Be Watchful

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

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We will briefly look at the command to “be watchful.” What does this mean? The short answer is that we all have to constantly stay away from what is wicked and look to do what glorifies God.

If you are unfamiliar with the story of Peter, here is a brief summary. Peter was a fisherman then Jesus called to be His disciple. During Jesus’ ministry Peter was a witness to Jesus healing his mother-in-law, Jesus walking on water, as well as The Transfiguration of Jesus. Peter, James, and John became the closest to Jesus during his ministry. We also look at the last supper, which was a particularly significant moment for Peter. Just before Jesus is going to be crucified, he has a final meal with his disciples. Jesus makes it known that Peter will betray Him which Peter replies “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus predicts that Peter isn’t actually this faithful and that Peter will betray him 3 times before the rooster crows, which Peter did.

When we read about Peter as he begins to deny Jesus a second and third time it is so hard to not internally scream “PETER DO YOU NOT REALIZE YOU ARE DOING EXACTLY AS JESUS PREDICTED.” It is so easy to condemn Peter. We ourselves may never see ourselves as a Peter. But the truth is, neither could have Peter. Peter is good with words, he says “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” To be honest, that is very well said. That would have been a good tweet. Peter knew how to make himself look “holy.” But the truth is, no matter how good we look or how “holy” we feel, we are all vulnerable to a big downfall. Because as long as the “devil prowls” we are all vulnerable. However, vulnerable does not mean inevitable. To prevent a big mistake from happening is seen in 1 Peter 5:8. We must “be watchful.”

Two takeaways I believe we can take away from the texts.

1. Be compassionate

We should never be condemning people after they fall. It is so easy to feel like you would never lose your job, hurt anyone you love, or cheat on your spouse. So when people do one of these things is IS SO EASY to think you are better than them. Many of us may feel as good as Peter likely felt about himself at the last supper. But the truth is, after time, along with with different types of factors, a big mistake CAN happen. If we are not careful we can end up in a compromising position. When we hear someone fall we should pray for them, pray that they realize the grace of God and are able to bounce back by the spirit of God.

When we hear of a big mistake someone may have made we should take that time to not condemn and boast our self righteousness, but to use that as a reminder to look at yourself and reevaluate our life. Which leads to the second point:

2. Be watchful

In the practical sense, pray for God to show you areas of your life that may be dangerous or can lead you to a place you don’t want to be. We must CONSTANTLY be watchful and be aware that THERE IS an enemy out to get us. We have to always know that. For God to be able to evaluate and adjust your life you have to be able to submit to him. God can’t change anything in your life if you don’t want him to. When we tell ourselves and God “my life is yours,” that is when God can not only adjust potentially dangerous things in our life, but can use you in a powerful way.

-WOL Team

Daniel Feshchenko
Why Conversions Are Overrated
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It’s time to say goodbye to your conversion story.

We love our big moments. And none is bigger than the hour we first believed in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. And maybe for many of us it wasn’t a moment, but a season in which we found ourselves in gradual transition into faith. That was me.

But whenever it was, however it was, it’s time for a move-on.


Conversions are overrated. Everyone loves to talk about “that night,” “that summer camp,” “that prayer meeting,” “that sermon,” “that stage in life” when they became a Christian. And then much of Christian confidence, comfort, and contentment come from looking back. How do I know I’m His? How do I know how I’m doing as a follower of Jesus? Is there any veering off the path for me? The answer, somewhere buried deep within our consciousnes, is I’m all good because remember…

What’s missing here is the daily re-believing. Daily choosing Jesus. Daily believing in Him.

The truth is our faith needs recommitments. Often. Actually, daily. And chances are your faith is in desperate need of readjustment or reset. You see, our faith is living. That means it’s all about today. Nothing lives in the past. That old faith of yours is gone. You need faith for today.

In fact, Biblical authors talked about this. Author of Hebrews exhorted Christians to examine themselves to see if they’re in the faith. It was of no or little value to talk about the good old days. And Paul spoke of dying daily. Yesterday’s death is no good for todays re-living flesh. And tomorrow will need another funeral.

But what I love the most. And I’m just absolutely in love with this, get this: Jesus’ first and last words to his disciples were, “Follow me.” This choice hangs over us from start to finish.

I hope we respond with a “yes, I’ll follow.”

So, do you believe in Jesus today? Do you choose Jesus today?

-WOL Team

Daniel Feshchenko
Psalm 84:11

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Psalm 84:11

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The Psalmist gives the readers an incredible promise of God’s goodness. He starts the Psalm talking about his love for the house of God and transitions into the promise towards those who love God and who walk according to his ways. 

He explains the goodness of God as a Sun and a Shield. Those who love the house of God can enjoy God as their sun – the source of their blessings, and their shield – their defense. He is our sun, the brightness of our days, the light to show us our way and the source of life that we rely on.

Next, the Lord bestows favor and honor. In other translations it says, “The lord will give grace and glory…” To say that God will give grace implies that there is still more and more grace for God to give. Up to this point, we have been the recipients of SO MUCH grace already and yet God WILL give us grace. He will also give us Glory.  Charles Spurgeon says, “Grace is God’s first gift, and glory is his last gift. Glory never comes without grace coming first, but grace never comes without glory coming last; the two are bound together…” Paul also mentions the connection between grace and glory in Romans 5, “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also have access by faith into this grace  in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.“ As we stand, recipients of Gods saving grace, we have a hope and an expectation of one day being clothed in the glory of God. An expectation of being able to behold God’s full and unveiled glory.

The next bit of this verse is such an exciting promise that God has given through the Psalmist! God withholds NO GOOD THING from those who walk uprightly. This promise has two important implications. First, that it does not say that God will force every believer to experience all of his good things, but rather that none are withheld. So if there are mercies that we are not enjoying, it is not because God withheld them, but rather because we do not take them. Second, we have to understand that OUR idea of good things and God’s idea might not always be the same thing. We have this promise to stand on when we are going through hardship and through trial. If something IS withheld from us, it is not a good thing because God DOES NOT WITHHOLD ANY GOOD THINGS! I hope that this promise can encourage believers and also help us have a posture of humility before our God in receiving what he gives us. 

Another important thing to note is that this promise is given under the Old Covenant. David Guzik commentates on this promise that it is “appropriate under the Old Covenant, where God promised direct blessing for obedience and curses for disobedience. Under the New Covenant, the believer receives God’s good things on the basis of Jesus’ goodness, then goes on to walk uprightly.” Under the New Covenant of the blood of Jesus Christ, our righteousness is not our own but rather Christ’s. Paul writes to the Corinthian church:

“God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5:21)

Because we have been made right with God through Jesus Christ, we can enjoy these promises in our lives. All of the promises of God are “Yes and Amen” in Christ Jesus! (2 Cor. 1:20) Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we are now also able to, as a result, walk uprightly before our God.

May you be encouraged today through this scripture that if you are in Christ Jesus, if you have placed your faith in Jesus for your salvation, then this promise is for you! And whatever you are facing, God is not withholding any good thing from you. He is your sun and your shield. He is for you.

-WOL Team

Daniel Feshchenko