Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Devotion by Mike MacIntosh

And Jesus answered and said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down." Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?" And Jesus, answering them, began to say: "Take heed that no one deceives you."
Mark 13:2-5

Have you ever noticed that some of the most important truths from Jesus come at the very beginning of His dialogues? If we don't listen to Jesus from the very beginning, we miss some very important details.

Consider Jesus' response to the disciples in this passage, for example. After Jesus had prophesied that the temple would be destroyed, the disciples privately asked Him for clarification. When would it happen? What signs would foretell it happening? Surely Jesus knew they were concerned by His prophecy -- we saw yesterday how fascinated the disciples were with the temple. After all, they probably thought it would eventually house Jesus' throne, and that they would assume posts there. But rather than satisfy their curiosity, Jesus refocuses their hearts by first saying, "Take heed!"

This Greek word means "to see," and the present tense is best translated as, "Keep on (or continue) seeing." Remember when Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear" (Mark 7:16)? Well, it's as if Jesus is now saying to the disciples, "He who has eyes to see, let him see." Jesus is so quick to love the disciples, to refocus their attention onto the issues that really matter, and to point out the potential dangers that they would face. It reminds me of a caring parent, encouraging a child to "Be careful" when setting out on a task.

You see, there are things that the enemy produces to steer you in the wrong direction; to move you away from the Lord and His people. Jesus is saying: Look. Be attentive to your surroundings. Be aware of things that are going on about you. Watch that you are protecting yourself and your family from the dangers of the world. See that you don't let your spiritual guard down.

What television shows are you watching... or paying for? What books do you purchase or allow your kids to read? What magazines do you pick up or allow your kids to look at? Take these simple words of Jesus to heart. Be attentive. Be watchful and know exactly what's going on in your life and in your family's life.

Check out Mike's Daily Devotions Here

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