Thursday, June 21, 2012

GUARD by Tony Manley

Anyone who knows me knows words are one of my best friends! Words seem to be active in my head all the time, which leads to words actively flowing from my mouth (picture a fountain with a child holding a water pitcher pouring water into a bird bath – lovely sound and nice touch to a garden…I am wanting you to enjoy this!). This summer’s Bible study is in Nehemiah (even if you are not able to come, the Bible study book is wonderful as a personal study at home alone). In my homework this week, the word “guard” has captured my thoughts. When Nehemiah was given permission, from the very king who had stopped the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls, to return and rebuild the walls, he encountered opposition. His response was, “We prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.” (Neh. 4:9). I have stayed on this word “guard” a lot this week.

“Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord…” Ps. 141:3

“Above all else, guard your heart…” Prov. 4:23

“for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”  Is 52:12

“Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” Mk. 13:33

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 1 Cor. 16:13

“And the peace of God…will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:7

“guard what has been entrusted to your care.” 1 Tim. 6:20

It is evident to me that God wants protected, guarded - what and who represent Him. Whether it is His Word, work, plans, or people; He speaks clearly that I am to be a guard of Him and His. I am amazed that He entrusts to my care the handling of His __________ (fill in the blank).

Not only is the word “guard” a verb, but it is also a noun when God uses it as a name for Himself. He has promised to be my rear guard. The One who has my back. Knowing that God Himself has my back, is my rear guard, is a place of strength and confidence when facing opposition from the front, side, and back! Nehemiah placed a “guard” day and night to protect the work God had placed in his heart.

God has given us the perfect “guard” – the presence of the person of the Holy Spirit in me. He has given me the “guard” of His Word to actively use in all temptations, circumstances, and relationships.

Truly, God is interested in Grammar – He is a “guard” noun (protector) and a “guard” verb (a doer). I am called to be a “guard.” What an exciting position and activity to be called to embrace!

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