Be On the Alert

     The house was quiet this morning as I settled in with my Bible, a cup of coffee, and my dog, Max. The sun was shining, the ducks were quacking and I had the day off!  Could it get any better?  Then “it” happened!  A “thud” on our glass patio door startled me.  This was followed by much loud chirping and flapping of wings.  It took me a moment to assess the situation, but suddenly it was perfectly clear.  A young 01hawk had swooped down and captured+4 a redbird in his talons.  The redbird was struggling for freedom with no success. As quickly as possible I went to his aid and threw open the door. Sadly, I could only watch as the hawk took flight into the woods where I feel sure the still screeching redbird met his demise. It was a brutal sight to witness the death of something so beautiful, a bird which had been eating from the feeders in my back yard. My husband said something about the “circle of life.”  I cried.  : (

     I was flabbergasted by the fact that I had been sitting at the perfect time, at the perfect spot to witness this whole scene.  God could have spared me that, but He did not.  As I questioned Him, this passage came quickly to mind, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour,” 1 Peter 1:5. Do we so haphazardly live our days that we could be caught off guard and swept away much like the poor redbird.  I fear we do as the world demands political correctness to the extent of our religious freedoms being taken away.  No longer can we have prayer in schools, displaying of the Ten Commandments, or a Merry Christmas, just to name a few. We are distracted by constant technology overload– phones, televisions, and computers. We don’t make time for a relationship with Jesus, and we are certainly not “on the alert.” We are setting ourselves up as easy targets for Satan to lull us into complacency and slowly, insidiously erode our morals and Christian beliefs. Sometimes we don’t even realize how far we have wandered off the narrow path until Satan has us in his talons and we are halfway into the woods in his grasp.    
     What does it look like to be on the alert? 1 Peter 1:6 has the answer.  “Resist the devil, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.” This verse suggests it looks a whole lot like being firm in our faith with our grip strong in the hand of God, not wavering or excepting anything less than the Biblical standard He has set for us.  Just because the Ten Commandments are not displayed, does not mean God feels any different about them than when He gave them to Moses. We can pray to God anytime and anywhere we choose, and Christ can always be the center of every Christmas for us. And, yes, the word suffering is in that same verse. Not a word we embrace. But we are not alone as we make a stand for Christ in this world. And stand we must, Christians. Be on the alert Brothers and Sisters! God bless. To God Be the Glory!

     

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