Be Watchful

“Hey!”, I yelled to the inmate whose right hand was stretched out so hard to get a few more packets of sweeteners. He was one of the diabetics waiting for the LVN’s to come to the window so their sugar level for that morning would be checked one by one. Thinking that there was no one around and not able to see where I was, his right hand just stretched and went for that opportunity to steal some packets of that artificial sugar.

“What’s up Sir? You know the rules here,” as I approached the glass partition window.

“I am so sorry Ma’am,” as his face who would have been bragging to those other ones sitting around if he wasn’t caught, was now red and very embarrassed.

[I knew him. He was an elderly man, always polite. He would be the last person I would think to be able to do that; first, because he was frail and secondly, he would always just patiently wait for his turn without any complaints].

“It’s you?. You could have just asked for some extra ones from the other nurses when you check your sugar level.”

“I don’t know what to say but I’m so sorry,” he replied.

“That’s okay. But we’ve been telling all of you how limited our supply with sweeteners are sometimes. And to be fair, if one gets 2 packets, then the rest gets 2 packets.”

“It won’t happen again, I can promise you that. I’m sorry, Ma’am.”

“I will let you go but you know that if you do it again, you can be punished for stealing. Next time, just ask, okay?”

“Okay, Ma’am. Thank you,” as he walked away from the window and went back to sit down among the rest of the inmates waiting for their accuchecks to be done.

To keep watch over something means guarding it against intruders. This also applies to our hearts or houses. Just as we don’t want a thief to break into our homes when we are away or just sleeping, we will not want the world to end when we are spiritually asleep.

Jesus said, “Watch out! Don’t let Me find you living in careless ease and drunkenness, and filled with the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, as in a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. Keep a constant watch. And pray, that if possible, you may escape these horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” [Luke 21: 34-36].

Even if the end of the world doesn’t happen in our lifetime, it will still end when we die. Many believe that even after we die, we still have the chance to get things right with God. But the Bible is very clear about the next step after death: “It is destined that each person dies only once and after that, comes judgment.” –Hebrews 9:27.

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The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]

Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.

Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.

All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.

When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.

The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.

When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.

[Source: NLT Bible ]:

We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.

“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14

Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].

Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.

Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.

Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].