The Times News has teamed up with area clergy to share "Words of Comfort," a 350-400 word devotional, daily in the print edition and online at TimesNews.Net. Longer columns appear as part of our Faith in Action series in Sunday Stories. Any member of the clergy who'd like to get involved can contact Carmen Musick at

Editor’s Note: With so many churches in our area having to suspend worship services during the coronavirus pandemic, we are asking local pastors to partner with us in bringing a daily message of hope and comfort to readers during this difficult time.

I read an account of the English explorer William Edward Parry and his crew while they were exploring the Arctic Ocean. They needed to go further north to continue their chartings, so they calculated their location by the stars and began a treacherous march. After many hours they stopped, exhausted, and reviewed their chartings. They discovered they were now further south than when they started! They had been walking on an ice floe that was traveling faster south than they were walking north.

This is what happens to us as Christians in our relationship with Christ. The writer of Hebrews tells us in chapter 2:1, “For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” (Hebrews 2:1, CSB)

When our lives are anchored in the word of God, it will prevent us from drifting away from the blessings that God has in store for us because of our fellowship with Him.

The passage says we must “pay much closer attention to”; in the Greek, it means “to tie up a ship” and the phrase “drift away from” can be used to describe a ship carelessly allowed to drift past the harbor. Both have nautical meanings.

To put it in today’s terms, “We must diligently anchor our lives to the things we have been taught, lest the ship of life sets us drifting.” At some point in life, we may wake up and wonder what happened to us.

1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (NIV) The word “confess” in the Greek means “to say the same thing.” What he is saying is, if we say the same thing that God says about our sins, he will forgive us and cleanse us from all sin. We must come into an agreement with him about our sin.

He loves us so much he came and gave his life on the cross and paid our penalty for our sins. He showed us love and offered us a life that can be filled with blessings and joy way beyond our imagination.

Most people don’t deliberately drift away, but if you are one who has, there is time to turn your sights back to the God of the Bible. If you see those who are slipping past the harbor of salvation, make sure to warn them lest they drift too far.

Duane Williams is pastor of New Horizons Ministries in Kingsport.

Duane Williams is pastor of New Horizons Ministries in Kingsport.

Duane Williams is pastor of New Horizons Ministries in Kingsport.