"Keep watch over yourselves..."
Thoughts for Today:Growing up in Southern California near the ocean, I spent the majority of my summers at the beach. When I was a boy, my parents wanted to make sure I was ocean safe, so for years I participated in the Junior Life Guard program. What I learned during those years about surf, currents, and tides, and how to rescue those at risk has lasted me a lifetime. One lesson that has always stayed with me is contained in our passage today as Paul instructs: "keep watch over yourselves." In Life Guarding terms, that means "Don't become a victim." In other words, train your body and your mind properly, always maintaining a keen awareness of what is going on around you -- including current conditions which can quickly change -- be watchful and prepared for any situation.
Jesus said something similar to us when He warned in Mark 13:33-37, "Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come [the second coming of Christ]. It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge [that's us], each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. He goes on to say, "Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back -- whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!' "
Questions to Ponder:Have you become a little casual about your own training and study in the Word of God? Are you prepared for a crisis? If something tragic happened to a friend or loved one would you be ready to step in with the Lord's comforting words? Have you kept watch over yourself? What needs to change today for you to be ready?