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Pay Careful Attention To These Two Things

The book of Acts warns us to pay careful attention to two things, and then gives us four ways we can guard ourselves from those who would devour the church. #Biblestudy #Acts #WomensBibleStudy #GoodMorningGirls

We live in the age of information.  Worldly thoughts, philosophies and twisted truths are posted everyday on the web and social media. These falsehoods spread like rapid, wild fire through tweets, feeds, shares, viral posts and videos

As we and our children navigate through this barrage of information – may we never think we are above being led astray.

In Acts 20:28, Paul tells the elders at Ephesus to pay careful attention to 2 things:  1.) Themselves  2.) Their flock.

Why?  Paul says:

“I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.  Therefore be alert.”
Acts 20:29-31

Have you considered that a wolf in sheep’s clothing might try to cause you to stray from God’s Word?  And your children!

Where do these wolves come from according to verse 30?  “From our own selves”.  

They are in our midst.

They are in our church.

They are in our Facebook feeds.

They are in our Twitter feeds.

They are on our Youtube suggested lists.

They are on the blogs we read.

And what do they do according to verse 30?  They “speak twisted things” and try to “draw away the disciples after them.”

BEWARE!  They are seeking to draw YOU away from truth.

My son was reading through some of the comments on the Good Morning Girls Facebook page the other day.  He was reading the women’s “SOAK”s and he asked if one of the comments was true or not.  We discussed what the woman actually meant in her comment (she was right but he had never heard it explained that way).  So I took the opportunity to explain to him, how to detect counterfeit doctrine.

It is said that Federal Agents learn to spot counterfeit money by studying the real thing.  They become a master of knowing exactly what a genuine bill looks like…then when a counterfeit is in front of them they immediately spot it.

In the same way – we must study God’s Word and become adept at knowing it, so that when a counterfeit doctrine is put in front of us, we will spot it immediately.

Here’s 4 ways to guard ourselves.

1. Get into God’s word – read it daily. Know what it says!

2 Timothy 2:15: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” esv

2. Pursue sound doctrine. Don’t follow teachers who itch ears (or spread their quotes and links on your social media).

2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

3.  Be bold, courageous and unashamed of truth!

2 Timothy 1:7,8: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God” esv

5.  Do not be surprised when you are slandered because of your stand for truth.

I Peter 4:12-16: Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

John Piper writes:

Let me just mention one feature to watch out for in the recognition of wolves. As I have watched the movement from biblical faithfulness to liberalism in persons and institutions that I have known over the years, this feature stands out: An emotional disenchantment with faithfulness to what is old and fixed, and an emotional preoccupation with what is new or fashionable or relevant in the eyes of the world…

So what marks a possible wolf-in-the-making is not simply that he rejects or accepts any particular biblical truth, but that he isn’t deeply oriented on the Bible. He is more oriented on experience. He isn’t captured by the great old faith once for all delivered to the saints. Instead he’s enamored by what is new and innovative.

Over the course of nearly 8 years of blogging, I have detected some lies in the midst – ones that John Piper describes above.  It has caused me to lose friendships, opportunities and face much heartache whenever I have chosen to speak against falsehood.  But no cost is too great  – label me intolerant, judgmental or whatever else you’d like.  I love God and I love people and out of my love for God and people, I am compelled to hold fast and defend truth.

Let’s pay careful attention to these two things – ourselves and our flock. Like the powerful, preacher Paul, let’s persevere in lifting the name of God higher until he returns or takes us home.

“Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.”

Isaiah 50:7

Walk with the King,

Courtney 

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**Chime In**

Have you detected any wolves in your midst – either in your church or out on-line?

How have you had to defend truth in your life or help your children see truth?

Reading about Paul and his courage has been so inspiring. How has studying the life of Paul inspired you?

