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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 211 - On Guard Again

So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.

Mark 13:23

Do any of the following sound familiar?

· Chill out.

· Hang out.

· Let go.

· Relax.

· Ease up.

· Loosen up.

· Take a breather.

· Calm down.

There are many more and they all have one thing in common: they talk about our need to relax from time to time. Jesus even did this with his disciples after an exhausting time of service where they didn’t even have time to eat.

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Mark 6:31

But this isn’t that time. There is a time to relax and refresh, and then there is a time to be on guard. And when it comes to being on the lookout for the enemy, there is never a good time to relax.

As a family, we would go to the ocean for a week every summer. Now, there weren’t many rules, but the top rule, the one that was most important, the rule that had the most serious consequences was that the kids couldn’t go in the ocean unless there was an adult there to watch.

Because I easily get sunburned, I always took the morning shift. The kids all had on their bathing suites and were buzzing around me like bees on pollen, anxiously waiting for me to go down to the beach. I must of looked like an ocean going Pied Piper with these chatty kids in tow.

When we got to the water, they all looked at me to give their vacation version of, “Gentlemen, start your engines.” As I put my chair into the said I turned to them and said, “Ok.” That’s all they needed, and they bolted into the water as the sun slowly rose over the Atlantic.

Now started my job. My job was to watch. Here’s the secret to how I did it. Are you ready?

I counted. One, two, three, four, five, six. Sometimes more, sometimes less based on who’s still asleep or awake. Once I counted, guess what I did then?

I counted again. And again. And again. I kept on counting till my relief came. I kept my eyes on that ocean, looking after those kids.

And why did I count, and count, and count? Because that’s the only way to keep track of everyone. It didn’t take much: an unexpected wave, the undertow, or a sudden riptide, to turn that time of happiness and celebration into devastation. To lose even one would be an unspeakable tragedy.

This is the kind of “be on your guard” that Jesus is talking about. It’s so important, because to lose even one would be an unspeakable tragedy.

That’s what Jesus thinks of us. That’s what Jesus thinks of you. He doesn’t want to lose you to false messiahs or false prophets. More than your physical wellbeing, Jesus is desperately concerned to;

· Keep you alive.

· Keep you for himself.

· Keep you safe.

And we have a place, a role to play. We have a responsibility to put ourselves in safe places. To be exposed to good teaching, fellowship, encouragement.

We also need to avoid dangerous places. Staying away from people, places, and influences where the false messiahs and false prophets are in charge. Keeping clear from the false influences and teachings that are not there for our benefit, but for our harm and destruction.

So, how’s your “be on your guard” doing? Are you watchful some of the time? Most of the time? Is it easier to “be on your guard” in the car but harder in the house where cable television, the internet, and social media call out your name? Is it easier when you’re at home with the family but harder while at work or on the road?

Jesus’ good advice for our good is to “be on your guard.” If you have trouble, seek out a friend that can ask the hard questions.

Too much is at stake to lose even one. And that one might be you.

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