Philemon, Hebrews 1-2

"We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?"                            Hebrews 2:1-3, NIV 

Over and over throughout any study of the New Testament comes the warning to pay attention to God's word. That is one of the reasons that we are studying for ourselves, rather than letting someone else do the studying for us, because God will hold us accountable for the way we handle His word. Even the most stubborn among us would have to admit that this is so, yet many still do not want to do the work.

This is natural, I suppose, because we have to fight this attitude all of our lives. When we are little and have to do our chores, it is much easier to let someone else do them for us, if we can get away with doing so. It is easier to copy someone else's homework when we are in school, and it is convenient to let the star athletes carry the load in practice. We even see it in when we are older and spend more time loafing and looking at the clock while on the job, than we ever actually do working at our jobs.

Maybe that's why some never grow into responsible adults: They don't pay attention to what they should be doing because it just isn't that important to them. That's why some children have such trouble with their parents, why some students will always be "C" students, why other athletes will be the "stars" and why some people drift from job to job all of their lives while the "lucky" ones get the promotions.

But deep down, we know this is not right - it's simply no way to live. And it's the same with our service to God! He did not create us for mediocrity, He created us for excellence! He created us to live big lives doing big things, not to live the life of the weak and timid who never even know the joy of significant accomplishments because they are too busy trying to get out of their work.

He created us to be saved! That's why He sent His only begotten Son to this earth to pay the penalty that our sins deserve. That's why He requires us to live for Him. That's why He left us precise instructions as to how to live for the One who died for us. He loves us! He is not trying to fool us - He very genuinely wants us to be with Him forever.

The only question is, do we love God and Jesus enough to pay attention to their words? If we do, then we will have an excellent life here on earth, and then eternal life with Them in Heaven. If not, we will simply drift away, and the penalty for drifting is more than anyone can bear.

Are you... paying careful attention? This is why we study!

 

 "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and Godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him."  II Peter 3:10-12, 14, NIV