, you might ask them if they are sure about that! (and if they are…tell them about Christ!)

Photo Credit: takomabibelot

You can’t handle the truth!

While there are many classic lines from movies that make it into the American vocabulary and consciousness, the title of today’s blog comes from the movie A Few Good Men and I am sure most of you know that line delivered in typical Jack Nicholson brashness.  (I don’t recommend the movie due to it’s R rating, a televised version would clean up most of that language, however.)

Can we actually handle the truth depends on whether we want to handle the truth. It is, therefore, completely up to us to decide if we can handle it, or not! It is a decision of the will.

Truth can be used in many ways, but at the heart and foundation (no pun intended) of “truth” is a foundation that you can build on. Can you imagine what would happen if “truth” changed? Right now, some are saying that truth does change. No, truth does not change but circumstance can. As I write these blog, my wife is not with me. This is truth but the circumstance might change in 10 minutes. If she comes into the room, she is now with me. The circumstance has changed but the truth has not. Through all eternity, it shall always be true that she was not with me when I wrote that sentence.

Gravity is a truth. If you drop a hammer from a tree in Texas, it falls just as fast as if you drop it in India. There is a relationship between that hammer and the planet that causes it to fall. It never rises! It will fall on the moon too, although a bit slower. Gravity is a truth you cannot ignore.

Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue, if NASA tried to send a man to the moon only to find out that gravity stopped working at the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere? What if gravity quit working every other Tuesday, unless the sky was cloudy overhead? It would be circumstantial then, subject to change and not a truth.

Here are some good things to remember about Truth that are based on a book called I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist:

Truth is discoverable but it doesn’t matter if you haven’t yet discovered it.  (Jupiter’s moons were there before we saw them.)

Truth does not depend on culture. Math works just as well in the U.S.A as it does in China.

Truth does not change based on our beliefs. Many used to believe  you would lose your breath if you ever exceeded 60 miles an hour in a car. This was not true before we did it and suddenly, no longer true. It was always a mistaken belief.  If I believe a bottle to contain medicine but it contains deadly poison, I will not be able to avoid death simply by believing hard enough the opposite of the truth.

We expect truth from our doctors, parents, spouses, children, and politicians. (O.k. maybe we don’t expect it from our politicians. That might not be true. LOL) However, we want the truth about the house or car we go to buy. If an archeologist tells us that the skull we are about to buy is the skull of a famous Aztec king, we do not expect him to try and sell us a smaller sized skull and tell us it is the same Aztec King’s skull when he was a child!

So why is it that we do not ask for the same thing in our religion? Why are we willing to buy into the idea that what someone believes to be true can be true for them and not for us, and visa versa?

Here is a truth claim, from the Christian Scriptures: Speaking of Jesus, Peter says ” Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Act 4:12)

Now that may or may not be a true statement! Let’s look at that statement though and what it means.

IF IT IS TRUE, it states that there is only one way to Salvation. It states that Jesus is the only way. It is is exclusive of other names, roads, means of salvation. It says, that only by going through this name, may one be saved; if it is true.

IF IT IS NOT TRUE, then perhaps other names are valid means of obtaining salvation, if, that is, that there is a salvation. One might also say that if it not true, that Peter lied, which in most circles is not a good way to obtain salvation. So the door is open to other means of salvation, if salvation exists.

So, can you handle the truth? If Jesus is the only way to salvation, can you accept it? It is not good enough to say “I don’t believe it to be true.”, nor is it good enough for me to say “I believe it to be true.”  That statement cannot be both true and untrue, it cannot be true for you and not for me, it makes a claim to be true and it either is, or it is not!

 

What is truth?

In the Gospel of John, there is a discussion between Pilate and Jesus.

Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world–to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”  (Joh 18:37-38 ESV)

Indeed, what is truth? There are some people who don’t think there is truth about anything. Some think that truth is relative. Truth however, is real and objective. It is  something so precious that it cannot be simply overlooked.

Of course the statement that “Truth is relative” is not true. It is stated as a truth and yet if all truth is relative then how could that statement be true. I may say that I hate coffee and that is truth. It is not true only for me but it is true for others. Steven hates coffee is true to other people also. Where one can say I have a preference and my opinion of coffee is not the opinion of others, this does not change the truth: I hate coffee.

