Hello Church Devotion Sept. 23, 2013


W is for Watch


“Jesus said to them: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you.  Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many… At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it.  For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect– if that were possible.  So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.’”  Mark 13:5-6, 21-23 NIV 84


Hey, come watch this!  We probably hear this statement or something like it many times a week.  It is said as people want to share laughs over Youtube videos, emails, or other various things.  These items can be watched on computers, televisions, phones and other electronic devices.  We are bombarded with things to watch that capture our mind at various points during the day.  But in this constant watching have we begun to lose sight of the most important thing to keep watch over?

 Have we stopped watching for those who would try to deceive us?  Jesus warns in Mark 13, “Watch out that no one deceives you.”  Yet for us we find ourselves flooding our mind with small amounts of information disguised in the work of humor or current events.  This information on the surface can be harmless and not all that bad but it can often times carry subtle messages that counter the work of Christ and begin to challenge our beliefs and foundation that is rooted in God’s truth.  As a Christian we will be exposed to things that run counter to God just by being present in our culture and by the simple fact that we are sinful in and of ourselves.

We are called by Christ to keep watch and be on guard against the evils present in this world.  This call reminds us of the great freedom we have in Christ who set us free from the Law.  “You my brothers, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather, serve one another in love.  The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:13-15) That freedom however does not set us free from recognizing the righteousness that God has called us to.  Paul reminds us not just to be on guard against the evils from the world but to watch out for the evil that impacts us within.  God tells us to be watchful both inside, out, and all around. 

As we go about living as brothers and sisters in Christ we are to be reminded that we are not alone in this life.  We do not have to face the challenges by ourselves.  God has told us to watch out for the things that will try to slip in and deceive us.  “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.  Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.  I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.  Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.  So be on your guard!”  (Acts 20:28-31) God knew that evil would remain and try to lead us astray.  He warns us to be prepared and watchful so as to not be easily deceived.

The common theme with being watchful seems to come back to being aware of evil and trying to avoid its pitfalls whether it is subtle deceptions that can lead us astray or blatant attempts to disregard God’s word.  Yet, we don’t want to forget that this warning to be alert and watchful doesn’t lead to salvation.  It is through Christ and his saving work that we are free to be on guard and resist the temptations of this world.  More importantly than our being watchful it is important to remember the one who is watching over us each and every day.  “I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”  (Psalm 121)

God is watching over us and he is there for us in every situation we may face.  So we can rest secure and confident in God’s grace and mercy knowing that he will never leave us or forsake us.  God is in control and always watchful so let us trust in him always.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for watching over us each and every day.  Lord, help me to be watchful for the cunning and deceitful ways of the devil.  Please help me to not be led astray as I go through the day.  Lord, help me to point those around me to the truth and away from the evils that mislead us.   Lord, guide us this day and help us to trust in you in all things.  Amen.

Further Thoughts:

1.       What things in your life might be misleading or deceptions in disguise trying to lead you away from Christ?



 
2.       How might we support each other in being watchful against the evils in this world?