Once there was a little boy, Ryan, who wanted a watch.
Day in and day out Ryan pestered his parents about getting him a watch. His parents put him off every way they could. Finally he drove his parents to the breaking point. His father told the youngster that he didn’t want to hear another word about a watch from him.
Well, for the rest of that week the Ryan said nothing about a watch. He knew that to do so would certainly result in his parents’ displeasure and probably some discomfort for him!
Soon Saturday evening came and they gathered for their family devotional. It was their custom for each family member to learn a new verse of Scripture during the week and to recite it during evening devotions.
Every other family member had shared their verse when it came time for Ryan to say his. Looking up with a very solemn face, he said “my verse is Mark 13:37.” He then quoted Jesus’ words: “What I say unto you, I say unto all, watch.”
Our word of the week is “watch.”
The word means “to keep awake. To give strict attention to. Be cautious” It is used 22 times in the New Testament and speaks to a need to be spiritually attentive. It is translated in various passages as “watchful,” “alert,” vigilant.” “On guard.” “Awake.”
Since 9/11 we have been instructed to be alert to our surroundings. Be watchful of something suspicious. Many times we’ve been reminded: “If you see something, say something!”
Today when we fly TSA guards are watching passengers for a potential problem. Bags are scanned. People are searched. Security is tight. A recorded intercom message constantly reminds not to leave any luggage unattended. Everyone is cautioned to be aware of any unusual activity.
Because we know there is a real threat of terrorism in our world today. Evil people are determined to hurt others. Destroy property. And take the lives of those they dislike.
However, there is another threat that most folks disregard and even dismiss. Unfortunately some Christians are in denial regarding this terror. It’s the threat of the Devil. He desires to entice us. Entrap us. And ensnare us spiritually.
The apostle Peter put it this way: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Pet. 5:8).
The Bible says we’re in a spiritual battle against the forces of evil. Paul uses military metaphors urging Christians to stand strong against Satan’s schemes. He calls us to “put on the full armor of God” (Eph. 6:10). The belt of Truth. The breastplate of righteousness. The helmet of salvation. The sword of the Spirit. The shield of faith. (Eph 6:14-17) He concludes this warning by commending constant prayer and then urges, “be on the alert with all perseverance…”
After warning about the darkness of sin and the certain second-coming of Jesus, the Bible exhorts Christians, “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thess 5:6).
We must be awake to the devious devices of the Devil to trip and trap us. Unwholesome entertainment like Fifty Shades of Grey. Lurid literature. Internet pornography. Trashy TV shows. Raunchy music. And anything else that appeals to lustful thoughts, lewd feelings and lascivious actions.
The admonition of Jesus has never been more appropriate than it is today. “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt 26:41). Or as Paul exhorted “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave, be strong” ( 1 Cor 16:13)
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman