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Do not believe it.

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | August 21, 2023 | *Matthew 24:23*

KEY VERSE:

"Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it" Matthew 24:23(NKJV).


MESSAGE:

In Matthew 24, Jesus discusses the signs of the end times and His return. In verse 23, He emphasizes the gravity of the situation: "Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it." This warning underscores the existence of false messiahs and deceptive teachings that can lead believers astray. Jesus recognizes that in a world filled with various voices, we need to be discerning and cautious. False teachings and misleading claims can be alluring. They may promise quick solutions, spiritual enlightenment, or personal gain. Deception often comes with captivating displays, making it even more crucial for us to exercise discernment. In a world of information and diverse beliefs, discernment becomes a vital attribute for believers. We are called to examine teachings and claims against the unchanging truth of God's Word. As 1 John 4:1 instructs us, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God." Discernment involves seeking alignment with God's revealed truths and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.


To stand firm against deception, we must be rooted in the truth of God's Word. John 8:32 reminds us that "you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." As we study the Scriptures, we equip ourselves with the knowledge needed to discern falsehood from truth. Our faith becomes a shield against the wiles of deception, and our connection to Christ helps us find our way in the complexities of our world. Cultivating discernment requires prayer, study, and a deep relationship with God. By immersing ourselves in His Word, seeking His wisdom, and remaining open to the Holy Spirit's guidance, we grow in our ability to differentiate between truth and deception. A discerning heart not only safeguards our faith but also equips us to guide others away from falsehood.


FEET AND HANDS FOR THE MESSAGE:

In a world where voices of deception abound, what are you doing to avoid the deceptions of false teachers and their false teachings? Desire to know the word of God by regularly studying and meditating on the Bible. Through prayer and reliance on the Holy Spirit, we can acquaint ourselves with the complex landscape of beliefs and teachings. Check the fruits. Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:16). Evaluate the character, actions, and results of those presenting the teachings. Be aware of “Red Flags” by being cautious of extreme claims, secret knowledge, or teachings that deviate significantly from Christian beliefs.


PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I come before you seeking your leading and wisdom. Guard my heart and mind against the deceptions of false Christ and their teachings. Grant me discernment to recognize the truth and to identify anything that strays from your word. Help me stay rooted in your love, guided by your Spirit, and firmly anchored in Jesus, the true Christ. In His name, I pray. Amen. THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING.

SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!! ___________________________


DAILY word study: DO NOT BELIEVE IT

The phrase "do not believe it" is translated from the Greek words "μὴ πιστεύσητε" (mē pisteusēte).


1. "μὴ" (mē): This is a negation particle that indicates prohibition or negation. It can be translated as "do not" or "do not let."


2. "πιστεύσητε" (pisteusēte): This is the aorist active subjunctive form of the Greek verb "πιστεύω" (pisteuō), which means "to believe." The subjunctive mood often indicates potential or possible actions.


The phrase "do not believe it" underscores the importance of discernment and testing the spirits. It's a reminder that not everything claiming to be of Christ is indeed from Him. In a world where various beliefs and claims circulate, followers of Christ are called to exercise discernment, measure claims against the truth of God's Word, and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This verse emphasizes the need for a personal, authentic relationship with Jesus. It encourages us to rely on our own understanding of Scripture, our connection with God, and our ability to recognize false teachings.


Reflections

How can you cultivate a discerning heart and mind to distinguish between genuine messages from Christ and deceptive claims? How can a deeper understanding of Scripture and a stronger connection with God's Spirit guide you in discerning truth from falsehood?



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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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