Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hebrews 2:1-4 "Pay Attention"

Read Hebrews 2:1-4.

"We must pay more careful attention...." NIV
Distractions abound - TV, music, games, outdoor sports, indoor sports, work, chores, food, relationships, travel - and I'm only getting started. Staying focused on anything is so difficult today because we have so many things wanting to pull us away to give them attention. And then everything must be instantaneous. With cell phones, IM, Twitter, email we have demanded responses immediately. I don't know how many times I've heard my cell phone ringing and couldn't get to it. Then my house phone rings and when I finally answer, the caller is saying, "Where were you? I've been trying to get a hold of you!"
"I was in the bathroom; is that okay?"

We are becoming more and more demanding of other's attention, but are we paying attention ourselves? Do we take the time to really listen to another person? Do we stop long enough to reflect on what we've done, what we are doing, and what we need to do next and why? Do we ever stop long enough to change our perspective from myopic to a bird's eye view that will give us a better perspective on situations, relationships, and just the whole scope of life?

Recently, my husband and I had the privilege of having our Sunday morning worship sitting above Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe in California. So far, this is my most favorite place in the whole world. With the waterfall to my right, the bay below me, and the lake to my left, I feel like in that moment all is right with the world. The beauty of that place warms my soul, and God is so near I can touch Him. That is one of the places I can go where life stops, and I truly pay attention.

As the writer of Hebrews points out, it is so easy to let your faith drift away. Call it a spiritual ADHD, but with far greater consequences than missing an answer on a test or not hearing the boss' instructions on a project. When we allow our minds, hearts, and attention to wander from the Truth, the enemy has an opportunity to fill our minds with alternatives. But there is no substitute for the salvation that Christ gave.

* the angels gave the message
* Christ first announced the salvation
* confirmed by witnesses
* God reinforces the message with "signs, wonders, and various miracles"
* we are blessed with the gift of the Holy Spirit to speak the Truth within us

If we just pay attention, the Truth is shining loud and clear. Our focus must remain on Him and Him alone. Only then will the purpose of our existence and the plans for our life make sense.... And continue to make sense.

Pay attention. It's all true. Every word of it.

Further Thoughts:
  1. When do you most find the doubts about what you believe begin to creep in? When you are too busy for reflection? When you stop having time alone with God and in the Word? When you stop meeting with other believers? Other times?
  2. What are ways we can pay attention better? How do we keep our salvation always in the forefront of our thinking?
  3. Make a list of your priorities. Does this shed any light on your "attention" level?
  4. Rearrange your priorities today so that your focus remains on Christ and what He has done for you.

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