Today’s Scripture: Do not err, my beloved brethren. James 1:16

“Don’t run out into the street!” – If you are a parent, how many times have you told that to your children? Do you tell them that because you don’t love them? Of course not! That is for their protection.

If a warning or commandment is given, it must be possible to obey or disobey. Warnings require a choice. You don’t need to warn someone about something they have no choice over; likewise, there is no need to warn them about the impossible.

You cannot tell you children what foods they may like or dislike because they will have their own feelings about different foods, but you can tell them that they have to eat their brussels sprouts before they can get up from the table or warn them not to eat strange berries they find outside. A warning is given to protect someone from negative consequences – whether it be getting hit by a car, being poisoned, getting disciplined, etc.

God doesn’t give useless warnings either. He tells us over and over in His Word how we are to follow Him. When God gives a warning, it is in our best interest to heed it and to obey.

Five times the Bible uses the phrase, “Be not deceived,” and every time it means the same thing – that you can be deceived. God warns us so we don’t end up thinking the wrong way; if we couldn’t be deceived, God wouldn’t have needed to warn us.

Also, many times throughout the New Testament we are told to mortify and put off the works of darkness and to walk in the Spirit and put on the armor of God. This is not immediate or automatic; rather, it is given as a command for us to follow.

James 1:16 tells us, “Do not err, my beloved brethren.” This simple statement proves without a doubt that it is possible for the brethren to err. We need to do whatever it takes to keep ourselves from error. The Bible makes it clear that although we have trusted Christ as our Savior and have been made a new creature in Him, we still can fall into sin and out of fellowship with Him. He has given many warnings to keep us from sin. Find the warnings He has given in His Word, and heed them today.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder