A wolf, by any other name, is still a wolf — and it will always be thus. Aesop wrote the following fable which reminds us to watch out for wolves:

Once upon a time a wolf was lapping at a spring on a hillside, when, looking up, what should he see but a lamb just beginning to drink a little lower down. There’s my supper, thought he, if only I can find some excuse to seize it. Then he called out to the lamb, “How dare you muddle the water from which I am drinking?”

“Nay, master, nay,” said Lambikin; “if the water be muddy up there, I cannot be the cause of it, for it runs down from you to me.”

“Well, then,” said the wolf, “why did you call me bad names this time last year?”

“That cannot be,” said the lamb; “I am only six months old.”

“I don’t care,” snarled the wolf; “if it was not you, it was your father.” And with that, he rushed upon the poor little lamb and ate her all up.

But before she died, she gasped out, “Any excuse will serve a tyrant.”

We need to be on the lookout for wolves in the church. Not the four-legged sort, but the walking, talking — and scheming — believers who want nothing to do with the things of God, and who will not rest content until they have led the faithful astray. Any excuse they can find to rebel against God and His leaders, regardless of how petty, will serve them.

Naïve, weak, double-minded Christians are easy prey for these rebels, because they wander farthest from the pastor’s oversight. How can we identify the wolves among us and avoid becoming their next victims? Titus 3:9 provides insight into the ways of wolves: “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.” In essence, this means don’t sweat the small stuff. Instead of concentrating on trivial matters, serve the Lord and obey His Word.

A wolf, by any other name, is still a wolf. Stay close to your shepherd, and you will be safe.

It is useless for the sheep to pass legislations on vegetarianism while the wolf remains of a different opinion. — Unknown Author

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.