Monday, May 12, 2008

4 Minute Devotions: False Alarms

Have you ever had one of those days when you walked in the house and forgot to switch off the burglar alarm? Or you had the alarm on, and went to take the garbage out late at night, only to panic when all of the sirens, bells, and whistles screamed throughout the subdivision?

Hello, my name is John Stuart, and I’m an accidental alarmist.

It’s so embarrassing and you feel like an absolute fool. One moment the neighborhood is all quiet and cozy, and then it’s as if World War Three had broken out late at night. And you know what the neighbors are thinking: that Scottish twit has just set off his burglar alarm again.

For peace and security, most people invest in some sort of burglar alarm. They want to keep their homes free from any disturbance, break-in, or invasion. A burglar alarm guarantees that everyone in the neighborhood knows that something is wrong and the security people, who monitor the alarm, get ready to call the police if no one responds to their call.

We all want peace and security in our lives, whether it’s in our homes, at our school, or in our workplaces. We hate the stress and pressure of conflict and alarm, fear and trouble. We all just want to get on with our lives and be left in peace to enjoy our freedom, resources, and leisure.

Isaiah 32:17 The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.

The Bible offers us these in two ways: from the Old Testament, Isaiah suggests that peace and security are the fruits of righteousness, which really means remaining absolutely loyal to God. If we are faithful to Him, then God will protect us from all sorts of trouble.

But the New Testament is slightly different. Paul states that if we want to experience the peace that surpasses all understanding, then we have to allow Jesus to guard our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7). In other words, Christ becomes for us the spiritual burglar alarm within our souls, so that when evil and temptation try to ruin our peace and upset our lives, Jesus gives us the strength, guidance, and courage to overcome them.

So, if we want real peace and security in our lives, we need to place our faith in God and let Christ rule our minds and hearts. Otherwise, we’re just setting ourselves up for fear and anxiety, worry and heartbreak.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we all feel insecure, isolated, and irrelevant at times. Help us to hold on to Your promises and to look to You to bring the peace and security that we need in our hearts, minds, and souls. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

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