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The New Pastor's Training Manual

Devotionals for Pastors - Be Vigilant
By Ed Wrather

DAY 10

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. - 1 Peter 5:8-9.

There was a new Christian scandal, which surfaced in the United States a few years ago. The president of conservative Hillsdale College in Michigan resigned. He resigned after his daughter-in-law confessed a 19 year long affair. She has since committed suicide. It is shocking and at the same time so very sad for this family and for this college. This scandal is only the most recent of a continuing saga of well-known Christians to have their immoralities publicly exposed.

Billy Graham has done some research, which reportedly shows at least 90 percent of Christians in the US are living defeated spiritual lives. The scandal at Hillsdale is shocking but does it really surprise us? It should serve as a warning of our own human weakness and fallibility. 90 percent living defeated spiritual lives? Most likely this includes some of us and if so how long before we crash and burn as well?

We must be constantly vigilant of our own spiritual condition. We must be constantly alert against the advances of the world into our lives. We must make a stand. We must put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11). We must take full advantage of all the resources of God (Jesus - Philippians 4:19). We must not neglect the Word, prayer, and the church. To do so is to invite spiritual disaster. To say that we are not susceptible is spiritual pride. Maybe that is why just prior to 1 Peter 5:8 we are told in verses 5 through 7, “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

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