33 Comments

  1. This is so so good! I just listened to a sermon by Pastor Alistair Begg that mentioned many of these same things. It’s amazing how easy it is for anyone to sneak in lies with the truth and then for others to disregard you when you share the deception. Yet, the enemy will make you feel guilty for pointing out the truth! So then you feel that you shouldn’t have said anything in the first place. It’s definitely a scheme of his and I’m so thankful for what you said about knowing the truth of God’s word so believers can discern counterfeits. Grateful for your encouragement! 🙂

    1. Kim,

      Oh I love Alistair Begg! He is so good. I haven’t heard him preach in a long time (but his church is near me in Ohio). Thanks for reminding me of him. I should look up some of his sermons sometime and listen again. I love hearing him on Moody Radio.

      Thanks for sharing!
      Courtney

  2. Yes yes! We MUST be equipped with truth. I just read a desiring god post today about wanting a breakthrough… If you want it, you have to battle it in prayer. And in the midst of a battle of need

    1. Yes yes! We MUST be equipped with truth. I just read a desiring god post today about wanting a breakthrough… If you want it, you have to battle it in prayer. And in the midst of a battle I need HIS TRUTH to guide me. If He esteem His Word above his own name, we should too… There are the riches. Thanks for the encouragement. Praying for you in your battle in a breakthrough and cutting off what is hindering you Courtney. Much love.

      P. S. I’m going through your wlw book again and pulling more nuggets of wisdom to do in my day to day and week to week. Thank you for pouring yourself out to us. It is blessing me and my family.

  3. Hi Courtney, I enjoy reading your blog because you are plain honest.

    Sometimes some people may be walking blindly because the truth was never told or they have not being corrected!

    I love what Aquila and Priscilla did. They called Apollos taught him more. They did it with love and Apollos received the correction and teachings with humility. Many who read your blog like me, are still growing and need people like you who have more knowledge to still sharpen us

    ” And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.Acts 18:26″

    I love what you are doing. Please continue to teach and share about the Truth.

    Loads of Love and Blessings to you Courtney

  4. Just curious if you would name the wolves currently out there? I work with some what I consider to be very strong Christian women however they follow some well known “pastors” that I believe are wolves.
    More for my own sanity sake…

    Thanks and God Bless you!

    1. Hi Cindy,

      We are all exposed to different authors, speakers, preachers and teachers in our lives. So I would rather give principles we all can follow than try to call out people by name because some will have never heard of those in my circle who are a concern and vice versa people in your circle, I may have never heard of. I think it’s best we all study God’s Word diligently and compare everything we hear and read (including all the words I type here) to God’s Word. If anyone preaches or teaches a gospel or doctrine not of God’s Word – we must confront them or separate from them.

      Hope that helps and so sorry I am not able to comfortably put names here in such a public forum.

      Much Love,
      Courtney

    2. If you have a specific preacher you think I would know of that you wonder about…I might consider giving my thoughts here. Feel free to put their name and I’ll pray about a response. 😉

      1. Courtney I follow a lot of Livingontheedge.org and walkintheword.com Being new in my walk I always worry that I don’t want to follow any wolves, any thoughts on their ministries in particular? I had also downloaded KLove on my phone and now the Moody radio. Feel free to email if more comfortable, thank you for any wisdom you can share

        1. Hi Jennifer,

          I love Moody Radio and I have listened to Chip from Living on the Edge – he is great! We do not have KLove in our town but I’ve only heard good things about it and I have not listened to Walk in the Word so I don’t have any thoughts on that ministry.

          Hope that helps,
          Courtney

    3. I wonder about the big preachers on TV like Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren to name a few. Personally, I believe that they preach the ‘feel good’ Gospel…that if you just profess your belief in Jesus Christ that your life will vastly improve. I for one, don’t agree with that. I’ve gleaned a few nuggets of truth from their preaching but since finding you, Sheila Wray Gregoire, Karen Ehman (to name a few) I tend to believe that the above mentioned TV preachers are sheep in wolves clothing.

