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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Definition of the word drifting


I read not long ago about a man who had drifted out to sea. It seems that he
had a large inner tube from a tire that he was floating in near the beach
and he fell asleep. As he slept he was carried by the tide out to sea and
when he awoke he could no longer see the beach. To make things worse he
could see the fins of some sharks which seemed to be circling him. Of course
there was nothing he could do about his situation, he didn't even know which
way it was to land. So he did the only think he could think of he began to
pray. He promised God he would be a better person, would serve him
faithfully, would do all of the things he had neglected in his life, if God
would only save him.

Eventually someone just happened to come near him in a large fishing boat
and rescued him, so it was a very scary, but happy ending.

The thing about drifting is that it doesn't always have a happy ending.
Drifting is defined (in part) as: "a gradual shift in attitude, opinion, or
position; an aimless course," (Webster's Dict.).

Through the years I have seen so many people begin to drift in their faith
or their relationship to God. Often they don't realize the change because it
is so gradual. Often when they are confronted with the reality of the change
which has taken place they deny it has happened. They will proclaim, "I
still love God," "I still serve God," "God is still an important part of my
life". However far too often the fruit of their lives does not agree with
these statements. Jesus said in Matthew 7:16, "You can identify them by
their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from
thornbushes, or figs from thistles? And in verse 20, "Yes, just as you can
identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions."

The scripture warns that this "drifting" is a problem for mankind. We read
in Hebrews 2:1, "So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have
heard, or we may drift away from it." And in Psalm 141:4, "Don't let me
drift toward evil or take part in acts of wickedness. Don't let me share in
the delicacies of those who do wrong."

Paul also warns in Colossians 1:23, "But you must continue to believe this
truth and stand firmly in it. Don't drift away from the assurance you
received when you heard the Good News." (NLT)

Let me ask you, have you drifted away from the assurances of God? I know
these are not the only indicators, but how is your church attendance, how is
your involvement with God's people, how is your prayer life, how much time
do you spend reading the Word of God?

Jesus said, "just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can
identify people by their actions." If this is true, have you drifted away?
Are the sharks circling? The only way to be saved is to get back to where
you started, on the solid ground of Jesus.

Russ Lawson

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