Drift Away – SOAP 12.11.11

Hebrew 2:1

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.

Hebrews 4:12 – 13

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Observation

I couldn’t pick just one!  Hebrews 2:1 really spoke to me this morning and Hebrews 4:12-13 is really the answer.  Rarely does one make a decision to walk away from God.  Even if someone says they have, there have been a series of events or conversations or situations leading up to that moment when they said they couldn’t do this anymore.

A  few weeks ago someone told me their friend wasn’t going to church anymore because, “it was too hard to believe.”  I thought of a moment that person had had over the summer that seemed like a turning point and I can’t imagine what happened to make them change their mind.  Was it coming back to non – supportive family or friends, hypocrisy they witnessed, or simply not having the right people around them?  This was truly the parable of scattered seed.

Either way I doubt it was one day they decided God wasn’t there.  We drift.  Usually slowly like a boat on still water.  I think of my childhood boating adventures with my dad, brother and grandpa.  If we got  to a harbor to late we couldn’t tie up to the docks and had to anchor out.  I always equated being at the dock to being at a hotel and anchoring out camping.  I loved the stability and convenience of being tied up to the dock – and the regular bathrooms and showers.

Even with an anchor, boats can float around.  Without the anchor and unmanned, you might not find the boat the next day or know where you are depending on which side of the boat you are on.  To keep from drifting we must return to the anchor- God’s word.  It judges the attitudes of the heart and thoughts, separates  and penetrates.  Any time we get off track, it is there to remind us of God’s love and promises.  Drifting is unfocused wandering in a direction we never intended to go.

Application

I think I already covered this but it bears repeating.  I must be all about God’s word.  When I get off track I need to have the right people around me to lift me up and return me to the path that God has placed me on.

Prayer

Lord, Thank you for your word that continually guides and shapes me.  I can think of many that have drifted from your love and promises and I do not want to be in that collective.  Thank you for not giving up on me.  I have given you many reasons to give up, but you still love me. Bless me and my family today.Amen

Living beyond the surface – SOAP 12.7.11

Colossians 2:6 & 7

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Observation

Paul knew about commitment.  He knew that in order to walk a life of true faith that it had to seep down into every part of your file.  The imagery of letting your roots grow down into him is pretty powerful.  I imagine a giant tree with roots that have overcome obstacles of rocks and boulders, debris and sometimes man made blocks to continue to root down into the earth to find nourishment and stability.  There is this crazy tree on the way to Starbucks near our house that has wrapped itself around a column on the front porch of this house that is a little run down.  I’m sure someone “trained’ the tree around the column but it still amazes me that even when someone bent it out of shape and took it in an unnatural direction, it still thrived and is a pretty big tree at this point.  (As the new owners renovate, I wonder if they will cut it down.)  Our faith must grow like that.  Despite rocks and sometimes other people, we need to root down into the truth we were taught.  The gift we receive will be thankfulness.

Application

This month I have committed myself to make room for God, primarily making sure I have room for times in the Bible, stillness and being in prayer.  I have felt rocks in my life and even some attempting to bend me around a column to train me to be as they would like me.  I’m not sure if a tree feels pain, frustration, or confusion, in fact I doubt it does, however I do.  Just like a tree get scars on it’s bark or damage in it’s rings, I know I am healing from rocks and obstacles.  Now, more than ever, I know that God is with me and He is for me. I will continue to let me roots go deep into God.

Prayer

Lord,  Thank you for your gentle reminders and the way you speak to me.  I caught a glimpse of how you must feel when we stray off track.  I pray I would follow you all the days of my life and that I would help others root down into you.  Bless my family today.  I love you. Amen

Living beyond the surface – SOAP 12.7.11

Colossians 2:6 & 7

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Observation

Paul knew about commitment.  He knew that in order to walk a life of true faith that it had to seep down into every part of your file.  The imagery of letting your roots grow down into him is pretty powerful.  I imagine a giant tree with roots that have overcome obstacles of rocks and boulders, debris and sometimes man made blocks to continue to root down into the earth to find nourishment and stability.  There is this crazy tree on the way to Starbucks near our house that has wrapped itself around a column on the front porch of this house that is a little run down.  I’m sure someone “trained’ the tree around the column but it still amazes me that even when someone bent it out of shape and took it in an unnatural direction, it still thrived and is a pretty big tree at this point.  (As the new owners renovate, I wonder if they will cut it down.)  Our faith must grow like that.  Despite rocks and sometimes other people, we need to root down into the truth we were taught.  The gift we receive will be thankfulness.

Application

This month I have committed myself to make room for God, primarily making sure I have room for times in the Bible, stillness and being in prayer.  I have felt rocks in my life and even some attempting to bend me around a column to train me to be as they would like me.  I’m not sure if a tree feels pain, frustration, or confusion, in fact I doubt it does, however I do.  Just like a tree get scars on it’s bark or damage in it’s rings, I know I am healing from rocks and obstacles.  Now, more than ever, I know that God is with me and He is for me. I will continue to let me roots go deep into God.

Prayer

Lord,  Thank you for your gentle reminders and the way you speak to me.  I caught a glimpse of how you must feel when we stray off track.  I pray I would follow you all the days of my life and that I would help others root down into you.  Bless my family today.  I love you. Amen