Pay Attention to the Details
Topic: Relationship With God Scripture: Matthew 24:36–:46
Series “All In”
Title: Pay Attention to the Details
US Air Force Gen Mark Welshreinforces the importance of paying attentionto detail or paying attention to the small thingsinvolved in flying a fighter jet. We learned when the pilot disregardedthose seemingly minor detailseven for a moment the results were catastrophic.
The US Air force prepares and trains for the unforeseenmoment they are called upon. So that when an enemy arises, they will be ready. But it starts with paying attention to detail.
Today, we will examine the scriptures and find that Jesus, much like Gen. Mark Welsh, is calling us to pay attentionto the details of our lives.
Afterspeaking to the crowds, Jesus speaks privatelyto His disciples. He teaches them to stay awakeand to watch for the signs of His return.
36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Jesusmakes the comparisonbetween His returnas being like the great floodduring the days of Noah. During that time of Noah, man had become eviland it is said that the earth was full of violence.
But rather than Jesus taking notice of their sinful crimesHe brings attentionto the fact that they were doing normal everyday routines such as eating and drinkingwhich is necessaryfor living and marryingand being given to marriage which is necessaryfor the preservationof mankind.
The problem was not that they were doing that which is necessary. The problemis that while doing that which is necessary, they became unawareof their spiritual depravity. They were taking care of the physicalbut neglecting their spiritualwellbeing. Some how they had stopped paying attentionto the detail, doing those small things that were necessary for godliness.
Manypeople set out to be “All In” physicallyat the beginning of each year. Many will sign up for gymmembershipsor start somenew physical activityin order to achieve some goal. While there is nothing wrong with and I highly encourageyou to be a good stewardover your physical body, it is moreimportantto take care of that which is spiritual.
Both Physical and Spiritual deprivation starts with small compromises but end up with greater consequences. Obesity begins with one plate… then two… then more… Before you know it your health is in a dangerousplace. A place in which you did not anticipate. Pay attention to detail.
So it is with things that arespiritual.
You commit one sin… then one sin becomes two… then more. Those sins then become habitsand then those habits become your identity.
Or perhaps you study His wordand develop a personal relationshipwith Him and things are going great. But then life happensand for whatever reason, you skip your quiet timewith the Lord one day or you skip one Sunday morning service. One day becomes one week, one week becomes one month. By this point you are spiritually dryand distant from the will of God for your life. It is a gradual declineit does not happen overnight.
This decline occurs when we do not pay attention to the detailsor the small things that are necessaryfor spiritual growth.
As my wife mentioned last week, In the days of His return, there will be lawlessnessand the loveof many will grow cold. It will be a gradual decline of moralityin that day. Many will be unawareof their declining spiritual condition, and unawareof the judgementthat awaits them.
My wife informed me of a Newsweekarticle which talks about our moral decline as a nation.
We are slowly becoming more like Hindus and less like traditional Christians in the ways we think about God, our selves, each other, and eternity.
A Hindu believes there are many paths to God. According to a 2008 Pew Forum survey, 65 percentof us believe that "many religions can lead to eternal life"It's about whatever works. If going to yoga works, great—and if going to Catholic mass works, great. And if going to Catholic mass plus the yoga plus the Buddhist retreatworks, that's great, too."
America has come to such a place because we have not payed attention to detail. To pay attention to detail is to take Jesus at His word and believe when He said: (importance of knowing the word)
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
There is no other waybut through Him. Every other religion that proclaims some other way other than through Jesus Christ is a false religion.
There will be consequencesfor those who have not paid attentionto this vital detail. When He comes back, He will make a distinctionbetween those who are Hisand those who are not.
40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left.
Interestingly, there will be peoplewho are busy doing the same typesof things such as working the fieldor grinding at the mill. (welding at the shipyard etc…) But not everyone will be taken. There will be many who work physical jobs who have also payed attention to the detailsof their spiritual wellbeing. They were productivein this life, but they still took the time to prepare themselvesfor the next life. They are the ones that will be takenwhen the Lord returns.
However, there were those who were not taken. These are the ones who onlyminded the thingsof this world and did not preparethemselves spiritually for the life to come.
