Summary: guarding against spiritual deception in the world we live in.
Intro: at our house we have posted a beware of dog sign, we did it as a joke because the only thing Milo could do to hurt anyone is maybe lick them to death. Webster defines the word beware—to stay on guard, to be alert. The Bible gives us some verses that say: keep your guard up
Keeping Your Guard Up
1. Beware of covetousness—Luke 12:15—life doesn’t consist of the abundance of things we possess.
· We must guard against coveting what other people have. Keeping up with the Jones’ is the downfall of many people. Sometime people try to keep up to be accepted.
· Guard against being jealous of other’s being blessed, complaining about why does God bless them more than me.
· We must realize everything in this life is temporal, but spiritual things are eternal. We must keep our focus on things above.
Ill) Midas touch—everything turned to gold, what a blessing, but then he found that his food and things he didn’t need to turn to gold did also, and the blessing becomes a curse. That is the problem with wealth, riches and material things, what many times starts as a blessing ends as a curse.
2. Beware of Religious Traditions—Colossians 2:8—after the traditions of men. We are warned to keep our guard up against allowing religious traditions to take the place of Jesus Christ.
· In a recent poll—people in churches where asked the purpose of the church, 85% stated the church was there to take care of their families. Only 15% stated the purpose of the church was to provide a place for Worship and train people in reaching souls for Christ.
· Religious Traditions hinder fellowship with other believers. Some people are so denominational that they can’t work with people outside of their individual church. We should never dissect the body of Christ.
· Some people become so dogmatic in their points of view, that they isolate themselves from anyone who has a different view than their’s.
This is so sad, because they will spend most of their time trying to argue their doctrine, rather than sharing their faith with the lost.
Ill) to show how religious tradition separates, in a cartoon I saw a while back, a group was stranded on a deserted island, but in the next frame, they had already erected three different churches.
3. Beware of Hypocrisy—Luke 12:1—Jesus tells people to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
· Self righteousness—feeling we have arrived or that we are more holy than someone else is a dangerous place to be. We are all sinners saved by grace. We must guard against spiritual pride as we grow in the things of God.
· Hypocrisy—putting on our Sunday best is something we must guard against in our lives. Being one thing at church and another the rest of the week is hypocrisy.
· Insincere worship—they worship with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. We need to all guard against going through the motion, letting church become a routine.
Ill) some will say what is the harm with a little hypocrisy, tell that to the
Millions who have suffered under communism. It is stated that Karl
Marx the author of the Communist Manifesto, when young asked his
Father why they gave up their Jewish beliefs to become Lutherans
When they moved to Germany. His Father explained, so that we can
Make a lot of money with our business to the Lutherans. Because of
This hypocrisy, Karl Marx hated all religion and came up with his
Terrible Marxist theology.
4. Beware of Forgetting the Lord—Deuteronomy 6:12—this seems like
Something that you wouldn’t need to keep your guard up, but God told Israel that in the midst of their blessings, in the midst of their deliverances, they could forget the Lord.
· The cares of this life—we all must guard against distractions. We can get so busy with life, we forget the reason for life which is to serve the Lord. Paying bills, raising children, working a job, building a home all take up our lives, we must make time to take time with the Lord.
· Don’t let a day pass—time flies, and sometimes we will end up at the end of the day and realize that the Lord was put on hold. Days can turn into weeks, and for some, weeks into years. That is why we need daily bread, and His mercies are new every morning.
* one of the most common bumper stickers after 9/11 was, We will never
forget. It is like a constant reminder to people not to forget what
happened on that day. Man has a tendency to forget things, so we must
always remember the great things the Lord has done for us.