Building character is a lifetime endeavor with an endless variety of beautiful attributes to consider. To start this new year, we will focus on two traits clearly evidenced in Jesus’ life: attentiveness and an all-in commitment! The verses we will use as a foundation of these traits are Hebrews 2:1 and Colossians 3:23.
Hebrews 2:1. We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.
Colossians 3:23. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
Hebrews was penned for the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem facing persecution. The book lays out the superiority of Christ that inspires faithfulness even in the midst of suffering.
Colossians was a letter to the Christians in the city of Colosse, where false teachers were planting seeds of doubt about the deity of Christ. Colossians expounds on the sovereignty of Christ and aids in clear focus. Both passages, like all Scripture, benefit Christians of every age! Let’s see how they relate to our lives today.
Being attentive–paying careful attention–to the Truths of Jesus Christ gives us strength to press on. The Scripture speaks to being attentive to the Gospel Truths that fulfilled and built upon the Jewish teachings the believers knew so well. The writer was calling readers to recognize that Jesus Christ offered all that they pursued in other ways before. He is the fulfillment of all we seek as well…religion, education, careers…all pale in light of what Jesus delivers. Being attentive to all Christ offers is key to finding and staying on course.
Attentiveness is protective as well since other Scriptures remind us that we have an enemy prowling about seeking the chance to devour us! Learning to be attentive as a
habit bears dividends in secular as well as spiritual matters. Often-time we know what is right and take for granted that ‘knowing is enough.’ We know we need to study, to eat well, to exercise…but we don’t attentively tend to those things.
We forget that coasting only happens when one is going down-hill. Failure to be attentive often takes us far from where we intended. Being attentive keeps us from drifting away into areas we never planned to go.
What might God be nudging you to be more attentive to?
Being all-in is a rare thing in this age of multi-tasking! The Book of Revelation quotes the prophet Daniel with words that speak volumes in this day: “knowledge will increase and many will run to and fro.” There is more to take in and more to do than any one person
can manage. Jesus spoke to Martha with words we call need to hear: “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
There are a number of ways to look at being “all-in” and as always, Jesus is the One to turn to. Contrary to popular theology, Jesus wasn’t all in to loving on folks and healing all. He loved and He healed because He was all-in to His father’s plan. Jesus did everything He did because it was the will of the Father. We need to be ‘all-in’ in the same way. “Thy will be done” must be where our buy-in rests! Another necessary aspect of ‘all-in’ is living fully present. God defines Himself as the “Great I AM.” God is present…in the moment, and we need to be as well.
At this moment in time, are you all-in to the will of God for your life?