Are you paying attention?

Has it ever occurred to you to actually watch the road signs on your journey home from somewhere you frequent, such as work, a visit to the family, or the trip to the theater? Most likely, you just go there, and then head back the same way. You don't even consider those road signs along the way. Why? You know the way! You have made the trip so many times you don't even have to pay all that close attention. You probably navigate by landmarks instead. If someone were to change one of those landmarks, would it be possible for you to miss your turn? Maybe, but not likely. Change your route home because there is a major traffic snafu or significant road repairs underway and you have to pay closer attention, don't you? You likely follow the traffic - you go where you see them going because they must know the way, right? Having followed a few lines of traffic through winding neighborhoods only to end up further away from my destination than I was to begin with, let me assure you following the most traveled path is not always the best choice! 

“Enter through the narrow gate. The gate is wide and the road is wide that leads to hell, and many people enter through that gate. But the gate is small and the road is narrow that leads to true life. Only a few people find that road." (Matthew 7:13-14)

Imagine someone who is curious about Christ, but really doesn't know the 'way' into his presence. They know there are 'signs' and 'landmarks' to guide them into that relationship, but the only road they see is the one that seems to be traveled the most frequently by the most people. They follow others because they believe they must know the way. Sadly, if you are a person genuinely seeking Christ and come into many a church this weekend looking for Christ, you may be disappointed to find there is little more than 'religion' there. The road 'looked right', but it didn't lead you into genuine relationship with him. Maybe that statement seems a bit harsh to some, but it is true. Pew upon pew is filled by people who are little more than 'Sunday Christians' - the rest of the week is spent living as they like and Christ is the furthest thing from their thoughts. 

Do you recall the conversation Jesus had about believers and those who do little more than give 'lip service' to God? “Not all those who say ‘You are our Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven. The only people who will enter the kingdom of heaven are those who do what my Father in heaven wants. On the last day many people will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, we spoke for you, and through you we forced out demons and did many miracles.’ Then I will tell them clearly, ‘Get away from me, you who do evil. I never knew you.’" (Matthew 7:21-23) It is quite possible to be a mere 'lip servant' and not have our heart in that service at all. Jesus asks for our heart - that means we take the road less traveled, and we pay attention to the 'signs' along the way that help to guide our travels in this walk with him. There will always be the need to be 'paying attention' as long as we are walking with him. When we begin to just 'glide along', it could be we have actually begun to just 'follow the crowd' and not been paying close attention to where he is guiding us. Just sayin!

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