Monday, January 15, 2018
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It was the house Grandma and Granddad built with a little help from their granddaughter, who happened to turn out to be my wife. That was over forty years ago. Grandma and Granddad are gone, and the house was in the hands of renters for a number of years. And the landlord, my wife's dad, lived hours away, and his age and his health prevented him from keeping up with what was happening. And man, I'll tell you, the house and the land around it, not good stuff was happening. When he deeded that house to the rest of the family, they weren't real pleased with what had happened over the years. The house was rundown; the carpet was infested with bugs; various encroachments had slowly whittled away about three acres of the property, and fences had been moved. That's a long list. And nobody in the family had to do anything to accumulate this mess. All we had to do was do nothing.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Silent Thief."
And who is that silent thief? He has a name. His name is neglect. He doesn't make much noise, but he sure steals a lot from you. Since the family began to own the house, they've been working very hard to recover what that silent thief stole.
Our word for today from the Word of God is a warning against this silent thief. Proverbs 27:23-24 say, "Be sure you know the condition of your flocks; give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations." So God's saying, "Take good care of what's important to you. What you don't take care of, you may very well lose."
People end up with major health problems; not always because they do terrible things to their body, but because they just let their body go. But neglect is even more damaging in your important relationships.
It may be that in that spinning gerbil wheel of your busy life, someone you love is suffering from neglect. You haven't done anything bad to your mate or child, or maybe your parents. You just haven't done much. Remember, neglect is the silent thief. Slowly, but very surely, intimacy is lost, trust is lost, communication, closeness. Believe me, we saw what neglect did to a house. The longer you let things go, the harder it's going to be to get it fixed. It may be time for a priority check; time to bring those that you love and those you need the most back from the margins and back into the center.
Tragically, the most important relationship in your life can atrophy through neglect - your relationship with God. You may not have done something awful. You're just slowly pushing Jesus to the edges of your schedule and your life.
And on that day when you go into eternity, as we all will, if you miss heaven will it be because of the silent thief? He will have stolen from you the greatest treasure of all-eternal life. How? By getting you to miss a personal relationship with Jesus just by never getting around to beginning that relationship.
That's why God's book says, "How shall we escape if we neglect such great salvation?" (Hebrews 2:3). Many people will spend eternity away from God, not because they rejected what Jesus did on the cross, but because they simply neglected it. They put it off, they made excuses. They postponed God. This "great salvation" is what Jesus did by loving you so much He died to pay your death penalty for your sin. But that salvation isn't your salvation until you tell Jesus you're putting your total trust in Him like a drowning person would grab a lifeguard as their only hope.
So, let me ask you, "When did you do that with Jesus?" If you never have, and you don't want to risk losing the heaven that Jesus died to give you, would you give yourself to Him today? Tell Him, "Jesus, I'm yours." Go to our website and find there the information where you can secure that relationship with Him. It's ANewStory.com.
I'll tell you, I've known too many people who waited one day too long to get to Jesus, and neglect stole their eternity. Don't walk by Jesus any more. No, run into His waiting arms.