A daily devotion for December 5th

Pay Careful Attention!

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

Hebrews 2:1-4

The writer says that we need to pay attention! This convinces me that the writer of this letter was a preacher. There is nothing more heartbreaking than preaching to people week after week and to see them constantly exposed to truth that you know could transform their very existence, and yet to see them lose the whole effect of this because they do not pay attention.

There are two reasons why this message is particularly valid: First, it is valid by comparison with the Law. If the word spoken by angels, that is, the Law of Moses, had validity and those to whom it was given found that it was absolutely true in experience, then this message also is true. If angels could give a word like that, how much more the word that comes by the Son?

The second confirmation is, this message is valid in view of the form of its communication to us. It was spoken, first, by the Lord! What Jesus Christ has to say is the most authoritative word the world has ever heard. This message did not originate with the apostles, it did not come to us by means of prophets, it came through the Lord himself. That is not all. It was also confirmed by eye witnesses and attested by signs sent from God himself, by wonders and miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit. What an impelling argument this is!

It all focuses down to one question which the writer leaves hanging in the air: How shall we escape if we neglect such great salvation? That is not a threat, it is simply a question. It is addressed both to the Christian and to the non-Christian: To the non-Christian it says: Where are you going to go? How will you get out of God's universe? How can you escape, and why attempt to do so? Especially when his purpose is not to curse but to bless? How can you find deliverance by any other route, since it does not involve the One who is behind all things?

To the Christian he is saying, it is not enough that we know Jesus Christ: We must use him. We can lose so much, even knowing him, unless there is a day-by-day walk with him. We lose peace and freedom and joy and achievement. We are subjected to temptation, frustration, bewilderment, bafflement and barrenness without him. And if we do not go on as Christians, if we do not grow, a serious question is raised: Have we ever really begun the Christian life? Or is this but a self-deceptive fraud, attempted to meet outward standards but without any inward change in the heart? He leaves the question hanging in the air, haunting, unavoidable: How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?

Lord Jesus, help me to pay careful attention and not to neglect such great salvation.

Life Application

Are we giving priority to the most significant issue of time and eternity: our salvation? Do we properly fear God as sovereign and righteous, while honoring His holy Presence as our eternal Advocate?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

The Final Word

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