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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"WHO WAS THAT MASKED MAN? WOMAN?"

July 12, 2007

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Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Matthew 7:15

There were two things you could count on when you watched an episode of “The Lone Ranger.” First, you could be sure that at the beginning of the program some misguided citizen would think the masked man was an outlaw. The second thing you could be sure of was some admiring soul at the end of the program wondering, “Who was that masked man, anyway?”

Every episode of the “Lone Ranger” capitalized on the idea that people aren’t always who or what they seem to be.

According to a story filed by Reuters last week, this was the case in Sarajevo when two Muslim women dressed in burqas (head-to-toe black dresses and veils) entered a small bank.

Women dressed according to Islamic code are not an unusual sight in that city. The “unusual” happened when the women took out guns, pointed them at the customers, and made them lie down on the bank floor. The unusual happened again when the women began to talk, and it became obvious that they weren’t women at all. The cross-dressing men cleaned out the tills and managed to get away with $40,000.

It all goes to show that people aren’t always what they seem to be.

That was the message of the Savior when He talked to His disciples about false prophets. Jesus warned His followers to be aware of Satan’s representatives who would look good but who would not BE good. “Wolves in sheep’s skins” is what Jesus called them.

Of course, Christians might wonder just how we can identify these false prophets. Jesus tells us. “You will recognize them by their fruits.” By inspiration of the Holy Spirit, St. Paul in the book of Galatians (1:9) defines what these “false fruits” are. He said, “As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

Fake sheep have a false message of salvation, and we need to be on guard.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, today I ask that You will send Your Holy Spirit upon all those who are being seduced by Satan. Grant all of us the ability to identify the wolves and reject their false message of salvation. In short, dear Savior, let us always put our faith in Your sacrifice which forgives and grants us salvation. In Your name, Amen.

Today's Bible Readings: Jonah 1-4    Acts 15:1-21

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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