When I was a school girl, a girl who went to my school was found locked in a closet eating her own feces due to child neglect and abuse. Decades later, I still remember the awfulness and heinousness of what that poor child had been found to be going through. Neglecting children is awful, and that particular case was one of the most extreme cases I have personally heard of. But neglect doesn’t stop with children, nor does the awfulness of neglect.
Neglecting elderly people is awful. Neglecting loved ones is awful. Neglecting people in need is awful. Neglecting widows and orphans whom the Lord has such a heart for is awful. Neglecting the sick, injured, hurting, dying, depressed, homeless, hungry, poor, struggling any time God calls us to love and help and support and encourage and pray for them is awful. Neglecting animals entrusted to us is awful. But there is no neglect in the world more awful than neglecting God almighty. And some of us are doing just that.
Countless people worldwide are neglecting to turn from their sins, to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and in His death and resurrection, to turn their lives over to God and His ways, to receive His forgiveness and the promise of forever life with Him, and to live going forward for the Lord according to His ways. These people are neglecting God in what we may consider to be the worst of ways, but let me ask you this. What about all those professing to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and calling themselves Christians and neglecting God each and every day? This is neglect also, isn’t it, and the worst neglect of all is when any of us on this earth neglect God almighty in any way, shape, or form.
I was studying the Book of Revelation in the middle of one night when I noticed how Jesus tells the churches – essentially the Body of Christ, or believers in Him – they need to repent. In three cases, He points to neglect. First, some have left their first love! They are DOING good things for God, it seems, but apparently they have abandoned God Himself! In the second, the people seem to be alive but in fact apparently are spiritually dead! In the third, the people are “lukewarm” about God which Jesus despises. He is warning us against all three kinds of neglect, but neglect doesn’t stop with just this, does it?
God commands us to love Him with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength. He is to be number one in our lives. But truth is many, many believers right now in this world are paying little to no attention to the Lord, to the Bible, and to God’s will for our lives. I meet countless people even churchgoing people who seem to have no care for God Himself, for reading and living by the Bible, for being filled with and led by God’s Holy Spirit, for denying self, taking up their crosses, and for following Jesus day by day and forevermore. For being totally devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ as we should be.
Friend, I neglected God for a long time until the Lord set me straight. For some time, I didn’t know better because I didn’t have people around me helping me to follow the Lord. Then, for some time, I was under false teaching. But even when God delivered me from false teaching, I still neglected God to a degree. Today, by God’s grace alone, I am a totally devoted follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is nobody in the universe more important than the Lord. There is nothing in the universe more important than loving, praising, worshiping, serving, obeying, praying to, adoring, spending time alone with, meditating on, talking about, singing to, serving, and glorifying the Lord God almighty. God is to be our first love. The Lord is to be our highest priority.
He is to be our number one. Living to love and glorify Him is to be our greatest desire. Loving Him and bringing Him joy, honor, praise, adoration, pleasure and glory is to be at the top of our to-do list. Being alone with Him daily in His presence, experiencing and enjoying and being transformed by and drawing ever closer to Him is to be more important than anything else. And being solidly planted in the Body of Christ loving and serving one another and helping one another to follow Him and to grow in relationship with Him and to tell others about Him, etc. is to be a fundamental part of our lives.
If we find we are neglecting the Lord, nothing should be more important than repenting of any and all neglect and making God our first love and highest priority.
This message may be hard to read. It’s hard to write. But I am so very compelled to share it with you. May the Lord use it mightily to bring conviction, chastening, and change that more and more people around the world would become and remain totally devoted followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, AMEN!
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.: Matthew 22:37
“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” Revelation 2:2-5 KJV
“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” Revelation 3:1-4 KJV
“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Revelation 3:15-19 KJV
“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Hebrews 12:5-11 KJV
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23 KJV