Thursday, February 26th, 2015
Fellowship (Part 21)
Essentials: Sober Vigilance
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.
Romans 16:17 (NASB)
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them.
Ephesians 5:6-7 (NKJV)
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour
1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:3-5 (NKJV)
I believe sober vigilance in the mainstream church has gone the way of sober vigilance in the mainstream world: down a broad path and over a dark cliff. But it didn't die. It landed on its head and went blind. It picked up a cane and followed the crowd, but the crowd wasn't Jesus.
When reading wasn't easy, it followed media. Soon, sober vigilance became embarrassed by its name, so it adopted a new one: social correctness. Without vision, its other senses heightened to the desires of the people. It knew what they wanted to hear.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: is your church well-dressed and socially correct? Do you hear fine and funny words from your preacher? Is he tuned in to what his congregation wants to hear? Or what they need to hear? Because Jesus was revolutionary.
His Words were harder than diamonds, sharper than blades and hotter than fire. They cut chains, pierced hearts and melted pretensions of righteousness. As a result, Satan was stymied and a new generation of followers was born. You are this generation:
'A chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His Own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light' (1 Peter 2:9).
You've been raised to spot a phony. So do it. Be sober, be vigilant, especially in church. Guard your heart, your time and the fullness of His Word with a serious, controlled watchfulness.
'But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into' (Luke 12:39).
Therefore, 'Be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry' (2 Timothy 4:5).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Fellowship series.