Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Tell Me The Old Old Story"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 24:4-5 – Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many." (NIV)
A friend sent me a hilarious online video. It featured a retriever-type dog with a stick. The dog was almost wild with anticipation as he kept grabbing the stick and dropping it at the feet of a man sitting on a bench. The bench warmer however didn't respond no matter how excited the animal got or how many times the dog picked up the stick, ran about with it, and then dropped it back at the fellow's feet. The person shooting the video can be heard chuckling away to himself as he watches his dog's antics and the non-responsive bench warmer. The reason he is laughing is because the bench warmer is a bronze statue. This poor dog was deceived. The statue looked like a man, but it wasn't a man at all.
Likewise, Jesus warned His disciples that as the end of the age approaches, there will be those who claim to be He. They will even be able to do miracles and perform wonders, but they will not be who they claim to be. They will not be the Christ — so be warned, be prepared. But how do we prepare for the coming of Christ so that we are not deceived by the imposters? Jesus gives us the answer:
Matthew 24:26-27 – So if anyone tells you, "There he is, out in the desert," do not go out; or, "Here he is, in the inner rooms," do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (NIV)
Yes, when Jesus returns, no one will have to tell us, for His return will be without precedent; no one will be able to miss it. So until that day, let us choose to stand firm, no matter what may come. Let us take the opportunity to wipe the smile off the devil's face by not being deceived and enticed away by false prophets, ideas, or discouragement, as we see our world becoming more and more anti-Christian.
Prayer: Father God, we thank You that You have a plan for this world. We thank You that no one can stop or alter Your plan and that it will evolve in exactly the right order and at the right time. So until that day when Jesus returns or we are called home to heaven, strengthen and empower us to stand firm upon the truth and hope of Your Word, that none of us shall be deceived. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.