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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 

Tuesday-Virus Protection

 

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

 

Colossians 2:8

 

To this day, I still don’t know how it happened. All of a sudden, my computer started acting weird. It did things that I didn’t tell it to do. Screens popped up from nowhere. Music started playing.

 

I immediately got online with my technical support company and explained the problem. They got right on it by scanning my PC to see what was going on. After a few minutes they said the words that everyone hates to hear.

 

“Your computer has a virus. You’ll need to bring it in so we can reformat your machine and then reload your software and data.”

 

Now, that’s hard enough to hear, but I was prepared. I knew what software was installed and had backup files that could safely restore my data. As I breathed a sigh of relief I was totally unprepared for what they said next.

 

“Do you know that your anti-virus software isn’t working? It’s installed but it’s been turned off.”

 

How did that happen? It always, always, always automatically starts whenever I turn on the PC. I never would turn it off. There’s no reason that I’d ever do something as foolish as that. But it did happen. And that’s how my PC got infected. My defenses were disabled. My wall of protection was down. When I wasn’t looking, an enemy came in. They attached in a way that I wasn’t aware of. I thought I was safe. But I wasn’t.

 

This is exactly what the Apostle Paul’s saying to the Colossians. He wasn’t warning them about a computer virus, but something much more dangerous. He was telling them that there were people whose beliefs and teachings were a virus that would hurt them at best. Destroy them at worst.

 

Paul tells them to be constantly looking out for certain kinds of people. They are to always be on their guard. There’s never a good time to stop walking guard duty around your life. Because it only takes a moment for the enemy to get their foot in the door.

 

You see, when we’re taken captive, it’s never for our benefit. Never for our good. It’s always to hurt us. To harm us. All the benefit and good go to the people that take us captive and we’re left like trash on the side of the road. There are two ways to look for and identify these kind of people and their virus teachings. When you hear someone talk, listen to what they believe and look for these two sides of the same coin.

 

  • Hollow – there’s an outer shell but there’s really nothing inside. It has no substance. It’s weak. It can’t really do what it says. It’s false advertising. This isn’t like an egg because there’s something inside the eggshell. Something that’s hollow has space for something inside but it’s empty.

  • Deceptive – takes your attention away from the truth. It’s like a card trick where the idea is to get your attention away from what’s really going on. They use their hands and voice to make you look somewhere else so you won’t notice what they’re really doing. Their real motives.

 

I know that it sounds so old-fashioned, but Paul clearly is warning us about all other ideas, beliefs, religions, philosophies, or sets of rules that take our eyes off Jesus. Society tells us that we have to include everybody and every idea at our buffet table of spirituality. After all, there’re all basically the same. Nobody has an exclusive. Nobody has the inside track.

 

But that’s exactly what Pau’s saying. It’s Jesus and Jesus alone. Period. It was Jesus who met Paul on the road to Damascus, completely changing the direction of his life. Jesus turned Paul’s life around. But more importantly, Jesus himself says that he’s unique and alone in comparison to everyone and anyone else. When it comes to living life today and assurance of eternal life, Jesus stands alone.

 

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 

John 14:16

 

Who else has ever said that the Father and I are one[1]? That he’s eternal[2]. That he paid for our sins on the cross[3]. That he has power over death[4]. The list of what Jesus and his followers said about him could go on and on. He’s totally unique.

 

So, Paul warns the Colossians to be on their guard against false teachers and ideas. And so am I. Be careful to think about what comes across your screens. Where it comes from. What it wants you to do. If you don’t, you might just be infected by a virus that wants nothing more than to kill you. To destroy you.

 

Noodling Questions

 

  • Describe your worst virus experience with your computer or phone.

  • Is it harder to figure out if someone’s deceptive or hollow? Why?

  • How are you actively working hard to stop a spiritual virus from infecting you?


[1] John 10:30

[2] John 8:58

[3] 1 Peter 2:24

[4] John 2:19

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