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Monday October 29 – Pay much closer attention

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. – Hebrews 2:1

Scripture reading: Hebrews 2:1–4

There are ten “Therefore” in Hebrews; the first is in Chapter 2. It warns against “drifting” from the Gospel. The recipients of this Letter possessed the Old Testament, as the New Testament was in the process of formation.

So, for about a century, the Gospel message was transmitted orally by men like Paul, Peter, John and their assistants, as well as by the testimony of converts. During His earthly ministry, Christ had begun the proclamation of His “great salvation.”

Nowadays, we have the Bible available to us in print, on the internet and on our smartphones; for English-speaking people, they can read it in several versions. We possess the heritage of the Church summarized in Creeds, Confessions of Faith and in Catechisms. It’s beautifully expressed in hymns, oratorios and cantatas. There is no excuse for drifting away from the faith.

Why is this strong warning about apostasy in this Letter? Doesn’t the Bible teach the “Perseverance of the Saints?” Yes, but these warnings are the means the Lord uses to enable us to persevere in the faith! Neglecting the “means of grace” is to court spiritual disaster.

One of my saddest recollections is the story of a young man I once knew who was preparing for the ministry. After ordination, he became a foreign missionary and first did very well. Years later, I learned that he had fallen into grievous sins, wrecked his family life and was drifting aimlessly! Scriptural warnings are very necessary to keep us from drifting!

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for pastors, missionaries, leaders in church and state, that they take heed to themselves, walking on the Narrow Way that leads to life.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Bassam Michael Madany has served as a missionary in Syria, and in 1958 he began a 36-year radio and literature ministry to the Arab world. After retirement Bassam & his wife Shirley began an Internet ministry, Middle East Resources, to provide a “Christian Response to the Global Challenge of Islam.”

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