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Archive for the ‘Satan's lies’ Category

So many times, when a person chooses to desert his or her family because of selfishness, he or she ends up in an emotional and social desert.

The same principle, of course, applies to job responsibilities and financially barren circumstances that almost always follow.

The Apostle Peter knew firsthand about how desertion of responsibility led to a bitter time in the desert of despair.

Peter said in Matthew 26 that even if everybody else betrayed Jesus, he would NEVER do so — “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” (v. 35).

Just a few hours later, though, Peter was in the most barren of emotional and spiritual deserts.

Why? Because he had deserted His Savior.

We want to believe that we would never do such a thing and that we haven’t done such a thing.

But haven’t we sinned?

Haven’t we caved in at least once to peer pressure that called us to set aside loyalty to faith, even for a brief time?

Haven’t we marched into the trap of Satan at least once with the presumptuousness of God’s grace toward us despite our momentary rebellion toward Him?

Listen, Satan tells us that deserting the Messiah for “a bit of fun” or a “bit of payback” or a “bit of an emotional escape” won’t hurt us. After all, he tells us, there are people doing things a whole lot worse.

What he doesn’t tell us is that sin always has a consequence, that deserting faith temporarily always leads to a time in the desert emotionally and spiritually.

We might not sense it right away, but sooner or later we will.

And Satan will snicker.

Let’s reject every temptation to desert our faith. Even if the lure is described as momentary.

Never forget that Satan is a liar. He lied to Eve and Adam and look at what has happened since because they deserted faith for just a moment.

Let’s always give Jesus the loyalty He deserves rather than deserting Him in the moment.

The desert of shame and despair is the last place we want to be.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Proverbs 4:23 says that “above all else,” we are to guard our hearts.

Why? “For everything you do flows from it.”

That’s quite a statement.

Everything?

Yes.

The words we speak are the overflow of the heart, Jesus said (Luke 6:45).

Our resistence to sin is based on the amount of scripture we hide in our hearts, Solomon said (Psalm 119:11)

Our greatest gift to God is a heart desiring to walk in His Word with patience in order to exalt God’s name and influence in the world (Isaiah 26:8).

Listen, no good father would knowingly allow a rabid, wild animal into his family’s home. Whatever it took to keep that threat away is what he would do because he knows that a potentially deadly bite can’t be undone.

Satan is a prowling wolf, my friend. His bite is rabid to the soul.

Guard your heart by equipping yourself with the armor of faith described in Ephesians 6:10-17. Do all that you can to equip your loved ones with that same armor.

Build up the walls of your faith fortress by learning and leaning upon the Word day after day after day.

And remember this, bad company corrupts good character (I Cor. 15:33).

Yes, acquaintances happen. But friendships occur by choice.

So, choose friends wisely.

I’ve seen too many times the horrible damage caused in many lives by poor choices of friends.

Please, choose friends that won’t pull you away from the choice of growing faith, but instead will encourage you toward it.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Most of us are eating more delicacies this Christmas season than we should.

But they’re SO tasty!

I’m sure that we’ll all walk or jog or cycle extra miles to burn the extra calories, right?

Hmmmm…..

We all know the consequences of continuing to eat when we know we should stop.

If we’re going to have optimal health, it’s going to be due in large part to knowing the boundaries of eating.

Even at Christmas time.

What we’re doing with food delicacies during this season of parties and reunions and fellowship gatherings at church came to my mind this morning when I read from Psalm 141:4…

Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat of their delicacies.”

Satan knows he can’t lure us onto the gourmet pastry bus to hell by serving date-expired Little Debbie brownies in the parking lot.

What he uses to get our attention IS going to taste great and look great and promise to make us feel great.

His idea is to use our physical and emotional desires to overpower our spiritual sensibilities.

Listen, we’ve got to remember that every offer of physical or emotional or social pleasure that doesn’t portray or promote faith IS, in fact, a trap designed to harm us and God’s Kingdom.

Yes, those delicacies such as gossip, described by Solomon as the tastiest of morsels, can feed our carnal sides to the point of unsanctified satisfaction.

