On my birthday this last summer, my family blessed me with the gift of making the day all about whatever I wanted.
Talk about a Mom’s wildest dream! 🙂
We were staying at my favorite place, the North Carolina beach where the sun first kissed my skin and stole my heart and ate up weekends when it was only the two of us and two first real jobs.
It was the perfect day. There was running and music and my favorite people, warm sunshine and a light breeze, and all six of us jumping restless waves with screams and laughter.
We were headed back to the sand, and I was chatting away like I was already standing, stable on the shore.
My husband turned around and saw the giant wave coming over my head, but it was too late for a proper warning. It swallowed me, for a moment. It swept me right off my feet, while I carried on without a clue.
When I came up drenched and gasping, I had no idea I was missing something.
“Weren’t you wearing sunglasses a minute ago?” My husband asked.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t wearing the cheap backup pair that day. In which the ocean ate my sunglasses–happy birthday to me. 🙂
All of us looked for the frames, but they had clearly drifted away, never to be recovered.
We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. Hebrews 2:1
I think that’s one of the saddest phrases in the Bible. Drift away. So that we do not drift away.
It tells me that’s a possibility, people knowing Christ yet drifting away. Maybe they didn’t hear the warning. Maybe they heard, but they didn’t listen to it. Maybe they didn’t even realize they were slipping away.
Hebrews gives this warning–to pay the most careful attention–to Jewish believers, those who had heard the gospel and believed. Though they had tasted of heaven, some of them still drifted back to what was familiar. Though they embraced Jesus Christ as Messiah, they were going back to the old rituals, the old religion, the old sacrifices in the temple.
Everybody was doing those things, it seemed, living there in the shadows, stuck in the customs of their culture and trying to earn their way to God.
So this warning came, to listen carefully to the truth. The word therefore points back to the why, to the message of Hebrews 1, which I wrote about last week.
Because Jesus sits in the place of highest honor, at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:7) Because Jesus is higher than the angels, higher than the prophets.
Therefore, pay attention, because you’re in danger of drifting away.
My friends, drifting away is easy. It happens quickly, naturally, even without realization. Paying attention is the hard part. Paying attention requires effort and awareness. It’s listening, but it’s also obeying, even though obedience to God’s Word is counter-cultural.
I want to encourage you to hold fast to the truth.
Jesus is the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him.
Jesus is the Bread of Life, the Light of the world, the Good Shepherd and the Gate, the Resurrection and the Life, the True Vine.
Are you anchored in the superiority of Jesus? Do you hold Jesus above all else in your life?
Or could you be floating with the world’s current, drifting away like sunglasses swallowed by a wave, unaware?
Hold Him fast.
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