It is not wrong to work hardand give it your beston your job so that you can succeed. In fact, the bible tells us to do so.
2 Timothy 2:15
15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
But your moral declinebegins when your job,relationship, or anythingreplaces Godas the object of your obsession. Just a reminder it is doing the things which are necessaryfor life, which can distract you and cause you to become unawareof your spiritual downfall.
If you feel like you have slipped away, here is what the Lord would sayto you.
42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
Stay Awake- KJV uses the word “watch” which comes from the Greek word, gregoreo which means
To give strictattention to, to be cautious, to be active
In other words, “pay attention to details” it does not just happen naturally. Just like reaching your fitnessgoalsdoes not occur simply by watching fitness videos.
If you are faithfulor committed to your personal fitness, then you are probably strict about your time. You set aside anallocated timein the day designated only to improving your body. If you are seriousabout fitnessyou are also strictabout the foods and quantityof food that you allow into your body. Because eating the wrong foods can slow you downand keep you from preventing your fitness goals.
In the same way if you are to be faithful and committedin your personal relationship with God, you need to set aside timeout of your day, every day, and spend time in prayerand meditatingon the scriptures. It is vital that you give strict attentionto your personal relationship with God.
If you want your kids to act rightand serve the Lord then you must “pay attention to detail,” teachthem the word of God, disciplinethem with a Godly love. It is your responsibility to raisethem up.
You must be active, you must be intentional, about being faithful to God. Perhaps you want to do wellbut you forget. Thankfully we live in the day of smart phonesin which we can easily create timersto remind ourselves to spend time with God daily.
43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.
If we are strict with disciplining ourselvesand staying awakespiritually, If we pay attention to the detailsof developing our spiritualitywe will then be able to easily recognize the thief beforehe attempts to steal from your life.
The truth is that you don’t know when the Lord is comingback nor do you know when satanwill attempt to steal from your life. But the Lord is coming, and satan will come againstyou.
In John 10:10
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Satan comes to steal your joy, peace, time, excitementabout being one of God’s children, he wants to steal you away from wholesome fellowshipwhich is found among other believers, he wants to killthe passionthat you have for serving God, kill your faithfulnessand commitment to God, kill the plansand dreamsthat God has placed in your heart. He utterly wants to destroy your life.
Jesus warnsthat if we are to catch the thiefbefore he destroys our lives then we need to stay awake.
44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Again, Jesus is emphasizingour responsibilityto remain ready because He is promising to return. Just a reminder that He is giving this instruction to his disciples, those who were the closestto Him. Yet none of them lived long enoughto experience the Lord’s return, we are still awaiting that glorious day. But nonetheless they were to remain readyas if He were coming today.
That is what faithfulness is all about, enduring to the end. It is holding on to the faitheven when it does not make sense. Even through adversity, you are to keep pressing forward.
Till the endyou are to be cautious and awareof the enemy schemes so that you are not tripped up. You are to be actively involvedin keeping the strict disciplinerequired for spiritual growth. You are to pay attention to the detailsof walking in godliness.
45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.
So Jesus is saying that if a servant has been entrustedby his master to appoint foodto His house hold and is found doing so when the Master returns then he shall be blessed, with an eternal reward,and he shall also be considered wise and faithful. If youare found doing that which God has put before you then you too shall be blessed and considered wise and faithful.
Though the worldmay think it is foolish to follow Christ, we know it to be the power of God.
(1 Cor. 1:18)
At the end of the agewhen we are standing before God,we will be proven to be wise for following Christ, while those in this life who profess themselves to be wise in their own eyesapart from Christ will be exposed as utter fools. Only if we “Pay attention to the details.”
What does this mean for your life?
- Pay attention to your personal devotion to God (prayer, fasting, worship, reading the word)
- Pay attention to coming to the house of God
- Pay attention to God’s calling upon your life (parent, employee, student)
- Pay attention to living righteously
- Pay attention to stewarding that which God has given you
You must “Pay Attention to the Details” it is vital in overcoming the enemy
What pulls you away from God?
What pulls you away from being faithful to the house of God?
What is it that interferes with your personal devotion to God?
What robs you of your joy?
What hinders your witness for Him?