Envision a sentry posted on a rampart at a watchtower, clad in military dress and equipped with a telescope. His duty is to stand and watch for signs of enemy scouts or advancing troops. Diligently, the soldier scans the horizon with his trained eyes. He observes every possible means of entry with the utmost care, for his vigilance is a matter of life and death. If he fails, the enemy may catch his countrymen unawares and overcome them.

It is with this vigilance we must watch out for the welfare of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We need the encouragement and fellowship of accountability. This is why the local church is such a vital part of the Christian life. In this setting, our personal walk with God takes on another dimension because our Christian peers warn us when we become lax and encourage us when we succeed. It’s always good to know someone has your back covered.

When the church is operating as it should on the personal level, it becomes more effective in its outreach. Changed lives within spark renewed interest in spiritual things without, resulting in more conversions. This is the way God intended for the body of Christ to function.

Are you doing your part to help your church succeed? I’m not talking about increasing its size, but enriching its quality. Maybe you know of someone at church who is struggling with some issues. Do your part as a Christian sentry and warn them of the enemy’s attack. Watch out for those within your ranks, and your church will thrive.

The church is so constituted that every member matters, and matters in a very vital sense. — M. Lloyd-Jones

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.