Guess what made attending Board meetings at our church so special for me? Our church organist would bring a dozen or so of the most mouth-watering, gooey, sugar-filled and extra gluten(!) donuts. Was it rude to go back for seconds? I was shamed into it, month-by-month. Board members dragging me back for that bear claw, always against my will!! Also, brought an extra donut home for my wife, being the dutiful husband! She actually got to eat it. Take my word for it…please! Donut you believe me?
Back to the Bible– we need to heed the ‘Four don’ts’ and ‘One do’ that Jesus shares with His disciples. These are His insights about the end times. He urges four inner attitudes along with one encouragement. Four Don’ts and One Do!
Are you ready? After all, that’s the point. Be prepared! Jesus says in verse 5–‘see that no one leads you astray’. In other words, don’t be gullible. Because someone sounds or looks good–could be a ‘red flag’. Trying to lead you astray. Feeding you a line. Flattering you. Antidote? Good medicine out there? The more you know the Bible, the less gullible you’ll be. That’s true. Try it!
Verse 7 says–‘do not be alarmed’. Alarms may sound… but no panic for the child of God. We know who’s in charge. Who’s on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd base! After all, the Bible has warned us about all these troubles ahead. Nothing new really.
Verse 9 tells us to ‘be on your guard’. Guard your life. Build a guard tower. Watch what you watch. What you look at. ‘Good fences make good neighbors’… keeping out the destructive from your spiritual and emotional ‘garden’.
Verse 11 refers to times of persecution. Jesus says–‘do not be anxious beforehand…’ Don’t anticipate tomorrow’s worries today. Today’s troubles are enough. More than enough most of the time. Don’t worry? Easier said than done, I know. I’ve got to work on this myself. Not only this one, but ALL the ‘don’ts’ in these verses. I feel like I’ve just begun.
But God’s not done with me… or you! Wait a minute, what about that ‘1 do’? That’s found in verse 13–‘the one who endures to the end will be saved’. Hang in there. Be faithful to the end. When you fall down, ‘do’ get right back up…with Jesus’ help. He calls us to endure. Be faithful to Him. Stand your ground…for Jesus! Don’t be thrown off course. Dig in your heels. Don’t budge. You get the point? Four don’ts and One do! The end result? Ending well! He saves the very best for last… for those of us with lasting faith!
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to look to you and to always stand with you in the ups and downs of this life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.