“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what
we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”
Thoughts… I flew to Chicago yesterday. Our takeoff was uneventful—thank the Lord. So was the landing. In fact, I would have to say that both takeoff and landing were quite boring, which, unless you are an adrenaline junkie, is the way sane people like them to be. I’m sure you would agree: Nobody wants an eventful experience on a flight!
I noticed that during preparation for takeoff, the flight attendant was dutifully calling us to pay attention to the safety instructions for enjoying a safe and pleasurable trip. She gave some warnings of what might happen if we neglected her directions and what we could do to survive if, perish the thought, disaster should strike. She didn’t actually use the word “disaster”, but I knew what she meant. “In case of a water landing” sounds so much more comforting than “in case we crash and burn!”
Any guesses on how many people were listening to her little speech? Zero, to be exact, except for me. I was taking copious notes of everything she said—not! Truth is, she might as well have been invisible as far as the passengers were concerned.
With such vital life-saving information being disseminated, why wouldn’t everybody be listening as if their very existence hung in the balance? Over-exposure to the message, I think, was the culprit in this case. Airline apathy has set in, and people just don’t pay attention anymore to these basic instructions before leaving earth.
Now here’s the deal: What we might get away with on an airplane, we must not be guilty of on the most important trip of our lives—our journey from here to eternity. That’s why the writer of Hebrews is pleading with us to pay attention! He is saying, “don’t you dare neglect so great a salvation!”
Are you paying close attention in your spiritual journey to the clear instructions and warnings that God has graciously provided for you in his Word, the Bible (Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth)? Maybe you have heard those instructions so often that they no longer cause you to sit up and take notice. If you were honest, perhaps you would have to admit that apathy has set in, dulling your spiritual acuity and taking the sharp edge off your discernment toward the temptations and trials that can derail you on along the way.
If that is you, our verse today is calling you to not only pay attention, and not just to pay careful attention, but to “pay more careful attention.” Have you ever said to your child, or perhaps your parent said to you, “Now listen up…look at me when I’m saying this…repeat back what I’ve just told you…are we clear on this?” That’s what we’re being told here: “Let me have your undivided attention please…there will be a test…your spiritual life depends on this!”
Take a moment to go through your “takeoff instructions” today, being careful to pay very close attention. Check to see if there are any sins that need to be confessed, any promises that need to be claimed, any commands that need to be obeyed, any ministry assignment that needs attention, any person who needs your witness, or any relationship that needs to be healed.
Our plane is taking off soon, bound for heaven. So pay attention. Read and know your Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth—especially as it relates to your salvation. And make sure your seat belt is buckled, your tray table is in the upright and locked position, your seat back is forward…
And enjoy your flight!
Prayer… Lord, show me every area that needs attention for the flight home. On that day when we take off and reach our destination, I don’t want be unprepared in one single aspect of my life. Make me ready for the trip Lord, ‘cause one of these days soon, I’m coming home.
One More Thing… “If you continue to love Jesus, nothing much can go wrong with you, and I hope you may always do so.” — C.S. Lewis (one month before his death)