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Keeping Focus

12 May

Hello again!

Yesterday we pretty much finished up Romans; the last chapter, sixteen, is pretty much entirely Paul’s closing remarks. So today, we’re going to start Hebrews. — This is what God gave me today in His word:

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. (Hebrews 2:1-4)

The author tells us that we must pay “much closer attention” to what we’ve heard. Then the author seems to completely change topics, and starts talking about a message angels gave, which apparently proved to be true. Followed by a seemingly third change in topics, as the author then proceeds to talk about sins all receiving their due… Then, seemingly strangest of all, he calls what he just said, “salvation” (“how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” – Directly after the word “retribution” there’s a comma. If there had been a period, we could safely assume that “such a salvation” is a completely different topic.). So then, was this person simply very confused while attempting to write this, or are all of these seemingly separate thoughts all somehow connected?

The author actually doesn’t change topic at all. He tells us we have to, “pay closer attention to what we’ve heard”. Followed by talking about a message given by angels. Now, there are several places where angels deliver reliable, true messages in the Bible. However, the only one that bears true significance to us, is this one:

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene(B) and the other Mary(C) went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake,(D) for an angel(E) of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone(F) and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.(G) The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid,(H) for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.(I) Come and see the place where he lay. (Matthew 28:1-6)

And, when Mary and Mary went to see the place where He had laid, they saw that the message was indeed reliable. Also, through the angel telling the women that Christ had risen, we see that every sin had received it’s just retribution: death. All sin leads, and in fact requires a death in order to be paid for, and Jesus provided that death in our place. He died so that we may live. The question that the author asks next is only reasonable: “how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” The command being, that we shouldn’t neglect this great salvation at all, but rather grab it, and hold on to it.

As the author said to start, “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” As I’ve said before, the Gospel, that which we heard at the start of our Christian lives, is to be always present in our minds. Both as a way of blocking out the thought’s which the Devil would want us to think, and as a way to always be thinking on God’s provision for us; which will keep our entire lives in focus.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

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