Summary: In paying attention, what are we to do? 1- Listen attentively 2- Guard the heart 3- Keep corruption away 4- Look straight ahead
INTRO.- Pay attention. Pay attention to what you’re doing. Those were the words my dad said to me when I was just a youngster. Apparently, my mind and attention wandered a lot. Wandering and not paying attention can get a person into trouble or get them into something else.
ILL.- A car mechanic received a repair order that read: "Check for clunking sound when going around corners." So he took it out on a test drive and, sure enough, whenever he went round a corner, he heard a clunk. However he quickly located the problem and returned the repair order to the service manager with the notation: "Removed bowling ball from trunk."
Somebody wasn’t paying attention. You would think a person would know if a bowling ball were rolling around in the trunk of your car!!
ILL.- My wife and I live just west of Interstate 55 in Cape Girardeau, MO. If we want to go into town we must pass over I55 on highway K and we do this quite often. In the short time we have lived in Cape Girardeau I have seen numerous accidents on highway K that goes over I55 when the traffic is heavy. Sometimes the cars are bumper-to-bumper and invariably someone will rear-end the car in front of them. IT’S A MATTER OF NOT PAYING ATTENTION.
Not paying attention while you are driving is bound to get you into trouble or an accident.
ILL.- Many years ago a young man who had been raised on a farm lost a part of his leg because he wasn’t paying attention and he actually knew better than what he did. He tried to clear some hay from underneath a hay baler while it was running and it ended in disaster for him. Very sad. Not paying attention around machinery could cost a person their life.
Paying attention to what you are doing; working, driving, etc. will keep you and others safe.
ILL.- One person wrote: “I was fired from my job. We had new-looking schedules and unfortunately, I looked at it wrong. It said 10 am but I went in at my regular time, 4:30. I walked into "SONIC" and my boss told me, "You were supposed to be here at 10." The head boss told her I was fired. She gave me my check and I left.” OUCH! That would be a bitter pill to swallow.
Failing to pay attention in life can lead to all kinds of trouble. And failing to pay attention to God can lead to even worse trouble. Any time we ignore or fail to pay attention to God and His Word we are asking for heartache and much trouble. Life has enough trouble of its own without ignoring God’s will for our lives.
Solomon tells us how we are to pay attention to God in this text.
Prop.- In paying attention, what are we to do?
1- Listen attentively
2- Guard the heart
3- Keep corruption away
4- Look straight ahead
I. LISTEN ATTENTIVELY
20 My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. We need to pay attention to those who teach us.
ILL.- Teacher: If I give you two rabbits and two rabbits and another two rabbits, how many rabbits have you got? Patty: Seven!
- Teacher: No, listen carefully again. If I give you two rabbits and two rabbits and another two rabbits, how many rabbits have you got? Patty: Seven!
- Teacher: Let's try this another way. If I give you two apples and two apples and another two apples, how many apples have you got? Patty: Six.
- Teacher: Good. Now if I give you two rabbits and two rabbits and another two rabbits, how many rabbits have you got? Patty: Seven!
- Teacher: How on earth do you work out that three lots of two rabbits is seven? Patty: I've already got one rabbit at home now!
Patty was a smart girl. She paid closer to attention to the teacher’s question than the teacher thought. It pays to pay attention in life and especially, spiritually.
I Peter 4:7-8 “The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” We need to be spiritually alert to what is happening in this world, to what the devil is doing, and to the needs of those around us so we can minister to them.
It seems like many people are living in some kind of dream world and they are completely oblivious to the evil in this world and to the people around them.