Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy 19th . .. .

. . . . it's a little early, but I'll be away from a computer on the 19th, and babysitting for March Break.


Thursday, March 11th, 2010


Luke 11: 14 – 23

Jesus and Beelzebub

14Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed.15But some of them said, “By Beelzebub,a the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” 16Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.

17Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. 18If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub. 19Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 20But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.

21”When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. 22But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils.

23”He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.

His very name, Satan, means “Adversary,” yet it seems quite easy for us to minimize his danger. Even if we accept the devil's existence, we still find it hard to comprehend his active malevolence. At most we think of him as a sort of ugly extra, not a principal player in the drama of salvation. But Jesus didn't see the devil as negligible.

Since Satan cannot create anything, he seeks instead to distort and pervert what is already around. For example, we've never enjoyed so much freedom in the world yet seen so many strongholds of sin. We've never been so self reliant yet seen so much fear and anxiety. Our world has never seemed so small, yet so many live in isolation and loneliness.

One of Satan's most frequent and effective strategies is to sow seeds of doubt in our minds. He wants us to doubt God's love so that we might look for love in other relationships. But how many people have been trapped by love's counterfeit of sexual promiscuity? Satan wants us to doubt God's provision so that we force ourselves into an unhealthy sense of self-reliance. Just think of those who have reached the pinnacle of financial success but paid the great price of bankrupt relationships. Satan wants us to doubt the mercy and forgiveness of God so that we remain trapped in guilt.

So what should we do? Put your hope in God's promises. Whenever you are tempted to doubt God's love, remind yourself that nothing can separate you from the love of God (Romans 8:35-39). Whenever you are tempted to doubt God's provision, remind yourself that God who cares for the flowers of the field and the birds of the air, takes even greater pleasure in providing you with all that you need ( Luke 12 : 22-34 ). Whenever you doubt God's forgiveness, remind yourself that God is rich in mercy and slow to anger ( Ephesians 2:4, Psalm 103:8 ). These are all truths you can stake your life upon! Remember : He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

“Lord Jesus, you have defeated the power of the devil, and through baptism you have given me a share in your victory. I believe that nothing can separate me from your love. Holy Spirit, fill me with a deep faith and trust in God's promises. “


Jeremiah 7:23-28

Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9

1 comment:

R David Foster said...

Now if you were to read that as the opposite sex, or even just the Other person, is the "Adversary" or opposer, AS WELL AS your personal (tor)mentor, and even your "God", as in 'love your neighbor as yourself" and 'love your enemies', would it make more sense to a secular viewer ? Are we not suppose to see God in those around us as well as the world ? Is that not the humanist view - that humans are the highest form ?