Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 30 November 2015

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you.”  Mark 13, verse 5.

I hope you keep reading this blog; indeed, I hope you read and then share it with someone.   It’s my goal, my hope and plan, that it be distributed to as many people as possible so that others might become curious about who this Jesus really is.

But let me make something crystal clear:   if anything I say deceives you in any way, stop reading and never read it again.   If anything I say leads you away from true faith in Jesus, I pray that you contact me and point out my sin to me, but stop reading.

You know as well as I do that, in our so-called modern world, there are shady people everywhere. Slick politicians twist facts to wear them light silk suits. Kids and adults alike lie with great ease. Reality TV presents ‘the real world’ in heavily edited sound-bites that really just present to you only what someone else wants you to see and hear. The news media don’t report unbiased, ‘just the facts’ news anymore. Deceit abounds.

This is just how things have always been.   Deceit goes back even to Eden, with Adam and Eve blaming anyone other than themselves for their sins.   They did it after being deceived themselves.

It’s a deliberate act. Someone has to do something to deliberately mislead you.   When it happens, you also have to do something deliberate to accept the deceit:   you have to believe it.   Both can be hard to do yet how easily do we give credibility to those who deceive us? That’s what Jesus is saying to us. He isn’t saying that people won’t deceive us; He isn’t saying that it doesn’t happen, or that people don’t do it deliberately.   But He is issuing a challenge to us to gut-check ourselves when people (even those we trust most) try to deceive us. “Watch out that no one deceives you.”   Be on the lookout because it will happen, because people will try to.

People will try to deceive us because Satan deceives people.   Like I said, it has happened since the entry of sin into a perfect world. We embrace the sin; we embrace the deceit.   Don’t believe me?   Just look at my own past.   I’m ashamed to admit I spent whole spans of my life living in deceit.   Affairs, lies, conspiring, double-lives:   that was me.   I who now follow Christ followed Him even then yet used others for my own selfish desires. Admittedly, it’s years in the past now but it’s still part of my history; these things still helped make me who I am today.   Indeed, living through them and learning from them helped make this blog a reality.

What changed it?   Jesus.   The cure for the common sin is Christ. It’s why He pointed out the obvious fact of human deceit to His disciples.   He knew just what we embraced when we embraced sin.   Without deceit, sin can’t exist. Yet with Christ, neither deceit nor other sin can rule our lives. All He asks is that we believe.   In believing, we find we are built to keep watch, to keep vigilant.   As Paul said later, God won’t let us be tempted beyond what we can bear, even when it gets tough.

So I ask you again to keep watch.   If I step over a line, please let me know.   I’ll do the same for you.

Lord, help me to watch out for those who would deceive me and turn me from You.

Read Mark 13, verses 1-31.

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