Listen to this devotional:
Matthew 24:11,24 – And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (KJV)
I was given a gift in a bowl, which, due to the conversation at the time of the giving of the gift, I thought to be a gift of homemade cookies. So, I lifted the lid just a touch, saw something round that looked like chocolate balls, and, thinking how sweet to be given a gift of cookies and chocolate, extracted one and was about to pop it in my mouth, only to discover it was hard as rock!
It was made of clay.
And the homemade cookies? — well, upon opening the lid fully, the note inside said they were bulbs, with instructions to fill and maintain the clay ball bowl with water just to the bottom of the bulbs, wait patiently, and in about four weeks, I would be presented with some pretty paperwhites.
For those not familiar with these flowers, they are beautiful little white blossoms that sit delicately on the end of long green stems, similar to those of miniature daffodils.
True enough, sitting on my kitchen counter, the bulbs sprouted roots. The shoots began to grow and grow until little buds formed, and finally blossomed into beautiful little paperwhite flowers. It was amazing to have them develop right before my eyes, where I could see the growth each day — something we're not always privy to when they're growing in our garden, for while we may check on them as they grow outside, we don't see them so up close and personal.
It wasn't long after they had been gracing our counter for a few days, however, that their almost toxic, chemically acidic smell was overpowering the kitchen, and they had to be moved downstairs by the back door as it was still too cool to put them outside.
It gave me pause to compare that being attracted to their beauty, but reacting to their smell — is similar to how along our life's journey and/or our spiritual journey we can be attracted to people who dazzle us with the beauty of their new outlook in the form of words, seminars, speeches, or books — only to find that we need to keep our distance.
We are cautioned and warned about false prophets — which would also, I believe, include false friendships — and we have been given the option of choice.
Prayer: You have given us wisdom, knowledge, and choice, Lord. We also pray for discernment, one of the gifts of Your Holy Spirit, that we may sooner know the true from the false. May we use Your gifts wisely. In Your name we pray and give thanks for this day. Amen.