  5. This post is so timely! I have had several conversations this week about this exact topic. I feel so strongly that we need to know who we are reading, listening too and coming under in bible study! This new age movement on expieience is rising. A lot of people are being led astray. The information looks and sounds like truth but it’s been twisted just ever so slightly. Let’s be Bereans!!! Let’s study Gods word ourselves. He equips us and gives us knowledge and wisdom. Let’s pray for discernment. I too have been accused of being judge mental and critical, it hurts. I encourage women to do their research. Be cautious of those that are eisegesis with the word! Thank you for this post Courtney!! Let us be women who stand on Gods truth Defending it with love and a gentle spirit! Let us do some homework on our teachers and authors. It’s okay to do so!! Be a Berean!

  6. Praying for you, Courtney, as you stand in the public eye for Jesus. Be bold and courageous and never back down. You are not alone. Many of us are praying for you daily. Thank you for all you do to encourage us in the Lord.

    His
    Shari

  7. Courtney,
    Thank you for speaking words of truth. I found your website a couple years ago and went through the study “The Ministry of Motherhood.” As a busy mom of four, it gave me such a renewed perspective on my role and the blessing of motherhood.
    I think this is a great post because it’s a reminder that I need to be firmly grounded in the truth of His Word! As a new blogger, I’m reading a lot of blogs lately. I’m feeling convicted that I need to be spending more time reading His word and less time reading blogs. I crave and thirst for the truth in His Word!
    God bless you for the impact you have made in my life and so many others.

  8. I was raised in a church that is no longer scripture based. I left as a teenager as it did not ring true. I am so thankful God led me back to Him through the scriptures and I now attend a scripture based church.
    Since the Bible has been made readily available to us, it is important to read it and study it for yourself. Any teaching should lead you back to the Word and encourage you to grow in your personal relationship with God. Jesus died so we could have that relationship.

  9. I want to thank you for loving our Lord and showing that love through your obedience to Him. You are an inspiration as a servant, wife, and mother. I began following Good morning girls during the study of Proverbs and it was the best thing for me. I truly believe it saved my marriage. Not that we were by any means on the fence, but it gave me/it/us direction. We are fantastic today. 🙂 I couldn’t wait to begin Acts and now understand why I had heard Pastor’s say they recommend their congregations read Acts at least twice a year. Ch 19 really left me in deep thought (since it went hand in hand with what I was reading in Deuteronomy with my own church bible study) and then Ch 20 revealed to me just how valuable this all is. I’ve literally gone from “just receiving” to now I’ve transitioned into, “what am I going TO DO with this valuable, powerful, amazing gift?”
    God bless you and thanks again!

  10. Thank you for this post Courtney, and thank you for all that you do on a daily basis for us. My husband drives for a living, and loves to listen to preaching and teaching shows while on the road. We talked about how to recognize false teachers, and I told him that I thought that Moody Radio was probably a pretty safe bet. I don’t think that they would have anybody on their radio program that wasn’t grounded in sound doctrine. Do you think I’m correct in this?

    1. Hi Patty,

      I LOVE Moody Radio and my Bible degree is from the Moody Bible Institute! So yes – I think they are Biblically sound and fabulous. 😉

      So great to hear your husband hungry for God’s word! That’s great!
      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

  11. This post came at the perfect time – God is so good! I truly needed the reminder of wolves in sheep’s clothing as it’s caused me to stop and assess my flock and most importantly, who I’m allowing to influence me. A non-christian influence over what could be considered, by many, simple things; is the wrong path to aimlessly wander down. My eyes are wide open and I’m so very thankful that you were led to write about this topic today.

  12. What do you mean when you say preaching on experiences? Is there types of worship that is also being pointed out here?

    1. Heather,

      You are referencing John Piper’s quote…he may have meant worship as well – yes. Wolves in sheep’s clothing can seep into the church in a number of different ways. We must be on guard and compare everything we learn (and listen to) to scripture to be sure it is Biblical.

