Scripture ~ Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Observation ~ We are to take heed. It is our responsibility to guard against deception. I'm not saying that the deceiver is not responsible for his own actions, but that we must take responsibility for our own part in being led astray. The next verse says, "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many."
Alright, then I am to take heed, and not be fooled by a counterfeit. How does one guard against a counterfeit? You study the real thing. Think about counterfeit money. Those specialists in counterfeit dollars first study the real thing, intimately. The weights, textures, printing, ink colors, saturation levels, behaviour of the paper, aging, etc. This intimate knowledge of the real thing allows the counterfeits to be more easily identified.
Application ~ We must do the same with Christ if we are to guard against deception. Study, study, study. Know him so well, that when a counterfeit presents itself, he sticks out like a sore thumb. This takes effort, a plan, diligence, stretching. But the pay off is the ability to obey, to take heed that no man deceive you.
Prayer ~ Father, please keep me well encouraged in my study of you. Bring this verse to mind on the days when life is coming too fast and my study is likely to be skipped. Bless my efforts, Lord, that I may not be deceived and that you may be glorified.
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