But gossip about co-workers or immoral fantasies about neighbors’ spouses or crooked math on expense reports are age-old traps for drawing believers toward what is evil.

Don’t eat them, my friend, no matter how tasty.

The daily Bread of God is so much better for you. And for me.

Let’s make sure that we’re in the food line that leads to heaven.

As always, I love you
Martin

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You’re quite familiar with the fact that an alcoholic is an alcoholic until he or she dies.

Even if he or she stops drinking and abstains for 40 years before his or her death, the person will always be one drink away from relapse because of how the sinful habit altered their body’s pattern of reaction to booze.

The battle to keep saying “No” is lifelong. For those who don’t remain diligent, the battle is lost. At least until, they dry out again.

The battle against lifestyle sin is the same. It’s not a one-shot deal with a showdown at the OK Corral baptistery.

Instead, it’s a grind-it-out, never-stop-resisting mission to reject the lure of the lie that promises an easier, more enjoyable life if we’ll trust worldly ways more than we trust God’s Word.

We all hear the lies. Cheat a little bit here in school. Steal a little bit there from work. Lie a little bit to our families. Resent a little bit the person at church who gets more peer approval than do we. Oh yeah, then there’s the lie that a little bit of filth flowing from your TV or computer screen won’t hurt anything.

Listen, Satan never tempts us with objective of just having us take one bite. He’s out to get us eating the whole forbidden fruit. And then getting us to eat the orchard. And persuading us all along that it won’t hurt anything since there are alot of worse people in the world than ourselves.

Friends, we’re all ________-aholics. Some of us are cheat-aholics. Some of us are steal-aholics. Some are lie-aholics. Some are grudge-aholics. Some are porn-aholics. And the list goes on.

We all have stumbling block sins that we need to avoid like the plague since that’s what they become to our souls when we relapse.

I was stirred to write this Morning Devotion because of a passage in today’s One-Year Bible reading that dealt with a different context — the lie that one had to be a Jew and a Christian in order to be saved.

Yet, the principle of Paul’s writing speaks to all forms of moral/spiritual slavery.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

Christ died on the cross to set us free from the chains of Satan’s lies. Let’s not choose to wrap ourselves up in those chains again by relapsing into our stumbling block sins of the past.

You know your list of weak spots, just as I know mine.

View them as bombs about to explode and destroy us.

Flee! Because that’s just what they are going to do if we allow them back into our lives.

As always, I love you
Martin

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He who thinks he stands should take heed, lest he fall.

This rendition of a King James Version teaching in I Corinthians 10:12 warns us against becoming prideful.

If we think we’re too socially or emotionally or physically strong to be knocked down, then we are ripe for being knocked down.

As long as the Devil has any freedom to act and influence people against us, there will always be somebody stronger or tougher than us and who will be led our way to knock us down.

This is why we need to stand in the strength of our faith, not the strength of our flesh.

Actually, we need to constantly remind ourselves of this need.

Why? Because we so easily are lured into thinking we’re on our feet because nobody can knock us down.

Wrong.

It just hasn’t happened yet.

If we’re not holding onto the Lord, we’re going down when the pushin’ and shovin’ starts.

Even when the pushin’ and shovin’ is emotional or spiritual rather than physical.

Gideon offers a perfect example of this in today’s reading from the One-Year Bible.

In Judges 8:22-27, Gideon makes a terrible mistake just days after the glorious victory over the Midianites where he and 300 Israelites saw the Lord defeat a huge army in their behalf. In the verses preceding the above passage, Gideon and Israelite soldiers had scored additional victories with their swords.

It was a great time of success.

Then Gideon blew it.

He got cocky.

He thought he could change the rules of worship and not face consequences.

He told every victorious, Israelite soldier to donate a bit of gold from the plunder each took from dead Midianite soldiers.

And then he had a worship ephod (breastplate/vest) crafted and placed in a city of his own choosing.

God already had commanded that only Israel’s high priest should wear the official, prayer ephod made during Israel’s time in the wilderness and which was to be used at the tabernacle.

