Monday, August 1, 2011

On Guard

2 Peter 2:9-14

When we were young children, most of us were pretty innocent about the fact that there were some people that were unkind.  Even now, I prefer to think the best of people.  I like to believe that most people want to be nice and at times do hurtful things because they are not considering how their actions may be affecting other people.  After all, I don't ever want to hurt anyone; however, sometimes I do without meaning to.  But we are reminded in 2 Peter 2 that not every one has good intentions.  In fact, there are those who intentionally cause harm because it will give them gain.  Please turn to 2 Peter 2:9-14.

I think the phrase that is sticking out to me the most is in verse 13 when Peter warns, "They delight in deception even as they eat with you in your fellowship meals."  He is referring to the fact that they were part of the early church community.  It makes me shudder because we know that it is still the same today.  This danger is still something that the church needs to be aware of.  The church is still going to run the risk of having people there that only want their own personal gain.  While the Bible tells us that their behavior is leading them to their destruction, we still need to be wise and on guard.

When Jesus was sending His disciples out to tell Israel that the kingdom of God was near, He instructed them that they needed to be wise.  Please turn to Matthew 10:11-17.  Jesus told them that He was sending them out as sheep among wolves.  That seems like a dangerous journey they were given; however, it is no different than what we do today.  And we are to always remember that even if we are surrounded by those who would like to take advantage of others, we are to remain innocent.  We can keep our eyes open for such things but we do not need to participate in those things.  It reminds me the importance of practicing and putting on the Armor of God.  God has given us the protection we need to do the work He has called us to do and we don't need to fear.  2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."  We can still love others and have self-discipline to live the life God wants us to live.  He has given us the power to do what we should do.

Are you on guard yet remaining innocent?

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