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To The Almost-Believers

Time is priceless, but it’s Free. You can’t own it, you can use it. You can spend it. But you can’t keep it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back. —Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife 

Sunday mornings find me early to the office, tea in hand, and the lamps on low. I’m the only one there, so it’s nice and quiet. I spend some time with Jesus and then open my computer to go over the sermon one last time. 

One specific Sunday, my routine was going as planned until I powered up the computer and discovered I hadn’t saved my sermon. All that was left was an outline. What do you do when your sermon vanishes on Sunday morning? Call your worship pastor and ask for an extra song or two. 

I’m joking. I spent my review time rewriting. But have you ever had something slip through your fingers like that? Maybe a piece of jewelry slipped off before you realized it. Or what about time? I feel like years can pass, and I only notice it when I see photographs. 

Later that week, I realized that I had switched to a Mac but kept my PC keyboard. So the old keystrokes didn’t work. The old didn’t work with the new. 

The early church struggled with this concept. They were used to the Law—the Old Covenant of performance. And they carried the old into this new Gospel of grace. As a result, they were at risk of missing the point completely. 

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. (Hebrews 2:1) 

It’s an uncomfortable warning—that we can learn about Jesus and hear the Gospel and yet drift. We can do all the right things and take all the right steps, but before we realize it, the Gospel of grace has drifted on by while we’re still busy trying to keep all the old rules. 

I love the warning here: Wake up! Be alert! Be wary of doing church without being in Christ. Otherwise, something priceless is slipping away. 

Jesus, thank You for the wake-up call into grace. Make me aware of my status. Am I an almost-believer—going through the motions of church, gathering information without transformation? Examine me and lead me into complete surrender. Amen.

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