But Gideon, apparently full of himself, thought the rules didn’t apply to him.

Though he had refused to become Israel’s king, he apparently was tempted into setting himself up as a priest, even though he was not of the priestly line of Aaron.

It was a terrible example of presumption and disobedience.

It’s no wonder that Israel’s obedience to God vaporized the instant Gideon died. Terrible things for Gideon’s family and for Israel resulted.

Let’s learn from this sad lesson.

Let’s worship God’s way.

Let’s serve according to how God has gifted us, not according to how we want to be praised publicly.

Let’s follow scripture in its teachings regarding involvement with a church family, rather than freelancing in religion based on what we like.

Think going to church is inconvenient and annoying because you hear teaching there that gigs you? Gideon might have felt the same way and allowed that feeling to keep him away from tabernacle worship.

Look where it got him.

Don’t make the same mistake.

Get plugged in at church in the way that God is calling.

If you don’t, you just might fall for a lie that leads you — and your loved ones — into falling off a spiritual cliff.

As always, I love you
Martin

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When we or our loved ones or friends get entangled in a trap set by Satan, it’s almost always because we or they didn’t see it before stepping into it.

There are so many ways that Satan traps people. For example, he gets them joining in a gossipfest because they’re jealous of another and then he reveals the participants to the person being gossiped about.

What seemed as it it would be just a minor, side role in this concert of criticism has turned, instead, into a major smackdown where “Somebody is going to pay!”

A number of people are hurt in such conflicts that should never have happened and only one person is really happy.

His name is Satan.

We all know what it’s like to step into one of Satan’s traps. Some have done so because of the desire for illicit sex. Some have done so because of the desire for public massaging of their pride. Some have done so because of the desire to gain stuff in order to displace feelings of insecurity. The list goes on and on.

Because we now know better, it should be our mission to show others that there is a better way through life.

That’s why we are to learn what the Bible teaches. That’s why Jesus said all who come to learn and live out His Words are drinking Living Water from a well that will never run dry.

Please show others that you live a faith-refreshing life. Please tell them that the same life can be theirs if they’ll drink from the same fountain.

Their future will be so much better when they’re not having to pull their foot or hands or even their tongues out of his traps.

‘The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.” Proverbs 13:14

As always, I love you
Martin

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I saw Charlie Sheen in the Bible this morning.

It happened when I read Proverbs 12:8.

What’s sad is that I saw not only his face when I read the verse but I also saw the disappointed face of God who knows that His standards are so universally being mocked.

Here’s the verse: “A man is praised according to his wisdom, but men with warped minds are despised.”

Based on the abundance of media reports about Sheen’s bizarre behavior, it seems clear to me that Sheen has a warped mind. All you have to do is read about the bizarre, hedonistic things that Sheen has said and done and then you realize that his concept of morality and personal responsibility is warped.

What’s even more sad is that millions of people like how Sheen acts and speaks.

Because of that fact, Sheen was among the highest-paid entertainers in the world until his most recent legal problems got him into trouble and his studio contract was cancelled.

To embrace the behavior of a warped-mind person — even to the point of buying tickets to a travelling, dirty comedy show for the fired entertainer — is a personal indictment of being warped.

I’m sure that none of you have bought Charlie Sheen tickets, but you work or go to school and perhaps live next door to people with warped value systems rooted in warped minds.

Please join me in praying that some of these people will see the wholesome, problem-solving value of the godly wisdom that you demonstrate day by day.

As warped-mind people see the enduring fruit of your wise words and choices, they just might start to ponder how their lives might be better if they chose to celebrate faith rather than filth.

Imitating Sheen certainly won’t help marriages, parent-child relationships, workplace relationships or any other relationship.

Applying godly wisdom will help these relationships, though.

I thank God that my influence in this world doesn’t have to be based on having a gift for comedic timing or a razor-sharp tongue that never blows the punchline.

Instead, I simply need to seek and share biblical wisdom in humble ways.

I pray that you’ll do the same.

As always, I love you
Martin

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