Daily Encouragement - February 17

Hebrews 2:1-4 NRSV

Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the message declared through angels was valid, and every transgression or disobedience received a just penalty, how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? It was declared at first through the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, while God added his testimony by signs and wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed according to his will.

‘Pay attention…this is going to be on the test'. I can still hear Mrs. Broadnax saying those words to my sophomore biology class. Even with all of the drowsiness one may feel after lunch, followed by a lecture on photosynthesis and respiration, those words ‘Pay attention’ seem to strike a chord that resonates with just about everyone. You would notice glazed over eyes in the class suddenly became laser focused. You heard the click of pens as a chorus throughout the whole class as everyone began to take meticulous notes.

Instructions for Living a Life

by Mary Oliver

Instructions for living a life:

Pay attention.

Be astonished.

Tell about it.

Barbara Brown Taylor reminds us, “The practice of paying attention is as simple as looking twice at people and things you might just as easily ignore. To see takes time, like having a friend takes time.”

Lent gives us the space in the Christian year to offer more to God by way of acts of love, service and reconciliation with others, as we intentionally think and act less on behalf of ourselves.

Paul writes in Hebrews ‘pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.’ When the stakes are high, we would do well to pay attention. We know that from other areas of our lives as well. When we pay attention, as we do for a test, it’s so we can perform our best.

Moving God…

May our reading, listening, watching, and overall paying attention allow us to draw. closer to You and Your heart. May our search focus less on our own wants during this season. Invite us through our daily opportunities and encounters to serve You by serving those we encounter. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Pastor Michael Williams

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