I was sitting in church the other Sunday. I do not typically do that, as I often either preach at a church or stream a service online from my own living room as I have done for the last year or so. Nevertheless, this Sunday, I was listening as the preacher was speaking from Hebrews chapter 2. He was talking about the dangers of drifting away from the Gospel.
I know he said more than that, but I started drifting away in my own mind as I began to create a sermon of my own (Sorry occupational hazard). I quickly read on and discovered verse 3 of chapter 2, which stated that we would be in big trouble if we neglect such a great salvation, which got my mind racing.
We drift because we neglect. We neglect because we no longer see how valuable whatever we are neglecting really is. In this case, the Gospel, which of course is of supreme value, but it is true of other aspects of life as well. For example, the new truck we bought may not be treated as well once it has a few more miles on it, or a new device gets tossed around after a few months.
It can happen to relationships as well. You run around, taking care of children, getting them to school or practice, and then they grow up and leave the nest, filling one with regret for not treasuring the days. I will not even mention marriage here as my experience counseling others taught me that most divorces begin with neglect.
Neglect is one of the biggest weapons of our enemy. Especially susceptible is the committed church-going Christian. Many of us have avoided the biggest sins of commission, but those sins of omission cause the same level of destruction.
I see this a lot in the area of generosity and legacy planning—the sin of neglecting. We intend to get all of the legal documents in place (wills, powers of attorney, advanced medical directives, and trusts), but something else crowds out the importance. No one intends to leave their family unprepared and vulnerable, but by neglecting those actions, the security for our family just drifts away.
So how do we stop neglecting? Two ideas. First, we need to “see” the actual value of what it is we are neglecting. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that this “great salvation” was first told to us by Christ himself. He bought it for us when He destroyed the power of death (v15) and brought us into a right relationship with God, our Creator (v18).
Then after seeing it, we need to “tend” to it. This is why sitting in church is so important. Nowhere else will you be reminded week after week of the greatness of our God and your desperate need of Him, as when we worship and hear the word of God faithfully preached. We must, of course, see and tend to it in our lives every day through regular Bible reading, service to others, and prayer, but an outsider can help us remember (Nothing like a stranger commenting on how great your old truck is to remind you).
So, let me be the outsider who encourages you. Don’t neglect your family by drifting away from your duty to provide for them, both in life and after your passing. Instead, reach out to us at the Missouri Baptist Foundation and let us help you make a plan of provision for them and for the ministries you love.