Jesus said that those who are of the truth listen to Him. There is much in the Bible to indicate that God speaks the truth and that His words are what we need to listen to.  These scriptures say that those who refuse to listen to him are those who suppress the truth or have not received a love for the truth.

Truth: There is a God. But some deny this.

Truth: The Bible is God’s word. But some deny this.

Truth: Jesus is the son of God, God in the flesh. But some deny this.

In one post, you cannot possibly explore all of these truths to validate them or disprove them but I hope to tackle them over the next few weeks. A few at a time, a bit at a time. However, one illustration may help show how useless it is to dispute something when it is true.

In my last post, the original post (before I corrected it) referred to a fellow preacher and blogger by the name of Eric. I referenced his blog, I thanked him for his comment, and I used his comment in my blog. The only problem is that Eric’s name is not Eric. It is Eugene. While it is certainly true that in the overall scheme of things, a mistake in calling someone by a different name is minor, it still needs to be corrected.

Now I could have told him that his name is not Eugene. But that would not have changed the truth, as his birth certificate, friends, parents, and drivers license would show.

I could have asked him to change his name so that I was indeed correct. Yet, I am sure you can still see that even if he had changed his name to Eric, that would only mean that it had not been when I mistakenly called him Eric.

I could fight it or…I could acknowledge the truth. Why so many people would rather say “Hey, you look more like an Eric to me….” and lie against the truth is curious. It does not have long-lasting implications (although perhaps a friendship would suffer) in the matter of a simple name but when it comes to things like God’s existence, or Jesus’ deity…why stand and beat your head against what is true?

Even worse are those who don’t even care to take the time to investigate. They can’t be bothered with the facts, their mind is made up.

As a means of full disclosure, I will be following a couple of works by others and adding what seems to me to be common sense. The book called “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist” and a study book called “Indestructible foundations” (Peter J. Wilson) are going to help guide me in some of the order things are presented.

Stick around, Lord willing some of these posts will give us good reason to believe what we, as Christians, believe.

Question: Do you have questions, critiques, opposing viewpoints? Comments are welcome. Discussion encouraged. Respectful dialogue is required.

photo credit from Google images

3 things that cause us to neglect our salvation.

Neglecting one’s salvation would quite easily rank as one of the poorest decisions a person could make in this life. And even that simply sentence may rank among the biggest understatements in the history of blogging.As the saying goes, “Even an atheist does not want to go to Hell!”

Yesterday, we looked at four types of negligence: Passing by, ignoring, forgetting, and being careless. It is highly unlikely that those who consider themselves to be Christians would really “pass by” or “ignore” (at least not completely) their salvation. Those two items would belong to those who will not study to find out the truth for themselves. Much could be written on that topic but in this post, I want to talk about things that cause a Christian to neglect their salvation. This neglect will most likely come through forgetting and being careless.

Paul said: No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. (2Ti 2:4)

Christians need to remember that they died…to sin, to this world and to the rat race that so many get caught up in.

Sin is always lurking.

Just because we resist Satan once or twice and he flees from us (as the Scripture says), does not mean that he never comes back again! Even with Jesus, after all the temptations were completed in the dessert, Luke records that the devil left him until “an opportune time.” When we get caught up in sin, whatever form that may take, we become entangled and our salvation can become neglected!

Committing a Sin and living in sin are two different things but neither is what we are supposed to do. We need to be on guard so as not to sin more just so grace can abound. When we do that, we truly treat our salvation with carelessness and as if it has no value. (Romans 6)

The world is always pulling.

Our old friends, if we grew up in the world, wonder at why we do not carry on with them like we used to. The world’s morals and values are constantly being pushed on us and worse yet, they are quoting Scriptures at us to bolster their point. “Jesus said to love” may be a true statement but Jesus also said to “Love God first” was the great commandment. Besides, love does require pointing out the sins so that people can change.

The rat race doesn’t end.

Have you ever noticed that in a rat race, that the cheese is not truly the end? Nope! Those poor rats are pulled out of the maze and sent back in to do it again. Then they change the maze or move the cheese!

Lack of contentment with what we have is a big cause for us to neglect our salvation. We take more overtime or second jobs to pay for things we want. We fail to realize that food, clothing, and shelter is enough when coupled with God’s blessings. It isn’t that you are wrong just  for working more but the reason for the work is often ‘wants’ not ‘needs’.  Then you get so busy fulfilling wants that you get careless with and forget what is truly important.

