Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "For All The Saints"1 (Lyrics)
We are halfway through spring. You know what that means: it's time to rake the lawn, to rejuvenate the green grass, and to get rid of ants! Yes, ants. At this time of year, they come out in droves, in a military procession.
The lawn care company with which we are more than satisfied gave me sage advice years ago. Mark, an experienced outdoors man, told me that ants are ubiquitous. They have a way of getting around, and they keep invading year after year. It would seem that they can't be stopped! I don't like ants; I'm not fond of them at all! They are not welcome in my home, my property, or my life.
A few years back, they almost took over my lawn, and started encroaching and overcoming our domicile. Thankfully, our "watch-cat", Lucy, noticed them coming in by the patio door or the side entrance. She would bat them around with her paws. Her actions would alert us to their presence. It's one of many reasons why pets are lovable. They watch out for us and stand guard on our behalf.
Being alert and on guard is one of the best things that we humans need to do as well. Take, for example, the apostle's letter to the Corinthians, one of the early church congregations. Paul was on guard and alert to bad advice, teaching, and example by nefarious people. To help the assembly of the saints and to encourage them to keep maturing in their faith, Paul gives the following advice:
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 – Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. (NKJV)
The apostle's admonitions are clear and informative: stand on guard and be alert to things that are a threat to the faith. Interestingly enough, Paul states what we need to do and how to do it. I confess that I have no love for troublesome ants. However, when it comes to our fellow human beings, Paul wants love to be in operation. Ants and their "antics" do not possess a threat to my spiritual well-being. The apostle, however, was more than a little concerned for guarding the spiritual well-being of the Corinthian Christians. Now that's important!
How alert are we to the intrusions into our congregations of false information or unwise advice that is not biblically sound? Let's be alert and watch. Paul's action and advice are good to emulate.
Prayer: God of all creation, we ask You to help us to be alert to things that can harm us in our desire to stay strong in the faith and to mature in our desire to manifest Your love. Help us to guard Your sage advice in matters that have eternal blessings. We pray in the Saviour's name. Amen.