September 11, 2023

“Be on guard against him yourself, for he vigorously opposed our teaching.”

-2 Timothy 4:15

For the most part, every biker takes some form of precaution before setting out on a ride.  At the very least, this would be a helmet of some sort.  With this being, I would say, the most important piece of protective gear that we can wear.  Beyond that we may wear jeans, a leather jacket, boots, gloves, and, in some cases, a pair of leather chaps.  We have all, no doubt, heard the saying “dress for the slide, not the ride” meaning that we should be dressed to keep ourselves safe rather than worrying about how we look.  

When I laid my motorcycle down, a couple of years ago, crossing a set of railroad tracks in the rain, I had on my helmet, gloves, and a pair of jeans.  The jeans ended up being torn and I received a cut on my shin.  My head never hit the ground, but the helmet would have protected me had that occurred.  My gloves protected my hands from any scrapes and embedded debris picked up in the slide.  The worst I ended up with was a severely skinned elbow because I was wearing a short sleeve shirt.  I still have a scar on my elbow, but this could have been so much worse if I didn’t have ANY protective gear at all.  There may be a few of us who have never had even the smallest accident with our motorcycle, but I would venture to guess that there are more of us who have experienced some sort of accident and we all can attest to the benefits of good protective gear or we may be able to talk about how we wish we had been proactive and actually used some protective gear before an accident.

Our spiritual lives need protection as well, especially since our eternity truly depends upon it.  It is necessary that we are alert at all times and take great care to protect ourselves from the pitfalls of sin that pervade the world around us and can find their way into our lives.  Peter warns of this in 1 Peter 5:8:

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

-1 Peter 5:8

Do you see what he says at the end of that verse?  Peter tells us that the devil is prowling and seeking someone to devour, that is enough to make any of us want to take every precaution to protect ourselves from the beast that is seeking a way into our lives, the ravenous animal that wishes to consume us.  

So what sort of protective “gear” do we need to equip ourselves with to ensure our safety in this tumultuous world?  The first thing we must do, that goes without saying, is that we must surrender our lives to Christ and find salvation by grace through faith.  True salvation will have a dramatic impact on your life because you will now be opposed to any sin in your life.  Now, sin will still find a way to break through some way into our lives but we recognize it immediately and we turn from it as quickly as we become aware of its presence.  Second, we must read and study God’s Word.  Reading our Bibles is one thing, we all need to do that on a daily basis, but we should also set aside time to study and meditate on His Word as well, to truly understand what God’s Word reveals to us and then to apply it to our lives.  We should store up His word in our hearts so that we can recall it in our times of need, so that we can find peace and comfort in Him rather than find solace in sin.

God revealed his protective nature to the the prophet Isaiah:

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand.”

-Isaiah 41:10

We can protect ourselves from the world, by being obedient to Him, by placing our faith, trust, and hope in Jesus Christ.  When this ride that we call “life” comes to its inevitable end, whenever and however that may be, we want to be sure that we have taken every effort to protect ourselves from eternal harm so that we may spend eternity with Him.  Paul tells us this, in his second letter to the church at Thessalonica:

“But the Lord is faithful.  He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.”

-2 Thessalonians 3:3

So, please, dear brother or sister, start right now, this very moment, to begin putting on the full armor of God so that you may spend an eternity that will only know incomprehensible joy.

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