Military leaders, coaches, and teachers know the power of the spoken word. One statement, one command, one word can reverberate through a platoon or a team or a class and be the difference between success and failure. “The Word who became flesh” often spoke a message He wants all believers to take to heart: ‘Watch out’… ‘Be alert’… ‘Keep your eyes open’… ‘‘Be vigilant!’

There are two main contexts for such words of warning:

  1. ‘Beware of the enemy.’ Guards are posted at night to prevent surprise attacks; coaches scout and watch film to learn tendencies of the opponent; teachers warn of common mistakes… vigilance is critical. Jesus says we have an enemy that plots, tempts, and attacks His followers.Though we have a Good Shepherd who will not let His sheep be snatched from His hand, the sheep must listen to His voice and heed His warnings. “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.” (Luke 22:31-32) Thank God, Jesus also intercedes for us! (see Hebrews 7:25)

    “Be careful,” Jesus warned, “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.” (Mark 8:15) Today He might say: ‘Watch out for the subtle dangers of religion and politics.’ “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15) Today He might ask if we are laying up treasure on earth or in heaven… Jesus knows every weapon the devil throws against God’s children and He tells us to be vigilant.

  2. ‘Keep watch for Me.’ “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on your guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back – whether in the evening or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” (Mark 13:32-37)

The enemy is as active today as ever… We are now nearer to the return of Jesus than ever… ‘Vigilance!’

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom He may devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” I Peter 5:8-9

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be strong. Do everything in love.” I Corinthians 16:13

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