Monday, February 23, 2009

Pay careful attention… (Hebrews 2:1) 230209

It’s Monday morning, I am in the office now. I have chosen not to have my off day on Monday and have it on Tuesday. Anyway, there is nothing much to do on Monday, except to clear up my desk, take time to reflect the past one week, and listen to some good sermons and catch up with some good readings.

Reading Hebrews is not easy. As I open up Hebrews 2, I am stuck with verse 1. I cannot go further because the phrase: we must pay much closer attention (NASB), catch hold of me. Well, we I do my devotion, I will pray and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to me, and catch hold of my heart and do His work of transformation in my life as I read His word. And surely He does draw me to what He wants to speak to me; and perhaps to you too.

NIV bible translates as: we must pay more careful attention. But if I will to do a more literal translation from original Greek, it would something like this: it is necessary for us to pay attention in a much greater degree (New Abel Translation). And Leon Morris also points out that “the verb prosechein means not only to turn the mind to a thing but also to act upon what one perceives.”

Well, I guess I know what God is trying to tell me. He is simply reminds me of what I have preached in the Chinese ministry two Sundays ago: Hear the Word, Act upon the Word. And I say the same thing to a member yesterday to encourage her to resolve some issue she has with her boyfriend. And now, God is shouting at me to pay much closer and careful attention to His word. How can I miss it?

We often hear the preaching of God’s word as a form of inspiration and motivation. We often study the word of God as an intellectual exercise. We also often read the word of God with the hope to receive the ‘magic word’ or encouragement of the day. But the word of God is living and active, sharper than the two edge sword, and I think I am quoting a verse from Hebrews.

The word of God cannot just remain in me as a form of inspiration or motivation, or enrichment of my intellect, neither as the ‘magic word’ or encouragement of the day; it has to be translated as some form of practical action. We live in a real world with real needs and real issues. The word of God is telling us to take real action.

Maybe you just read the parable of the Good Samaritan, what will you do when you see an old lady trying to cross the road, as you are driving in your car? Maybe you just read 1 Corinthians 13 about ‘Love is patience’, what will be your reaction when your friend keeps you waiting for 2 hours? Maybe you just read Ephesians 5:21 about ‘submit to one another’, what will you do when your pastor or leader confront you about an area of sin in your life?

We must and it is necessary to pay much closer and careful attention to what we have heard and read and study; if not we may drift away.

Are you paying attention?


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