“We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard so that we do not drift away.”~ HEB 2:1
Have you ever been personally warned by God? Have you ever drifted away from His truth? Have you ever found yourself slipping back into familiar routines, trying to live a hybrid faith? If I’m honest, I can affirm all three! I can recall several seasons of my life where I became impatiently self-important and took matters into my own hands. I would rationalize my plan by saying, “Lord, I believe in you, but I think I’ll help you with this one…I’m sure you’re very busy.” I acted as though my financial situations, familial difficulties, and complicated problems of life were beyond His reach. I made the decision to partner with Jesus, becoming His plus one; Jesus-AND-Aimee! But, I got in His way. What I had forgotten to do was go to God first for advice.
This Thursday for teaching and worship we will dive deeper into the depths of Hebrews, a letter anchored in the teachings of the apostles. It is through this letter that we begin to see history and life from God’s perspective, not ours. The original audience, Hebrew Christians, was a church community facing persecution and even imprisonment because of their association with Jesus. As a result, many turned their backs on Him and some abandoned their faith all together.
WARNING: This is where life gets dangerous!
Friends, I have turned my back on Jesus on more than one occasion. It’s hard for me to share that with you, but it’s true. The more I get to know Him, though, and the more I take on His identity, the harder it is for me to carry through with this form of spiritual rejection. Sure, I still get angry with Him at times and I question His presence during my more difficult challenges. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the complexities of my own life that I forget who is really in charge…and it’s never me! That’s what this week’s lesson highlights for us. The author of Hebrews elevates Jesus as superior and reaffirms that He is worth all our trust and devotion. The author then challenges us to remain faithful to Him despite our earthly persecutions. The warning? Don’t neglect your salvation!
“God came down from Sinai, He dawned from Seir upon them; He radiated light from Mount Paran, coming with ten thousand holy angels.” ~ DEUT 33:2
Hebrews contains four sections in which the author compares and contrasts Jesus Christ with key people and events from Israel’s history. This week’s lesson compares Jesus to angels. Have you ever met an angel? I believe I have. As we read in Deuteronomy, God’s words were delivered to Moses by angels. If Jesus is superior to angels, then His messages of good news are superior to all previous messengers of God’s word. Right? Hebrews’ first warning flows from this point. If Israel was called to pay attention to God’s word delivered by angels, then how much more should we pay attention to the message announced by the Son of God!
There is no God apart from our Jesus. Jesus is God become human as the Son. Friends, we could never be more loved than we are right now, despite the times we may drift with life’s current and away from our Lord. But because of God’s action through Jesus, we are free to act in our own faith; the one human action in which we don’t get in the way but on the way.
Hope to see you Thursday!