While it might seem our duty to buy more and get more and upgrade more and travel more, that theme is from the world and not God. Huxley’s Brave new world and even our Newscasts would be appalled at my next statement: Buy less, be content with less!

You will not get all of it anyway and you will find at the end, that the maze gets changed, the cheese moved, or they now have new and improved cheese with a bolder taste (but you need to run the race again to get it).

One of my readers, Eugene, cited a good Scripture on yesterday’s post. (You can read Eugene’s blog here!)

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Col 3:1-3 ESV)

What we should do is “seek” and “set our minds” on those things that are above. If we do that, we will not be in danger of neglecting our salvation.

These three things, sin, the world’s pull, and the rat race are more general things that lead us to be negligent with our salvation.

Question: What are some specific things in your life that are innocent enough in and of themselves, but that you take to an extreme? Do those things cause you to neglect your salvation?

Photo Credit: antwerpenR

Are you neglecting your salvation?

The Hebrew writer, asks the question: How will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Heb 2:3) It is a rhetorical question and the answer is an obvious “We won’t!”

There at least four shades of meaning to the word neglect. Do any of them apply to you and your salvation?

Neglecting can mean to “pass by” something.

Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. (Luk 10:31)

This verse from the parable of the good Samaritan uses the words “passed by”. Yet it means that he ‘neglected’  the man lying on the side of the road.

Do we observe the Pass over in some areas of our Christian life? Do we just pass by hard to understand Scripture because we don’t think we will like the outcome? Might some of those areas affect our relationship with God and our salvation? Whether it is examining our own lives to make corrections, or examining Scriptures to understand ‘hard to understand’ passages, we should not pass by (neglect) those things that can affect our salvation and relationship with God.

Neglecting can be done by ignoring.

Another word for neglect is ‘ignore’.  Much like you might ignore your shoe laces until they become untied, you can ignore your salvation until it falls into a state of serious disrepair.

The Priests in the days of Nehemiah committed to doing their part for the service of the house of God.

“We also take on ourselves the obligation to give yearly a third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God:…We will not neglect the house of our God.” (Neh 10:32, 39)

I cannot help but think about what Paul wrote in 1 corinthians 3:17 that says “we are the temple of God” when he talks about the congregation. (Chapter 6 says the same thing and talks about the individual Christian). One of the ways you can destroy a house or a temple is to simply ignore it. Perhaps you have noticed that a building structure that is not lived in, will fall apart faster than one that is.

Neglecting can also be done by “forgetting”

Have you ever walked into another room and ‘forgot’ what you went in the room for? Sure, we all have. But what about those times when someone asks you to pick up something in town and, as you head back to the house, you slap your head and go “D’oh!” I forgot that. Sometimes those are very important things that we ‘neglecting’ by forgetting to to them.

Those things that are important to us are the things we will remember to do. In Hebrews 13, the writer reminds his audience to ‘not neglect to show hospitality in verse two and later in verse sixteen, “do not neglect to do good”.

I wonder if the rich man in the story of Lazarus and the rich man simply “forgot” to do good for Lazarus? Either way, he neglected to do anything and look where that landed him! God saved us so that we might walk in good works. Do not neglect by forgetting to do the good works for which we have been prepared. (Eph 2:10 and 2 Tim 3:16-17)

Neglecting can also be done by being careless with something of value.

This I think is the primary thought for this passage. “Pay special attention” to the salvation that you have received.

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard… (Heb 2:1-3 ESV)

And why shouldn’t we pay more attention and take care to not be careless with the message of the Gospel. This message did not come by man’s doing! It came from God Himself. Jesus, the Son of God, God in the flesh, revealed the message to man. It did not come through a mediator (angels).

In a family with many siblings, the older child(ren) are often put in charge of the younger ones. What they tell their younger brothers and sisters still is something they need to listen to. Yet, it is the same as when the parent comes in and tells them what needs to be done directly. There is a difference, yet it is the same. If you don’t listen to your brother, they are not likely to ground you or spank you but the punishment will happen when the parent gets home. (and sometimes you talk your way out of it) However, when the parent is home, punishments happen quicker and you should “pay more attention” to what you hear.

Question: What are some things that keep us from paying attention like we ought to do? Lord, willing I will have some answers to that question tomorrow.

Photo credit: jumpinjimmyjava

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