Attention Grabbers: Part One

Hebrews 2: 1

Jesus has a special word for you. It is a word of hope, cleansing, and purpose. Most have heard it. Not all have listened to it.

It is estimated that about 280,000 young women in the U.S. are literally starving themselves to death. They suffer from a disorder called anorexia nervosa. It means they don’t eat properly.

There is a parallel disease in the spiritual realm. It is also self-induced. It is self-produced starvation for spiritual food. Amos predicted this centuries ago when he spoke of a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. (Amos 8:11)

In the process of eating there is – 

1) ingestion, that is eating or taking in food, 

2) digestion, this involves the digestive system processing food for us by the body, and 

3) assimilation, the actual use of food for energy or body building. 

The spiritual equivalents would be:

1)  Ingestion, reading or hearing God’s Word.

2)  Digestion involves contemplating, thinking through the Word ingested.

3)  Assimilation is the application of the Word to life situations.

Tragically there is too little reading or hearing of the Word.  Even more regrettably too few who hear it think about it sufficiently. Most regrettable, only a fraction of those who hear it apply it.

Hebrews 2:1 encourages us to “give the more earnest heed” to the Word of God.  This is addressed to those who have heard it. It is an appeal to digest it “lest we drift away.” That is, unless we should fail to apply it, says it best: “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2: 17)

All that we do should be modeled by an example left us by the composer Bach. On many of his masterful manuscripts can be found the Latin letters “J.J.” and “S.D.G.” Often found at the beginning of the manuscripts can be found “J.J.” and at the end “S.D.G.”

The “J.J.” stood for “Jesus Juva,” that is, “Jesus, help me.” At the end “S.D.G” stood for “Soli Deo gloria,” meaning “To God alone be the glory.” 

In between these two symbols are found some of the most uplifting music ever composed. A life composed between these two attitudes is a beautiful one.

There is an acute difference between “listening” and “hearing.”

To hear means to perceive sounds that do not register or require a response. To listen means to pay thoughtful attention so a proper response can be made.

This text calls on us to tune into what the Lord has to say and tune out, that is not listen, to distractions.

Many of the statements of Jesus are introduced by Him saying, “Verily, verily I say unto you.” Literally, “Listen, listen…”   Be attentive.

The expression used in our text was often used of evaporation. Positive productive thoughts slip our minds like water inconspicuously evaporates.