Easily deceived

Reading for November 17, 2019

Malachi 3:19-20
Psalm 98:5-9
2 Thessalonians 3:7-12
Luke 21:5-19

www.usccb.org/bible/readings/

Jesus warns, “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them.” Yet, despite this warning, I find it sadly routine to create and chase after my own saviors to worship—be they in politics, in church, at work, in sports, in the media, or simply in my everyday life.

These false saviors who I find myself drawn to are often easy to follow because what they preach strikes a chord within me, and seems true to my heart’s desires. And that’s the problem, honestly. My heart’s desire is rarely aligned with what points to my one true Savior, Jesus Christ. My heart is often selfish, greedy, lazy, and self-preserving. But choosing Jesus is to choose what’s hard, not what feels “right” in the world.

If I choose to follow Jesus I will be persecuted. I will be handed over by the authorities and by my own family members. I will be hated. Clearly, these are not things I seek with my heart’s desire. As such, I may do well to turn away from the “if it feels this good it must be right” way of thinking and turn towards the justice and honor of God, knowing full well it will not be an easy path to take. Humbly, quietly, reverently, I must persevere by putting my faith in the God Who created me, and not in humankind.

The Lord will come, “to govern the world with justice and the peoples with fairness.” I must guard myself against all other false prophets and against false teachings. I know the path is difficult, but I must persevere. Then, and only then, will I secure my life. By following one God. One Savior. One faith.

My Lord God, You have given to me Your beloved Son as a sacrifice for my salvation. Only in You, and through You, can I be saved by that loving sacrifice. The world offers its own rewards, but they are fleeting and shallow. They are not Your promises, which I must hold up as worthy of worship. Help me be strong so to persevere in faith. All glory, honor, and praise to You Lord, through Christ Your Son and in communion with the Holy Spirit. One God forever and ever. Amen

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