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A Word for Wednesday: Watch


“Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.  Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.  So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears." - The Apostle Paul in Acts 20:25 - 31 (NIV) (Via)


The words above were part of Paul's farewell to the Ephesian Elders. What struck me when I heard them was the use of the word watch. 

Paul says, "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers." This makes these elders the protectors of these new Christians. 

He continues and says little later in the paragraph, "Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard!" Other versions use the word watch here, "So keep watch!" This was not some suggestion. This was an exhortation, a command. 

Paul knew the only way to protect many of these Christians was for someone else to keep watch for them. The distorters of the truth would be coming from among the Ephesians. They would look like them. They would know the customs of these christians and they would use these things to turn these Christians into their own followers. They probably wouldn't even realize that they had succumbed to such a power.

So I want to remind you - keep watch! Don't let your guard down. Protect your fellow believers. Guard and protect them.

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