      Much Love,
      Courtney

  13. Those who choose to make merchandise of the anointing (making wealth off of the Word)… We are to give freely as it has been given to us freely but paid for dearly by our Savior

  14. Thank you for this post dear Courtney! I think we are living a season of famine of discernment. Wolfs wearing like sheeps it’s not new but the lack of discernment is epidemic, I have people that I love and family members that don’t see any problem quoting scripture in social media but also on the same breathe quoting new age believes and false teachings that goes against God’s word.
    Like you said I have been called legalistic, it has caused me relationships but I really love the Lord and His word and His truth and for my own sake and my family I have to stand with the truth.
    There are bloggers that I really liked and I read and their post had been a blessing in my life but then after all that wisdom they post things that have nothing to do with God’s word and even inviting people to join those activities!! ? And my heart breaks every time. False doctrines and teachings can be from a teacher, a blogger, a lider, a “Christian” music band, a movement about worshiping the Holy Spirit and everything center in Sensations and feelings and emotions, books that speak with a lot of truth and are almost right but is deception on them. Jesus isn’t speaking in books. That’s why we have our Bible. That’s the only way how His voice is really calling you. Prosperity and ” material blessings” if you give your life to God is a deception, we can’t manipulate God and give in order to have because if that’s true then the bible is wrong. Just read how much apostles suffers and went through and even died for the cost of the gospel!
    There is not such a thing as a woman pastoring churches in the bible.
    There is not such a thing as gold dust or angel feathers.
    Or teaching and using the pulpit and using bad lenguage, vulgar jokes, sexual jokes, calling a beautiful woman “hot” or referring to them as chicks. We have to be concient that we face an enemy that HATES God and will do ANYTHING in his power to destroy God’ people. He will manifest himself as and Angel of light. So we can’t afford letting a “few” things in because that all that he needs.
    Great post Courtney !
    Much love!
    Gina

  15. WOW! So glad you said this! I live in Washington State (Seattle area), which is one of the most liberal and New-Age centered states in the union. It is really sad because many churches in our area are now coming out and “accepting” those in same-sex marriages into church leadership . A very large church with a huge influence in our region held a meeting about this with many other area leaders, announcing their stance of “accepting” those choosing to live in same-sex relationships into church leadership. Mostly, you hear quoted that “we live in new times”and “God is doing a new thing”, etc. Isn’t God the same yesterday, today and forever??
    I wanted to bring this up because our area needs a LOT of prayer!! We are bombarded with community-wide acceptance of same-sex marriage, spiritism and new-age worship. Many new-age philosophies have entered the churches here and lines are becoming blurred. If I speak up about it (even in the church) I am labeled as Legalistic or Religious.
    I am bringing this up because we would love (NEED) prayers here in the (beautiful) Pacific Northwest, as we stand against the darkness!

  16. I agree. There are many false teachers out there. Some are looking for profit. Some, I’m not sure why they teach falsehood. But you’re 100% right- we must study the word too spot false teaching. And as John MacArthur said “If you’re living your best life now, then you’re next life must be hell” ?

  17. Thank you for this post Courtney. Lil Caitlyn has been in hospital again alot lately and I have been spending more time on FB and generally “just browsing” in the small hours of the morning and YES I have noticed that it is easy to get focused to subtle (& sometimes not so subtle!) works of the enemy even in circles of Believers.
    For me the “wolves” are in me- the compromises I see myself making- a cranky attitude woth a cashier because “I’m tired and stressed”& laugh at a crude joke because I don’t want to bother with
    being noticed, little disinterests that nibble away until I am cranky, unapproachable, stressed and spending way to much time playing “hay day”& FB even when my time should be elsewhere- it’s actually insidious.
    I actually started turning off the games & actively going back to my teaching sites today and getting back into my “community” of sisters in the blog world who challenge me in Godliness- just as your post has! Thank you sweet sister xx

  18. Will you teach us what to highlight in the bible as we go through Numbers? I am not quite sure how you color code so I hope to follow along and learn.

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