Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it . . . How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? (Hebrews 2: 1, 3, ESV)
As I write this devotion, I am waiting for a repairman to arrive. No, nothing is broken, but I’m doing some preventive maintenance. I have friends who don’t see the need of paying a service call if everything still works. That penny-pinching can end up costing more in repairs than paying for a seasonal checkup. In some instances, the neglected maintenance creates an unsafe, even deadly, situation. Do you really want to drive a car with worn-out brakes? Or heat your home with a furnace giving off carbon monoxide? Or ignore sparks from frayed electrical wiring? Yet some do disregard those types of repairs, and eventually learn the danger of their neglect.
It is sad to watch a house deteriorate because its owner has allowed maintenance to go undone. It doesn’t take long for a once beautiful dwelling to become shabby and broken-down. It is even sadder, however, to watch someone’s spiritual house deteriorate because they neglected the wellbeing of their soul. What makes it even more distressing is when that person is a parent. When the things of God are neglected within the home, the children grow up without the spiritual training they need to develop their own strong relationship with the Lord.
Although the apostle Paul had no natural children, he became a spiritual father to many. One of those was Timothy, a young man with a Greek father and a believing Jewish mother. The first mention of Timothy is found in Acts 16 during Paul’s second missionary journey. They became coworkers and brothers in Christ, but Paul also became a mentor/father to the younger man. Paul invested in Timothy’s life and taught him the necessity of holding fast to the things of God. Paul’s words to Timothy are just as vital to us today.
“Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” (II Timothy 2:13-16, NKJV)
There are probably numerous reasons why some become neglectful of the things of God—materialism, busyness, too much media time, lack of personal discipline, a love of the world—just to name a few. I wonder if some become careless with personal devotion and faithful church attendance because they lost their delight in the things of God. If joy is missing, serving God becomes drudgery. It is something to think about.
Hebrews 2:1-3 admonishes us to pay attention so we will not drift away. Drifting is a gradual thing, sometimes almost imperceptible, and that is dangerous. It is time to do a little self-check to see if we are neglecting this great salvation. It’s maintenance time!
Lord, if I become careless and begin to drift away from You, get my attention. Pull me back to a place of safety and restore my joy in serving You.