You know how we lived among you for your sake. 1 Thessalonians 1:5 (NIV) The Apostle Paul’s convictions about the gospel were expressed not just in what he said but also in how he lived. The message about Christ who gave His life for others was credible because Paul spent...
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)
The your here is plural. One of the devil’s primary strategies is to pick off someone who gets isolated from the rest.
Imagine going on a safari in Africa with 100 other people who are organized into groups of ten. Every time you get on the bus you stop and count to make sure that everyone is accounted for.
And every time you get off the bus, the driver says, “Now make sure nobody gets isolated from the group. Remember, there are lions in the park. So if you see Johnny or Mary wandering off on their own, somebody needs to do something quick. It’s dangerous out there.”
That’s the picture Peter is using. The church is a community of believers making a journey through life together. We have a dangerous enemy who wants to pick off and devour one of God’s people, and that’s why we all need to be self-controlled and alert.
He isn’t just saying, “Watch out for yourself.” He’s saying, “Watch out for each other.” Be on the alert for those God has placed next to you, who may be struggling or wandering, and in great spiritual danger. Church is more than a place to come and worship on Sunday. It is the place where you build relationships and walk together through life’s journey.
Are you close enough to a group of others in the church to be able to “watch out for each other”? If so, give thanks to God for them. If not, ask God to help you take a step in the direction of building some relationships.