8/19/20 - GUARD IT!

“Guard [with greatest care] and keep unchanged, the treasure [that precious truth] which has been entrusted to you [that is, the good news about salvation through personal faith in Christ Jesus], through [the help of] the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.”

‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:14‬ ‭AMP‬‬

“Do not store up for yourselves [material] treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:19-21‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Good morning people of the Most High God! How are you today? The psalmist declares “ This is the day that the Lord has made,” we/ I WILL rejoice and be glad in it! Psalm 118:24

Question: How do you go about guarding your walk with Jesus? What steps have you put in place to ensure that your relationship is top priority, that you’re in great spiritual shape? Some of you are gym/fitness junkies. This lock down has proven to be a challenge for most. But, you’ve become creative to ensure that you still stay in top form physically, even during a pandemic.

But are you doing the same thing for your spiritual health? The apostle Paul told his protege Timothy in the verse above, to guard the good deposit that was entrusted to him. What deposit? Let’s look at the verse before that.

“Keep and follow the pattern of sound teaching (doctrine) which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:13‬ ‭AMP‬‬

The pattern of sound teaching is what he’s instructing Timothy to guard. Why? Because if we don’t make a habit of protecting the Word of God and live out or put in practice what we’ve heard, the stresses and trials of life will steal the Word from us. Let’s look at some other guard phrases in this scripture. Paul told Timothy, he was aware of how his walk of faith was established, and instructed him to do the following.

“That is why I remind you to fan into flame the gracious gift of God, [that inner fire—the special endowment] which is in you through the laying on of my hands [with those of the elders at your ordination].”

‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭AMP‬‬

You’re not always going to be in a rah rah hip hip hooray mood every day, there are days when we’ll have to speak to ourselves, reminding ourselves of who we are. Calling to mind the grace and goodnesses of God. Fan the flame as it were, of our hearts to not become slothful and lazy in our walk with Jesus. Your return is only as good as your investment. My daughter has a phrase she uses with her clients. “ I will not work harder than you” I guess what she’s saying is, show me how badly you want to be well.

Paul and the elders may have laid hands on Timothy and set him apart to walk in his gifting, but Timothy had to fan the flame or put in the work to be a victorious Christian. We are encouraged to do the same. We will always protect whatever we see as valuable to us. So is your walk with Jesus worth guarding? What are you doing to safeguard against the thief? Remember the message of the Sower and the seed? Hearing or reading the Bible is just a start, maturing in the Word and your relationship with Jesus demands vigilance.

Jesus gave examples of what happens when someone loses something or discovers something of value, and their responses. Let’s take a peek.

“Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins [each one equal to a day’s wages] and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her [women] friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, because I found the lost coin!’”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:8-9‬ ‭AMP‬‬

“The kingdom of heaven is like a [very precious] treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid again; then in his joy he goes and sells all he has and buys that field [securing the treasure for himself]. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, and upon finding a single pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:44-46‬ ‭AMP‬‬

In those verses Jesus uses things that we consider valuable or important to make a point or create a contrast with Kingdom value. If the woman would drop everything and search diligently for the one silver coin, how much more should we, when it comes to spiritual things, which has a far greater value? Or the men who found hidden treasure or a valuable pearl. Both sold everything they had to secure what they considered of great value, worth selling everything to obtain it. Jesus said what He was offering was of higher value than all that. What He offered the rich young ruler in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke was worth more eternally than all the earthly possessions and wealth he had.

Consider this, if you’re not guarding the Word, even the little you have or think you have of the Word, will be taken away. If the homeowner knew what time the thief would show up, his house would have been secured. Guarding your spiritual life is paramount today. There’s so much distraction, so much anxiety and stress taking over people’s peace, that if you’re not anchored, it won’t take much to unmoor you. If your spiritual anchor is not stuck fast you’ll be adrift in no time.

How do we guard ourselves from being unmoored? We daily prioritize time to be alone with Jesus and His Word. Worship is not the songs we sing, worship is an attitude of the heart towards God. We fan the flames of our commitment by not allowing the cares of this world to distract us from the Pearl and Treasure of our affection, Jesus Christ. We are nothing without Him. Everything we have and are is because of Him. In the same way that you work at securing your job, finances, family and relationships, work at securing your walk spiritually. Some people will get up early to exercise but can’t spend five minutes with God, Who has blessed them with the ability to exercise or do whatever they deem priority. Where’s your treasure or better yet, what is it that you treasure?

Your heart will always follow that which it treasures and loves the most.

Listen to this; “For in him we live and move and have our being.’

‭‭Acts‬ ‭17:28‬a

“For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

‭‭John‬ ‭15:5-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This is why we guard the treasure that is Christ in us the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27. It’s His breath in our lungs, everything we have comes from Him whether you acknowledge that or not, we are not self sustaining or supporting, He’s the vine we derive and draw life from and in Him. If indeed we are His, He has given us the inner witness of His Spirit that we are His children. Guard with all diligence the treasure that has been entrusted to you. Guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit. You don’t even have to do it alone. How good is God?

Paul wrote; “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The light of His glory shines in our hearts, giving us this Treasure, while we live in this flesh! Do you get that? In this stinky, lazy, rebellious flesh, dwells this Treasure, Jesus, by His Spirit, working in and through us (no sweating) so that all we accomplish will testify that it was all Him and not us. Hallelujah! Guard it! Guard the Treasure, the Deposit. Its priceless! The more you know, the more you grow. The more you grow, the more you’ll overcome and walk in victory.

“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.”

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:1-2‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Make your spiritual exercise a priority. Guard the Word, guard your heart. Expand your appetite for more of His Word. There’s much more to your Christian walk than getting to heaven. There’s work to be done, your preparation is of vital importance to those around you. The enemy desires to steal the little that you have. So shore up your mind. We’ll defeat him with the Word of our testimony, that’s how Jesus did it. Garbage in garbage out, Word in Word out. The saying is true; We are what we eat.

Father in the name of Jesus

I thank you for reminding us of the importance of guarding the Word. We have no greater weapon against the enemy. Jesus you showed us how to overcome temptation and the tempter, by using what is written. May we be faithful to do the same in our time of testing. Having shored up our minds through the Word of God. Thy Word is a lamp, Thy Word is truth, Thy Word is light, Thy Word is the sword in our mouths to defeat the enemy. Help us by Your Spirit to guard what had been entrusted to us in Your precious Name we pray. Amen

“This hope [this confident assurance] we have as an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it]—a safe and steadfast hope that enters within the veil [of the heavenly temple, that most Holy Place in which the very presence of God dwells],”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭6:19‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Written by permission of the Holy Spirit

W. Tennant

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