Romans 16:17-20 (MSG)
17-18 One final word of counsel, friends. Keep a sharp eye out for those who take bits and pieces of the teaching that you learned and then use them to make trouble. Give these people a wide berth. They have no intention of living for our Master Christ. They’re only in this for what they can get out of it, and aren’t above using pious sweet talk to dupe unsuspecting innocents.
19-20 And so while there has never been any question about your honesty in these matters—I couldn’t be more proud of you!—I want you also to be smart, making sure every “good” thing is the real thing. Don’t be gullible in regard to smooth-talking evil. Stay alert like this, and before you know it the God of peace will come down on Satan with both feet, stomping him into the dirt. Enjoy the best of Jesus!
Since I have been home convalescing from the effects of unbridled horsepower (lol), I have had a lot of time to think and pray about how I am fulfilling my life’s purpose before the Father, praying for our spiritual family and my leadership, evaluating my relationships (family/friends) looking for growth and health; basically paying attention to what is truly important according to the Word—Jesus Christ. I want to enjoy the best of Jesus with this rest time I have been given. But, of course, I have had to face and win some spiritual battles to do so.
In our passage today, the Apostle Paul encourages the church in Rome to continue to press on for spiritual maturity as well as avoid being tricked by the smooth-talking work of evil. Now, Paul is referring to those who use pieces of the Word in order to satisfy their own sinful appetites; they twist the Word to sound good and noble—even obedient—but it is not the whole Truth nor the real message of Christ. We feast on the Bread of heaven—EVERY Word that flows from the mouth of God (Mat. 4:4). We guard our hearts through every battle by remaining in peace and holding onto the Truth of God’s love. When you know the Word and take it to heart, you know the real or genuine heart of God. Don’t let smooth-talking evil gain any ground in your life; put Satan under your feet and remain obedient to the Word.
Prayer: Lord, every spiritual battle is won in my life as I remain true to the Word. Thank you! In Jesus’ name. Amen.