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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Mark 203 - On Guard

“You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.

Mark 13:9

Who do you look to for protection? Who do you depend on to guard your heart and mind?

Let me say something that’s going to make some people rather uncomfortable. It’s no one individual. It’s a partnership between you and God.

Yes, God’s in control. He’s the one who protects.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7

He does the guarding of our hearts and minds. And how is that accomplished? In Christ Jesus. We need to be in Christ Jesus. He does the calling. He does the saving. But we open our hand, admitting our total lack of power. Our total wallowing in ourselves and the dirt of this world.

But we have a responsibility. Verse 7 doesn’t just pop up out of the air, it comes after verse 6.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Philippians 4:6

When it comes to being anxious, we are commanded not to. And how does this happen? We’re to pray and petition God with whatever’s going on. But we don’t stop there. We’re to immediately give thanks to God. Now, has the thing making us anxious been taken away? No. It’s still there, but we are to trust God that he’s going to make it right.

It might not be made right, right away. It might not even be that same hour, day, week, or even month. It might take years. Or, it might not be made right until God puts everything right at the end of time when he makes all things new.

But until then, Jesus says that you and I have a personal responsibility to be on our guard. You are accountable for the places you go. The people you meet with. The movies, shows, and opinions that you allow to come into your mind.

We’re not responsible for being on guard for someone else. No, we’re to be on guard, watching over ourselves. Yes, I’ll take all the help I can get, but I’m responsible for where I go. What I put into my eye-gate. My ear-gate. Because what I think about primarily comes through those inputs.

What things do you read about in the news? On your computer screen? On your phone? Who do you listen to? What kinds of messages are they giving? Do they encourage you? Build you up?

Or do they put you on edge? Make you afraid? Do they enrage you? Do they make you want to love God and other people, or do they make you want to go out in anger and frustration? Do they make you feel like you’ve been denied something great?

There’s this one commentator that I both like and hate. I like the way he thinks. How he answers questions. His positions on important topics in front of our country and culture. I like listening to him answer an individual person at meetings across the country. His insights are amazing.

But I can’t listen to his daily talk show. It’s just too intense for me. It puts me on edge. Makes me full of fear. So, I have a decision. I have a choice. What will I listen to? What will I watch? What will I read?

How are you doing with being on your guard? Are you actively looking for the things, people, ideas, images, words that will be used by the enemy? How observant, how discerning are you? Or do you just float along, being pushed around like a jellyfish in the ocean?

Funny thing about jellyfish, it doesn’t take much to hurt them. To destroy them. The tail of a passing fish can tear them apart. They can be pushed towards shore where the waves will throw them against the sand and rocks. And there’s no recovery for them.

Don’t let yourself be pushed around. In Jesus, you have the discernment and power to be on guard, watching out for what would hurt you. What would destroy you.

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