False Alarms

Friday, January 17, 2014
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus The Very Thought Of Thee"1 (Lyrics)

Have you ever had one of those days when you walked in the house and forgot to switch off the burglar alarm? Or you had the alarm on, and went to take the garbage out late at night, only to panic when all the sirens, bells, and whistles screamed throughout the subdivision?

Hello, my name is John Stuart, and I'm an accidental alarmist.

It's so embarrassing, and you feel like an absolute fool. One moment, the neighbourhood is all quiet and cozy, and then it's as if World War III had broken out late at night. And you know what the neighbours are thinking: That Scottish guy has just set off his burglar alarm again!

For peace and security, many people invest in some sort of burglar alarm. They want to keep their homes free from any disturbance, break-in, or invasion. A burglar alarm guarantees that everyone in the neighbourhood knows when something is wrong, and the security people, who monitor the alarm, get ready to call the police if no one responds to their call.

We all want peace and security in our lives, whether it's in our homes, at our schools, or in our workplaces. We hate the stress and pressure of conflict and alarm, fear and trouble. We all just want to get on with our lives and be left in peace to enjoy our freedom, resources, and leisure.

Isaiah 32:17 – The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. (NIV)

The Bible offers us these in two ways: from the Old Testament, Isaiah suggests that peace and security are the fruits of righteousness, which really means remaining absolutely loyal to God. If we are faithful to Him, then God will protect us from all sorts of trouble.

But the New Testament is slightly different. Paul explains:

Philippians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

In other words, if we want to experience the peace that surpasses all understanding, then we have to allow Jesus to guard our hearts and minds. Christ becomes for us the spiritual burglar alarm within our souls, so that when evil and temptation try to ruin our peace and upset our lives, Jesus gives us the strength, guidance, and courage to overcome them.

So, if we want real peace and security in our lives, we need to place our faith in God and let Christ rule our minds and hearts. Otherwise, we're just setting ourselves up for fear and anxiety, worry and heartbreak.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we all feel insecure, isolated, and irrelevant at times. Help us to hold on to Your promises and to look to You to bring the peace and security that we need in our hearts, minds, and souls. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    John – Such a good word! It’s so good to hear from you.

    Hi John,
    The devotional today was such a good one.

    Very good message and reminder, John. Thank you.

    So good to hear from you after such a long sabbatical.
    Please don’t stay away for so long.

    Dear John,
    Rough day today, I really needed to be reminded of that precious peace! Thank you for you obedience in writing and sharing your devotionals.

    Being involved in children’s ministries for 30+ years has resulted in my always looking at spiritual messages from a child’s point of view, and I see a fine message here for a story on the chancel steps! Thanks!

    I sat up and took notice when I saw your quotation from Isaiah. I had this going through my head when I awoke after a restless night’s sleep and had to resort to a concordance to locate it.
    It’s a great couplet to have running through your head – thanks for reminding me!
    (BC Canada.)

    Dear John Stuart,
    Thank you for your devotional. It made me think and pray.
    I’m glad that God’s peace and security go beyond my “absolute loyalty” to him.
    Could your security provider put something onto your key that you can push immediately after using your key to open your door?
    May God continue to bless you as you continue to write — and live in the peace that transcends all understanding in spite of an occasional alarm in life.

    Hello John,
    Thank you for penning today’s devotional.
    I appreciated your construct around the need to let Christ guard our hearts if we truly wish to experience peace. That was a fresh perspective on a oft depended on, familiar, and comforting scripture.
    You have a gift for unwrapping God’s word in amazing ways.
    God’s richest blessing upon you today.

    John: You hit the “nail” right on the “head” with your Devotional and its summation within your Prayer. It was a blessing.
    Being in my 80’s I have been given the privilege over the past few years to be the primary caregiver for my dear wife who is a patient with Alzheimer’s and now with advanced dementia. The daily care I give does, at times, leave me feeling lonely & depressed. Added to this we also have been forgotten and isolated by persons who were once our friends. Nevertheless, it forces me to make excuses for them as I consider how occasional attention would assist her by bringing a few moments of joy to my loving wife with the lonely mind.
    Then a message such as yours, John, reminds me I still have God’s presence even when I fail to isolate Him by failing to consult Him. Thank you very much for the reminder.

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