Thursday, July 10, 2008
There is nothing like sitting in an innertube drifting down a lazy river in the heat of summer. The birds are singing, there are giggles and splashing that wash over your ears from others enjoying the ride. The smell of fresh air, pine trees and dirt captivate the senses. As you lay your hand in the water and draw up a few drops to cool your head you fade away into a long day dream. Drifting can be fun until you hit some rocks, scratch your legs, bruise your bottom on a rock and get wedged between two boulders. It is important to know where you are headed. In my Life Transformation Group, I have been reading in the book of Hebrews. There are a couple of passages in chapters 2 and 3 that have stood out to me. "For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away." Hebrews 2:1 There it is, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard. The book of James teaches us to not only be hearers of the Word of God but to put what we have heard into action. We should apply it so as to have effect in our lives. Hebrews 2 seems to say that if we do not pay close attention to what we hear and live by it, then we are prone to drift away from the truth. Drifting is such a lazy term isn't it? The author of Hebrews seems to know that slowly, silently and seductively drifting in our faith will cause a separation (in relationship) with God and then many other uglies will follow. "Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." Hebrews 3:12-13. This passage teaches us that it is possible for believers to somehow 'drift' into an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. This is not an unbelieving and falling away that includes losing ones standing with God, that is not possible, however, these are very serious matters that affect our relationship to God and His body, the church. To guard against this drifting away problem verse 13 gives us a remedy. We are to be encouraging one another every day. Too often, IF this happens it happens in spurts or on Sunday's or another 'church day'. Why do we need encouraging everyday? I think the answer is that sin is very, very deceitful. It promises fulfillment but delivers sickness, emptiness and death. If we are not built up in Jesus, we may eventually find a hardened heart, not willing to listen or deal with spiritual matters. Remember the Word of God is always right (2 Tim. 3:16-17). We must believe what we learn here, even if you are not sure it is true - be assured that it is always true. So be encouraging to those in your close community (house church, sunday school, small group etc.). Encourage them daily (as often as possible) through e-mail, text message, voice mail, phone call or over a cup of coffee. I know I need the encouragement daily. I do not want to drift away and wake up hardened heart, a buised bottom and scratched up legs. Do you have any thoughts on this topic? I'd love to hear them.